Before learning how to use keywords, it’s important to select the right search terms to focus on. If you’re still not sure which search terms to optimise your page for, you might want to read our handy guide to finding the right search terms for your business. One of the biggest mistakes websites make when it comes to SEO is not optimising for the right keywords. So make sure you nail that part before reading on…
While the criteria for optimised content is constantly changing, the general objective remains the same. So, if you follow these basic rules you should be on the right track.
1. Use your keyword in the first paragraph and within the first 100 words of the text.
2. You can also bold your search term 1-2 times for emphasis.
3. If you are using headings, make sure at least one heading contains your search term. Remember you should only have a single H1 on a page and, if you do use one, try to incorporate the keyword here too.
4. If you want to optimise a page for a keyword, you’ll need to use your search term frequently. However, the key to using search terms is to thread them throughout your text as naturally as possible.
5. In all cases, avoid ‘keyword stuffing’. This means obviously and unnaturally jam-packing an awkward keyword into your content. Try using some synonyms and alterations of your search term to avoid sounding repetitive.
6. Search engines do take into account keyword frequency, so remember that for a longer article you need to include your search term or synonym more often. For a page that is 300-350 words (the recommended minimum word count for search engine optimised content) we would advise using your search term 2-3 times.
7. Include your keyword in the URL. URLs should be as short and simple as possible. Key landing pages should never be more than 2 sub-folders into your website i.e. no more than two ‘/’ in the URL. Ideally, you want your landing pages to be www.your-domain.com/landing-page/.
So, if my keyword was “chocolate cake”, www.theclickhub.com/chocolate-cake would be better than www.theclickhub.com/recipes/chocolate-cake and www.theclickhub.com/blog/recipe/chocolate-cake would be too many subfolders. (Note: sorry to disappoint, these click hub chocolate cake pages don’t really exist… yet).
8. Use your keyword in your Page Title, too. This is the title that appears in Search Engines, so make sure it’s an accurate description of the content on that page.
9. Also include the search term in your Meta Description – the section of text that appears in Search Engines below the Page Title. Keep this under 156 characters and write something that will grab the user’s attention while seamlessly slipping in that all-important keyword.
10. If you’re using images on the page, you’ll need to include your search term in the Alt Text. This is the text that tells Google what the image is. The main function of Alt Text was originally for the visually impaired, and though Google is getting pretty good at recognising pictures without this information, we’d still recommend you optimise your images for now.
So there you have it, how to optimise a page for a keyword. Don’t forget to submit your newly optimised pages to Google Search Console afterwards. Submitting your pages to be indexed is like waving a big “look at me!” banner to Google and will get you noticed faster.