How do I use keywords and phrases?
By now you probably understand the importance of using keywords and phrases in order to help search engines identify and rank your site. In fact, using keywords correctly is critical when you are trying to improve your SEO ranking. But you may have questions such as whether to include very similar phrases that people might be searching. For example, do you need to include both “basketball training” and “basketball practice”?
If someone searching in a search engine types the exact phrase “basketball training”, a website with that key phrase as part of its content will win over one that does not. So the answer is, that it is a good idea to include a variety of key phrases which identify your site – but you should also include a variety of individual keywords. It’s likely that you already have a good idea of what the right keywords and phrases are for your company. Still though, it is a good idea to do a little research on the exact keywords that your potential customers are searching.
Keywords should be placed strategically in titles, and of course, in the content of your site.
Generally speaking, you should build a web page for every keyword that you would like to be ranked for. Search engines use the title of your page as the most important factor in identifying what your page is about and ranking it. Therefore, you should have your most important keywords in your title pages.
Including keywords in the content of your site is generally not a difficult task as they tend to be necessary to describe the intent and theme of your page.
Search engines tend to give more weight to the first 200 words within a page – it is therefore important to ensure that keywords and phrases are placed strategically. There are a number of software programs that can help you to identify which keywords are most commonly searched in your industry as well as tools that can help you analyse your keyword density.
It is also important to use keywords in anchor text within links and back links. When a link incorporates a keyword into the text of a hyperlink, it is called quality anchor text. Instead of writing something which is irrelevant to the contest such as “click here”, a savvy webmaster will write something relevant to the content of the linked page such as “blueberry pie recipe”. If you find that your site is being linked to from another website, but that anchor text is not being used properly, you should request that the website change the anchor text to something incorporating relevant keywords.
Using keywords is vital to your SEO success – it does however come with a warning. Do not overuse keywords! Stuffing your site with keywords can actually hurt your site. First of all, it is annoying for your visitors as it can make the content awkward and difficult to read.
But it can also hurt you by getting you penalized by the search engine as it can be viewed as spam. A general rule of thumb is to write first for your audience and write second for the search engines.