The first step you should take when optimizing a website for search is to include your targeted keywords within your title and page content. The process seems simple enough, right? Well there is actually a lot of areas and ranking factors that can impact your performance on search engines that you may not have thought about.
Including your keywords a few times may have worked for certain types of websites in the past. Today, competition is fierce in most industries and any steps you can take to go above and beyond the competition are worth pursuing.
Taking the time to plan out your goals and implement a content strategy will help you climb the search rankings.
1. Title & Heading Tags
Titles and headings are one of the most important factors to consider when doing SEO. The <title> tag is often the anchor text used when other websites link to your pages and posts.
If the correct keywords are included in your title tag then your chances of ranking for those terms will increase significantly.
Additionally, you’ll want to include relevant keywords and phrasing within your H1 and H2 tags, though you do not want to repeat the keywords word-for-word here. I will explain more about that in the next steps.
2. Keyword Repetition
Repetition can sometimes be difficult, but it’s important to write your content for visitors and incorporate copy for search engines as well.
If a page only mentions a keyword or phrase twice, Google and other search engines will not see that page as informative or authoritative on that subject.
A good rule of thumb is to repeat your keyword or phrase once in the title, once in the headline and two or three times in the content.
3. Keyword Variations
Repeating your targeted keyword exactly over and over is not ideal. You’ll want to come up with some variation by including other relevant words.
You can modify your existing target keywords by adding supplement words. Usually there are a few types of ways to say something and you may even discover valuable new keyword opportunities in the process.
Here is an example of variations.
Don’t be afraid to target full phrases or questions as shown in the longtail variation examples above. These are often easier to rank for because of less competition.
4. Image Alt Tags
This is one of the most often overlooked places to include your keywords. If you are using an image that is clearly related to your subject you can use alt tags to define what is in the photo.
Search engines appreciate this because it is good for accessibility. It also gives you the possibility of ranking in Google Image searches which can send you more traffic.
Photos also increase visitor time on site, reducing your bounce rate and increasing conversions.
5. Researching Keyword Opportunities
There are literally hundreds of keyword research tools available today. I would just like to mention the most popular ones to get you started and a few of my personal favorites.
Professionals have been using the Google AdWords keyword planner to research new related opportunities with high search volumes.
Keep in mind that the data will not be 100% accurate and you will still need to use your best judgement to determine if a keyword is worth investing time optimizing for. Do a search for the term and analyze the competition first.
6. Interlinking Content
Site maps, menus, breadcrumbs, categories and other forms of internal links are crucial for optimizing your website for the best search rankings.
While developing your site and building out content you want to prioritize and boost your most important pages. Obviously your homepage is going to be a high priority, so it will often be linked to the most.
Your primary products and services as well as your contact page all need to be easily accessible from the other pages of your site.
Link to your best content the most and make sure that content is optimized as described in steps 1 through 4.
I hope you found these tips useful for improving your site content and search rankings. Please feel free to ask any SEO questions in the comments below or contact us directly to get the help you need.