The first part of this article explained what keywords and phrases are and how not to use them on your website. Below, the article continues with information that will help you use your keywords and phrases to develop your site into a success!
Keywords and phrases…what to do
So enough of what not to do. Let’s take a look at what you can do. The best way to start with keyword success is to find excellent keywords. Sounds simple, right? It can actually take a serious time commitment to choose the best ones. You can start by looking at all your promotional materials or listing what your business or organization offers. Think of all the different possibilities, and write them down. Do some searches on the internet with these words, and see what comes up. Do you see websites that your target market would find interest in? If so, you’ve found some good keywords and phrases. If not, you may need to tweak your list a little. You can also do a keyword analysis on competitors’ sites to see what words and phrases they use as a good starting point for your own list.
When you have what seems to you like a complete list of keywords and phrases, it’s time to put them in the best places possible. Obviously, you want to start with the text of your page. Choose a few words or phrases for each page, and write your text to logically incorporate these keywords and phrases. Make sure to use them in your text several times, and write the words in different combinations each time you use them to try to attract varied kinds of internet searches. Don’t overdo it, however. Avoid stuffing your keywords in so many times that the text doesn’t flow naturally. If your text is helpful and informative with your keywords in it, you’ve done a good job. A helpful hint is to focus especially on the first paragraph. It’s the first body text that search engine spiders see as well as what visitors see. Make it scream to your audience, “Yes! Stop here! This is what you’ve been looking for!”
Many folks who have some experience with web design also know about meta tags as well. There is some debate on the use of meta tags for keywords and descriptions now; apparently, some search engines may not use meta tag keywords and descriptions when indexing a site, but others might. I still recommend that you use them. Just make sure that for the keywords meta tag that you use keywords and phrases relevant for your page and that your description in the description meta tag is an accurate, coherent, and not overstuffed description of your page.
You can also use keywords and phrases for different parts of your web page structure. For example, in the
title element, use a specific keyphrase that’s especially important for the page…something that potential visitors would type into a search engine. And instead of putting the company or organization name first, put it after the keyphrase so that search engine spiders and visitors see the keyphrase first. For example, our florist could set her title on the online order page as “Order Flowers Online—Cindy’s Flowers.”
You can also ensure that your
heading tags (
h2, and so forth) have important keyphrases in them as well. Search engine spiders tend to weigh these elements more heavily than others. So think about how to spice up the headings in your page text. Can you change “Delivery Information” to something more meaningful that potential customers may search for, say, “Guaranteed Same Day Delivery”?
Don’t forget to use your links effectively. In the link text as well as the
title attribute of the link, use some of your keywords and phrases. (The
title attribute is extra information about a link that is read to a user who is visually impaired who has a screen reader; additionally, users can see
title text of a link when they hover over a link if their browsers support it.) You can also use keywords and phrases in the
alt attributes of
img elements. (The
alt text is a text-only description of an image for users who are visually impaired.) This, of course, is not a recommendation to stuff keywords and phrases in so that they sound unnatural or forced; rather, just be aware not to miss an opportunity to market! Perhaps our florist could use as the
alt text of an image of a bouquet of spring bulbs to say, “Order a colorful spring bouquet of tulips, daffodils, and other flowers today for delivery today, guaranteed.” This just might catch folks who are searching for “spring bouquet,” “spring flower delivery,” “tulip bouquet,” and so on. Similarly, she can use the
title attribute of a link to an order page to say “Easy Online Ordering,” which gives a little more information than just “Ordering,” and the title attribute can say, “Order your flowers online, and pick them up tonight, or have them delivered.”
This is a lot of information in a short space, and there’s so much more to say, but I hope you have a brief understanding of how to expand the marketing reach of your website through the smart use of keywords and phrases. Of course there’s more that goes into a successful search engine marketing plan as well as how to optimize your site, but this should put you well on your path to success.