If a visitor types a word into Google and is shown your site listing, they stand more chance of sticking around if the main heading across your page is similar to the term they searched for. The H1 tag at the top of the page (there should only be one per page) is your opportunity to tell your visitors that they are in the right place.
Types of Keywords
Short tail keywords tend to be 'general' terms, which often don't convert very well, but which are usually very competitive. Examples might be; Insurance, IT Companies, Cameras, TV's, etc.
Long tail terms can still be competitive, but that offer several advantages over short tail terms. Firstly, they allow people to be more precise and to refine their search, which helps to eliminate unhelpful results.
For example, instead of searching for 'Insurance', you might type 'Car Insurance Brokers Croydon', or 'Car Insurance for New Drivers', etc. Long tail keywords often have smaller volumes of traffic, but it is the targeted nature of that traffic that means that they will drive genuine business prospects to your business.
How To Choose Keywords
The keywords that you focus on are critically important to your future success.
This is not the time to start guessing..... what you need to know is exactly what search terms and phrases are being used the most in the big search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Despite Google hating us using keywords, they bizarrely provide a keyword tool within their Adwords software (for the benefit of their paying advertisers), but it will also give you a great starting point to find some search terms to target.
Go to Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool and enter some short tail keywords that cover what you do and want to rank for. The keyword tool will return up to 800 suggestions along with the approximate monthly traffic volumes.
Take some time to delete everything that isn't relevant to you and you will end up with a core list of keywords to work with. You can then sub divide this list into the different pages of your website..... remembering keyword congruence.
How To Add Keywords To Your Pages
In an ideal world, you will have a blank sheet of paper (or a word document) and at the top, 6, 8 or 10 keywords that are linked, relevant to each other and associated to the page we are about to write. There are a few important concepts to bear in mind when including keywords in your content;
- keyword density
- keyword prominence
- off-page exact match anchor text
These elements are all interlinked. To begin with, a keyword in your content will carry more weight depending on where you put it, so if you include it in your Title, the meta description tag and in the H1 heading, it will have clout than another word used in the same volume, which is not in these three areas.
Keyword density is important, but if you have included the keyword in the title, desc tag and heading 1, you can ease off in the page content with less repeats and variations. Your primary keyword, term or phrase should ideally be in these three elements. Keyword prominence is the overall 'weight' given to a term bearing in mind where it appears.
Go to high with excessive over use and you will begin to damage rankings rather than helping them. Combined with your on-page keyword density and keyword prominence, is the use of exact match anchor text in your back-links.
Hopefully you should be aware by now that using exact match anchor text (EMAT) is a bad thing and no good will come of it..... but if you have a lot of links and a few (a very small percentage) use the exact anchor text you want to rank for then you can use less on-page keyword density which in turn will be compensated for by the exact match anchor text links.
Getting The Keyword Balance Right
There are several variables at work at the same time where your keywords are concerned, so the process you should go through is as follows;
- Write version one and publish.
- Monitor rankings, keywords that are struggling/doing well
- edit, adapt and amend content
- Monitor rankings
- edit, adapt, amend
Each site is different, each page is different, there is no exact set of rules for all content to follow, just a set of guidelines to stay within.
Keyword Monitoring Tools
We like www.seomonitor.com which tracks not just your sites, but your competitors too, showing their keywords, traffic and hits too. Your keyword list will develop over time and this tool lets you keep up with those changes in real time.
Another tool we use a lot is Keyword Canine which lets you easily find new keywords as well as monitoring those you already rank for. This is great for identifying new terms to target.
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