Achieving first page ranking of search engine results pages (SERPs) is every online business’ aspiration. Studies have shown that sites on the first page of SERPs receive a whopping 95% of online traffic. That’s not all; people only look at the first page of the SERPs, and about 64% click on the first three results.
This should illustrate the importance of achieving first-page ranking. The smart and judicious use of keywords is a key enabler here. It provides you the benefits of organic traffic as people discover you before your competition and land on your website.
The more organic traffic you have with the help of thoughtfully crafted keywords, the more sales and leads you can generate. As a result, your conversion rate will also climb higher. Here we will demonstrate, how to use a keyword for SEO in a way that gets you maximum traffic and leads.
Understanding Keywords in Relation to SEO
Search Engine Optimization is about optimizing your website to get better organic rankings in the search results pages. In this phase of SEO optimization, the SEO expert will find out and use the best keywords for your business. They accomplish two key things:
1 – They describe the core of what your content is about.
2 – When a user searches for the same phrases as your keyword, your SEO-optimized site will rank higher than the competition
Google uses these keywords to figure out which content is more relevant to a search query out of a thousand different websites. This also signals to Google how the page needs to be ranked or ‘indexed’ in searches for a particular term.
Keywords are not the sole factor that defines how you get ranked and indexed. You also have factors like content quality and links, and how the keywords are used within the content.
The first thing you have to do is keyword research. This is how you find out which are the right words to include on your webpage. This phase of keyword research can help you formulate a content marketing strategy to allow you to make content around the words and phrases your target customer base is looking for.
The best way to do this is to focus each piece of content on a different keyword or key phrase, and don’t use the same keyword more than once. That is solely due to the fact that you do not want to end up competing with content created by yourself for search rankings.
How to Find Keywords
First, you can try to brainstorm what you think your potential audience might be looking for. Next, try to find related terms by searching for it on Google and scrolling down to the bottom of the page of the search results. Here, you will see related terms that people searched for.
Finally, find out which words are already being used by people to discover your site. You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to find this out.
Finding Pages to Optimize With Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you find pages on your site that happen to be already popular with visitors and get organic traffic. These would need mild tweaking to make the content perform better.
To achieve this go to Acquisition » All Traffic » Source/Medium » Google/organic where you’ll find your content in a table and ranked by the number of users in the past week.
Add the landing page as a secondary dimension so you can see the list in accordance with the landing page.
Where Can You Place Keywords?
There are some specific places you can use keywords for SEO, and to make that process easier you can use SEO software plugins or apps.
- Page titles: Technical SEO requires you to optimize page titles, and is a great introduction to using keywords for SEO. A page title describes how you are going to introduce the main subject of your page, and it shows up as the first line of a search results entry to let both Google and the searchers know quickly and efficiently what the content is all about.
- Meta Descriptions: You can use keywords for meta description that shows up as the second part of a search results entry. Meta Descriptions can tell Google how relevant your content is to what people are searching for. Meta Descriptions can be a quick and useful way to tell users what content you are displaying.
- Subheadings: Subheadings are crucial to making your content scannable and allowing the readers to get a summary of your page. Subheadings can help visitors decide the relevance of the content to their needs.
- Content: Arguably the most important place to optimize your use of keywords. That is because quality content is one of the top SEO ranking factors, which means poor usage can hamper your search rankings in Google. For instance, keyword stuffing is looked down upon and is very easily picked up by Google, and can also incur penalties.
Here’s how to best use keywords in a piece of content:
- Use your main keyword in the first couple of sentences or within the first paragraph.
- Use that keyword and variations of it throughout the content
- Use latent semantic indexing or LSI keywords instead of the exact keyword every time.
- Make sure the sentences are comprehensive to people, grammatically and syntactically.
Images: Images, along with everything else on your page, are indexed, which allow people to find your page through this image indexing. Images can help you handle content accessibility which is great for searchers all around the world, even the ones who have visual impairments. So how can you incorporate keywords into images?
- Make images relevant to your content
- Give them a file name that has the keyword
- Use keywords in image titles
- Use SEO in the alt text
URLs: URLs that are simply a string of numbers and characters, like the ones you find when you try to copy a link address directly from Google, can be annoying.
The best URLs give Google and visitors an idea of what is happening on the page, so you are going to want to make them descriptive. Keep URLs short but also incorporate the keyword into it.
With these handy and bang-on tips, you will surely get your keyword targeting strategy right!Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
John Reiley is an NYC-based senior business analyst. He has been helping small business owners plan their strategies for success since 2005. He is a big gadget freak who loves to share his views on latest technologies and applications.