Where Should I Use Keywords on My Website?
If the level of keyword usage on your website is fairly low, you may be struggling to locate additional opportunities to use your targeted words or phrases. Where can you add these keywords to improve your search engine rankings and boost your online visibility?
There are a wide variety of locations where you can use keywords — more than you may know about. Here are a few locations where you can use keywords to help your website’s SEO.
In your page titles
Every page on your website should have a unique title, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using the keywords you’re targeting in them. In fact, your page titles are one of the most important places that your keywords can (and should) appear.
Adding keywords in your page titles doesn’t just tell search engines that the page in question is about that subject. They also tell human beings that the pages they’re seeing in search results are about that subject. People are more likely to click a result if they see the phrase they’re searching for in the page title.
You don’t have to list the keywords separated by commas just to get them in there — try to write a sentence in sensible English that naturally includes the targeted word or phrase instead.
In your header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
When you are creating individual pages for your website, you may either manually or automatically set header tags to separate your content and signal where new sections begin. In HTML, these are signified by tags beginning with H — like H1, H2, and so on.
Your keywords should appear in these tags where possible. In fact, search engines tend to prefer to see your targeted keyword in your H1 tag, which is considered the most important one on the page (and usually the largest). The H1 is like a newspaper headline: it tells the visitor what the entire page is about.
To find out how to check your pages for a H1 tag, and to learn more about using header tags for SEO, check out our article Can a H1 Tag Improve My SEO?
In your copy
The body of your web pages is another important place where your targeted keywords should appear. Adding these keywords here both tell users that they are reading a relevant page, and tells search engines that your page is relevant.
You should use your keywords several times on the pages you want to rank for them, but avoid keyword stuffing or using them so often it looks unnatural. Try to write about the topic in question naturally, as if you were having a conversation with someone about it.
In your image alt text
When you add an image to an individual page on your website, there is usually an “alt text” or “alternate text” field that you are asked to fill out. Do you normally leave this blank? If you do, it could be hurting your SEO!
The alt text attribute performs a specific duty: if, for some reason, your image doesn’t load, the text you enter here tells the visitor to your website what they would normally see. It adds context and keeps them from being too confused. However, since search engines can’t “see” images like humans can, the alt text also allows them to “read” it and know what the image actually is.
It’s in this way that adding alt text to an image can help your SEO, even just slightly. If you add five images of red cars to a page about the history of red cars, and the alt text all says “red car,” Google can make an even stronger assumption that you have an authoritative page about red cars that should rank highly for that phrase.
You can learn more about using images for SEO in this free marketing guide.
In your links
Another place you should consider using keywords is in the text you use to link other pages on your website. The way you link to both your website and other websites can have an impact on SEO. When you or someone else create a link to a page on your website, the text you choose when linking that page can have an impact on how that page potentially ranks. This is called anchor text.
Essentially, if you link to a page about blue cars with the anchor text “blue cars,” you are telling users that the destination page is about blue cars, and also telling search engines that you think the page is relevant to (and should rank for) the phrase “blue cars.” On the other hand, although website visitors may be understand what you mean when you say “click here” on a link, search engines don’t. You are essentially telling them that you think the destination page should rank for “click here” instead of the actual subject.
We explain anchor text in-depth on this additional page, Why is Anchor Text in Links So Important?
In your meta description
Finally, meta descriptions are one last place where you should aim to use the words and phrases you want to rank for. As you may already know, using keywords in your meta description does not actually directly help with your website’s SEO. However, if the keywords are present there, they can tell searchers that your page is relevant to what they are looking for, and make them more likely to click on your page in the search results.
To fully understand how your website’s meta descriptions can affect its performance in search, read this article: How Do Meta Descriptions Help My Website?
Have any additional questions about where or how to use keywords on your site? Or are you having trouble making sense of your report? Feel free to reach out to us at any time. We would be happy to help you!
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