Looking for tips on how to optimize your website? Start with choosing the right keywords. Keywords help improve search engine ranking. If you want to be found online, you have to rank well in search engine results. In this article, I’ll explain how choosing keywords and phrases will enable your site to be successful.

choosing the right keywordsChoosing keywords and phrases for your site

I recommend thinking about keywords and phrases this way, they are the words and phrases people would use to search for your particular business or service online. Start is by putting yourself in the mind of your potential customer. What words would you use in a search engine to look for your type of business or service? Come up with 15-25 targeted keywords and phrases.

Choosing optimized keywords

It’s essential that you choose keywords that help you rank higher. With the explosive growth of the Web, it is next to impossible to achieve top rankings for a one-word search term. You’ll probably rank higher on searches for two or three keywords than you’ll rank for a very popular, more general keyword phrase. This underscores the importance of choosing keywords and phrases.

Example: a dog breeder might use “small dog breeder” as opposed to the more general “dog” to achieve a higher SERP. A great resource is Google’s Keyword Planner.

Have a domain with your keyword phrase

Putting your keyword phrase in your domain name is a great way to optimize for that phrase. It can be difficult considering the demand for high level domains, but worth the effort if you can manage it.

Use keywords in your page titles

Don’t have one-word pages titles like “About” or “Products.” Be descriptive and use longer page titles.

Using the dog breeder example again, a Web page with the title “Advice for Adopting a German Shepard” would target a potential customer looking to adopt that specific breed and not looking for general adoption information.

Use keywords in headings

It may seem pointless to have a heading after every other paragraph but for SEO it’s helps to have as many headings on a page as possible, especially if they have the keywords in them.

There are no specific length limits for the contents of the <h1>, <h2>, <h3> (and so on) tags but common sense says that too long headings are bad for page readability. So, like with URLs, you need to be wise with the length of headings.

Use a keyword phrase in the first paragraph

Repetition of your keyword phrase is important in your content. But it’s especially important in the first one or two paragraphs of text.

Avoid optimizing for over 2-3 keywords and phrases

If you have too many topics on a given page, it will be hard for both search engines and your customers to determine what you’re talking about. If you have a lot to say on several topics, it is preferable to write multiple short pages on each topic, than to try to cram them all into one long page.

Avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating your keywords or keyword phrases within your contact until it’s not much more than the keyword phrase over and over again. There are various keyword density tools that will give you the percentage of how many times single, two and three words keywords appear. The recommended density is 3-7% for the major 2 or 3 keywords and 1-2% for minor keywords.

Avoid keyword cannibalization

The excessive reuse of the same keyword on too many web pages within the same site makes it difficult for the users and the search engines to determine which page is the most relevant to the search query.

Choosing keywords and phrases that accurately reflect your site’s content and that anticipate what words a potential visitor would use to find you and your business is essential to optimizing your site. Without keywords, search engines can’t determine what type of services you provide, making it difficult for customers to find you.