People find what they’re looking for online largely by typing search terms into search engines like Google. Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into search engines in order to find a relevant site, company, or other online resources.
Understanding how to use keywords on your website is paramount to SEO strategy. Learning about why keywords matter and where and how to use them are necessary first steps. For starters, we’ve shared some tips and background information below.
Why Keywords Are Important
Keywords are so important because they help your business be discoverable. That is, by using the right keywords, your business will show up in search engine results pages and ideally be among the first several entries on the first page of results. While your business can grow through word of mouth and other means, keywords and search engine results are critical outreach tools for any modern business.
After you figure out how to use keywords for SEO, you’ll typically see a rise in organic traffic to your site, meaning more people and potential customers are visiting your site as a result of rising search engine rankings. This, in turn, puts your business’ services and products in front of potential customers, driving your sales and business forward.
How to Choose Keywords for Your Website
Most keywords relate to some aspect of your business or to the products or services that you sell. A pet store, for example, could be interested in keywords and keyword phrases like “pets for sale,” “cheap dog food,” or “choosing a pet.”
Once you have an idea of which keywords you’d like to target, you can refine your list based on relevance, authority, and volume. Let’s take a closer look at these three key traits.
Your content will rank for a keyword only if it meets the searchers' needs. In other words, Google wants the content to be relevant. Your content must be the best match and provide the most relevant info related to the searcher’s query. If your content provides less value or doesn’t seem to match or answer the searcher’s query as well, your page will rank lower.
Google gives more weight to websites deemed authoritative. Sites and companies gain authority by enriching themselves with content that’s helpful and informative. Promoting this content to earn social signals and backlinks also helps. If you're not seen as authoritative in terms of a certain keyword or topic, or if search results pages already have lots of authoritative sources for a topic, you’re less likely to rank highly unless your content is exceptional.
Even if you rank on page one of search results for a specific keyword or phrase, if no one is searching for that keyword, you won’t see increased site traffic. Monthly search volume, or MSV, refers to the number of times a keyword is searched per month across all audiences. A low MSV means not many people are searching for that specific keyword or phrase. Ideally, you can target high-MSV terms.
Where to Add Keywords for SEO on Your Website
You may be wondering, how do I use keywords? Keywords should appear on your site, but there are many different places in which they can and should appear, including page titles.
Optimizing page titles is key to technical SEO, which refers to how a site’s code, layout, and more technical components can enhance SEO. As its name implies, page titles describe the main subject of your page and show up as the top line of a search results entry.
A page title may be the same as the headline for a blog post or landing page. In terms of SEO, page titles should include keywords and keyword phrases, so that Google (and user’s eyes) clearly see and understand the topic.
Knowing how to add SEO keywords to your website involves taking a comprehensive look at the text. So, don’t overlook subheadings. Subheadings are the secondary headlines throughout a page. They serve to:
- Make content easily scannable, both to readers’ eyes and to Google
- Quickly indicate the topic and relevance of your content
- Appear as part of a featured snippet, in some cases
Featured snippets are search responses shown at the top of a search engine results page that concisely summarize or answer a user’s search query or question. Websites selected for feature snippets can see big traffic gains due to the favorable search engine results placement.
URLs are typically a jumble of words and characters that aren’t very easy to read. But when thinking about how to choose keywords for SEO, URLs shouldn’t be ignored.
As far as where to put keywords for SEO, URLs are easily overlooked. But a good URL should include one or two relevant keywords that help users understand what the page is about. Avoid stuffing keywords into URLs. Instead, include one or two, resulting in a relevant, clean URL.
When thinking about how to choose keywords for SEO and how to include them, text, rather than images, comes to mind first. But images shouldn’t be ignored. Images are indexed, and they can improve a site’s accessibility, which is important for people with disabilities. Plus, images contain text bits like titles that can include keywords.
Best practices for images include:
- Choosing a file name reflective of an image and including keywords in that name
- Making sure an image is relevant to content
- Using keywords in the image title, which is the text that pops up when hovering over an image
- Using keywords in alt text, which describes what an image shows, a key component of accessibility
Learn How to Use Keywords for SEO with Us
We know how to use keywords for SEO to optimize your website for increased traffic. Knowing where and how to add SEO keywords in your website involves strategy and planning. Search engines and the parameters surrounding best practices for SEO are always in motion. Using the most relevant and current approaches, we can help you and your business.
Today’s successful businesses take SEO seriously and know that it’s a critical component of success and for attracting new customers. We’d love to share more about what we do with you. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, contact us.