If you had a dollar for every time you heard, “Search engine algorithms change all the time,” you’d probably be a millionaire. Just when you think you’ve aced it and have complete understanding, something changes… again. However, one basic component has remained steady over time, and that’s relevancy.
It’s a word you’ve also heard repeatedly when discussing search engine optimization (SEO). But the question remains, “Is your site relevant and ready for the keyword phrases being searched by your prospects?”
This post isn’t a how-to for achieving page-one Google placement. There’s no magic trick to doing that, although some folks out there may lead you to believe otherwise. But there are some basics for keyword placement that are still vital for ensuring your website is considered relevant.
When a client or prospect contacts me asking about their search results, I first ask them what keyword phrase or phrases they’re targeting. Then, I look at their page content and I am often surprised, when I quickly discover the keyword phrases they mentioned are nowhere to be found.
Captivating, helpful content is what drives most searchers to return to their favorite sites. So make sure your site is optimized with the targeted phrases you think customers and prospects are using to find businesses similar to yours.
Here’s a list of four strategic Web page locations to place keyword phrases:
1. Within the actual content of individual pages
Start with quality content – valuable information, related to the matter at hand. The first and last paragraphs are especially good places to consider. While it’s a good idea to use keyword phrases throughout, don’t drown your content with them. A high keyword density is considered “keyword stuffing” by search engines, and that can hurt, rather than help you.
2. The Web page title
This is not the same as a headline. Whether you’re using Firefox or Chrome, (does anyone use Internet Explorer anymore?) you’ll find the title in the top bar of the browser when your page appears. It’s programmed in your HTML code as the TITLE meta tag.
3. Page headlines and headers
Just like a hardcopy brochure has headlines and subheadings, so does your Web page. Make good use of these and insert keyword phrases, when appropriate. Be sure your headlines are formatted with an H1 tag in the HTML, because that’s what the search engines read.
4. Page meta descriptions
The meta title and description are what show up when you look at a page of search results. Your description should encourage a prospect to click through because it offers the relevant information they’re seeking.
Different Pages – Different Keywords
Keep in mind, different pages of your site will be optimized for different keyword phrases. Therefore, don’t use the same page titles and descriptions on every page. Take advantage of the opportunity to create unique page titles and descriptions for each one.
Titles such as “ABC Company – About Us” and “ABC Company – Our Services” don’t offer any relevancy, unless “ABC Company” is a widely known brand and your prospects search for you specifically by your company name.
Check out SEOCentro’s Meta Tag Analyzer. It analyzes and rates your meta title and description tags, and provides data on keyword density.
Remember, the tips posted here are by no means a guarantee to get your site in the number one spot on Google. They’re offered to help you leverage your site’s content to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to relevancy online.
Prospects want information that helps them and provides solutions to their needs. Make sure your content delivers what they’re searching for. Does it?
Have you reviewed your Web content lately? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.