Hope you had gone through my previous post on introduction to SEO. So moving on to depths of keywords in SEO, keywords are one of the most important SEO elements. A keyword is simply a word to which the search queries are matched best. Identifying and choosing the appropriate keyword is the first and foremost important step to any successful SEO campaign. This is the very first step and a prerequisite for succeeding in the campaign methods ahead. Unless you identify and chose the right keyword, your time and money is wasted. There exists many ways to identify the best keywords to optimize for and it has to be chosen with care and thorough analysis of the search trends. A good analysis is required to identify the keywords of your competitors and to find which all keywords suits best for your page. Certain things have to be kept in mind for determining keywords.
1. Identifying the Best keyword
The web is so densely populated and the chance of toping in the results for a single keyword is hard to achieve. It is hard to achieve constant top rating for single search string. The ideal case to do is to make the site appears top, constant for two word search strings or three word search strings, which can be achieved by continuous optimizations.
Let’s consider the case of a website which deals with lights. Optimizing the site for light or lightings is a lame choice. Instead of lights, it has to be optimized for keyword like Italian crystal lights, High quality lighting, premium crystal chandeliers etc. Success rates for popular one / two word search strings are less and are not worth the trouble. The best thing to do is to focus on more specific and less competitive keywords.
Your description of your contents should be based on your keywords used for optimizing. Optimizing for a keyword without any reference or relation inside the content should never be done. As you know your clients / users, you could identify the pattern of search, what keywords are more likely to be used and their search pattern. You can always try the Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool to identify the initial list of keywords. By analyzing the initial list of keywords, you can isolate some ideal keywords that are absolutely relevant to the content and also have an average global search volume.
Keyword has to be chosen on the basis of relevance also. The relevancy has to be based on the contents of the page. If your page is based on customizing crystal lights, the keyword ’customized crystal lights’ gives you better results than just ‘crystal lights’. The more optimized are your keywords, the more traffic you get. So you have to consider the traffic factor while determining the keywords.
2. Keyword Density
Once you identify the keywords for your page, you can start with the contents. The content has to be Keyword-rich and should maintain appropriate keyword density. This does not mean that you have to stuff your page with keywords. Keyword density is no longer an important factor to SEO, but it gives an idea of how relevant the page is. The general approach is that pages with higher keyword density are more relevant to the search string in a page. I would recommend a 3-6% density for major keywords and 1-2% density for minor keywords. A higher density of keyword is extremely dangerous because it would result in ban from search engines due to keyword stuffing to manipulate the search results. Once you get banned, you no longer appear on the search results and you can rest in peace for the rest of your life!
3. Keyword Locations
Keyword quality is as important as keyword quantity. If you have keywords placed in the main portions of the page like headings, titles and in urls, its count is more than that of keywords in the contents at the bottom of page. This is because Search engines value urls, title and headings more than that of ordinary text. Some good practice of utilizing keywords are as
a) Keyword in urls and filenames.
The url of your page gives some idea about what your page is about. Let’s consider a site which is about real estate. It is better to name the site xyz-real-estates.com than naming it xy-acres.com. It is because the first one contains two potential keywords while the second have only one minor auxiliary keyword. You should not go for domain names full of keywords. The urls must be limited to a maximum of 5 words. As the length of domain name increases, people find it difficult to memorize them.
It is a good practice to name the filenames according to keyword. Search engines prefer pages with keywords in filename and domain names. For example www.yourdomain.com/real-estate-for-sale.html is not as good as www.xyx-real-estate.com/real-estate-for-sale.html but is definitely better than www.yourdomain.com/xx-acres.html.
b) Keywords in page titles
The page title is an important place because, the <title> tag contents is always shown in the search results in most of search engines. It is not mandatory to have contents in title tag on an HTML page. If kept empty, the browser will display it as untitled document. In SEO point of view, the title tag is mandatory. It is better to restrict the length of the title to 65 words
c) Keywords in headings
Headings are used to separate paragraphs into related topics and sub topics. It is extremely likely to have headings in a page because the heading tag is an important factor in SEO. Headings are divided into <h1>,<h2>,<h3>… <hn> and there is no length limit. My personal advice is to keep the headings short, but keyword rich. The <h1> tag is having the high priority and it should be present in all pages. Use your creativity to make headings with keywords in it and make it short.