So you’ve done some research and you’ve created a list of keywords that are relevant to your product or service. Now you need to think about how you are going to use those keywords in your content. I would argue that a solid keyword strategy that is consistently implemented will translate into a more effective website.
Implementing a keyword strategy is a little bit like cooking. You want to get the right combination of ingredients. Think of those keywords as if they were each a different spice with a special and potent flavor. Combining them in the right way can make or break your dish (or your search engine rankings).
There are three words that you would keep any mind any time you create marketing copy and these words apply to SEO-optimized content as well:
Keeping you copy clean and clear will let your keywords stand out in the right context and will keep their “flavor” from being diluted by a lot of other words. Make sure to tidy up your grammar and spelling. Don’t let a typo or misspelling hurt your search engine rankings.
When the message you want to communicate stands out for your customers, it should also be clear to the search engine spiders. This will help ensure you appear in the right search results and that you are ranked high in those results.
Also, be aware that there is a twist when we talk about consistency: Use any single word or term too much and you could hurt your ranking for that term, just like using too much of any flavor can ruin your dish. Search engines don’t like “keyword stuffing.”
Use keywords in the most natural way possible. Do not force the use of keywords and phrases and do not overuse them. These things will raise red flags with Google and the other search engines and could hurt your rankings.
Also, be careful when using keywords as anchor text. This is text that you link to other pages or content within or outside of your own site. You want to avoid using the same word or phrase repeatedly to link to a specific url. You also want to avoid linking to a specific url more than once from any single page on your site. These things will also raise red flags with the search engines.
If you think this can’t be avoided, put that text link to the user-friendly test. Ask yourself if there is another option that would still be user-friendly. Is there a variation of that same word or phrase that you could use for your link? Would it be more effective to find a way to create a single link to a specific url rather than having multiple links to that url scattered around your page?
Are you starting to see how good SEO practices can lead to good website design?
As we’ve discussed in the past, the way the Google algorithm works is not publicly known. Even if the formula was public knowledge, few of us would be able suss out exactly how to design our sites to get the ultimate results.
What we do know is that once people visit our website, the experience they have there ultimately determines if they are going to make a purchase or even make a return visit.
A positive user-experience has to be your top priority. It doesn’t have to trump your SEO goals, but it should be the guiding principal in designing and implementing your SEO strategy.
If all this leaves your head swimming and you’re still not sure where to begin, it’s time to look at your budget and see if you can get some help. You’ll have to assess your own strengths and decide if you need a web designer, content writer or SEO expert. Ideally, you’ll find someone with a combination of these skills. Most good copywriters have a good working understanding of SEO optimization.
Finally, make sure you are reviewing your analytics on a regular basis, or have someone analyze them for you and report on your progress or areas of concern. Implementing an SEO strategy should have a payoff with more visitors arriving at your site from the major search engines. Modifications to SEO algorithms can hurt your rankings and you want to make sure you are aware when these things happen and take action as quickly as possible.