If you know anything about search engine optimization, you’re aware that finding the right keywords is crucial to increasing online traffic to your business website.
That’s ok if you didn’t know that, many of our clients at Illumen Media have no idea until we tell them that at the core of successful SEO is using keywords on their site. And once they get the hang of it, they dominate in their online space. The goal is that your business will do the same!
Here’s a real quick summary of the power of keywords: They tell the Google crawler bots (yes, they’re like digital spiders that crawl the HTML of your site) what your article is about. The better you optimize your keyword on your site, the better chances you rank closer to the first result in a Google search.
Though it’s not all about finding a solid keyword for SEO. Businesses need to know where to place these keywords on their website to rank higher, bring in more traffic, and boost their monthly sales—this is called on-site SEO for nerdy people in this industry.
After reading this, you’ll learn the exact places where your specific keyword phrase should appear on your business website. (To be clear, this order of operations assumes you’ve already found your keyword. In a future Illumen post, you will learn how to do this.)
Understand the list below, execute it, and then you will build a steady flow of online traffic to grow your business for years to come. P.S. These are roughly listed in order of importance.
Effective On-Site Keyword Placement
To get the most out of your site’s SEO, place your keywords in the following places:
1. In the page title
Your page title has to include the keyword for two main reasons: 1) this signals to the SEO bots exactly what your page is about, helping you rank higher in search and 2) it persuades people who type in the term on Google to click on your article.
You also get bonus SEO juice if your keyword is in the front of the title. For example with the keyword “eat on a budget”, a title would be more search optimized if it was “Eat On A Budget: 7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Money” compared to “7 Different Tips That Will Help You Eat On A Budget”.
To get technical for a second, your page title should be in a Title (<title>) tag and a Heading 1 (<H1>) tag to clearly signal the topic of the material—a WordPress site will automatically do this.
2. In the URL of the page
The keyword you searched long and hard for should appear in the permalink of your URL. It’ll look like this: yourwebsitename.com/insert-your-keyword-here — note the name of the full post title shouldn’t be in the URL just the keyword.
Hopefully your website makes it easy to edit your URL with the specific keyword.
For WordPress, here’s how you switch your URL structure in the admin menu:
- Scroll over ‘Settings’
- Click ‘Permalinks’
- Select ‘Post name’ under Common Settings
- Click ‘Save Changes’
A screenshot below shows what to look for.
With this set up, you can customize the URL of your posts to include the keyword in it and knock this off the checklist.
Then it’s time to move on to another very important detail: meta descriptions.
3. In the meta description
The meta description is the little snippet that shows up under the article title on searches—you’ll want your keyword there. Optimizing this will help you land extra search engine traffic.
Take a look at the screenshot below to get a clear picture of how it shows up for potential visitors.
Notice how one of the two keywords here (Illumen) shows up in bold in the description? This is a bad example, but you’d want your entire keyword phrase to show up there.
Something to also keep in mind, some visitors go by how many bold words they see in the description to decide what article they’re going to click on.
4. In the first 200 words
This is not the place to save the main topic for later. Right from the beginning—I’m talking first sentence maybe, at least the first paragraph—you want to write your keyword in the introduction of the blog post.
Again, this will tip off both your readers and the search indexes that the article is focused on the keyword topic at hand.
When your online visitors see the phrase they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stay on the page. That is key because it will increase the time visitors spend on your site while lowering your bounce rate (how many people leave your site rather than clicking something else)—two important SEO metrics to boost you higher in the rankings.
5. In the last 200 words
While less important than having it in the introduction, I personally believe it’s in your company’s best interest to add that keyword phrase one more time in the page’s conclusion.
For no other reason than it sums up your content by giving the reader a summary on their way out, plus it may help your SEO a tiny bit.
There’s one warning that applies to this tip and in general: never ever “keyword stuff” a website page or you’ll get penalized and won’t rank at all. Keyword stuffing is using your keyword far more times than is natural, like if your keyword appears in every sentence or two. Google wants to rank sites that are useful to readers.
Getting delisted from search engines defeats the purpose of this exercise.
6. In internal backlinks to the page
An internal backlink is when you link from one page of your site to another page. Putting the keyword in the anchor text is a SEO boost that will help the page linked to receive more traffic.
Say I wanted to help the SEO of a page focused on the keyword “corporate catering”. I’d use one of my other pages to link to that site and make the text “corporate catering”.
However, please don’t overdo it and put every single internal backlink to a page with the keyword in it. You’ll want to mix it up and internally link with words like “this article”, “here”, and “guide”.
(Getting external links with the keyword as the link text is incredibly helpful, but this post is about on-site SEO so I won’t go on any further about this.)
Here’s the thing about SEO. I guarantee it will lead new visitors to your business website because I’ve seen it happen firsthand. I’ve helped Illumen Media clients do it for their business. And I’ve done it successfully for my own site TakeYourSuccess.com.
This guarantee that SEO will produce results has two stipulations: you must put in the work and you must be patient for months.
Without those two ingredients, you’re not going to get any results from it. And then the snowball effect means you’re not going to capture online traffic, you’re not going to win online sales, and your business is going to suffer.
Let’s avoid that outcome. Let’s get your search engine optimization rolling.
You’ll take a solid step in that direction by placing your keyword in these places:
- Page title
- Page URL
- Meta description
- Page introduction
- Page conclusion
- Internal backlinks
With this knowledge you can already consider yourself a better online marketer.
What questions do you have about on site SEO keyword placement? What do you want to learn about SEO in general? Are you getting the most out of your local SEO and Google Maps listing?