Search engine traffic (or organic traffic) is easily one of the biggest sources of traffic for just about every website on the internet. In order to be able to get this search engine traffic, it is essential for your blog or website to be well-optimized.
One of the most important aspects of optimizing webpages for SEO has a lot to do with keywords – finding relevant keywords through keyword research, matching keywords to relevant parts of your website, incorporating those keywords in your website in the right manner and finally, a review.
Keyword Research and Choosing Relevant Keywords
Keyword research is one of the first, most basic aspects of on-page optimization. It is the first step in the process of optimization. Keyword research involves using different tools (as well know common knowledge) to determine a set of keywords or key phrases that are relevant and important to your business, and hence would be relevant to your website/blog, its content and its various pages as well.
A few principles to follow when it comes to keyword research: keywords need to be relevant (extremely important!) – relevant to the nature and the subject matter of your website. Choose one keyword that is the most relevant to your blog, and make this your primary keyword. Choose another set of relevant keywords that might be relevant to certain parts or certain pages of your website. Use your primary keyword everywhere on your website, and the other keywords where relevant and applicable – in the meta information, page headers, in your copy, etc.
At this point, it is also important to avoid keyword stuff at all cost – do not stuff keywords unnecessarily in order to game the system, as it puts you at risk of getting banned by search engines (Google will drop you in an instant as soon as it discovers your website to be involved in any black-hat SEO practices, so watch out).
Prioritize your keywords according to their relevance and their importance. Some keywords, for instance, might be more important (and hence, more relevant than others) and would naturally be prioritized higher than the slightly-less-relevant ones.
Apart from being relevant, your chosen keywords should also be popular, and preferably get a large amount of search volume. You can use the popular keyword research tool Market Samurai, which is an excellent all-round keyword research tool, or Google’s free AdWords Keyword Tool, in order to see a list of relevant keywords, their search volume, and their competitiveness.
I already touched upon this in the point above. Basically, once you’ve come up with a set of core keyword and relevant keywords, you need to ensure that you use them on the right page and on the right place.
Depending on the pages on your website and the content, some keywords might be relevant on more than a single page. For example the keyword ‘iPhone apps’ will apply to ‘iPhone Games’, ‘iPhone Fitness Apps’, ‘iPhone Productivity Apps’ and all other app-category pages.
Similarly, you could use a multiple number of core keywords on a single page, depending on their relevance to the page of course. For instance keywords such as ‘football’ ‘pro football’ and ‘live football scores’ might all be relevant to a single page.
What’s important is to determine that each keyword is extremely relevant to the page, and are being used in the right place.
Incorporating Keywords within the Page (aka. Optimization)
The next step is the actual process of optimization – aka integrating and incorporating the keywords into the pages.
One of the most essential things here is to integrate the keywords as naturally as possible. If you’re unaware of how to go about doing this, it might be a good idea to prepare a draft of the content for every page, and hand it over to an SEO.
An SEO or a copywriter will ensure that the keywords are integrated with each page as naturally as possible (sound natural, and reads naturally), without feeling as if they keywords have been stuffed, for instance.
This process includes integrating keywords into the headlines, the title and descriptions tags and the copy itself.
For headlines/titles, make sure that the main keyword is used (not more than once), preferably as much in the beginning of the sentence as possible. The headlines should be interesting and compelling, and should force your readers into actually the reading the rest of the thing.
Pretty much the same applied to the meta tags. The title and description meta tags should be properly structured, should always include the core keywords, as well as other keywords which are relevant to the page.
Everything should be relevant to the website (especially the homepage), and there should be a consistency across the website.
In addition, the content should also do a good job of conveying the features, characteristics, and benefits that any visitor will receive from using your product/service, while including a strong call-to-action (CTA) which urges the reader to take the action which you intended them to take (this is essential, as once a visitor lands on your page, the goal of that page it to have him/her take an action – which could be anything from subscribing to the blog, to browsing the blog, etc.).
A good SEO will always avoid using large walls of text, instead relying on images and pictures to put his point across, making the document easy to go through.
Finally, it is important to review your page – by analyzing its different elements, and looking at it as one single page.
First off, look at the page from an SEO perspective – have the keywords been used in the correct manner and in the right place(s)? Does it look information look natural from a reader/visitor’s perspective? Have the (right) keywords been used in the titles, body and in the meta tags?
At the end of the day, the goal of the page is to be able to get traffic from search engines, and then once a visitor lands, urge its visitors to take a certain action. Keeping that in mind, how well do you think is your page optimized for such a conversion?
Does the page do a good job from a usability point – by using a combination of text and images? Is the copy well-formatted, and free of any errors? Is the important information above-the-fold? Has everything that you wanted been adequately represented?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.