Keywords for SEO, and the use of Keywords both on your web pages and off-site in link anchor text is not a new concept, in fact it has been around almost as long as SEO itself, but there are some practices which help, and others which hinder SEO when it comes to keywords.

On Page

On page SEO makes heavy use of Keyword optimisation, there are several different areas that should be looked at and carefully considered

Page content

When considering whether or not to use your keywords in your pages, you should consider whether or not the placement will read correctly, and will not look spammy or over-optimised. In an ideal world your keywords should appear;

  • Within the H1 tag on your page
  • Within the first 100 words of the main content body (not including sidebars etc)
  • multiple times – but should appear natural, there is a fine line between too little and too much, don’t over optimise!
  • completely relevant – do not use keywords in an article that is otherwise unrelated, this is not only spammy, but risks a penalty
  • as an exact match as well as a partial match

over optimising would include the likes of, having too high a density of keywords, e.g an ideal range is between 1 and 5%, so the more content you have on your page, the more times you can feature your keywords – having your keywords/phrase placed 5 times in a 100 word article is heavily over optimised and is likely to be seen as spam, however having your phrase 5 times in a 5000 word article may be under optimised – think carefully and try not to swing too far in either direction.

Try to vary your keyword/key phrase and not use the same repeatedly, whether this means using partial match or a different exact match throughout the article, it doesn’t really matter – just look natural!

Other on-page locations for your keywords would be in the URL of the page – pretty urls, permalinks, call them what you will, just ensure your link has your keyword in there! Try to use your keywords in all H tags, not just H1 headers, this isn’t required, but if it is relevant then do it. Image alt text is another overlooked place to sneak in your keywords – of course, these don’t carry as much weight as days gone by, but every little helps.

Again, like alt tags, meta tags still carry little weight and should be populated at every opportunity.

Ensure that content around your keywords are relevant to your keywords – for example, if you’re talking about “food”, it’s possible you’re talking about cheap food, expensive food, exotic food, or even dog food – ensure your article is based upon your keywords, so if your target is indeed exotic food, your article should be centered around the countries and cousines from which the foods originate.

Remember, when considering a new article for your keywords, it is best to plan in advance, work out a good structure and go from there.