SEO Basics: Using Keywords for Website SEO

Find popular keywords for SEO - Google Keyword ToolLast week, we started our SEO Basics series with a look at How to Use Title Tags on Your Website.

As a reminder, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and refers to all the techniques used to help your website and webpages rank well in search engine results.

When telling you how to optimize your Title tags last week, we talked about how it was important to feature the keywords that are most popular to describe your product or service.

The same is true for the content of your webpages: keywords matter.

Here’s what you need to know about keywords:

  • Ideally, each of the pages on our website should be focused on one keyword (with close variations).
  • “Keyword” often means multiple words: web hosting service and professional web design are multi-word keywords for EarthLink Web Hosting pages. High speed cable Internet is a keyword for our cable Internet access page.
  • Use tools such as the Google Keyword tool to find the right keywords.
  • Generally it’s recommended to shoot for the keywords with the highest volume, though you may decide you’re better able to compete for some more narrow, long-tail keywords with less traffic.
  • Keep in mind, your product name is typically not your keyword. Your keyword is the more generic term for what your product/service is. Think: what do people call products like mine, in general.
  • Ideally, keywords should be in the page’s Title tag, URL, page header (H1 tag), and used throughout the body of the page, especially near the top.
  • Do not stuff the page with keywords. This is a very old and now dangerous technique that is likely to backfire. Use your keyword (and variations) a natural number of times when covering your topic/product.
  • Vary your keyword on your webpage in natural ways: using singular and plural forms, different word orders for keyword phrases, close synonyms, and natural keyword modifiers.
  • Use your keywords as links on other pages in your website. Internal linking using keywords is another way that search engines determine what is most important about a page.

Using the simple keyword techniques above should help you get started with SEO and help you generate traffic to your website. Good luck.