Keyword research is one of the first things usually carried out when planning an SEO strategy. It identifies the best keywords based on relevancy, volume, and other important factors. Once you have a list of keywords to use, what should you do with them?
A list of words isn’t going to get you very far if you don’t know what to do with them. Working out your next steps is essential if you want to put your keywords to good use. Now that you have your keywords, you need to know how to apply keywords for SEO to optimize your site. Here’s what you should be doing to get started.
Assigning Keywords to Pages
When you’re planning an SEO strategy, you should have one primary keyword per page to optimize the page for that keyword. You can also add secondary keywords and additional keywords, but the initial focus should be your primary keyword for each page.
Your primary keyword will inform the content for the rest of the page. Whether creating a web page or publishing a blog post, the keyword needs to be relevant to the content. If you’re planning the layout of a new website or updating an existing one, start by matching a primary keyword to each page. Each page should have a unique keyword, to prevent your pages from competing against each other.
Choosing which keywords to use can require you to look at the keywords you have gained from your research. You can use a few factors to decide which keywords are best to implement on your site. One of the most useful things to consider is the keyword difficulty, which tells you how hard it is to rank for this keyword in search engines. The volume is another important factor, but volume shouldn’t be your only reason for choosing a keyword.
When you’re thinking about how to apply keywords for SEO, it’s important to keep search intent in mind. That is, what users are really searching for and what content would answer their query. This can vary depending on what type of page you are optimizing. If you’re optimizing your home page or a service page, your user might be searching for “local dog groomer.” However, if you’re optimizing a blog post, your user could still be researching. It could be more appropriate to use a keyword such as “how often should I groom my dog” or “choosing a dog shampoo.”
Keywords in Your Content
It would be best if you used your chosen keyword throughout your content in a natural way. As well as using it in the main body of your content, you should make sure you’re using it in your title and headings. Use the different heading options on the page, including H1 and H2. When writing content using a website builder or content management system (CMS), you can select these or insert them as HTML tags.
In addition to using your keyword in different parts of your text, you can use them in image names and the alt tags of images. Remember that alt tags are also for people who use screen readers, so they should be descriptive where necessary.
Keywords should also be used elsewhere to optimize the page. The meta title and description of each page should include your keyword. This is the text that will show in search engine results, which will influence whether people choose to click on your link. You might be able to edit these using a tool in your CMS, or you can use the corresponding HTML tags.
Another place to use your keyword is in the URL for the page. For example, if your keyword is “dog grooming services,” your URL for the page might be “hairandhound.com/dog-grooming-services.” A word of warning: if a page is already getting good traffic, changing the URL to improve SEO is probably unnecessary and could negatively affect you.
Be sure to use your keywords naturally when incorporating them into your content. Keywords shouldn’t just be shoved into any sentence where it doesn’t flow or make sense. Other factors on the page can also affect SEO, such as how much content there is, so go beyond just your keywords if you want to optimize each page.
Need help with SEO strategy? The marketing experts at Fisher Green Creative can lend a hand. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.