Keyword Placement


Keyword Placement


You know you need to use keywords on your website, but did you know that where you use them is just as important as the words themselves? Search engines are programmed to search out the keywords you use in your copy, but they’re not going to search your entire website. Find out where they’re looking!

Keyword PlacementKeyword PlacementKeyword Placement
Keyword Placement

But First: Use the Right Key Words

Before you get started, it’s important to remember that you can place all the keywords your heart desires on your website, but if you’re not using the right keywords to engage the right audience then you’re just wasting your time. Be sure to perform a complete keyword analysis to identify the keywords that will target your ideal audience.

It’s okay, and highly recommended, that different pages on your website target different keywords. After all, each page on your site has a different purpose.

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Keyword Placement

Placement vs. Frequency

Once upon a time, SEO involved inserting keywords throughout your website. As often as possible. This made it easy for search engines to grab up your website and include it at the stop of the SERPs. But today, search engines are smart. Like, really smart. And they’re really good at identifying black hat SEO practices like keyword stuffing.

Keyword PlacementKeyword PlacementKeyword PlacementKeyword PlacementKeyword Placement
Keyword Placement

Pay Attention to Structure

Of course, you can have the best keyword placement in your industry, but if your website isn’t structured so it’s easy for search engines to scan you site, your search results will be lacking. Standard structure should include a header and body, sidebars and a footer. Even if these elements are invisible to your audience, make sure that they’re present during the development of your site so Google can find them.

Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement

Write for Semantics

While which keywords you choose to focus on matters, semantics matters even more. Search engines aren’t just looking for keywords. They’re searching for meaning on your website, making sure that the content provides value before offering it up in the SERPs. If the content on your site doesn’t make sense for your business or your industry, you’ll be left out.

Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement

Copy Length is Important

Since you need to have enough content on each page to work your keywords into the copy, the length of each page is vital. Each page on your website should have at least 750 to 1,000 words and more than that is even better. There’s a reason for the trend toward longform text, and that’s because long pages of content get noticed by websites.

Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement
Keyword Placement

Use Your Keywords – But Not Too Much

We’ve already talked about keyword density, but keywords are abused so much that it bears repeating. Once you’ve gone through a keyword analysis and determined which keywords will give you the best ROI, sprinkle them into your text at about 1 to 3 percent. So if your page is 1,000 words, you should use your keywords no more than 30 times.

It Won’t Happen Overnight


Working with SEO is a tricky business and it’s important to remember that you won’t see results overnight. Truly optimizing your website is an ongoing task, one that should continue as long as you have your business. It takes time to generate a following and it takes time for white hat SEO techniques to work. Not only that, but search engine algorithms change and you need to stay on top of it, otherwise you could drop on the rankings. The important thing is that you dive in and get started!

Write for Semantics

While which keywords you choose to focus on matters, semantics matters even more. Search engines aren’t just looking for keywords. They’re searching for meaning on your website, making sure that the content provides value before offering it up in the SERPs. If the content on your site doesn’t make sense for your business or your industry, you’ll be left out.

Copy Length is Important

Since you need to have enough content on each page to work your keywords into the copy, the length of each page is vital. Each page on your website should have at least 750 to 1,000 words and more than that is even better. There’s a reason for the trend toward longform text, and that’s because long pages of content get noticed by websites.

Keep in mind that while you may have 1,000 words of content on each page of your website, that doesn’t mean that your audience will read it all. And that’s okay. When you use best practices of good website content on your website (breaking up text with subheads, using bullet points or lists, etc.), your audience will get the most important information out of the content the search engine drove them to.

Use Your Keywords—But Not Too Much

We’ve already talked about keyword density, but keywords are abused so much that it bears repeating. Once you’ve gone through a keyword analysis and determined which keywords will give you the best ROI, sprinkle them into your text at about 1 to 3 percent. So if your page is 1,000 words, you should use your keywords no more than 30 times.

As you’re writing, you can also use different forms of the same word and rearrange the order of your keyword phrases. For example, if you’re a company that sells and installs solar panels in Boise, the following keywords might work for you:

  • Boise solar installation
  • solar installation in Boise
  • solar power in Boise
  • Boise solar company

Of course there are many other combinations you can use, but notice that we didn’t use the same keywords in every instance. We might want to drop the location name from time to time, because including it too many times is a bit overkill.

Placement vs. Frequency

Once upon a time, SEO involved inserting keywords throughout your website. As often as possible. This made it easy for search engines to grab up your website and include it at the stop of the SERPs. But today, search engines are smart. Like, really smart. And they’re really good at identifying black hat SEO practices like keyword stuffing.

Keyword placement is very different from keyword frequency. Placement involves where on your website you include your keywords and keyword phrases. It’s not enough to simply use them within your copy; keywords should be sprinkled throughout your website—both on your pages and behind the scenes. And your content absolutely must be readable with a reasonable saturation of keywords.

When you overuse your keywords, Google and other search engines assume that a computer wrote your content (for other computers) and that your website isn’t relevant. Website content needs to be written for human consumption, making it interesting and share-worthy. So avoid keyword stuffing your website and settle for about 1 to 3 percent keyword saturation throughout.

Your Page and Title

Your primary keyword should appear in the page name and the page title, no matter what. This is one of the first places search engines look when indexing websites so use the word or words that you are primarily looking to rank for. Be sure to employ best practices when naming your page and use a short name with words separated by a hyphen (not an underscore).

Within Your Text

Of course your keywords need to be present within the body of your text, but where within that text they are placed matters too. Use your main keywords in the first 100 words and the last 100 words of the page. This introduces the topic and gives an opportunity for a call-to-action or a simple reminder of the topic. And be certain to insert your keywords where it sounds natural throughout the main body of your text too.

On Your Images

Again, longform text needs to be broken up with images as well as subtitles. If you’ve included graphs, photos and infographics, make sure the names of the files include your keywords. Imagine you’re a wedding photographer in Phoenix. You can name images “weddingphotosphoenix.jpg” and “phoenixweddingphotos.jpg.” In addition, the alt text for your images should also include your keywords. Search engines look for these, and it’s another opportunity to get your keywords out there without bogging down your content with unnatural-sounding sentences.

Use Your Subtitles

If you’re following content best practices, you’re breaking up your longform text with subtitles (or subheadings). While you don’t need to use keywords in every subtitle (because that would be unnatural keyword stuffing), however make sure that several do use your keywords. And don’t be afraid to mix them up by rearranging the order of the phrases and using different forms of the same word (“photography” vs. “photographer”).

Your Meta Description

Most website platforms will create a meta description for you when you enter text on the page. However, it’s important to customize that description to fit the needs of your business and the particular web page. Include one keyword in the first sentence of the meta description in a compelling sentence that makes your audience want to read more. Keep in mind that the keywords visitors use when searching for your site will be bolded on the SERP.

Factors to Consider – A Summary

We know it’s confusing and a little daunting to take on search engine optimization. So we’re breaking down all the factors you need to consider when evaluating your keyword placement. Here’s a quick list:

  • Make sure you’re using the right keywords. Are you targeting the words that will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Make sure you’ve done a complete analysis and that your targeted keywords will engage your audience.
  • Don’t keyword stuff your copy. Instead, make sure your keywords are in the right places for Google to find.
  • Pay attention to the navigation on your website as well as how your site is laid out. If it doesn’t make sense to Google and the other search engines, you’re going to be left out.
  • Write for readers. Make sure that your copy makes sense and that it’s interesting. Otherwise, both your audience and search engines will ignore you.
  • Go long on your copy. We’re not suggesting that you drone on and on, just for the sake of words on your website. Write informative, compelling text for your site and do your best to have a minimum of 750 to 1,000 words on each page.
  • Use synonyms for your keywords. Your audience is searching for you using multiple techniques in the search engines. Make sure they can find you, no matter what words they use.
  • Location matters. Make sure your keywords appear in the following places, no matter what:
    • The page name and page title
    • In the first and last 100 words on the page
    • Within at least two subtitles
    • In the alt-text of your images
    • In your meta description

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