Sunday, October 08, 2006

How to use Keywords on your Website

I came across many questions about keywords in various forums and groups. The questions were about how to use the keywords in a web page? The answer to this is; strategic positioning. So how can you position your keywords strategically in your page? In this post, I will try to give you some tips that would help you.
Keywords allow search engine robots to understand, what your page is about. But, when you use keywords, you should be really careful. If you use too much, robots will think you try to spam your page by excessively using keywords. If you don't use them enough, then, it is very likely that your pages will not get many visitors from the search engines. Other thing you need to consider is, choosing the right keywords. If you decide to use popular keywords, you will have a lot of competition for the top positions in the search engines. Here you can read more about this (Bidding for the Right Keywords, Keyword Selection Tools).

The good use of keywords relies on, how well you distribute them on your page. Here are list of locations, where it is most ideal to place your keywords:

Title Tags: Title tag is one of the most important elements for search engines. Good optimized sites may not get good amount of traffic, which they deserve, from the search engines, because of bad titles. Always include 2 or 3 main keywords in the title tag. Use between 50 or 80 characters to write your titles.

Description Meta Tags: They summarise, what your page is about. You should include your main keywords within the description. Also don't forget to include the keywords that you used for the title.

Keyword Meta Tag: Some may argue that keyword tags are no longer relevant for search engine positioning. However, I see no harm by using 1 or 2 keywords in the meta tag. But don't inflate your keyword tags by adding tens of them. Only include one or two main ones.

Heading (h1,h2) tags: Always include keywords in your headings. But you should always remember that headings should make sense with the content below. If you provide content that does not make sense with the heading, robots will ignore the content as the humans.

Anchor Links: Robots love links, and they follow the links to travel within you website. So you should put keywords in your anchor links. As similar to headings, anchor links should make sense to page they direct the robots and humans.

Alt Text: One picture is equal to 1000 words. But that is not the case with search engine robots. Robots can't read images, therefore they won't understand what the image represents. You should make your images robot friendly, and always include alt text with them. You can also use your keywords within the alt text.

Footer: The footer of each page in a website should include one or two important keywords. For example your company name.

External Links: If you planning to link your pages from another website, always remember to include you main keywords in the link. If you linking by using images, always include alt text.

Your website should evolve around your keywords. The good use of keywords is not about quantity, it is about well distribution. Excessive use of keywords can perceived as spam by search engine robots. If that is the case, you are most likely to get banned by search engines. I will explain more in my next post about the wrong use of keywords.