Once you select your keywords, the next step in a solid online marketing system is to optimize each page on your website. In the keyword research step, you should have selected some solid niche keywords that best describe everything that you do. You will want to break these terms up and distribute them among all of your web pages. I suggest 2-3 different keywords for each page. Be sure that they match your content and are relevant to the page.
Title tags are one of the most important things to optimize and are weighted heavily by the search engines. Like I mentioned earlier, you want to select 2-3 keywords that are unique to each individual page. It is recommended to place the more competitive keywords first (at the far left) and the less competitive after. The first couple words in the title tag carry the most weight. You can separate the keyphrases by a divider |, colon : or comma ,. I prefer a divider but I’m not real sure if it really matters what you use. If some of your keyphrases are long, you might just want to place 1-2 terms in the title tag.
I also suggest you use your main keyword in the domain extension as well. For example, yoursite.com/keyword. This will help the page become more relevant to your term in the eyes of the search engines. If your page is already set-up another way, it might behoove you to change them. If you do, be sure to do a 301 redirect from the old url to the new so you don’t lose any links and page authority.
In the old days of SEO, this section was your gold mine. Not anymore. The meta keywords tag is pretty much worthless now, but I still include them as a best practice. The days of “keyword stuffing” are a thing of the past and if you do it can actually hurt you. I normally just use around 2-8 keywords in the meta keywords tag. Another thing to remember is just like the title tags, make your meta keywords unique to each page as well. Try not to duplicate terms from page to page.
You’ll get different opinions on the meta description tags depending on who you talk to. Many industry professionals say that including keywords in the meta description tag hold no value to the search engines. My experience says otherwise. I basically recommend trying to fit in your main keyword somewhere in your meta description. Other than that, you are basically writing/optimizing for humans. The description is your opportunity to convince someone to click your link in the search engine results page.
Think of optimizing your keywords from the top of the page on down. Title tag, url and the next stop is the <h> tags. Mainly the h1 tag. If you can have it make sense and not look spammy, try to include your keywords in your <h> tags. If you have a lot of content on the page, it is recommended to break the content up into sections and divide each section with various <h> tags. For example, your header would be an <h1> tag, sub headers would be <h2> or <h3> tags. You should try to use only one <h1> tag but multiple <h2> or <h3> tags is ok.
Optimizing your content basically means to try to repeat your keywords a few times in your content. Do not keyword stuff your content. Write your content for real people and just try to repeat your key terms in a few times. People mention keyword density. There really is no real magic number to strive for, but some experts recommend somewhere between 2-6%. Do try to squeeze your main keyword in the first sentence of your copy and somewhere near the bottom of your page content as well.
Page navigation does not have to be limited to your nav bar. Interlinking terms and pages works well for your visitors as well as the search engines. The trick is to hyperlink your keywords. For example, you want to hyperlink the main keyword that the link is pointing to.
Search engines are smart, but they can’t read images. What they can read though is alt tags. Alt tags are used to describe what the image is. If it makes sense and doesn’t look spammy, use a keyword in your alt tag as well.
Keyword research and on page optimization are the foundation to a solid online marketing system and key to strong search engine rankings.
Stay tuned for next weeks post as we continue our online marketing system blog series.