Following on from the keyword research post, now I’m going to talk about how you should use your keywords on your page.
I’ve dealt with clients who have been mistaken over what is meant by keyword density. I had a client who wanted to rank for the term ‘self catering’. They once sent me an article to have a look at before they put it on their site. For a 1000 word article, the term self catering was used over 100 times. This is way too much, and didn’t look natural. I’ll go through the ways in which you include your keywords as well as having natural looking content.
First of all, you should have compiled a list of keywords you want your site to rank for. Now you’ve got your list, each page should target different keywords.
Whenever you create a new page, choose 2-3 keywords on the list that are most relevant to the page you’re about to create.
Now you’ve decided which keywords you want to rank for, here are the places you should be using them.
Page title – Try to include at least one keyword (usually the most important one) as the search engines see this as the most important ranking factor.
Heading tags (H1, H2) – Also try including as many keywords as you can in these heading tags.
Images – Use alt text and picture descriptions.
Main content – It’s important to get this right, as keyword stuffing (including the selected keyword too many times) is seen as spam by the main search engines.
If you have a look on the internet, you’ll see hundreds of articles that talk about keyword density (percentage of keyword use) and use 5%, 7% and 10% as ideal figures for how often your keywords are used. I disagree with exact numbers, and just think you should write your content as naturally as possible. At the end of an article, I go back, and if I feel my keywords are underused, I’ll add one or two in, or if I think they’re overused, I’ll take some out. This hardly ever happens, though, as I usually have a percentage of between 3% and 5%, which is fine.
Please be aware that if you’re writing good content and using your keywords correctly, the chances are, you’ll start ranking for less competitive long tail keywords (four to five words), which can be great for targeted traffic.