When creating content for your Web site, you should be aware of some tips in regards to keyword placement that will make for happier Search Engine results. You want to have interesting content as well as keywords in the right places and in the right density. Here are some ideas for you to make optimizing your site much more effective.

How People Search

When someone wants to find something using a Search Engine, they usually use some sort of word combination. For instance, when looking for information about where to go in San Francisco, they may type in “san francisco sights” or “activities san francisco.” You would consider this to be a specific keyword since they do not use general info about San Francisco but info specifically about sights and/or activities in that area.

Another example: Someone wants to purchase a fax ribbon. They might type in the model fax they use and “fax ribbon.”

The first thing you want to do is consider how people would search for your service or product to come up with the specific keywords you want to use. The more specific the search term is (i.e., San Francisco as the specific word and Bay Bridge for the general term), and the more specific you present your page’s content, the more targeted your visitors are supposed to be.

Headline

Your headline, of course, has to pull the reader into the rest of the body copy. So it not only has to be exciting and stimulating, but it also is advantageous to contain your specific keyword. In addition, you can also include general keywords if they fit in nicely. If you entitle your article something completely different in trying to be creative, you may find that no one will be reading it, because Search Engines and humans may find it confusing.

Then you will take the picture your headline has painted and continue it into the main body of your content.

Placement of Keywords

Before we get into covering the body specifically, we should go over the placement of keywords (although I strongly recommend you to write the content first and then go to “editing mode”!)

You will need to put the specific keyword into the text just a tad more than “normal” writing. But you also don’t want to overuse the word. One trick is to use related words or synonyms with it. To use the above example here, you would not only have “San Francisco” appear by itself, but could mention “San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf” or “the sunset over the San Francisco Bay.” You can work out combinations to use with general keywords, as well.

The closer to the beginning that your specific keyword appears, the higher you will likely score in the search engines. Put the specific keyword in the first sentence of your first paragraph. If you can include it within the first 90 characters, all the better! But if that reads awkwardly, you can put it a little later in the text. It won’t be the end of the world. And be sure to include it in the last paragraph of your text.

Now put your specific keyword into the rest of the text in a pattern something like an hourglass. You will have the word appear more frequently at the top and bottom, but it should still appear in the middle—just less often. If you put it in too many times, you may show up in Search Engines as a “keyword spammer.” This will hurt your ratings.

Formatting and Style

Formatting is important. You don’t want content that will fail to interest the visitors. If too short, it won’t really catch their attention and cause them to read on, and if too long, they will lose interest and not keep reading either.

You want a correct length that will provide high quality information that is informative and exciting. A conversational tone is excellent to engage readers, keeping to maximum five lines per each paragraph and using active verbs. Sentences shouldn’t be too long.

Text Body

Now as you tell your story, you need to remember to start strongly. What you write in your headline and the first part of your content will most likely appear in some of the Search Engine listings. You want to compel the person to click on your listing when it shows up.

You are basically building your content around that specific keyword. In other words, each page of your Web site should focus on one specific keyword.

When you over deliver with superior content, the visitor will be more inclined to read down the whole page and get to the links that will mean income for you. The content should be answering the visitor’s question of “What is in it for me?” That would be the question they have when they arrive at your site.

And with correct keyword placement, the Search Engines will “understand” what your page is about, without “feeling” they are being manipulated.

Really, the engines and human visitors both want the same thing, excellent high-quality content. So the bottom line is to have proper keyword placement, and a smart use of related words, increasing your relevancy and getting your visitors to buy your service or product.

—Marcus Hochstadt

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10 Responses to Keywords, Search Engines, And Your Content

  1. Hi Marcus,

    Very nicely put and quite practical. Thanks. I’ll attempt to incorporate your suggestions as best as I can. :-) –Durano, done!

  2. Kenyatta says:

    Hi! This article was very helpful. I am a new mom blogger and would like to know what keywords you would suggest putting in my post? Thank you.

  3. Kenyatta, that’s easy to know once you brainstormed keywords related to your overall site concept. Watch out for a 24 hour special next week which is related to this post and will answer your question once and for all.

    ~Marcus

  4. […] Daily Reads A thorough guide about keywords, search engines and content – by Marcus […]

  5. Thanks Marcus, I really appreciated this. Most of this I already knew, but it is was definitely a good refresher…

  6. Web Dizajn says:

    Marcus Hochstadt,

    Headline

    Besides headlines I write subhedlines as well, and put them above every paragraph, because visitors rather scan article then reading from beginning to the end. I noticed that method visitors likes very much. This method helps with on-page SEO also.

    Placement of Keywords

    Frequency of showing relevant keyword phrases is also very important. It would be the best equally to distribute main keyword phrase throughout the article.

    Formatting and Style

    70 words per paragraph is optimum, 50 is minimum but 100 is maximum.

  7. Charlie says:

    Knowing what search terms used by people to reach your business site is very important if you want them to translate into sales. Thanks for this post!

  8. I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  9. Haklu says:

    This post is too good. Placing the keywords is tricky.

  10. Louis Lagassé says:

    It is very important to invest time in keyword research and set keyword trends for content. You may also want to include keyword variation in the content.

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