What Are The Best Places for Keywords on Websites?
To get more traffic to your website from search engines, you need to optimise your web pages for the keywords you wish to target. The question is where on each page should you place these keywords?
The reason popular search engines like Google have been so successful is because they can work out whether a website contains relevant information or spam. This gives users a more positive experience but means keyword optimisation is much more challenging.
Not so long ago the keyword meta tag was the place to add the relevant keywords for your web page. The more popular search engines have wised up to attempts to stuff this meta tag with spam and as a result they have lowered the relevance of the content within it to be almost zero. Rather than trying to trick search engines into believing your website is more important than it really is, you should attempt to deliver your most suitable keywords in specific parts of your site code.
The URL can be a descriptive way for us to make sense of what content may be on a page. For example www.uc4.co.uk/web-design.asp tells us much more than www.uc4.co.uk/page1.htm would do. This works exactly the same for search engine bots. You can use the URL to include keywords from the page, but it is important to make sure it is relevant and still readable. Remember this URL will be displayed in search engine results and users tend to click more a readable link as they interpret it to be a more trustworthy source of information.
The title tag is the title of your web page so it would make sense that it contains words relevant to the content on the page. Just as you would expect a book or a newspaper article to have content matching the title, the same can be said for a web page. The title will be displayed on your browser window and in search engine results. A properly optimised title tag should be no longer than 70 characters and the keywords should also feature within the page content. Keywords in a title tag carry more weight at the beginning so most important keywords should go first. Each web page should have a different title tag to ensure it is not punished for duplicate content.
The h1 tag is important as it should be the first heading on your web page. You are allowed multiple h1 tags in your page but it is sensible to use them sparingly as too many will be seeing as spam and do you more harm than good in terms on search engine positioning.
If you are providing relevant content to your right target audience then your body text should naturally contain keywords. It is recommended that a typical web page should target 2-3 keywords, and on a page with a lot of content 4-5 keywords. Do not add more keywords than this just to try to improve your SEO, as chances are this will have no effect. Look to optimise words that naturally appear within the flow of your content as chances are this is the most relevant. Remember to keep your content well written and readable. If a keyword does not logically fit into your copy then do not include it.
More often than not, the importance of images are overlooked with SEO, but they can bring in valuable traffic from image searches.
The alt attribute within an image tag is required for better usability and accessibility as not all web browsers and screen readers can render images. They also tell a search engine bot what the image is. You should most importantly fill your alt tag with a description of what the image is, and if possible use 1-2 keywords. It never hurts to place an image with a keyword-optimised alt tag near to paragraphs and headings that are also keyword-optimised.
If you follow these steps then you are well on your way to gaining more relevant traffic for your website from search engines whilst still providing readable content. If you have hit your right target audience and the information you are providing is usable and of a high quality, the increase in traffic should mean more enquiries.
This article was written by Ben Lomax
I am a senior developer and have been working on websites with uc4 for twelve years. My job is to make your website ‘do things’. I spend a lot of time working with Content Management Systems, Ecommerce and working on special projects. I have a particular interest in making a website match the way your business operates and, of course, making sure it works in the best way for your customers.