Discover where to add keywords for SEO
Even now, in 2022, SEO can often feel like a hidden secret or dark art to anyone who’s not familiar with the practice; full of technical and confusing jargon, and a multitude of complex elements to consider. But, when it comes to content, there are some basic and relatively simple things you can do to optimise your content – here, I’ll talk you through where to add keywords for SEO.
First, before I get into the details – for anyone that doesn’t know and/or is brand new to the wonderful and complex world of SEO – the term keywords refers to relevant search terms users input into search engines in order to find particular information; whether that be a blog, a product, or a service.
Where to add keywords for SEO
The URL: Search engines such as the almighty and all-seeing Google read your website just like you would read a book (well, their ‘crawlers’ do – but that’s another blog post for another time!); top to bottom and left to right.
This means that, in real terms, the first thing search engines look at when ranking your site is the URL – therefore the keyword(s) you wish to rank for must be included in your page URL.
An example of this is above; if you look at the URL of this blog post, you’ll notice that it includes the term discover where to add keywords for SEO which, funnily enough, is exactly what I want this blog to rank for! How very meta…
Within this, it’s incredibly important to note that once you’ve set your URL (often referred to as a ‘slug’) and pushed your page in question live, you must not change this URL unless absolutely and completely necessary. If you change the URL once the page has been established, Google will lose it (literally!) and you’ll have to start from scratch to get the page ranking again.
The title (H1 tag): Thinking about your webpage as a book once more, the title or heading of the page is another important place you will need to include your keywords.
The title is often referred to as the H1 tag because it’s essentially HTML code for the first heading (Heading 1) and is the largest of all the headings/text you’ll be using on your page(s).
NB: it’s important that whatever keyword(s) you’re aiming to rank for are an exact match within the URL plus each heading included within the page – this helps Google clearly understand what your page should be ranking for.
The subtitle (H2 tag): it may feel like overkill when you’re in the zone and writing a great piece of content with a lovely, natural flow, but adding a subtitle beneath your main page title is absolutely one of the best places to add your keyword(s).
Slightly smaller than the title, the subtitle helps to further contextualise your content and helps Google understand how important that keyword is to the page in question.
Not only this, but it also helps users reading your page to easily skim through your content and get a good understanding of how your content might help them answer their question or solve their problem.
The paragraph title (H3 tag): breaking up your page content into bite size ‘chunks’ with paragraph titles is such a valuable thing to do; not only because it helps again with the ‘skimmability’ (technically known as readability) of your page, but also because it provides another key place for you to add your keyword(s).
Now, way back when, shoehorning your keyword(s) into every single inch of your content was common practice. However, as Google and other search engines have become more intelligent over the years, and made user experience an absolute priority, this practice – AKA keyword stuffing – has been increasingly penalised.
As a result, using your keyword in too many paragraph headings can be seen as keyword stuffing and can lead to your content being penalised; pushed down the search engine results page instead of pushed up!
Therefore, it’s good practice to use your keyword within your paragraph titles once for every 500 word article, as a rough guide.
This would mean that a short article like this one would include just one paragraph title that includes the chosen keyword(s).
A longer article – say 1200 words, might include 2, but even the longest of articles or pages should include no more than 3 paragraph headings using the keyword(s) in question, and that’s a maximum amount!
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use more paragraph titles, generally – just be careful of how many times you use your keyword(s) within those titles!
First paragraph: Always use your keyword(s) within the very first paragraph of your page!
Always. Ideally, the keyword(s) in question should be used at the very beginning of the paragraph (i.e. the very first sentence!). However, depending on the content and the keyword(s), leading your very first paragraph with those keywords could be too tricky!
Body text: it’s all very well and good using your keyword(s) in your URL and title, but if they’re not included somewhere within your body text (the main body of the page in question), Google will struggle to make sense of your page.
As with paragraph titles and the practice of keyword stuffing, it’s important not to use your chosen keyword(s) too frequently within your content.
Around three times for a short article such as this one (250 – 800 words) is plenty, but might increase to 5 or 6 if the page in question is particularly long.
When considering where to add keywords for SEO, of course, there are many other places and ways you can and should be using keywords within your content and generally throughout your website, but if I told you everything, you wouldn’t need to hire me (or someone like me!) to improve your SEO!
However, placing your keyword(s) within these core places will make a big difference to your content and will certainly achieve positive results.
To learn more about content SEO and how I can help you, please contact me.