In a recent post, we discussed working with your agency on finalizing a keyword list. This is one of the most important tasks you will work on with your digital marketing firm. We promised to show you the best places to insert those keywords, and why. Let’s take a look at how this is done. Even though you will likely rely on your agency to do this for you, it’s important to understand how the process works. You will of course have the final say as to copy updates on your website, and while you will want to include keywords within the copy, you will also want to ensure that they are added in a natural way. These key phrase inclusion tips can help you focus on the details of keyword placement:
- Keywords should be placed in two main areas of your website.
- They should appear in the HTML code; place them within the HTML title and the meta description. Keywords need to be placed at the beginning (or as near as possible) of each of these elements. Best practices indicate that HTML titles should be written up to 60-65 characters (there is some debate on this). Usually up to 60 characters is fairly standard practice to ensure that the titles aren’t cut off by Google. Descriptions can be written up to approximately 160 characters. The goal with keywords in the HTML title and description is to accurately tell searchers and Google what the page is about and to entice click through. Each page should have a unique HTML title and meta description.
- They should appear on the page within the copy. Some agencies still believe in using what is called keyword density; this is a prescribed number of times that keywords should appear in copy. Again, there is some debate on this point. Best practices dictate that key phrases should appear within the page heading, at least once or twice in sub headlines, in the first sentence, two or three more times within the copy, and also within calls to action.
- Please note: Keywords can appear with some variable words in between and the page can still rank for the key phrase. Often a key phrase will read in this way: ‘San Diego chairs furniture,’ where the phrase represents a format of how someone searched. This phraseology obviously does not make good sense for inclusion in a sentence. In this case, one can write the phrase this way: ‘When looking for chairs and furniture in San Diego…’ Note how the phrase is used; not in a literal manner. It’s important to be flexible when including key phrases in copy, so the copy reads naturally while still incorporating the phrase.
- Include key phrases within links – internal and external: Here’s a bonus tip you can discuss with your digital marketing firm: What are they doing to increase your internal linking? Talk to them about how they are linking your site’s pages together and how they are using keywords to do that, within links. Also have this discussion with them in regards to external links (links they are building to your site). What we want to emphasize here is to diversify your links, in both instances. You will want to have them create some links that are ‘exact match’ – exactly matching the keywords you want to rank for. Then you will want them to mix in some more natural types of links; i.e., links that don’t include your entire keyword phrase (perhaps portions of it or synonyms, etc.). You can get a tremendous amount of value from your key phrase research by having your agency work on a link development program for you. [Discuss this with Engine-ius Marketing and we will show you more about our programs which follow Google Guidelines for quality.]
- Install keywords within posts on all your communication channels including blogs, social media and email. Have your agency work with you on messaging, and ensure that the keywords are installed naturally, not keyword stuffed.
As you can see, spending time on getting keyword research right can really pay off, all across your campaigns. Get in touch with us today and let’s get your keyword research delivering value for you!