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Where to Use Keywords For Search Engine Optimization


You've brainstormed for keywords, and you've researched the keywords that work for your site. Now, you’re going to have to actually put them somewhere, and that would be in your site content and source code.

There are quite a few different places that they can go on your page. Some choice places for keywords are:

  • above your site logo
  • in the subheadings
  • headlines
  • within the paragraph content
  • meta title
  • subtitle
  • within links (anchor phrases)
  • meta keywords
  • images (alt tags)
The more places you can reasonably put your key phrases, the easier you will be found. That being said, don’t go nuts and paste them in every nook and cranny. This is called “keyword stuffing” and search engines don’t look kindly on this practice (for more about keyword stuffing, read my article titled What is Black Hat SEO?).

How many key phrases per page should I target?

You should try to target no more than two or three related key phrases per page of your site. Any more than that, and the purpose of your targeting efforts will be defeated.

Don’t forget: search spiders and robots are not intuitive. They are looking for an exact match to the keywords that they are programmed to look for, not something kinda, sorta, maybe.

This means that if it works for your site to be listed under “beaded jewelry”, you must make absolutely sure that this exact phrase appears generously throughout your site copy on every page of your site. Make it your mission to include whatever your top keyword or phrase is everywhere you possibly can; especially in the first paragraph and headline of your site; the main content area, in other words.

Meta Tags

The next place you’ll want to put your keywords is in the meta tags of your site. Meta tags are not scary, and even folks without any HTML experience can definitely learn how to use them.

Depending on what HTML editor you are using, be it Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Home Site,Notepad, etc., you'll find that you can switch between the design and code screens (this applies to WYSIWIG HTML editors only). What you will want to do is find the HTML code and go to the “head”, or beginning, of your HTML document. There you will find a space for the title, meta keywords, and meta description.

The Title Tag

The site title is what shows up in the blue title area at the top of your browser (look up there right now and you’ll see the title of this article). Keeping with our beaded jewelry example, you could put something to the effect of “RH Designs Beaded Jewelry” (notice how the top targeted key phrase is included in the title? You’ll want to do that). Read more about the title tag in my article titled Using Title Tags To Increase Web Site Traffic.

Meta Keyword Tag

Next are the keyword and description tags. For the meta keyword tag, enter in your top 3-8 keywords and key phrases. Do not repeat words.

Meta Description Tag

The meta description comes next. The meta description will be what web searchers will see after they type in a couple of words to their favorite search engine/directory and the search results come up.

This description is important because if users are not attracted to what they read in these initial results, guess what? They won’t visit your site, and all your efforts will have been in vain.

Try to write the most concise, keyword-rich sentence you can (it should be 30 words or less) that describes your site and would attract visitors. An example could be: “RH Designs Beaded Jewelry, handcrafted one of a kind custom designs for special occasions.”

Alt Image

Whenever you place an image in your page, you should be able to give that image an "alt image" tag. This is what that looks like:

<img src="URL" alt="Insert your key phrase here">


If you have links on your page, try to include your key phrase in the anchor text of every link, such as this example:

<A href="URL">my keyword phrase</a>

This is a great way to get those keyword phrases included.

Keywords in the URL's

Last but not least, you’ll want to include these keywords in your individual page names and in the domain name itself. These are all searchable areas and every little bit counts. You might try to register a domain name such as www.beadedjewelry.com, www.handcraftedjewelry.com, etc. This just creates more food for search spiders and will potentially bring more visitors to your site.

Individual site pages also can help boost site rankings when named for keywords; such as “www.beadedjewelry.com/custom_necklaces.html.” You’re going to want to stick to your list of successful keywords as closely as possible.

Best practices

Yes, this sounds like a lot of work, and can be. But if you learn how to do this from the ground up, and continue to tweak your keywords and phrases for optimum search engine spider food, there's no doubt that your search rankings will eventually go up. The number one thing to remember when writing your website copy is to be as natural as possible. Don't overdo it.

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