Exactly Where Search Engines Want To See Your Keywords
Copyright 2005 Anik Singal, Kurma Group
Trying to get traffic from search engines? Great, that’s just what I know how to do! Obviously I cannot reveal the entire search engine optimization process in just one article, but let’s start with where you should be placing your keywords.
1. Use your keywords in text links for all links - inbound and outbound.
Here is an example of a text link:
<a href="url">your link text with keyword</a>
Whether you are linking to pages within your site, or to pages outside your site, don't use graphics for your navigation links. Also try to include your best keywords in the link text that navigates to pages optimized for those keywords.
2. Use your keywords in the page's title tag.
This is a title tag:
<title> keywords in your title</title>
Always make sure your keyword is included in this tag. Try to make your keyword or keyphrase the first word. Each page on your site should have its own title tag, with its own keyword.
3. Put your keyword in your description tag.
This is what a description tag looks like:
<meta name="description" content="keyword in your description">
Try to include your keyword or keyphrase into the description at least once. Twice is better, but no more than that.
4. Even though most engines don't care, place your keywords in a keywords tag.
<meta name="keywords" content="some keywords">
Google no longer looks at this tag - nor do most of the other major engines - but it cannot hurt to put in a few keywords for those small, specialized engines that consider this tag additional relevant text on your page.
Include your most important keyword for the page first. Then add a few related keywords or keyphrases. Most people separate them with commas, but you don't have to.
5. Make sure you use your keyword in your H tags.
This is an example of an H tag:
<H1>keyword in your headline</H1>
In HTML, H tags are for "headers." They range in size from H1 (the largest) to H6 (the smallest). ALL H tags are given more weight regular text. Bigger H sizes count more than smaller H sizes.
So be sure your keyword for that page appears in an H1 tag, an H2 tag, and an H3 tag on each page. Make sure you H1 tag appears as close to the top of the page as possible.
6. Put your keywords in bold text in several places on the page.
Here is the HTML for making text bold:
<b>keyword in this phrase</b>
Bold text is given more weight than regular text by the search engines, so put your keyword into a boldface phrase once or twice on the page.
7. Use your keyword in text early - and often.
Regular text is usually enclosed in a body tag (
</body> ) or a paragraph tag within the body tag. Here's an example of a paragraph tag:
<p>Your keyword: that's what the page is about, so use that keyword in the first sentence of text on your page.</p>
Use your keyword once or twice in the first sentence of text. A good rule of thumb is to repeat the keyword two-three times in each paragraph. There are many opinions about exactly what your keyword density should be.
Shoot for about 3% of the text, perhaps more if your text is over 500 words. Or even better, and simpler - just use your keyword 2-4 times in each paragraph, and keep your paragraphs no longer than 5-6 lines each.
Just don't overdo. Better to have slightly fewer keywords, and then tweak your page later, than to be penalized for keyword stuffing as soon as your site gets spidered.
It will not hurt, and may help, to throw in a related keyword once in each paragraph as well.
8. Use your keywords in Alt tags.
Include your keyword in alt text for each image on your web page. This is the text that displays when you move your mouse over an image, as well as in speech synthesizers for the blind. Here is an example of an alt tag:
<img src="url" alt="keyword in a phrase that describes the image">
There, those are all the places you should be placing your keywords!