What are SEO Keywords?
Keywords are essentially a search term or phrase that is used by search engines to connect a search query to a website. A few years back a web master could simply place keywords in the HTML via the meta keyword tag. This showed the search engines the relevance of a web page and where to place it in the search indexes. After many years of meta keywords being used to manipulate the search results they no longer play an important role within the top search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. That being said keywords are still the most important find-ability factor despite the many rumours that keywords are no longer used. Top search engine may no longer use the meta keyword tag, instead they look for the keywords within various other places on a website. These include keywords in the content, title, page hierarchy, metadata, H tags, anchor text links, image ALT text, captions and in the URL. Search engines can cross reference the keywords among the different places they can occur and this helps to find relevance to the topic of a web page.
How to implement keywords into a website
Keywords in the content are very important. Search engines can look for the density of a particular search term within the wording that makes up the body of a web page. This essentially means that if a word appears ten times on a web page it will be given much more relevance than a word that appears once or twice. It’s highly recommended that the most relevant keywords appear with a density of between two and four precent. Although Google has announced that keywords only needs to appear two or three times, other top search engines may still use a higher density.
Page Hierarchy is another important factor that site users and search engines use to identify the topic of a web page. It’s important to use the most important keywords at the top of a web page along with using H tags and bold text to make them stand out.
Image ALT Tags are a great spot to place keywords. Image ALT Tags are an effective way for the search engines to find relevance for the content topic of a webpage.
Meta title keywords are placed in the meta title element (meta title tags) and help search engines and website users identify the topic of a web page. It’s important to use three or four of the most relevant key words in the meta title along with keeping the length to between 40 to 60 characters.
Meta descriptions are also an important place that the most relevant words should appear. The meta description can contain three to six relevant keywords and should describe the contents of a webpage. Length matters here to so try to keep meta descriptions to between 140 and 160 characters long.
H tags are another place where the most relevant keywords should be placed. H tags are also used by search engines and site users to help give relevance to the topic of the content.
Keywords in the anchor text links make a big impact on a websites search visibility. Relevant keywords that are placed in the anchor text links that point to a website from high ranked external sites can significantly boost a website high up the search results for these words. Search engines also look at the anchor text within the internal links of a website to help find the topic and relevance for the content.
URL Keywords may not have much SEO weight within the giant Google’s search index, although many other top search engines may still use the URL to give relevance to the content. Keywords in the URL still make a big impact from the site users point of view. Relevant words in the URL help users to define to the topic of a page when its shared across social networks, email and any other place where a URL may be viewed by internet users.
SEO impact of keywords
Search engines use keywords to connect search queries to websites. They are probably the most important find-ability factor that make up the many different methods that search engines use to display websites in the search results. A website will have a much stronger chance of generating high traffic through the search engines if the keywords are implemented correctly within the various places listed previously. It’s highly recommended to research search terms and phrases using Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool and by looking at the related searches at the bottom of the results page. There are many ways to research keywords, even asking friends to suggest phrases that they would use when looking for a particular subject online. Once the most relative and popular search queries are identified they should be implemented into a website accordingly. Proper implementation of keywords will positively impact SEO and vastly improve find-ability and visibility for a websites content within the top search engines.