When you write your web content, you are writing first for real people and second for search engine spiders. For your website to be as successful as possible, you need to keep both in mind.
Prominent keywords are important for both audiences. They help real people skim your page, so they can decide if they are in the right place or not and they help the search engines figure out what your page is about.
So where do you put them? Here are nine good places to use keywords.
1. In your page title. This is what appears at the top of the browser window when someone visits your website. It appears in the page code in between the title tags in the head section.
2. In your page description. Visitors don’t see this, but the search engines do. This is the two lines of text that appear below the main title in search engine results. It appears in the page code between the description tags in the head section.
3. In your page URL. Using your keywords in your page URL (what goes after the www.) can also be helpful with search engines. That’s why lots of blogs, including this one, use post titles in their URLs.
4. In your headings and subheadings. Make it easy for your readers to very quickly see what your page is about by using lots of headings and subheadings.
5. In your first sentence and your first paragraph. Make sure your important keywords appear here — the earlier, the better.
6. In your last paragraph. Use your keywords at the end of your content too.
7. Elsewhere in your body copy. When keywords fall naturally throughout your article, consider bolding them. Don’t go overboard with it or it will be a distraction. But if it makes the article easier to skim, bold those keywords.
8. In your link text. Instead of linking to words like “click here,” use your keywords in your link anchor text.
9. In your ALT tags on images. The search engines can’t read images (yet). With every image, include a bit of text called the ALT tag and use your keywords in that text.
Don’t worry about the keyword tags in the head section. Though it would seem like the obvious place to put keywords, it’s too obvious, and the search engines don’t pay much attention to that tag any longer.
Learn more about writing for the web during the August 14, 2008 webinar, Online Writing: Dos and Don’ts of Writing for the Web and Email.