By developing an optimal SEO keyword strategy, your site’s content is indexed and displayed for free in the search engine results page (SERP). Through this practice, you attract the attention of potential customers, increase the visibility of your company and reach your business objectives. Moreover, this involves using on-page SEO principles. These principles improve from year to year, depending on the search engines algorithms changes, by audience demand and trends in the online space.
On-page SEO strategy still involves optimization of metadata – meta title, meta description, meta keywords. Today, many sites choose to complete meta keywords field but no emphasis is placed on this meta tag as in previous years.
The meta title and meta description are considered by SEO specialists important criteria to rank and differentiate sites in SERP. So, they are useful to Google and users to understand the web pages in the search engines and social media.
All these meta tags are inserted into HTML and general info about web pages appear as a snippet in search engines results page or when they are shared on social media. The information introduced in the snippet should reflect the main idea of the web page and trigger the visitor interest to click on the link and read the content on the site. (CHECK EXAMPLE OF HOW A SNIPPET LOOKS IN THE SEARCH ENGINE AT THE 3 ANSWER BELOW)
Metadata influences CTR and the place your content occupies in the search engine
When you implement the following SEO keyword strategies and adapt them to your business model, there are high chances to get your pages on the first pages in the search engine result pages. It’s important to check keywords data and improve content when applying these techniques in order to gain online visibility and enjoy conversions.
Are you wondering how to optimize your website and digital campaigns for high rankings in the search engines? Here are 3 questions you might ask yourself when starting developing your SEO keyword strategy.
1. How do I start an SEO keyword strategy?
Google recognizes the site as relevant and understands what it is about, through the presence of keywords/phrases/expressions. Short and long tail keywords are not just in the meta title and meta description, but also in URL/permalink, headings, text. For a site to be correctly built, each page needs to address a specific topic by applying primary and secondary keywords – don’t have to be used excessively.
Keyword Planner (KP) from Google is a helpful tool which can be used for both Google Ads & SEO. It can be useful to identify keywords and phrases ideas to create content that provides true value to your users. The articles should be as eloquent as possible to differentiate your site from the crowd. Thus, search engines decide whether or not they rank your pages to the top relying on the keywords and information provided.
Also, with Keyword Planner you can see what keywords competitors use to build quality content that receives engagement. Also, this tool presents interesting phrases that users introduce in the search box. And, in this way, content marketers can develop content around these long tail keywords and solve users’ problem.
From an SEO point of view, with Keyword Planner (KP) tool you can identify keywords and phrases with low competition and lots of traffic by checking these two fields: ‘discover new keywords‘ or ‘get search volume and forecasts‘. The site is easily found if your keywords are embedded in the text, naturally, and not forced.
So, below are 6 steps to follow and get started with your SEO keyword strategy:
- make a list with the most suitable keywords for your site goal from your mind, Keyword Planner and other free and paid tools;
- understand your keywords by analyzing their average monthly searches, clicks, impressions, CTR, position, competition with KP;
- build a content strategy in which to include and highlight those keywords;
- verify in Search Console how your keywords are working and their metrics;
- improve the content and add new, relevant keywords that may help you rank higher;
- build more content that contains the keywords your audience searches for.
If you want organic search traffic you have to learn from day 1 to do keyword research and discover keyword phrases your users search for. So, below is a video that presents free and paid tools for keyword research in order to find relevant and targeted keywords.
2. What type of keywords should I use in my content?
Short keywords (1-2 words) are in a continuous competition; to overcome it and get a leading spot in Google, it is required to use phrases with distinctive terms called ‘long tail keywords’. These are key phrases that have between 3 and 6 words and are placed naturally in important areas of the text (title, body) for high ranking in the search engines. It is preferable to use long tail keywords instead of short keywords because they are more targeted, less competitive and have a lower cost. They can help your business site differentiate itself from your competitors.
Increased competitiveness of some keywords, over 100, 000 searches, does not guarantee that your site will reach high rankings in SERP. The possibility for your site to gain a top position in the search engines is high if you identify keywords that do not have high competitiveness. Enter keywords and phrases in the text with the lowest competitiveness and highest popularity (100-1000 searches/month). Use Keywords Planner to identify these words.
Content marketers suggest building a new article or webpage text after you are done with the SEO keyword research so that essential keywords are included in the post.
Your web page’s title tag, ALT tag (image), url’s/permalinks may contain geographic information (city/country) and keywords that define a specific target audience the company addresses to.
URLs should contain no more than 3-5 words, and these must be keywords to help the visitor understand immediately what is it about on the page and easily remember the link for future visits.
For a successful SEO strategy, it is very important to look at competitors’ websites carefully to choose the most important words and turn them into key phrases. Use Excel to create a list of keywords that would best describe your next article. Then introduce them in Keywords Planner to extract the best data about them and generate other keywords ideas. At the same time, you can also use the Google Suggest Tool, where you are offered keyword suggestions when you enter a word in the search box.
3. What is keyword stuffing and how do I avoid it?
Nowadays, if your site is becoming a brand and correctly optimized, it can get on the first page. You need to combine and apply SEO techniques for content, UX, mobile, partnerships to extend visibility.
Start with having the keywords in the title, description and in the text of your web pages. But do not exaggerate because you will create keyword stuffing. The phenomenon of overcrowding the page by adding many keywords, either in HTML or in content, with the thought of getting a good position in SERP is called keyword stuffing.
Title and description of a web page are present on the search engine results page and provide insight into the topic the user is going to click on and get to the site. The more the keywords searched by the user are the same or similar to those found in the title and description of your pages, your site has big chances to gain an important place in SERP.
Also, your post/article/web page must contain at least 30%-35% unique content, and the most important keywords/phrases must be placed at the beginning of the text in the first 100-150 words of the article according to Moz. If these keywords are at the end of the text, it means for the search engines that they are less important and the site loses traffic.
In order to offer the best content to users, Google measures the relevancy of the article based on keyword density. Panda algorithm update is more a ranking factor because it put the focus on sites that contain keywords with a balanced density level for a high position in SERP.
SEO experts recommend best keyword density to be moderate and between 1%-3% as stated in ‘What is Keyword Density in SEO? and How to Calculate it?’ article. For example, when writing 500-800 words per page 1% – 2% density is enough, and between 2% – 3% for 1000-2000 words. Or you have the freedom to have as many keywords as you want on the page but Google may consider your site as spam and most likely penalize it.
The keyword density calculation formula for each page is: (keyword repeated number / total words in the text) X 100 according to Wikipedia.
Instead of repeating the same keyword several times, you can use it moderately and replace it with a synonym from the same semantic category. You can analyze how popular synonyms are with Keyword Planner, where you can also find keyword suggestions.