On-Page Optimization – Step 3 – Keyword Optimization
Reading my previous two articles on Title and Meta tag optimization, will give you an idea on how on-page optimization can help in search engine optimization (SEO). The third technique, keyword optimization is the lifeline of on-page optimization. Search engine optimization can never succeed without the right choice of keywords. Keyword optimization should be considered from three angles: (1) It should be meaningful and representative of the content of your website. (2) It should be among the popular words a user would employ when he is looking for content relevant to your website. (3) Make sure the keywords have high search volume and comparatively low competition. And, (4) Strike a right balance in the placement and repetition of keywords to suit the requirements of the spider. Do not choose too many as the focus would be lost. The content is for the reader and the keywords are for the spider.
Points to remember in keyword optimization
• Decide on what the purpose of the website is and what its prime focus is on. Choose a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 20 keywords that are a direct hit on the content.
• Do a research on the keywords you propose to have on your website and find details of how many people have searched the net for these particular words, what are the other closely related set of words and what is their search statistics, what are the keywords of your competitor and what is their search statistics, etc. It is sure to take a lot of time, but it’s worth it. A lot of tools are available on the net to do this analysis for you. Shortlist your keywords through this analysis.
• To ensure keyword optimization, do not choose too many as you will not be able to give them their due importance.
• Having decided on them, make sure that they appear in prominent places like the title tag, keyword tag, heading tags, and in the first page, especially the first paragraph of your website.
• It is essential to maintain a correct balance in keyword density. Keywords no doubt need to be repeated but at the same time never repeat without purpose as it will turn out to be keyword stuffing. If the density is moderate, the search engine will determine that your page is relevant to the keyword that you are targeting.
• To avoid high keyword density it would be better to replace them with synonyms. You can easily bring out the intended meaning with synonyms and the density will also be at the required level. The natural flow of content in the website will also not be hampered.
• The best keyword optimization strategy would be for your keywords to be a few words long as single words are generally not a good choice as millions of sites will show up for such a search. If the keywords are few words in length then it is easier to obtain a higher rank. But make sure that they are not too long. You can add words like best, cheap, top, etc. to avoid single words. The normal standard for the length of the keywords can be 2-3 words.
A lot of research is required in this area. If you have the time and the expertise, you can do it yourself. Or, get a SEO company to do it for you; they are more experienced with these criteria.
To become an expert in on-page optimization read my next article in this series “On-Page Optimization: Step 4&5: Link and Image Optimization.”