How To Use Keywords Effectively: Part 1

In a previous article, we introduced the basics of good keyword research and went over how important it is to find, research, and identify good keywords. In a very brief nutshell, you should choose keywords that are both popular and yet not overly-competitive, and each page of your store (home/front page, category, product and information pages, etc.) should have its own set of keywords (1 primary and 2-3 secondary) that you intend to target.

Now, having all the right keywords that you should be targeting is very important first step, but it’s also crucial that you use these keywords effectively on your pages. Effective keyword usage will determine whether or not your keywords and pages are found and indexed by search engines, as well as how well your pages rank.

So, how exactly do you use keywords effectively?

The Basics

When you use your keywords, the exact spelling, punctuation and spaces matter. Derivatives of your keyword are NOT the same as your keyword. To illustrate this, “mountain bike” is not the same as “mountain-bike”, nor is “jewelry” the same as “jewelery” or “jewellery”, nor is “bicycle” the same as “bicycles”.  Always make sure that you use your keywords exactly.

Location, Location, Location

Each web page consists of several elements: elements that are mostly “tucked away”, namely the HTML page title (the title text that appears in browser title bars) and META tags; as well as the main page content: the actual body text of your page, which also usually contains content headers (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 HTML tags). When you create pages for your store, it’s important that you use your keywords in your page content. They should also be spread out throughout the different sections of your page.

Use your keywords organically and sprinkle them naturally throughout your content. What this means is don’t try to fool search engines by senselessly and repeatedly using your keywords over and over, in every sentence. This does not work, and no actual person will want to read any content on a page that’s written this way. Write your content normally, just make a conscious effort to use your keywords where you can where they make sense in the context of what you’re writing.

Keyword Density

So just how often should you use your keywords? What’s too much, and what’s not enough? Keyword density measures how often your keyword (whether it’s a single word, or a phrase) appears in your content. It’s how many times you use your keyword relative to the rest of the content. Search engines are always constantly tweaking how exactly they decide to rank pages based on their own internal formulas, so we’re not going to come out and proclaim any “magic numbers” for keyword densities, but we can suggest general guidelines for effective keyword usage.

More to follow in Part 2 of this article, as we talk about each effective keyword usage in the different sections of your pages …

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