In Part 1 of this article, we went over the basics of effective keyword usage.
It’s important that you choose and use your keywords effectively by making sure that you use them exactly and sprinkle them naturally throughout your page. We’ve written about the different elements that make up a page, and briefly defined what keyword density means.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to use your keywords effectively in each part of your pages.
Read on as we go through each section individually…
HTML Page Title
This is what goes between your page’s <title> HTML tags. It’s the title text that browsers display in the title bars right at the very top of each window or tab. The HTML title is also what search engines typically use as the title of your page on search results. On this page, we’ve used “How To Use Keywords Effectively” as our HTML title. The HTML title is usually quite short and to the point. You should probably stick to a maximum length of around 50-60 characters for your HTML title. You’ll want to use your primary keyword in the HTML title. Since the HTML title is short, you typically do not want to include your secondary keywords here as well, unless both your primary and secondary keywords are pretty short and it makes sense to have both in the title.
META tags: Keywords and Description
META tags are used to describe the HTML page. These are typically used by search engines to identify what your pages are all about. Just sticking keywords in your META keywords tag and expecting search engines to rank your page for these keywords is a mistake, though. You need to make sure that all of your content uses your keywords in order to rank for those keywords.
What should you use as your keywords? Your primary keyword, followed by your 2 or 3 secondary keywords, separated by commas. Resist the temptation to include every single keyword you can think of for your entire store on each and every one of your individual pages. Cramming in a ridiculous number of keywords will only result in your page not ranking well for any keywords. Focus on a primary keywords plus a couple of secondary keywords that you’ve identified for each page.
The META description is the text that search engines will try to use to describe your page in search results. This is very important since searchers will use what they read here to determine if your site actually matches whatever it was they were searching for. You need to make sure that your META description is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting because if a search engine decides your META description is unrelated, it’ll typically just show the first 100-200 lines of your page content as the description instead. This isn’t the sort of text that convinces people to click on your store’s search result. Your META description should include your primary keyword, and you should try to use one or two secondary keywords here as well, if you can. It’s best to keep your META description to 160 characters or less to avoid having it shortened.
When we talk about “headers” here, we’re referring to HTML H1, H2, H3, H4, and H5 headers. It’s a good idea to have a header near the beginning of your page that features your primary keyword.
This is the actual body text content of your page. You should sprinkle all your keywords — primary as well as all your secondary keywords — naturally throughout the body of your page. Each keyword, especially the primary keyword, should appear a few times in your content. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, don’t go using your keywords in every sentence. If you have 5 reasonably-sized paragraphs of text on your page, you probably want to use your primary keyword 3 times and your secondary keywords twice each. A reasonable keyword density for your primary keyword is somewhere between 2-25%, and for each of your secondary keywords, 1-15%. When you write your content, don’t worry about jamming in keywords, just make it a point to include them naturally wherever it makes sense.
Effective keyword usage, when combined with good keyword research, will definitely help your pages and your store rank well.
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