You’ve learned where and when keywords should be seen first, but what other areas can keywords help increase traffic? Check out all the tips and tricks for behind the scenes keyword strategies and practices to avoid.
One of the most important ways to get traffic to your website is making sure you include keywords in your content that match what your audience is searching for. In previous articles, you’ve learned how to create a highly searched, relevant keyword list and what to do with keywords directly on your website. In this article, we’ll discuss some behind the scenes keyword strategies and keyword practices to avoid.
Basic keyword strategy "do's"
It may be tempting to focus entirely on optimizing content that's right in plain sight, but by strategically placing keywords in less-noticed areas, you can help direct more traffic to your store.
Here are three behind-the-scenes places you can keyword optimize to catch more visitors:
- Title tags: If you are unfamiliar with title tags, they appear in three key places: search engine results pages (SERPs), browsers and external websites. . . . As you can see, these three key places are great opportunities for you to use important keywords and catch your visitor's eye. In this example, we see our keywords, simple, gardening and tips, in all three spots.
- Meta descriptions: A meta description is a short paragraph that shows up on the SERP and gives searchers a preview of your content. Think of them like a trailer for a movie. Although these descriptions aren’t ranked by search spiders, they can increase audience click-through rate if they're keyword optimized.
- URLs: URLs are fantastic places to tuck in a keyword or two. Take this URL from a gardening blog for example, http://www.hgtv.com/gardening/14-simple-gardening-tips-and-tricks/index.html. By itself, the URL already includes several keywords like gardening, simple gardening and gardening tips and tricks, all of which immediately tells search engines what their content is about.
Keywords used in these three places help search engines index your website in the most relevant areas. They also help lead new customers to your site by making it easy to get to your most pertinent information.
Basic keyword strategy "don'ts"
Now that we've seen what we should do, we'll take a look at a few big don’ts that will trigger a red flag for search crawlers and get your site penalized:
- Keyword stuffing: Exactly how it sounds, keyword stuffing involves using keywords over and over…and over again in one page. While keywords are important to have, too many looks like spam and will be targeted as such.
- Duplicate content: Duplicate content means repeating sentences and keywords word for word, whether on one or multiple pages. It not only looks like spam to search crawlers, but confuses them when deciding which set of content and keywords to index and rank.
- Spelling and grammar: This tip is only included to reinforce the amount of times you should spell and grammar check your content. Misspellings and bad grammar make your website look unattended and uncared for in your audience’s eyes.
To avoid these don'ts, be sure to have a family member or trusted friend take a tour and read through your website before launch. That way, they can provide insightful advice on whether or not content seems forced and out of place, as well as give you some insight into how your customers will react.
As you can see, keywords are extremely important, both for your audience and for search crawlers ranking your website. While search algorithms may change, you can guarantee that the importance of keywords and quality content won’t. Stay focused on using relevant keywords and providing valuable content, and your store will be on the right track to grow.