Everyone knows that keywords are the stuff of great visibility, but what do you do with those keywords? We have been told not to salt and pepper our pages with keywords for fear of the crawl not liking the flavor. We have been told that not enough keywords will leave us looking like a wallflower at a junior high school dance. So how do we know if the keywords we are using on our page will get us noticed? Well, it boils down to the three little words every SEO wants to hear whispered in their ear…”On Page Optimization”.

Keyword Optimization 101

Keyword optimization is taking a keyword, or set of keywords, and working them into the content of an existing web page. When that process is complete, the odds of someone finding your page through a search engine increase significantly. Optimization is a bit more than a mere smattering of keywords. The keyword has to work with the page content and be relevant with the information you are providing your customer.  The days of using irrelevant keywords are behind us. No one searching for Miley Cirus wants to land on a page about roofing. So, trying to bait with irrelevant keywords will do more harm than good.

Utilize Variations

It is ever so important when choosing and using your keywords to be thinking of related words and phrases as well. Does your keyword have a related word or a variation than can be used?  For example: doctor vs. cardiologist. This diversification of the same word might help capture a different, but more relevant search.

Another diversification is long tail keywords. These are simple phrases that some might use. For example: “a contractor in my area“. Long tails tend to be slightly more difficult to work into content, but their impact can be very significant. Blogs are a great way to work long tail keywords in. Keep in mind that a page can be optimized for more than one keyword.

Shift Your Focus

Keywords are not your only optimization strategy, though. In fact, keyword focus has taken a bit of a shift.

See Anna’s recent post Keywords Not Ranking?…Relax. It is far more valuable to provide a good user experience for your customers than to just get them to your site. Keywords are important, but your customers expect their questions to be answered in order to engage with your business. Providing great content and relevant links to other information is the way to keep them on your site.

Do Your Research

So, simple right? Well, yes and no. Keyword optimization takes time and SEO knowhow.  Keyword analysis and research is vital in keeping your pages fresh. Market trends, blog posts, and media can spin new keyword searches almost constantly. Staying current with these fast changing trends is a challenge. But, keeping ahead of your competitors through continued optimization will not only improve your rank, but will also improve your bottom line.