In response to my blog titled 10 Basic SEO tips for authors just starting out, I have decided to break each one of the 10 tips down individually. I hope this is helpful to all of you that commented on my other blog.
Today we will deal with keywords.
Keywords aren't as big a deal as they once used to be. The process of ranking web pages has moved away from putting a large amount of emphasis on Keywords and more on semantics. The process is called LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing. Although Google doesn't use LSI, the shift from keywords to semantic remains. Whoa . . . "easy with the propeller head stuff Lou". To put it more simply, Latent Semantic Indexing is a process that helps search engines like Google find out what the true topic of a web page really is (or to the best of its ability). Simpler yet, it means to you that you shouldn't focus on a single keyword when optimizing your web pages and when getting links rather you should concentrate on a theme and write about it intelligently worrying about keywords later. Instead of replicating the targeted keyword over and over, it is better to use different versions of the keyword which should be easy. The web pages or article on your web site should be related and focus mainly on a theme or topic while using different words that describe that topic. By using Variations of your keyword and synonyms, it makes it easier for search engines to determine the topic of your site and rank it accordingly.
Does this mean I shouldn't put keywords in my meta, links, title and ALT tags.
No, I am not saying that, just be careful in doing so. Remember keep your reader in mind. If it makes sense, do it, you will know when it isn't appropriate. Oh . . . you should always target a keyword in the title tag. More about that later. As a rule of thumb, I would say you can optimize one page or article with 3 keywords or keyword phrases. If you are just starting out, use one or two. Depending on the source, your percentage of keywords in your article or page should be between 2.5% and 4% of the total content on the site. I have seen site tops with percentages as high as ten.
That's great info Lou, but how do I know the percentage of keywords that are in my article?
There are tons of free tools out there that wily do the trick. I like this one: http://www.googlerankings.com/ultimate_seo_tool.php
Keyword No Nos
A big mistake I see more often than not is repeated keywords in the keyword tag. Here is an example: Hazard County Real Estate, Hazard County Real Estate Agent and Hazard County Real Estate Agency. There are a couple of things wrong with this type of strategy. First off, the word "and" is not needed. Search engines ignore these type of words. Other types could be: and, the, because, this, that and there. The other thing wrong with the keywords is the word "Hazard County". It is repeated three times. You do not need to repeat Hazard County Real Estate. The corrected keywords should read; Hazard County real estate, agents, agency, The search engine will know you are offering Hazard County Real Estate and will match the secondary words with the word Hazard County Real Estate. Repeating "Hazard County Real Estate" will just penalize your site. Notice I didn't use Ulster County Real Estate in the example (my market).
Lastly, as stated above, make sure you use your primary keywords in the TITLE tag of your page or article (ActiveRain does this for you) as well as in the description tag. Do not over load or stuff the title with keywords, rather naturally write to include them. In many cases, the description tag is displayed in the results page after search engine search was made by a user when relevant keywords are typed into it.