The correct use of keywords is the deciding factor for whether the contents of a website will be found, or if it will get lost in the mass of content on the web. For that reason a knowledge of keywords is essential for all website operators, especially if you operate the site for commercial purposes – because only products that can be found can also be sold. And the more often the content put up online is found and read, the better the keywords for that content were handled. This means the creator of this specific website recognized which search terms internet users put into search engines to find, among others, the content he offers, and he optimized the page accordingly in relation to these terms (keywords). The first step to keyword optimization is therefore identifying them, and with that the keyword research for each individual webpage.
Keyword ResearchSurveys Which search terms would internet users enter into the search field of search engines if they were looking for the type of content I offer? You should ask yourself and those around you this question and collect the keywords suggested during this brainstorming. Not only friends and colleagues can be questioned about this, but also the target group itself if you take advantage of the opportunity presented at trade shows, workshops and meetings with customers. If you’d like to quickly interview a large group of potential customers about their possible choices of search terms, the opportunity offers itself here to get answers by having a survey conducted.
Analysis of Search Input For all website operators who have an integrated search function on their site, they have the opportunity to analyze the entered search input. Which search terms were entered here in the past and on which pages did the visitors apparently reach the target of their search?
Observe the Competition If other market players offer the same or similar content, then it is worthwhile to do some research here too into which keywords they rely on. Indications about this can usually be found in the terms that are contained in the URL, the page titles, in the headings, and in addition which of those same terms can be rediscovered in the text content. Also the naming of files used, as well as those of the alt and title texts, suggests which keywords are being relied on. Those who find that too tedious can use fee-based tools for search engine optimization, which will display the keywords that land the competition in the tops spots of search engine results.
Keyword Multiplication If the goal is to find more possible keywords, the already collected ones can be multiplied by searching keywords similar to the ones already one your list. Helpful here are pages like the Oxford DIctionary, which illustrates similar words and synonyms, or the “Google Keyword Planner” which you can access through a Google Adwords account, as well as numerous other free tools that can be found on the internet. When entering a search term in the Google search window, you can also have it show additional proposed terms (“Google Suggest“). These suggestions reveal in which word combination the entered search term was most often used.
Observation of Trends If you would like to create new pages with the goal of capturing the most up-to-date issues and thereby address a broad mass of internet users, then “Google Trends“ is optimal here to be able to see which topics and terms are currently searched for most often.
Filtering the Keywords At the end of the day when you have assembled the researched keywords and removed the ones that are obviously not closely enough linked to the page contents, further useless keywords should again be culled from the list. A keyword is especially useless when it is never or only rarely entered as a search term in search engines like Google & Co. For that reason it makes sense to finally enter the keyword list in the Google tool „Keyword Planner“ to be shown the monthly search volume of each keyword.
The Optimum Quantity of KeywordsKeywords per Page It would be optimal to have only one keyword per (web)page. There are places where keywords should be added, but where mentioning more than one keyword often leads to illegibility, for example in the URL. Search engines however rate the presence of related words positively, so that ultimately various keywords about the same subject can indeed be used on one page, as long as the terms are truly relevant to the content and the page remains legible for the internet user. This means each page should be optimized to contain only 1 to max. 5 keywords. Of course this isn’t written in stone. The best thing would be to experiment yourself a little with the amount of keywords per page, and review the success and the changes using an appropriate search engine optimization tool.
Keyword Density Individual keywords shouldn’t be used too often and densely in page content or in the texts themselves. Search engines react with sensitive penalties to so-called “keyword spamming” (excessively frequent use of keywords in texts). The ratio of keywords to be optimized in an entire text, the so-called keyword density, should not exceed 3 – 4%, to ensure ideal results in search machine rankings.
Keyword Placement PossibilitiesOnce the keywords you want to optimize to fit specific pages are set, it is important to place them in the correct spot on the page. The right spots are the areas that search engines like Google & Co. apparently consult for evaluation of the relevance of each page in relation to individual search terms, among other things. Based on that evaluation a page’s place among the search results drops out. So the goal of course is, after entry of a relevant search term or a search term combination, to see your own pages in the top spots of the results. The main keywords should therefore be placed in the following areas of a website:
- Page title
- Page description
- Headings (h1 – h3)
- In content text (if appropriate also marked in bold or cursive, or linked to the appropriate pages)
- Navigation and menu options
- Alt tags (for images, videos, PDFs, etc.)
- File descriptions, signatures and titles (for images, videos, PDFs, etc.)
- Category descriptions