If you can remember back to last month’s blog post I covered some of the basics about getting a website to show up on Google. I also briefly explained that keyword placement and inbound links are important to search rankings. Today I’m going to go into more detail about making your website search-engine friendly.
“I need more keywords”
I often hear people talk about website keywords as if they are some kind of magic fairy dust that will make a website suddenly rise to the top of a Google search. I wish this was the case, but unfortunately it isn’t that easy. The simple fact is that keywords are just words that you think people will use to search for your website. The way search engines use these keywords is much more nuanced. More keywords isn’t always better. In fact if you pick too many keywords you risk not appearing on any searches.
You should pick a few keywords for each page that you think people will use in searches. Let’s say your financial planning business targets public school teachers in the city of Denver. Naturally, you would use keywords like, “financial planning,” “teachers,” “Denver.” Your goal might be to show up on the first page of a search for “financial planning for Denver teachers.”
“Where do I place keywords?”
Keyword placement is very important. A good principal is to ensure your keywords show up 3-4 times per page. People have tried to abuse keywords by repeating them over and over. Google recognizes this and can punish sites for trying to game the system. You should ensure your keywords appear in the website title, URL and H1 heading. A site with “financial planning” listed in these locations (where I have “remote secure backup” in the example below) will likely place better than a site with it mentioned three times in the paragraph text.
One thing I like about the Drupal CMS system is that it can automatically place keywords in the appropriate places.
“What about the keyword meta tag?”
People seem to get worked up over meta tags. The fact is Google recently announced that they do not use keyword meta tags. So while it can’t hurt, I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about the keyword meta tags. But Google does use the description meta tags. Often a well written meta description will appear in a search result.
Hopefully this post didn’t get too confusing. If you do have questions please leave a comment and I’ll try to address it. And remember, the best principle is to create a site that people want to go to. By providing useful information or tools, you will attract people to your website. By attracting people you will also attract search engines.
Next month I plan to cover some ways to get links to your website.