One of the first things any SEO content marketer will learn about is keywords – what the different types of keywords are, how to conduct keyword research, and how to select the right keywords. However, what can make or break your SEO strategy may not be the keywords themselves, but also how they are incorporated into your content copy.
Even well-chosen keywords may not help your page rank well if keywords are placed haphazardly or unnaturally. So what’s the best way to go about doing this? These few tips will help you get started!
1. Consider search intent
These days, search engines are getting smarter. They can go beyond words on a page, and detect things like the overarching topic of the site. In recent years, Google has been improving its semantic search algorithms, where the search intent and context is also considered, rather than just exact keyword matches.
Generally, there are 4 common types of search intents:
- Informational: Includes search queries like ‘weather today’, where the user is searching for specific information.
- Navigational: Includes cases where the user wants to be directed to a particular website, for example, when they search ‘Facebook’ to go to the social media site.
- Commercial: This is when the user is seeking information about a type of product, but has not yet decided which to buy.
- Transactional: This is when the user has already decided to buy a product, and is looking for where they can purchase it.
Effective keyword addition means taking into account the search intent of your users for particular keywords. For example, if you decide to use the keyword ‘best SEO companies’, the search intent is likely to be commercial, where users want to know about various options available to them. So, instead of product pages (which would be appropriate for transactional search intents), this keyword should be added to content that provides information about various SEO companies.
2. Be natural
While SEO experts of the not-too-distant past found ways to incorporate exact keyword matches in web copy, there is no longer a real need to do that. First of all, it often sounds unnatural and strange. Secondly, most search engines today are able to recognise keywords broadly. For example, a user who types in ‘flower shop in Singapore’, will also receive results containing words like ‘florist’, ‘bouquet’, and so on.
So, don’t insert keywords blindly from what you retrieve from your keyword research. If you want to target a keyword like ‘singapore pet store’, feel free to use phrases like ‘pet store in singapore’, ‘pet shops’, and more, making your text flow naturally. In fact, having synonyms and stop words (words like ‘in’, ‘of’, ‘the’) can help search engines better understand the context of your keywords to match it with user intents.
3. Don’t go overboard
Yes, SEO is highly dependent on keywords. But too much of a good thing is never good! If quantity was all that mattered, you would just need to fill your page with the keywords, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. However, search engines are smarter than that.
Excess keywords placed unnaturally can have the reverse effect of being detrimental to your website. It often leads to a loss of authority, which does no good for your search ranking. Perhaps more importantly, awkward and indiscriminate keyword placements will also put off your audience, making them less likely to want to patronise your brand – and that’s the exact opposite of what you want!
As a general guide, having 2-5 keywords on a page is safe. Having too many different keywords on a page can be challenging to link in a natural flow, while having a few related keywords on the same page is only natural.
4. Go beyond content
Keywords are not just relevant for content copy. A comprehensive SEO strategy will also use them for internal linking. Using keywords as internal links can build up your site’s architecture with relevant anchor-texts. This serves to enhance the user’s experience by navigating them to relevant pages that can provide them with more information. Labelling images with relevant keywords is another good way to enrich your page with keywords.
At the end of the day, there is no magic formula for using keywords. Search engine algorithms change ever so frequently, and variables like keyword competitiveness, content topic, content length, and more, also affect the best strategy to take.
The best you could do is test and refine your strategies with the best practices of SEO keyword usage. Don’t overlook the importance of how keywords are added to your site, be it in the text copy itself, or through internal links, meta-descriptions, and image names!
For more guidance on SEO techniques, attending a course on digital marketing in Singapore can help you. Alternatively, you could engage a digital marketing agency to increase your website’s online visibility with the best, updated SEO strategies today.