how-to-optimize-for-keywords

Basic Best Practices For How To Target Keywords On Your Website

Optimizing a page for a keyword; it’s a topic that comes up weekly here at our agency. There are many elements that go into successful SEO and web page optimization. That said, if you’re not doing the basics in relation to the keyword you are targeting, the rest is tough sledding. In this episode, we’ll walk through the basic block and tackle what you should focus on how to optimize a web page for a keyword or phrase.

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YOU’LL LEARN

  • To have a successfully optimized page, you must not skip the basics of keyword targeting
  • Getting your keyword into the URL of the page is great if you can do it
  • Be sure to incorporate your keyword phrases into your headings
  • Develop the page content on purpose with the keyword and related phases in mind
  • Adding images with file names and Alt text that uses your keyword is ideal
  • To be targeting the keyword, you must be mentioning the keyword on the page

Here is the transcription from Episode 47 How To Optimize Your Web Page For A Keyword A Basic Overview;

Jesse Dolan: Hey everyone. Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics where each week we’re giving you tips and tricks on how to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, flying solo this week without Bob Brennan and this week we’re going to get into one of the common questions that we get asked quite a bit on the show. And that is how to optimize a page for a certain keyword or kind of reversed. Hey, here’s my page. I’m going after this keyword. You know, what should I do? And we answer that on a weekly basis with people from the showjumping online and sending us feedback, asking us questions. And this is going to be the first episode of doing a lot more of the kind of answering your questions, answering your topics and talking points and we want to make that even easier for you guys and gals to do.

Right now you can go out to localSEOtactics.com and we have a general feedback area for you to give us a shout out or to ask a question or just to get a hold of us. And what we’re doing is taking it to the next step. If you go to a localSEOtactics.com/questions that’s localSEOtactics.com/questions. Or if you just go down bottom left corner in the footer of any given page, you’ll see a link to submit a question. Click on that as well. It’ll get you to the same spot. And what we want to do is allow you to record a voice message with your question, with your feedback or with your situation and turn that into a talking point for the show. Again, this show is for you guys and gals out there to help you get found online to do local SEO tips, local SEO tactics and tricks, and what better way to kind of sit on the soapbox here and answer these questions and give advice than to have you actually on the show and put it in your own words, what kind of issues you’re having.

So over the last year or two, we’ve been getting a lot of this stuff through the email or through the online forms and we just kind of want to take it to that next level, and you guys record the questions and actually put you on the air on the show, in your own words, and in your own voice. And then answer your question and go from there. So if you’re interested in doing that, again, go out to localSEOtactics.com/questions and follow the process there. We can’t guarantee every single person is going to get on every episode based on the amount of feedback we’ve been getting without this feature. I would say we’re going to have more than we can do each week. We’re going to just do one a show and not every show I should say too, we’ll have topics that are going to be non-listener questions, but we’ll let you know for sure if we’re going to use it.

And if there’s a situation where three people have the exact same issue, we’re only going to pick one. Things like that. So we’ll just kind of give this a try, kind of experiment. We’ve never done it before, hope it works out. And if you guys and gals are interested, again go to localSEOtactics.com/questions, and check it out. And throw your questions at us and we’ll be happy to talk about them answer them on the air here, and get into him. So with that said, the number one thing that we get asked quite a bit, again, it’s kind of how to optimize a page. Whether this be your homepage, a location, landing page or any product or service page, it really doesn’t matter. And we’re going to talk about kind of broad terms here for what to do. So let’s just say, in this example to keep it simple, we’re just going after one keyword here and we’ll just talk about auto repair.

It’s kind of one of the generic things we always use for an example for everybody. And what we’ll do is we’ll get people asking us, “Hey, take a look at this page. I’m trying to rank for auto repair. What should I do? It’s not working very good.” And I’m going to go through kind of a bullet point list here of the main things that we look for on each page to optimize it. Now with this, you can do what’s called over-optimization and we have a previous episode, we talk about that a little bit and I’ll link that in the show notes for everybody here. We’re not going to get into how to avoid that, but you can very much over-optimize a page. In Google’s eyes, basically pages should be written with user intent, not trying to stuff keywords everywhere.

You want real phrases that human beings read. The page has to read like a human be reading it and provide information to humans. That said, as you know, with SEO, you want to do everything on purpose. If you’re going to write a paragraph, if you’re going to write a headline, if you’re going to put a bullet point list of features, questions, whatever it is on your website, you want to put that content out there with SEO in mind. So you can use the phraseology and the keywords that you want to be found for. So we’re going to go through kind of the main areas here to make sure you’re incorporating your keyword or variations on your keyword and things of that nature. So first things first. The best thing you can do is having your keyword you’re going after, in this case, auto repair in the URL of the exact page.

Now if this is your homepage, that would just straight up your dot com, or dot net, or dot organization, whatever it is you have. If this is an inner page, like a location page or a product page or a service page. If it’s Jessemechanic.com/auto repair, that’s kind of what we’re talking about there. So if you have a page right now, let’s just say again, it’s auto repair. If you can change the slug for that, the slash auto repair for that right now, if for example if it was you know Jessemechanic.com/repair. And if I wanted to be found for auto repair I would go in and I would change that URL to be a Jessiemechanic.com/auto-repair and that’s going to make sure auto repair is now in the URL for this page. It’s a big thing getting your keyword in the URL. The next is going to be the page title and specifically, here I’m talking about the meta title, which is the one that shows up when you search Google the big text for each listing.

That’s the page title. You want to make sure you work your keyword into that and reading left to right, you want to make sure that your keyword is as far left as possible. So let’s just say if we’re talking about optimizing this page, auto repair also for Minneapolis. Now if we want to be found in Minneapolis here, I’d want that page, the title of that page to say auto repair in Minneapolis, Minnesota and then my business name or something like that. I wouldn’t want to have auto repair at the end of that title, although in the title anywhere is better than not in the title. But again, you want to try and give preference when you read things, top to bottom left to right that convention. So make sure your keyword is also in your page title. Additionally, your meta description. And if you’re not familiar with what that is, that is the text when you’re on the SERP page, the search engine results page for Google.

Again, you have the page title is the main thing that you see with the links. Underneath that, you’ll have a little paragraph or maybe a sentence or two of descriptive text about that page, kind of a preview or a snippet if you will. Google doesn’t always show what you put in for your meta description there. Sometimes they’ll pull content off your page if they think that it’s more relevant, but this is the spot where we can put this into Google in your meta description. Same thing there, just like the URL. Convention is you want to try to get your keyword in there from left to right earlier than later. With the meta description, you have definitely again a sentence or two that you can input in there. This is where you need to start to think about related phraseology with your keyword. If we’re talking auto repair, maybe that’s vehicle repair, car repair, truck repair, maybe certain brands, whatever it is.

As you’re writing out your meta description in this case for auto repair, I’d do something like best auto repair in Minneapolis, come down to Jesse mechanic, we’ll treat you right. We’ve been fixing cars and trucks and vans for over 25 years, so on and so forth. You want to kind of work in just some other words in kind of natural language. Just like if you were going to be explaining to somebody across the counter what it is that you do. You want to say it in that same way, in that same tone when you type up your meta description but incorporate those keywords. The next area is your H tags, right? So your headline tags, your H one, your H two, your H three. As you go down the page. And again in some other episodes, we kind of talk about that structure, how to put the content on the page with the right convention that we’re used to with your headline being at the top, your H one I should say, being at the top. And then your information should cascade down from there.

Just like a newspaper. Your biggest headline is on top subsections underneath there and they all kind of fit and get organized. And I’ll link to that episode in the show notes for more context on that. But you want to make sure your keywords again are in your title tags. Now I always want to make sure the primary keyword that I’m going after is in the H one which is the main headline at the top of the page. As soon as you land on that page. Again, it can be just that keyword depending on what your phrase is. Or if you want to expand on it with the city you’re in or some other services that you provide or some kind of extra keywords about being the best, or the quickest, or the cheapest or whatever it is. But make sure your keyword is in that H one and then as you get further down the page and your H two in your H three kind of these other sections of your page, go ahead and work your keyword in there again, but try to have variations.

We start to get into over-optimization when you use that same keyword over and over and over. If auto repair is in your H one, auto repair in your H two, auto repair in your H three. It just kind of looks like you’re just copying and pasting it in everywhere. So whether it be plural, not plural, auto repair services, just try to mix it up so you’re not having the exact same thing in all of your H tags. But definitely, if you can have your keyword in one of the H ones, one of the H twos, and one of the H threes or variation of your keyword, that’s definitely what you’re going to want to be looking for on the page there. The next area is your images. Definitely try to make sure again, unique images on-page as much as possible.

Not clip art, not stock photography, but even if you are using some of that stock photography, that’s fine. What you don’t want to do, let’s just say you download an image from Adobe Stock online. That’s going to come with some kind of generic file name and encoding or code name that they use for the file. Don’t upload the image just like that. First of all to you should be optimizing your image and for image size, making it smaller. If on the page you’re showing the image and that’s only 300 by 300 pixels, but yet your actual original image you’re uploading is 3000 by 3000 pixels. You’re going to want to optimize that to bring it down to the true file size that you’re going to show on-page. And in addition to that, you’re going to want to save that image with the keyword and the file name.

So if this is a photo, let’s say of the front of my auto repair shop I’m going to want to make sure I save that image as Jesse mechanic auto repair shop or something like that. You want to work the keyword into the actual file name, and then when you upload that file, I’m sorry, when you upload that image to your website, you can have what’s called the alt text or the alternate text. And usually, that’s shown, let’s say if an image doesn’t load right away or if you hover over an image, you can kind of see what that alt text is. You’re going to want to work your keyword in again there as well. So the actual file name of the image should contain your keyword phrase and your alt text for that image should contain the keyword phrase. Now if you have multiple images on your page, again, it’s the same kind of convention within the H tags.

Try to use your keyword or variations of your keyword on those images where possible. Or things that are related to it and take advantage of those images. That’s definitely a strong signal, a strong area that you can do. Let’s go back to the text, kind of reading your page. Again, top to bottom left to right. You also want to work in your keyword in your first paragraph, ideally with you again sooner than later, top to bottom left to right within your first sentence or two, your keyword related keywords. Again, just like you’d be talking to a customer, Hey, what is it you’d say you do here? Well, when you do auto repair on X, Y, and Z and provide these kinds of services. Make sure that’s right away. Don’t bury the lead. Put that in there at the top and you want to make sure again, that it reads well for human beings.

Don’t just stuff these keywords in there. Additionally, if you can incorporate somewhere on your page, a bulleted list. And within that bulleted list, have your keyword. A real easy way to think about… When you say bulleted list, again, it’s whether it’s the dots or a one, two, three, whatever it is. But having a list of things, using that function and if you don’t know what that is, what I’m talking about, if you’re using WordPress, it’s very easy to do. If you’re not using WordPress, they’re going to be something similar. But it’s not that different than if you’re doing a word document and you have to create an outline and you’re picking… You want the bullet points or do you want the numbers for your outline?

There should be some kind of function like that in your page editor to not just type a paragraph of texts, but also to turn this into a bulleted list and have that be on your website. With that, kind of a cheat or a hack, if you will, on what kind of list should I put together, is listing your products that you offer, the services you offer, maybe the types of vehicles that you repair in this case, other facts about your company.

Just think about, something that you could make a list of that would incorporate your keyword. Try to throw up three, five or seven items on that bulleted list. And make sure you have one of those on the page that contains your keyword. Also doing any special fonts on that keyword. So if, let’s just say if you have your keyword in the first paragraph of the page, maybe further down the page you mention that keyword again or some variation. Making that bold or italicized is also something that’s a good trick. And what that does is just kind of show that there’s more importance to this word or this phrase on that page by using that bold or that italics. And the thought processes there that if you’re calling it out as something a little more important on the page that Google is going to recognize that as well.

Another one is the keyword frequency on the page. Now if we turn back the clock a number of years, the frequency or the density of your keyword on the page was something that was real easy to do with SEO. You just spam the heck out of the page. If it’s auto repair, I want to make sure auto repair is the most popular two-word phrase on my page. I want to make sure it’s, 10% of all the words on the page, whatever it is. That stuff really doesn’t work anymore as far as a straight-up SEO method. But the context of it all and the process of it does still kind of hold true in that, if you want to be found for auto repair, and you’ve only mentioned auto repair one time on the entire page. And it’s a thousand words on the page, you’re not sending a very strong signal that this page is about auto repair.

So you can just pay attention to that. There’s lots of different tools online. I’ll link to some of them in the show page instead of going through them here. That’s real easy to run your page through to see what’s the most popular words on the page. One of the tools, of course, is our free instant SEO audit, I guess quick shameless plug if you haven’t done that, going out to localSEOtactics.com a yellow button top right corner, free instant SEO audit. You can plug any page in there and audit against a keyword to get a score for how your page is performing, a checklist of all the good, bad and ugly that you need to do to better optimize that page. And the things of that nature. So I’ll link to some other tools in the show notes here for this episode, but obviously that’s a tool that we heavily promote and it’s free for anybody to use over and over again, so check that out.

But back to the topic at hand is the frequency of the keyword on the page. So make sure you’re just paying attention to that. And if you look at all of this from top to bottom, at the end of the day, it’s really not that complicated. Identify the product or service keyword that you’re trying to be found for, and make sure in the main areas of the page you’re putting this content out there on purpose. Name your images, put your keyword in your headlines, have the bulleted text and bold text, italicize whatever it is, and then make sure you’re incorporating that keyword or phrase multiple times on the page.

It’s a little bit, I don’t want to be too negative, but it’s a little bit of a head-scratcher when we get these questions about, “Hey, how come I’m not showing up on this page?” I’m sorry, “How come I’m not showing up in Google search for this phrase? I want this page to be found for it.” And you just don’t have content about that topic. If you just think about it like that, how would Google know that this page is about auto repair? If you’re not communicating the word auto repair on the page.

Google’s getting super smart. They got a lot of machine learning and artificial intelligence to help predict user intent and put the right pages in front of us when we search. But still, at the end of the day, we do as SEOs, as marketers, as business owners and content producers, we still have an obligation to make sure we’re putting the appropriate content on the page so Google can understand what this page is about.

So hopefully that helps you out. Just kind of whether you wrote that stuff down or have a mental checklist when you’re looking at your pages. Just kind of incorporate these things into your SEO architecture as you’re typing them out. Because if you’re not doing it on purpose, you’re not giving yourself a fighting chance to get found for those things online. So yeah, hopefully, that helps you out. Again, if you’ve got a question that you want us to cover or a topic you want us to cover on the show, go to localSEOtactics.com/questions and we’d love to hear from you on that. I’m going to jump into our five-star review of the week.

Like I keep saying every episode, you guys and gals, keep putting them in here. We’re going to keep reading them. I absolutely love it. The feedback is awesome. And this week we got one from, I believe I’m saying it, [Skip&Co 00:18:25] or [SkippinCo 00:18:28] five-star reviews says, “Useful information in every episode. Really appreciate the straightforward nature of the content in the show. As an agency owner, I find actionable insights every time I listen. Glad you guys are back. Thank you.”

And he says in here, it’s Dellegal Digital, D-E-L Legal Digital. Hope I’m saying that right. So yeah, I appreciate that feedback. Everybody else, we’d love to hear from you. LocalSEOtactics.com you can go down, click on our reviews or leave us your review, whether that’s on iTunes, Stitcher, kind of whatever your podcast, a method of choices, Google review, Facebook review. We don’t really care where you leave it. Obviously, if you paid attention to our show, getting reviews is extremely important for any business, including this show, for what we do. So we’d love to get a review from you, helps the show out and then, of course, we’d love to read them here on the show.

So that about does it for this week. I guess one more time, I’ll mention if you haven’t used our free SEO audit tool, go out to localSEOtactics.com, top right corner, free instant SEO audits and plug your site in there. You can plug competitor’s sites in there. And you can come back over and over again so you can get a score, go make some changes to optimize your page, come back, score it again, and see the improvements in all kinds of relevant SEO areas. So we’ll wrap it up for this week. Thanks for staying tuned here and talk to you guys next week.

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