Using Keywords Appropriately to Improve Your Search Rankings

The DIY Guide to SEO – Part 3 – Keywords

This is one part of a multi-part series of articles for on-page search engine optimization.

Before we dive into the nitty gritty, we just want to point out that there are a gazillion things you can do to try to improve your search results, but we are just going to focus on the most important on-page SEO tactics that any user (not developer or SEO expert) can do themselves.

Don’t forget to download the complimentary DIY SEO Checklist.

PRO TIP: When it comes to using keywords and phrases, more is NOT better.

What are Keywords?

Keywords are the search terms that visitors would use to find your site, and the terms that your business hopes to rank for. One of the biggest website fails we see is poor planning and usage of keywords by website owners. As you review the content on your site, think about what words your ideal client might type into a search engine to try to find you. And be specific!

Example: You sell garage doors. As part of your business not only do you sell the actual doors and hardware, you also perform installation and repair. When considering your keywords, it isn’t sufficient to consider “repair” a keyword. Think of the search results one would get if they merely typed in “repair” to a search engine. You must go one step further and think, repair of WHAT? If you are a local business, then you add in repair of “WHAT” “WHERE”.

So, a keyword for your garage door business then becomes “Garage door repair in [name of city]” or even “[style, make, brand] garage door repair in [name of city].”

It’s important to note that coming up with all the keywords you should try to rank for is seriously a limitless job. There are firms that do ONLY this. For the DIYer, just focus on being as precise as you can, identify with your ideal client, and try to avoid terms you know you have no chance of ranking for.

Using Keywords in Headings

As we’ve already discussed in our Headings section, not only do headings indicate to your visitors what your page is about, they also indicate to search engines what your page is about. To this end, they are the perfect place to integrate your keywords and phrases.

Take for example our garage door shop that performs repairs. A common mis-use of heading tags would be to label the heading for this section simply “repairs”. Do a quick Google search for that term and did you find anything about garage doors? Not even close. At the very least the heading tag should read “garage door repair” and more optimally be even more specific using the technique we described above.

Using Keywords in Your Main Content

Your keywords (and keyword variations) should also appear periodically throughout the main text of your site. Use of your keywords should flow naturally in the course of the text. It only takes a few usages for search engines to pick up on them.

Important! Remember, more is NOT better when it comes to keyword usage. Intentional overuse of keywords is called “keyword stuffing” and can actually result in a penalty and knock your site right out of the rankings.

Seriously Confused About Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines?

You aren’t alone. Not optimizing your site is one of the biggest reasons why websites fail, and there are A LOT of them that do. Send us a quick note through the contact form below and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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Jessica Dohm

Jessica Dohm

Founder, Dohmain Designs

About the Author

Jessica is the Director of Digital Marketing and Owner of Dohmain Designs. She is a small business sales and marketing expert specializing in business growth through intelligent website design and sales & marketing automation.

Jessica is a Certified Infusionsoft Partner, marketing automation and CRM expert with over 15 years of professional sales and marketing experience. In 2011, she combined that experience with innovative website design and created Dohmain Designs. She has worked with biotech giants, overseen the digital marketing for a popular Discovery Channel hit TV series, and helped hundreds of clients grow their business. Prior to creating Dohmain Designs, Jessica worked in the fast-paced biotech sector focusing primarily on technical sales and marketing, as well as providing complicated sales-focused CRM training across various disciplines.

Jessica is a member of her local Rotary Club where she has previously served as the Membership co-chair and currently serves as the Public Relations chair. Jessica truly believes in the "Service Above Self" Rotarian philosophy and strives to dedicate her time and talents to helping others, both in her personal and professional relationships.

She is located in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and works with clients all across North America. If you'd like to get in touch with Jessica, simply complete the contact form below.

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