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Adding Keywords to Your Site

Search engines reward pages that best answer questions searchers ask with high rankings. Getting keywords into your title tags as well as in the text of your website is the foundation of telling search engines about the products and services you offer and helps them better understand what questions your web pages can answer effectively. But your goal should never be to rank for just the handful of keywords you track. Describing your products and services thoroughly helps you rank for many keyword variations.

Search engines are a lot smarter than they used to be. Search engines now understand intent, which means you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to force exact keyword phrases that don’t make grammatical sense into your page text. For example, search engines will show a page optimized for “coffee shop in Springfield” if someone types in “coffee shop Springfield.”

You’ll want to make sure your keywords are in the text on your website pages. Add them if they aren’t, but don’t go overboard. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a keyword density between 1-2%, which means your keyword, or a close synonym, appears once or twice per 100 words. This will mean your keyword appears frequently enough to tell the search engines what your page is about but not so often that search engines think you are being sneaky. A higher keyword density may lead search engines to think you are engaging in keyword stuffing, which means you are putting in keywords on the page in a way that looks forced and that isn’t good for your users’ experience on your site. This, and any sneaky practices, can result in lower rankings.

Further, you’ll want to include complimentary words that better or more thoroughly describe your services or products. Keep in mind the goal is to rank for as many relevant keywords as possible, not just the handful you are tracking closely. Adding more content helps.

For example, it’s not uncommon for coffee shops to have a home page with a few pretty pictures and just a couple of lines of text, for example:

Daily Grind is your home away from home. We are a single-origin roaster and serve coffee drinks & pastries in a cozy storefront.

Let’s suppose you were trying to show up for searches for coffee shops in Springfield. The following rewrite would make it more likely that you’d appear in search results without taking anything away from the message.

Daily Grind is your home away from home. Our coffee shop located Springfield, MA is a single-origin roaster and serves coffee drinks & pastries in a cozy storefront.

Better yet, you’d want to add just a few more lines of text which would increase your chances of appearing for other searches looking for indoor dining, takeout, or other drink options. You might add something like this:

Indoor dining and outdoor seating available. We have something for everyone:

Drip, pour over, and iced coffee
Espresso drinks
Hot and iced tea
Hot chocolate
New: CBD infusions

Order online for fast takeout service.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to greatly improve the content on your website. In addition to helping you rank for more keywords and generate more inbound traffic, going into more depth about your products or service will also provide more meaningful information for your customers.

View the next lesson, Headings – H1, H2, H3 Tags.

Return to the SEO Course page.

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