April 6, 2006
Where to put your keywords
I've decided that it is time for a "back to basics" series. In the next couple months I'm going to tackle the basics of having a content rich website and hopefully in the process refine my skills. My ulitmate goal with this series is to produce a how-to guide that I can use to train people to create the other sites that I have planned.
The first chapter in the series will focus on writing for the web. Aspects such as creating titles, how to write copy that persuades, and copywriting for the web will all be covered.
Today's topic is Keywords. Writing for the web is unlike any traditional form of writing in one key area. Writing for the web has two very distinct target audiences. One is human eyeballs and brains and the other is search engine spider and computer brain. The existance of the second audience requires a few tweaks to the normal writing process.
1. Use Your Keywords in Text Links for ALL Links – Inbound and Outbound.
Below is an example of a text link:
This means create links like the ones derectly above rather than stuff like this:
2. Use Your Keywords in the Page's Title Tag.
On this site I have it built into the story engine that the title automatically gets scripted into the title tag. Click on a recent story link to the right to check it out.
3. Put Your Keyword in Your Description Tag. This is what a description tag looks like:
SEO recommends using one or two occurrences of the keyword in the meta description tag. This is something that my application does not currently do. My meta description tags are not dynamic.
4. Even Though Most Engines Don't Care, Place Your Keywords in a Keywords Tag.
Most major SEs don't look at the meta keyword tags, but it can't hurt to put them in.
5. Make Sure You Use Your Keyword in Your Heading Tags.
The search engine brain needs a way to distingush which words on the page are important. One of the things it uses is the heading tags so it is good pratice to have the story keywords in these tags.
6. Put Your Keywords in Bold Text in Several Places on the Page.
Similar to the previous point, bold lets the SE brain know that the keywords are important in your story.
7. Use Your Keyword in Text Early – and Often.
Some people go nuts trying to have the exact "keyword denisty". but a general guideline is to have the keyword in the first sentence and also have it sprinkled throughout the story, including near the end.
8. Use Your Keywords in Alt Tags.
The alt tag or link title tags are the text that comes up when you mouse-over an image or the screen is read by a screen reader.
9. Use Your Keywords in Your URLs.
Most content rich sites have the ability to turn on what are know as Search Engine Friendly URLs. On my site these are file name that are created from the story titles. I wrote more about using keywords in file and path names in a previous article.
That's my basic guide to what needs to be considered in writing keyword-targeted copy for the web. Watch for more in the web-writing series in the next few days.