Content optimization is more than using some top keywords in each page. Effective content optimization focuses on using very specific keywords in very specific places to send the strongest possible relevance signals for that keyword target.
Keyword prominence, the importance of placing keywords in the most prominent places, is the most important aspect of content optimization. Use the exact keyword assigned to a page in the places to which search engines assign the most prominence to encourage stronger rankings.
Page name. The page name in the content management system influences some very valuable SEO elements like the default title tags for the site, the headline, and the navigational text. If youâ€™re able to able to specify the page name, and if it makes sense for user experience and branding for each individual page, use the exact keyword in the page name.
Title tag. The title tag is the single most important content element on a page for SEO. Title tags are not displayed on the page itself, but are included in the head of the HTML code for a page. Title tags are displayed by browsers in the page tabs at the top of the screen, and can be used as in search results pages as the blue underlined link customers click on to get to your site. Because customers donâ€™t see them as directly, many e-commerce sites feel comfortable using keywords in title tags that they wouldnâ€™t use as strongly in more visible content areas. Limit title tags to around 65 characters, including spaces, because thatâ€™s all the search engines will display in search results. Since characters after that limit are not visible to searchers, it is thought that their value is less than the first 65 characters. In addition, the very beginning of the title tag is more prominent than the end, so place the exact keyword youâ€™re targeting at the beginning of the title tag and end with your brand.
Meta description. Similar to title tags, meta descriptions can be found in the head of the HTML for each page and do not display as regular content on the page. Unlike title tags, meta descriptions do not influence rankings for organic search. They can be shown in the search result page as the descriptive text for your search result listing. As a result, using the exact keyword in the meta description along with an engaging call to action can increase clicks from the search results page to your site. Limit meta descriptions to 150 characters, including spaces.
Meta keywords. Leave them blank. Meta keywords havenâ€™t been used as search signals since 2009, except as negative algorithmic signals when overstuffed. They clue your competition in to the keywords youâ€™re targeting, and add no SEO value. Use them only if your internal site search requires them, and then as sparingly as possible.
Headline. The headline should also be the H1 heading for the page if the templates are optimized for SEO. Even if theyâ€™re not, the headline is at least bolded and at the top of the page, which gives the headline more prominence than common body copy. Use the exact keyword in the headline, as close to the beginning as possible while still preserving its readability.
Body copy. Use natural language to incorporate the exact keyword into body copy at least once, as close to the beginning as possible. If you can work it in to a subheading as well, that will also help. Depending on the length of the copy, repeat the exact keyword.
Which brings me to keyword density, the idea that a certain percentage of the copy should be devoted to keywords. Keyword density is an outdated concept. There is no exact formula for the number of times to use a keyword. Keyword prominence is the focus for modern content optimization.
When trying to determine if the keyword has been used optimally in the body copy, follow these three priorities:
The first SEO priority using the exact keyword once in the body copy.
The second SEO priority is natural readability.
And the third SEO priority is repeating the exact keyword again additional times while preserving readability.
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