Are You Targeting the Right Keywords in Your On-Page SEO?

When was the last time you updated or reviewed your on-page search engine optimization efforts? Reviewing your on-page SEO on a regular basis is imperative to staying current with search habits and nomenclature of prospective customers. If you’re targeting the wrong keywords, this can generate unqualified audiences to your site resulting in high traffic and low conversions.

Taking the time to target the right keywords in your on-page SEO not only will help bring targeted audiences to your front-door but will also help with achieving search engine visibility and rankings. It may also contribute to earning traffic from social networks and building trust among visitors.

Selecting Primary Keywords

When determining which keywords to choose for your site, take it page by page. Make sure that each page targets a single searcher intent and use an associated keyword phrase to go alone with it.

Additionally, think about how each page of your site ties into your purchase cycle. For example, if someone is on your case studies page, they are evaluating whether you are the right firm to hire. This would fall into your consideration phase of purchase, so you would want to choose your keywords accordingly. Mapping user intent in this way will help you maximize leads.

Next, it’s important to look at the search volume data for each keyword. Picking long-tail keywords with lower search volume can help you target a very specific audience that is interested in your products and services. Alternatively, picking keywords with ridiculously large search volume and competitive data is going to make it very difficult for your site to rank for that term (unless you have your site has a lot of authority).

In general, it’s best to pick one main keyword per page to optimize around, and then choose a handful of related keywords to support your top pick. Since Google doesn’t really use the meta keyword tag anymore, but as a best practice we recommend including it. Your primary keywords should be placed in the following areas of each page on your site:

  • First word of the title element
  • Meta description
  • Appears in the page URL
  • Headline
  • Content
  • Phrases should be highlighted in bold/italicized/sized as appropriate
  • Image alt attributes
  • Anchor text in links pointing to the page

Including Secondary Keywords

Also, your secondary keywords can be used throughout the page as appropriate in headlines and body copy. As always, you want to make your copy well-written so that it sounds good to a human first, and a search engine second. If your keywords are making your page sound awkward you need to rework it and try again until it’s worthy to be read by a human.

Finally, just remember that on-page SEO is about balancing competing priorities. There really is no such thing as a perfectly optimized website. However, if you focus on creating pages that are uniquely valuable to your audience, targeting the appropriate keywords, and providing a good user experience, you will see an increase in traffic, leads and sales.

We will also note that keywords and keyword placement is just one component of your on-page optimization. There are many other factors at play, such as:

  • Domain http response time
  • Social metrics
  • PageRank
  • Content quantity and relevance
  • Brand mentions in news and media outlets

It’s not just about getting the keyword choices and placement down, but this is a good place to start. Then, focus on the other relevant SEO components and you’ll be positioning yourself as best you can for online success and visibility.

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