Where you place your keywords on specific web pages affects how easily your target market finds you. In today’s blog, I want to share with you the top 5 page level keyword usages. I will give a brief explanation of why it is important to use keywords in this context and how it affects your rankings. Use it as your guide when deciding where and how to place the keywords when you are optimizing a site.
Keyword is First Word of Page Title
Although the latest Google algorithmic updates are becoming smarter at detecting your content, making your target keyword the first word of your page title is still effective at giving you higher rankings. Placing your keyword at the beginning of your title helps visitors and crawlers alike know what your page is about even before going through the rest of the text. In SEOMoz’s most recent Search Engine Ranking Factors findings, this rates a 0.9 from a scale of 0 to 1 on how this feature relates to higher rankings.
Keyword Repetitions on the Page
Your keyword will appear several times in your text when using it as your topic. Repeated enough times, keyword repetitions actually help rank you higher on the SERPs. Be careful with this feature, though, as it is easily spammable. Keep your keyword density under 3% – that is, for every 100 words you write, make sure you only mention the keywords throughout the page thrice. This is tied with the previous item, receiving a rating of 0.9.
Stemmed Keyword as First Word of Title
Using stemmed keywords – keyword variations that use the root word of your chosen term – is almost as effective as using the exact keyword as the first word of your page title. Stemmed keywords are specifically useful at making your title sound as natural as possible. Google gives more credit to natural-sounding content. SEOMoz’s chart gives this a rating of 0.8 out of 1.
Image Alt Attribute
Now that there’s a way for crawlers to read images, why not use it? Google is giving more credit to multimedia usage in websites. It will be easier for them to categorize your images with an alt attribute. In turn, users will have an easier time finding images that will illustrate the idea they seek online. Using an image alt attribute helps your image rank on the SERPs while boosting the site’s rankings. This also received a rating of 0.08 out of 1.
Keyword is First Word of H1
Your H1 gives you freedom to get creative on your title page while still giving the information your visitors need, whether we’re talking about your actual market or search engine bots. Using the keyword as the first word of your H1 remains to be a very effective ranking factor, receiving a rating of 0.7 out of 1 based on SEOMoz’s correlated data.
As a final note, remember that as search engines become smarter at detecting content, your keyword positioning won’t be as important as the context in which you mention it. Make sure to produce quality content even as you optimize.
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