Keyword Placement: Where Should You Put Keywords?
Does keyword placement matter?
Keywords should be strategically placed throughout content to make it clear both to the search engines and the users what topics the content will cover. This means that keywords should be used naturally throughout the content, but they should also be included in the headings and tags, including the H1 and H2 tags, the title, the meta tags, and the meta description.
Note that some of the features, such as meta description, are not directly used by Google in determining the relevance and value of a site, but they are displayed to users on the SERP. When people scan their search results for the website that is most likely to answer their question, they look at the title, URL, and meta description to see if the site will be helpful. Including the keywords in these important areas will help to increase your click-through rate from the SERP.
Do keywords still matter for SEO?
Keywords matter because they tell Google, and other search engines, the topics that your content covers. The search engine spiders crawl your content to find particular terms that articulate the ideas that your content covers so that it can better match users with the right websites.
It is important to note that although the search engines do look at keywords as a means of determining topics and relevance, keyword stuffing will hurt your rankings. Overusing them such that they end up sounding unnatural will turn off both readers and search engines.
Instead, brands should focus on developing natural-sounding content that employs the keyword where needed, but also makes use of related terms. This is called semantic search: Google’s efforts to better understand content by not only looking at the main keywords, but also the related terms used to better understand content relevance.
Without keywords, you could struggle considerably to align your content with user preferences. Keywords tell you what your prospects want to learn about and then they tell Google the focus of your content.
How do you choose keywords?
Uncovering the right keywords for your content is called keyword research. You perform keyword research by looking at the search trends for different words, allowing you to understand which terms and ideas have been drawing a high number of searches and which haven't. This will tell you where consumer focus lies so that you can create the content to address their needs.
Keyword research will also tell you about your competition. Certain keywords will have impacted SERPs, populated with many highly authoritative sites with relevant content, making it very difficult for new sites to create high-ranking content. On the other hand, keywords that do not have such a highly competitive first page will be much easier for brands to break into.
Brands should focus most of their priorities on creating content for keywords that are highly relevant to their industry and customer funnel while also having strong search rates and low-to-medium competition. This will help them grow their rankings and maximize the number of pages they have on the first page.
Smart keyword usage is an essential part of a successful SEO strategy. Understanding the role of these terms in the modern optimization strategy will help brands create content that ranks well and guides high-intent traffic to the site.