How to Use Keywords for SEO the Right Way

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Assuming that you already have conducted keyword research, it’s all about optimizing your pages for their respective keywords.

But how do we do that, exactly?

In this post, you will learn the process of how to use keywords for SEO so you can rank your site higher on Google and generate greater organic traffic.

Let’s jump straight into the different ways you can do this.

The Three Kings of On-Page SEO

To begin, you need to know which elements on the page you must prioritize first concerning your keyword. After all, not all ranking factors hold the same weight.

By optimizing for these heavy-hitters, you can maximize your chances of ranking your site on Google for your search term.

In this case, there are what I consider the “3 Kings” of on-page search engine optimization.

If you want to get the best results from optimizing for your keywords, you need to mention them on the placeholders below:

URL

Short for “uniform resource location,” the page’s URL is what users type on the browser bar to visit a specific web page.

URL

You must include the page’s keyword here.

If you’re using WordPress, you can simply go to the page editor, click on the Edit button just below the Title bar, and type in the keyword for the page.

enter url on wordpress posts

Make sure to enter a dash in between words.

SEO Title Tag

The title tag is what appears on search engine result pages (SERPs) when your pages start ranking on search engines.

seo title tag - 3 kings of on-page seo

The SEO title tag is not the same as the page title (which we will also discuss later).

It’s possible to have a different SEO title tag and page title for the same page. But the point of having a unique SEO title tag is to compel users to click on your link upon seeing it on SERPs.

To edit your page’s SEO title on WordPress, you will need to use an SEO plugin that enables you to enter a title that will appear on search results.

Using Yoast SEO, scroll down the page until you see this section where you can replace the default page title with your desired SEO title tag.

seo title tag edit on yoast seo wordpress

Just make sure that your keyword is there and you’re good to go!

Page Title

As mentioned, the page title is the default title that will appear on SERPs unless you replace it with the SEO title tag.

The page title is wrapped in an H1 tag and is the first thing users see when they click on the page from Google.

title tag

From WordPress, you can enter the page title on the top of the text editor.

edit title tag on wordpress

Meta Description

While not part of the Three Kings, meta descriptions play a role in getting more people to click on your page from search results.

They are the text that appears below the URL for every search result.

meta description on google serps

To dedicate a meta description for a page on your site, go to the Yoast SEO section of the page and type it in there.

edit meta description using yoast seo on wordpress

Aside from mentioning your SEO keywords, use meta descriptions to encourage more clicks. For instance, instead of just describing what the post will be about, talk about the benefits that people will get from reading your page.

Now, even if you enter a meta description on your page, Google may pull text from your site to show the page’s description on SERPs. The text Google will replace the description with depends on the keyword that users entered on the search bar.

Nonetheless, filling out the meta description on all your pages remains a best practice.

Image Alt Text

Since search spiders can’t read images, they rely on the image’s alt text to understand what the image is about.

And because search engines take images into account when analyzing a page, you can take this opportunity to use your SEO keywords in their respective alt texts.

alt text

This way, you help spiders better understand the target keywords of your pages which would then increase your search rankings.

Also, you can get your images to rank on organic search especially if they’re unique and valuable to users.

To do this on WordPress, click on the image to edit it and enter your keyword in the alt text bar.

edit alt text

When optimizing your images for SEO, you don’t want to just enter the keyword on all the images of your page. Instead, use the text to describe what the image is about.

If you can naturally place in your target keyword, the better. But if not, it’s okay – only include the keyword in the image text if necessary.

Content Body

Once you have entered your keyword on the Three Kings, it’s time to mention the keyword in the page’s content or blog post.

Ideally, you want to insert the keyword as naturally as possible. If it doesn’t fit the context of the sentence or paragraph, better to leave out the keyword until the opportunity arises.

Back then, it was common practice to spam the keyword in the content. Google’s algorithm wasn’t as sophisticated back then compared to now, so it ranks pages depending on the number of times it was mentioned on the page.

Thankfully, that doesn’t work nowadays because that practice paved the way for thin and over-optimized content to rank on Google. The focus now is to create content that’s valuable to users based on the topic.

However, it’s best to know where and how to use the SEO keywords in your content. Before are ways that you can do so.

Keyword in the introduction

To help readers know that the page they visited from Google is related to their search query, it’s best to mention the keyword at least within the content’s first paragraph.

Using Yoast SEO, you will see whether you satisfied this rule by going to the Yoast SEO section of the text editor and checking its SEO analysis.

keyphrase in introduction warning on yoast seo

Keyword density

We already discussed that keyword stuffing is no longer a legitimate practice for ranking a site on Google. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mention the keyword in your content multiple times.

The keyword density percentage varies depending on who you ask. Searchmetrics says 3%, i.e. for every 100 words, the keyword should be mentioned three times on the page. Alexa says 1-2%.

You can also see how many keywords you should enter in the content using Yoast SEO.

keyphrase density on yoast seo

You don’t have to follow keyword density if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the page. It’s better to focus on the content’s quality and not to please the search engines.

Also, the number of keywords on the page is just one of the many factors you need to consider when optimizing your site pages. So, if you don’t meet the required number of keywords, optimize for the other factors instead.

Anchor Text

Anchor texts refer to the words and phrases used to link from one page to another. Whether it’s an internal or outbound link, its anchor text should be descriptive of what the linked page is about.

Once you’ve written your content, use the keyword phrase as the anchor text when linking to that page from your site or others.

By using keywords here, you help search spiders make the connection between the anchor text and your page. This is especially important in link building because of how relevant a ranking factor it is. Having links with your keyword as anchor texts would greatly help in your search engine optimization campaign.

However, and as mentioned above, you don’t want to use the same keyword of your piece of content for all your anchor texts. You also want to diversify the words and phrases you’ll be using here, as well as optimizing for the factors above.

Below are two ways that you can use your SEO keywords to expand your list of keywords to use for each of your pages.

Find and Use Long Tail Keywords

Concerning keyword density, you can enter long-tail keywords instead.

When writing content, you may find yourself writing a variation of your target keyword because it fits perfectly with what you’re trying to say. In this case, you may be using long-tail keywords without knowing it.

These are search terms with more than five words. And due to their length, they have a clearer search intent which is

You can view examples of long-tail keywords in Google Autosuggest. Type in the keyword on Google’s search bar and see it try to predict what you’re trying to search for.

google autosuggest

There are lots of free tools that can help you identify long-tail keywords you can use in your content.

For instance, Google Keyword Planner provides you with suggestions and ideas based on your head terms or seed keywords. From here, you may find long-tail keywords if you dig deep enough.

google keyword planner

Find and Use LSI Keywords

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords are words within the content that help search engines further understand the content with its target keyword.

Similar to long-tail keywords, LSI keywords allow you to build a bigger picture of your content’s topic. Instead of repeating the keyword on your blog post ad nauseam, you can use LSI keywords to fill in the gaps and make your content more topically relevant to the benefit of readers.

To find these keywords, use a tool like LSIGraph where it will find LSI keywords from the seed keyword you entered.

lsi graph

From here, take the most relevant keywords and mention them in your content.

The great thing about LSI keywords is they also help you come up with topics to discuss in your content that you haven’t covered yet.

In doing so, you strengthen its topical relevance to your target keyword, thus potentially increase its search engine rankings in the long run.

SEO is More than Just Keywords!

At this point, we’ve covered everything you need to know about using keywords to bolster your search engine optimization efforts. By following the ways above, you can maximize the results of your SEO campaign, rank your site higher on Google, and increase traffic to your site.

However, keep in mind that keyword optimization is just one of the many things you need to consider in your strategy. There’s a lot more you need to do if you truly want to rank on top of organic search.

Lucky for you, I covered the other factors in my free e-book, “SEO For Beginners – Learn How To Get Onto The First Page Of Google.” Here, you will learn additional SEO tips outside of adding keywords to improve your site’s on-page SEO.

Below are other things you will learn if you get a copy of my free e-book:

  • Technical SEO – Ensure that all your important pages are crawled and indexed by Google
  • Content creation – What it takes to create great content and how to brainstorm for blog post ideas
  • Link building – Simple yet effective link building strategies to get you started
  • And more!

To download your copy of this free e-book, click here.

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ClickSlice was founded by Joshua George in 2013. Joshua noticed a growing trend of companies who were frustrated with so called “SEO agencies” who kept underdelivering the simplest of marketing campaigns. The KPIs were wrong, the reporting was all…

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