Lesson 4: Keywords in your copy & Headings
Google is an intent-based medium, meaning nobody searches for something unless they are looking for an answer. When someone does a search they are using words that will help Google provide them with those answers, and those words, are essentially keywords.
Keywords can help to make your website easier to find, and ensure you show up in Google search results when someone is searching for something you offer. They’re a vital part of your SEO plan, and adding them into your copy will help to boost your SEO and help your business grow!
Step 1: Researching your keywords
You’ll need to choose keywords for each of the main pages of your website. This might include any of the following typical pages:
Keywords typically relate to your business, as well as the content on your page. For instance, for us as graphic designers we use keywords that describe the work we do. ‘Brand Design’, Web Design, and Graphic Design are common things people are searching for in our industry, as well as our location.
There are a few ways to research what keywords are best for you and they are (mostly) all free. Start with the Google Keyword Planner and test out some of the keywords that most relate to the services or products you have on offer.
If you don’t want to use a tool, start by thinking about what someone would Google to find a website like yours, or what words you want to show up in the results of, and use that as a starting point for your keywords. Most likely your keywords will very literally be your services or products, but start making a list and then we’ll choose the keywords you’re going to use.
Step 2: Choosing keywords
Now that you’ve done a bit of research and thinking on the keywords that might be best for your business, make a list of 1 keyword for each page on your website. You don’t need to do this for every blog post right now, but make sure the core pages (listed above in Step 1) have at least one option for you to use.
If in doubt, focus on what the purpose of each page is. If it’s a contact page, most likely the words ‘contact’, ‘email’, ‘call’, or similar will be involved. If you sell tea, then that’ll probably be part of your keyword selection at some point!
Make a list of the keyword you’ve chosen for each page and then read on to see how to use them on your website.
Step 3: Best Practices for Keywords
There are a few ways and places you’ll want to use your keywords:
Your URL is likely automatically generated through your template but you can change it in the setting of each page. Why is this important? Search engines will first look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, as it is one of the first places that they crawl. You want to ensure the following:
• Your keyword is in the URL
• That it is four or five words long
• You have divided up those words with a dash
• Not to include filler words like “and”, “the”, or “a”.
For example, in a blog post titled “5 mistakes newbies make on Google AdWords” the URL would be “common-mistakes-Google-AdWords”.
BLOG POST TITLES
Most people don’t realize that the title of their blog post plays a dual role. It is the title, yes, but it also serves as the title in the Google search results. A good title needs to be:
• 55-60 characters long (so it doesn’t get broken up in results pages)
• Includes your target keyword
• Accurately describes your post
• Interesting enough to click on.
HEADINGS & CONTENT
A well optimized page will have only one H1 tag on the page. A H1 is typically the largest heading size on a website, and in Squarespace it’s ‘Heading One’ of your font styles.
The text that you set to be in the style of ‘Heading One’ should include your target keywords. Mention your keyword at a normal pace throughout your content, and let the goal of your post and your natural writing style inform where you put your keywords throughout the content. When you create content, your primary focus should be on what is going to engage your audience, and not where you can fit all your SEO keywords.
At the most your keyword should probably be used only 3-4 times on a page, so let it flow naturally and don’t cram your content full of keywords! One per page, 3-4 times, is the best rule to follow.
Once you’ve added page descriptions to all the core pages of your website, you’re ready for the next lesson!