A keyword is a word or phrase that a person enters into a search engine, such as Google or Bing, just as shown in the picture below.
Although that’s important to know, and is the foundation to any keyword strategy, a keyword strategy has more components to it than the keywords themselves. Here are the components to a quality, effective, keyword strategy:
A Keyword List – A keyword strategy involves more than one keyword, so a keyword list is necessary when first putting together your strategy. The list can be started with some of the keywords you’re already optimizing and what you can think of off the top of your head. However, it should also include keywords your potential customers are using to find and to describe your product/service, keywords your competitors are using, and even keywords based geography. By the time your keyword strategy is ready to be executed, you should have over 200 keywords on your list.
Keyword-Focused Pages – Obviously these keywords are going to be optimized in your website, but which ones will be optimized where? You shouldn’t optimize them all on your home page, as it’s nearly impossible for your home page to rank on all of them, and that many keywords to one web page could alarm the Google police and have your site blacklisted (blacklisted is when your site is dropped lower in search engine results, or removed all together.) A vital component to a keyword strategy is figuring out which pages will optimize which keywords. Keep one keyword or phrase to one page. By trying to have one page rank for multiple keywords, you're only competiting against yourself. You probably already have enough people to compete against.
The Back End – This includes some of the behind-the-scenes of your web pages i.e. meta description, page title, image file name etc. A keyword strategy, and keyword-focused pages, must include more than the on-page content. The back end is equally critical to a keyword strategy and optimization, as search engines look at those parts of the web page when determining which pages are most relevant for that keyword. Make sure that each web page is optimized for one or two keywords, and optimize those keywords on all parts of the web page.
Internal Links – Internal links are links in your on-page content that lead to other pages on your website (a link to your contact page from your home page, for example). In order for internal links to work for you in your keyword strategy, the anchor text (the blue text you click) needs to be a keyword that you’re optimizing. Anchor text such as “click here” or “check this out,” is awful for your keyword strategy since hardly anyone searches for those terms. So, if your keyword is “content marketing strategy”, then that keyword ought to be a link to a blog post or a product page. Search engines like internal links, but don’t do it more than two or three times per page. By then, it becomes obvious to readers that the hyperlinking is for SEO, and it can be a turn off to web visitors.
The Goal – What is the goal of your keyword strategy and all this search engine optimization? Is it to increase brand awareness? Improve revenue? Rank on the first page of certain keywords? Without a goal, your keyword strategy would have no direction, making it difficult to determine if your keyword strategy is even working or is accomplishing what you want it to accomplish.
Want to learn more about putting together a keyword strategy, such as the types of keywords you ought to use and which techniques are consider kosher with the search engines? Then download our guide on how to build a keyword strategy! Click the button below to get started!