You use keywords effectively by sprinkling them throughout your content in a way that feels natural, not forced.
The best use of keywords is to place them in your titles, headings, URL, and text body.
Where to use keywords for the best results
It’s a must that you add your keyword in specific places within your content to let both Google and your readers know what your post is discussing.
Your title is an essential element on your page because it’s what appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, make sure to include your target keyword right from the beginning.
The next place to add your keyword is in the URL of your post.
Your readers will see this too, and you want them to know they are in the right place.
Having your readers click on a link, only to be taken to a page that has nothing to do with what they were looking for, is a sure way to get them to leave your site and never come back.
So, make sure it’s related, readable, and as short as possible.
And, it’s good for SEO because it helps Google understand your page.
After your title, your headings are the most important places to include your keywords.
Your headings help Google understand your post’s structure, giving your readers an idea of what to expect.
Make sure to include your keyword in your H1 heading and, if possible, in your H2 and H3 headings.
All these are signals to Google that your entire article is relevant to that keyword.
Your meta description
Your meta description is the short description that shows under your title in the SERPs.
It’s not a ranking factor, but it’s important because it determines whether or not someone will click on your result.
Make sure to include your keyword in your meta description early on so Google and your readers know what your page is about.
Even if Google changes it like they often do, it’s still better to have it in there just in case they decide to use your original description.
In your body text
You also want to include your target keyword in the body of your text.
Only use them naturally throughout your content while also using variations of your keyword.
This will help you avoid keyword stuffing when you stuff too many keywords into your content in a way that makes it sound unnatural.
Your alt text
Your alt text is the text that appears when an image can’t be displayed.
It’s essential for SEO because it allows Google to index your images, which can help you rank in image searches.
It’s also important for accessibility because it helps people who can’t see pictures understand what they are.
Although Google is getting better at actually recognizing what an image is, your alt text helps clear up any confusion.
Keep your keywords short, relevant, and descriptive when adding keywords to your alt text.
What are the wrong ways to use keywords?
Keywords can drive traffic to your site or repel it. It all depends on how you use them.
Don’t keyword stuff
Keyword stuffing is filling your content with so many keywords that it sounds unnatural and forced.
This not only turns off your readers but Google as well. Keyword stuffing can actually result in a penalty from Google.
Google is good at understanding the context of what you’re saying, and they can tell when you’re just trying to stuff in keywords for the sake of it.
So, instead of stuffing, use your keywords naturally throughout your content and focus on providing value to your readers.
Don’t use too many variations
It’s also essential that you don’t use too many variations of your keyword.
If you do, it can sound like you’re trying to game the system, and that’s something Google doesn’t like.
Plus, it can result in lower rankings because Google may view it as keyword stuffing or see your content as low quality.
So, use your keywords and variations sparingly and focus on making your content the best it can be.
Don’t forget about the user experience
It’s also important to remember that your goal is to provide a good user experience at the end of the day.
That means you should never sacrifice quality or the user experience for the sake of keywords.
If you do, it will only hurt you in the long run because Google will eventually catch on, and your readers will get turned off.
It is part of the reason Google now has the ‘Helpful Content Update’ where they are now ranking sites based on the quality of their content instead of just looking at keywords.
So, ensure you’re always putting your users first, and you’ll be in good shape.
Keywords are an essential part of SEO, but they’re not the only thing that matters.
Additional articles on this topic
What Are Primary and Secondary Keywords in SEO
What are the 3 types of keywords?