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Using the right keywords in the right places

Where keywords are placed and what they look like are also important. Search engines use position and format as clues to importance. Here are a few simple techniques you can use — but don’t overdo it!

  • Use particularly important keywords — those that people are using to search for your products and services — near the top of the page.
  • Place keywords into <H> (heading) tags.
  • Use bold and italic keywords; search engines take note of this.
  • Put keywords into bulleted lists; search engines also take note of this.
  • Use keywords multiple times on a page, but don’t use a keyword or keyword phrase too often. If a word makes up more than, say, 8 to 10 percent of all the words on the page, it may be too much.

Make sure that the links between pages within your site contain keywords. Think about all the sites you’ve visited recently. How many use links with no keywords in them? They use buttons, graphic navigation bars, short little links that you have to guess at, click here links, and so on. Big mistakes.

I don’t object to using the words click here in links. Some writers have suggested that you should never use click here because it sounds silly and because people know they’re supposed to click. I disagree, and research shows that using the words can sometimes increase the number of clicks on a link. The bottom line is that you should rarely, if ever, use a link with only the words click here in the link text; you should include keywords in the link.

When you create links, include keywords in the links wherever possible. If on your rodent-racing site you’re pointing to the scores page, don’t create a link that says To find the most recent rodent racing scores, click here or, perhaps, To find the most recent racing scores, go to the scores page. Instead, get a few more keywords into the links, like this: To find the most recent racing scores, go to the rodent racing scores page.

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