Now that you have an idea of why keywords are important, the next thing is learning how to use them, In Part One we discussed how to find the keywords related to your topic that people are using to search. We discussed how to use them in your site URL, site title, and tag line, right on down to the paragraph headers.
Now the question is how many times do you have to use them in your posts or pages. The reason that makes a difference also relates to relevance. Using too few keywords will result in the search engines thinking that the words only showed up as a fluke, and don’t really mean much to the rest of the article. Using too many of them, and it will think you are “keyword spamming” the article just to get your site recognized by the search engines… and any experienced marketer knows that doesn’t work anymore and will actually reduce the ranking of your site. Maybe at one time in years past it did work, but the software engineers who program the search engines have gotten smarter of the years, and stopped allowing that a long time ago!
How many times you should use your keywords in the article really depends on how long the article is, but generally, if you use them about three to five times in the article, that will be a good balance. You want the article to read “naturally” as though a human wrote it. If you use too many keywords too often, it comes across as though a robot wrote it that was only looking for high density. The search engines are smart enough to know the difference these days, and they are getting smarter every day.
In the "old days", there was a thing called “meta-tags”… hidden html language that couldn’t be seen on the page, but instructed the search engines as to what the site was about and how it should run. The problem was that marketers would abuse the meta-tags, and load the keywords meta-tag with anything and everything that they thought would get them traffic, even if it had nothing to do with the page it was on!
Eventually, the search engine programmers got smart and decided not to play those games, as it made for unfair competition in the search results. Today, most meta-tags are ignored, except for the description. Although they have tried to improve the situation by adding a snippet of text from the page, rather than leave the search listing blank, it still can't replace the manual act of adding your own "best first impression" and/or "most compelling sales message" in the description form on your site. We'll discuss that more later. How much importance is placed on a site is much more dependent upon “real world” relevance, in such areas as
How the site ranks in importance to the rest of the internet. This is decided by many things, but included is the amount of traffic the site gets, how many other sites are “talking” about it (having the URL linked within their pages) and also how often it gets fresh content.
Having fresh content is extremely important because a static site that is simply put “out there” and then ignored by its owner will soon go down in importance because it is getting stagnant, and no one is using it. It becomes “irrelevant” to the world. This is why blogs have become so popular. Having new posts written is great, but also, every comment that is made on a post creates fresh new content, a sign to the search engine that this site is being used and is still relevant to the rest of the world. And the best part is, the owner of the site doesn’t have to do it, so it lessens his workload! His readers do it for him!
The site has to be relevant within itself, also, to gain the respect of the search engines. Having just the right amount of actual search terms (keywords) within all parts of the site, tells the search engines that it really is about what the public is searching for and they will bring it up higher in the search results.
Part of being relevant is also in how the description is written. The search engines are now programmed so that the description contains an excerpt of some relevant text within the article. That helps the search engines to know that the article is important, plus, that description shows up below the search listing on the web, to tell the reader what the site is about. Because many people today think that “all” the meta-tags are ignored, they wrongfully assume that the description meta-tag is also ignored. As a result they allow the search engines to randomly pull a part of the text from the site which may or may nor mean anything to the reader.
We’ve all seen search result listings that show nothing but a bunch of gibberish under the URL line. Sometimes it is so bad that it actually drives the potential visitor away rather than attract them! The webmaster is missing two of the most crucial aspects of any selling… the first impression and the sales pitch!
A description on the search listings is the very first thing a potential visitor is going to see when he searches for what he wants. Leaving that most important “first contact” to chance is a mistake that I see WAY too often! If you don’t say something in that first introduction to grab the reader’s attention, he won’t click on that listing and you may have lost him forever! That's WAY too important to leave to chance!
Those who know how to use html and have access to the code of their site can easily insert a description meta-tag in their header. But most of the free “public” sites and blogs won’t allow access to their proprietary code. So they normally will have a form box somewhere in their settings to insert a description line that will show up on the search results on any search engine.
It is the site owner’s responsibility to make sure that the description line is the most important first impression and sales pitch (rolled into one) that they can make it. If it doesn’t entice the reader to click on that listing to find out more… then that potential visitor may be gone forever! Whether you are looking to build your readership or are actually selling a product… the technique is the same!
If you have any questions on this, please...let me know in the comments, and I will answer ASAP.