» Keyword Best Practices for Your SEO Strategy

Google searchesWhen users find your website or blog via organic search, they’re typing in certain keywords or phrases that direct them to your website. Many of them may be general search terms, but some of them may be more specific search terms. With all the potential words a prospective client could type into their search bar, how do you know what keywords to target? And where did you put them all?

Below we’ve outlined some keyword best practices that will help your wedding business continuously optimize your website and blog as part of your SEO strategy!

Conduct keyword research

What phrases would you use to describe your business? What phrases would your customers use to describe your business? This will help guide you to understanding how you’d like potential clients to search for your business and find it. Use keyword research tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to shed some light on the popularity of the keywords you’re looking to use and how many times they’re searched monthly. You can also go through your biggest known competitors’ websites to see the content and keywords they’re using, or check out the websites of the first five search results on your target keywords or phrases to see how they incorporate these keywords.

In addition to those keywords you come up with in your research, think about longer phrases and sentences a prospective client might search. It’s becoming increasingly rare for a single keyword or short keyword phrase to drive the majority of your website traffic because those using Google on mobile devices or tablets are often searching complex, long-tail search queries using natural-language rather than keyword strings. While it’s still important that your business identifies those keywords and short keyword phrases, it’s also just as important to start targeting some longer, natural-language phrases.

Write your content carefully

Incorporate keywords naturally in your website content and blog posts. If necessary, re-write your website so that it uses keywords strategically throughout (both short phrases and natural-language phrases). Don’t keyword-stuff your pages or list keywords in an unnatural way, as that could make your website less user-friendly and nonsensical. Keyword stuffing can also result in a penalty from Google, so keep the percentage of keywords to non-keywords on your page between 1-4%.

When grouping your keywords for use on a landing page or in a blog post, try to focus on similar or synonymous keywords (“philadelphia wedding dj” and “philadelphia dj”) rather than attempting to add all your keywords to every page or post. You could end up cannibalizing your own traffic if all your pages rank on the same keywords – they’ll try to outrank each other instead of outranking other websites! Try to line up the keywords you use with the content of the page for the best results.

Address all areas of the page

While incorporating keywords into your page or post content is mandatory, there are other places on the page you should address! Here’s a quick breakdown of each place search engines will crawl when learning more about your page:

  1. URL structure: For all the sub pages of your website (meaning not the home page), use keywords in your URLs as well as on the page. Make them descriptive but keep them short so that the user won’t even notice your clever naming conventions.
  2. Title tag: The title of your page or post is what shows up in Google search results, so it’s important to incorporate your keyword or phrase here as well. Some content management platforms have separate fields for the title that displays on the page and the title that search engines will read, so ensure you address both if that’s the way your website is configured.
  3. Headers: Most content management platforms give you options for headline tags in the page’s visual editor – these may appear to be mere styling options, but they go deeper than that. The <h1> tag and subsequent <h2>, <h3>, and <h4> tags indicate to search engines what the body of the page is about. If you plan to use multiple synonymous keywords in the body of your content, making them headers will help show Google what you want people to find.
  4. Alt text: Whenever you add images to your pages or posts, you would naturally choose images that are relevant to the content of the page. The alt text or “alternative” text of an image optimizes the image itself and the page it’s on to show up on Google Images for those keywords, and if for some reason the image doesn’t load, your readers will still get the context.
  5. Meta description: In search engine results, the meta description is the short description (156 characters) that shows up beneath the page title. If you don’t write this description yourself, Google will pull in the first few lines of text on the page or post – which may or may not include the target keywords or phrases you’ve been using. The meta description needs to convince searchers that your website has the information they’re looking for, so make it explanatory and to the point!

Just remember: search engine optimization takes patience. You won’t see results overnight, but consistent efforts will help your website rank better over time.

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