The current SEO trends suggest that keywords, while still crucial for any website that wants to get more traffic from search engines, are giving way to more user-centric ranking factors. Still, there are a dozen or so SEO Google ranking factors related to keywords that you need to keep in mind when optimizing your website. Google frequently fine-tunes these factors and introduces new quality improvements.
Here’s a concise keyword checklist for when you tweak your website, sorted according to the importance Google gives each factor.
- Your main keyword is in the URL, preferably as the first word. If you can’t put it as the first word, put it as the second, or as the third, etc. What’s crucial is that it appears in the URL.
- The main keyword appears in the domain name. This is not always possible with key phrases. Even so, try to put in at least one of the keywords.
- The right keyword is in the title tag, near the beginning. You can use up to 60 characters for the title tag.
- Your keyword is in the description meta tag. While Google no longer gives much weight to this tag, there are signs that it still uses it to determine the theme of the content.
- The appropriate keyword is in the keyword meta tag. Make sure each word appears at least once in the body text. SEO trends show that Google doesn’t give much weight to this tag these days, but other search engines still do.
- Your keyword density doesn’t exceed 3%. Many consider 3% to be the average, but 1% or 2% are often preferred. The rule is to use keywords naturally throughout the text body. SEO trends suggest that it’s better to have too few keywords rather than too many.
- Your keyword appears in some h1, h2, and h3 tags.
- Keyword matches the keyword order in the query.
- Appropriate keywords appear in alt text, describing the attached image.
- Your keyword appears from time to time as a link to other web pages. It’s uncertain whether Google places any weight on this.
What to Do
In the end, when using keywords to optimize your content for search engines, always keep an eye on the latest SEO trends. In this way, you’ll be among the first to know when old SEO practices become outdated. An established provider of expert SEO services can help you with this, too.