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Above is the list of words I typed into Google today (except for the last one, I’m not a 14-year-old girl). What did you search for through your search engine today? With content overload reaching its peak since the advent of the worldwide web, search engines play a crucial role in sifting through all the information to help users find what they need. On the other hand, being found plays an integral role for the owners of those websites; it can dictate the success of one’s business, personal blog or just about any type of website known to man. With this in mind, millions of websites have been investing in a little something called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). As a design company that specializes in SEO website design, we sometimes forget that not everyone is an expert on the topic. So, we’d love nothing more but to share our wealth of information with you!

There have been rumors that Facebook’s new “Like” button as a form of social links will replace Google as the head honcho of SEO rules. But until this rumor manifests into reality we’ll go ahead and share a useful checklists that can optimize your sites for Yahoo!, Google, Bing, Ask & MSN/Live. In this blog, we’ll go over various SEO strategies, starting with keywords.

Keywords

Adding relevant keywords to your web page can help increase traffic to your website- the optimal word being relevant. If you want people to find that you’re an Orange County Web Design firm, you wouldn’t use “Australia” or “cars” as your keywords. Search engines judge sites based on their credibility and relevance when determining their rankings. The list of words I typed into Google today are excellent examples of keywords that would be used for the respective sites. Now, let’s find out how to use keywords to optimize your page.

Keywords in the <title> tag

When you view any website, at the very top of your browser you will see the <title> tag. For example, if you’re reading this blog, the title tag should read: How to Master the Art of SEO: Vol. 1 Keywords | Urban Geko Blog. Having relevant keywords in your <title> tag is of the utmost importance because this is what is first displayed in its search results.

Keywords in the URL

This means having keywords in the actual domain name of the site or as part of the URL of interior pages. So if you were trying to promote your dental office through your website it would be beneficial if the URL had keywords that spell out the services people would be looking for. Check out these domain names that have the proper keywords highlighted in orange:

-www.dentistorangecounty.com
-www.happyteeth.com/orthodontists
-www.happyteeth.com/rootcanalsurgery

Now I know these are very unlikely domain names and it can be very difficult to incorporate keywords into your URL so my advice is: Don’t sweat it. Not having keywords in your domain name isn’t a deal breaker for your site, but it does add a few points to the relevancy of it.

Keywords in Headings

Putting keywords in between heading tags can add value to your site as well. <h1> ranks the highest, then <h2>, <h3>, <h4> etc. The heading above is in a <h6> tag!

Keywords in <alt> tags

When you place an image on your site, you’re given the option to type in an <alt> tag for its description. This is another excellent place for keywords.

Keywords in metatags

Google doesn’t count metatags as extremely important, but Yahoo! and Bing still do so it’d definitely be a good idea to include some keywords in there.

Keyword Density in Content

If you really want your site to be SEO friendly, it’s important that all of your content is written directly into the code as text. This means no images of text. The limited number of formatting options does put a bit of a strain on the creativity you can have with the design- but trust me, being able to control the keyword density ratio will do wonders for your site. Keyword density meaning that about 3-7% of our content should be made up of keywords. Try not to do more than 10%, search engines frown upon this because it can be seen as “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Proximity

Keywords, as you may already, know aren’t necessarily always just one word. They can sometimes be phrases such as “orange county dentists” in oppose to just “dentists.” Now besides making sure they appear at a certain density within your content, it’s also important that they are next to one another. Meaning, it wouldn’t be as advantageous if you were to have “orange county” in one paragraph and “dentists” in the next than if you were to have “orange county dentists” as one phrase in the same sentence.

Inserting keywords into your website is an excellent start towards creating an SEO friendly site. Keep a lookout for the coming volumes of How to Master the Art of SEO in this week’s Urban Geko blog! Our California website design firm will be bringing to you the following volumes: Vol. 2: Content, Vol. 3: Metatags, Vol. 4: Links & Vol. 5: Domains. Enjoy!

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