Every website owner’s goal is to get ranked at the top or as high as possible in search results and boost their site’s visibility to their target audience.
Every search engine aims to make sure that the most important and relevant websites are ranked high. But how is that relevancy interpreted? Does it have anything to do with the content on the website? Does it have anything to do with the words used on the website name?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords relate to the phrases and words that searchers enter into search queries. Including the right words in your website content makes it more likely your web will appear as high up as possible in the SERPs that are important to your business.
We offer some actionable tips on how you can achieve this.
Keyword usage was very different back in the early 2000s. The search algorithm formula made it possible to rank with a very high keyword density. Keywords back in the day might be all the website owners were after, but they knew that aiming for the right keywords set them up for success.
Conversely, in recent times, if you have no specific focus and try to appeal to anyone with no particular target audience using keywords, you will likely come out empty-handed.
A quick view into Google Search Console’s search query data shows that it’s never just about one keyword, but how clear and specific the terms are used in the content. Having a primary keyword target for each page gives you the direction and perspective to capture the right audience from related searches.
Keyword usage on the website name is one of the most popular SEO techniques, though not always the easiest to carry out — and does limit your offerings. Alternatively, there are other ways you can use your primary keywords — such as in meta descriptions, titles, and in the body of content. Although this is good SEO practice, it can be less influential than other factors — specifically factors such as backlinks (also known as inbound links), site visits, bounce rate, premium quality content, and time-on-site.
For web pages to rank at the top of SERPs using keywords, the keywords need to be used in the right way. According to Google, the goal should always be to create valuable content that uses the keywords correctly and in context.
Google is getting better at quickly understanding user intention and measuring content importance. This means that it can see beyond what a certain user types in a search box, to know what they are truly searching for, and to deliver the results that best fulfil that need.
This means your content should be written for the user’s benefit and not Google’s. Thus keywords need to be used constructively and naturally in your content, so the web pages add real value to the site users.
It is important to note that keywords in website names can help because they can act as the linchpin between the content and what people are searching for. The best way to dazzle Google is to impress its users. If the users perceive the website as credible by use of keywords, so will Google. A short and crisp web address provides information, credibility and relevance, and encourages people to click on it — the more the clicks, the higher the traffic, the better the ranking.
There are many debates on SEO and the value of using keywords in URLs.
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, confirmed that having keywords in the URL does help a little in the ranking, and that keywords are a minimal ranking factor from a clarified ranking standpoint. Mueller further stated that the small percentage can still make a significant difference in the grand scheme of things.
There is a link between websites that rank higher for a specific keyword and whether or not the keyword appears in the URL. However, this is unlikely to be the only factor determining whether or not a website ranks first. From a usability and readability perspective, having relevant and applicable keywords in the URL lets site visitors know exactly what they are getting from a web page.
Google’s SEO Starter Guide also states that if the URL covers appropriate words, it offers users and search engines more data about the page.
Exact match domains could also help in high ranking if used well. Exact match domains are typically seen as memorable by many users, which is excellent from a usability and readability standpoint. The use of an exact match domain is a good idea but you need to be careful not to create a spammy URL.
Therefore, including clear and direct relevant keywords in the URL is a practice that may help with ranking.
The bottom line is to consider user experience when using keywords in URLs and website titles.
A clear and crisp URL is the best way to ensure that website visitors know exactly what they are getting from the website without wasting too much of their time. Great content is also a key ranking factor.
It’s important to note that writing quality content is better than filling it with keywords and the same relates to generating quality website names.
Author bio: This article was written by Seattle web design agency, Visualwebz