Best Practices for Using Keywords in Your Content

The search engines use keywords to understand content and filter results, which is why it’s important to use these words and phrases in your content. However, there are certain practices you’ll want to follow, as dumping keywords into your content isn’t a strategy you can rely on. 

While there are many different opinions on how keywords should be used, there are some best practices that everyone agrees on. Below you’ll find some helpful information on how to use keywords in your content. 

Use Different Keywords 

There are three main types of keywords:

  • Primary keywords focus on the entire article.  
  • Secondary keywords complement the primary keyword. They have slight variations from the primary keyword. 
  • Additional keywords are related keywords that are spelled or phrased differently. 

On average, you can expect to have 3-8 different keywords for your content – 1 primary keyword, 1-3 secondary keywords and 1-4 additional keywords. 

Place Keywords Strategically 

Your keywords will perform best if you put them in the right places. Here are the areas to focus on: 

  • Meta description. This short summary tells people what your content is about. Place your primary keyword in this description. 
  • SEO title tag. Limit your title tag to your primary keyword and company name, as users will see this on the search results when they search the keyword phrase.
  • Article title. Also include a keyword in the title of your article. If you can’t use it naturally, try a different variation of it. 
  • Image alt tag. If you have images in your content, use keywords in the alt text to provide a visual cue. 
  • Headers and headings. Insert keywords in H1s, H2s, H3s, etc. This breaks up your content and tells Google what’s most important. 
  • URL. Try and put your primary keyword in the main URL of your article. 

Add the Right Number of Keywords 

As a general rule, you should use your primary keyword once every 100-150 words, and be sure to distribute them evenly – no keyword stuffing! Secondary and additional keywords support your content but should not be used more than the primary keyword. 

Insert Keywords in the First and Last Paragraphs 

The first paragraph is where you set the tone for your content, so be sure to add keywords within the first 100-200 words. Ideally, your primary keyword should go in the first sentence or paragraph. Likewise in the last paragraph – wrap things up with a primary keyword. 

Use Keywords Naturally 

Keywords should always sound natural in your writing. The reader still comes first, so you should never sacrifice their ability to be engaged or informed. One tactic is to use “stop words” to help your keywords sound more natural. For example, instead of using “pizza place Waco TX,” you could use “pizza place in Waco TX.” 

Keywords remain an important tool in helping your content get found by the right people. To learn more about how to amplify your SEO efforts, contact WSI Internet Partners today. 

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