Previously, we discussed whether your web developer is your friend or foe and the importance of your SEO consultant working with your web developer to design an SEO-friendly website with a high Search Engine visibility. We’re going to follow up on that article today and discuss the four important steps to using keyword research to develop a solid information architecture that is friendly to both users and Search Engine spiders.
Step one: Finding the right keywords
Keyword research forms the basis of any website navigation and Search Engine Optimisation strategy. The right keywords can be identified through using keyword tools like Google Keyword Tool, market research and competitor analysis. When deciding on what specific Search Engine keywords to use, there are many different factors to consider which should be both unique and common to your business and industry. These factors include:
- the products and services you will offer – general, specialised or customised
- the location of your business – local, state based, national or global
- the hours of your business – standard business hours, 24 hours or an emergency service
- what keywords your competitors are using
To find out more about how to find the right keywords for your website, read our article on Search Engine keywords.
Step two: Developing the keyword navigation for each page
Finding the right keywords might be like searching for the Holy Grail but once the keywords are found, your quest is far from over. Keywords must be used strategically to boost your Search Engine rankings. Segmenting your keywords into broad and narrow keywords (‘money’ keywords that will result in sales conversions) will start to form the navigation structure for your website.
• Broad high-level groups of keywords form the top level categories on your website navigation. For example, an electrical goods retailer like Dick Smith has keyword groups like ‘Computers and office equipment’, ‘TV and video’, ‘MP3 & Audio’ and so on.
• Narrower subgroups of keywords allow your visitors to further drill down to find what they are exactly looking for. If you look at the Dick Smith website again, the first category ‘Computer and office equipment’ is broken down into narrower keywords like ‘Apple Computer & Accessories’, ‘Computer & office accessories’, ‘Computer memory’ and so forth.
Remember, Search Engines love pages with singular themes. Taking time to structure your website hierarchy by primary and secondary keywords will allow you to create focused, optimised pages to target a small group of related terms, rather than needing to craft a unique landing page for every single keyword.
Step three: Placing the terms in your keyword themes prominently throughout the page
Once you have decided on the keyword theme for your pages, you need to continue to use this theme in your on page elements. These include:
- Title tags: important keywords should be used towards the start of the title tag and word counts should be aimed at 70 characters.
- Meta description tags: this is what people see in web searches. Word counts should be aimed at 160 characters.
- H1 and H2 headings: make sure that your primary keyword or keyword phrase is included ideally at the start of the heading. Use one H1 heading per page to emphasise the most important keywords on that page to the search engines and use H2-H5 headings to optimise for secondary terms – make sure these are used as sub-headings.
Step four: Develop useful, content-rich pages
On each page, weave your keywords naturally and seamlessly into the copy. The real trick to using keywords in your copy is getting the balance right and that balance is the difference between appearing on the front page of Search Engine rankings and being ignored by Search Engines as a result of keywords stuffing.
Remember the keyword position and correct placement is far more important than keyword density and frequency. Search Engines prefer that keywords used must be consistent with all elements on the page so they better understand what the page is about and rank the page for that particular keyword or keyword phrase.
As you can see, keywords form the basis of well designed SEO web architecture. A web developer working conjointly with a SEO company can create a keyword rich website that not only looks appealing to customers but has a high Search Engine visibility for relevant keyword searches. Optimising your website after it has been designed may require a redesign which can be time-consuming and costly. Identifying the correct broad and narrow keywords at the start of your web design process can start boosting your Search Engine ranking and growing your online revenue in the first weeks after your website is launched.