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Guide: Keyword optimization that drives traffic

The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which includes several different branches of optimizing your website. To begin with, there is both on-site and off-site optimization, where on-site stands for everything that happens directly on the website, while off-site includes the external signals outside the website that affect your visibility on search engines (for example, others linking to your page).

On-site optimization means optimizing the content itself, but also making sure that the website is technically built according to the current SEO standards to make it easier for Google’s algorithms to find and understand the content.

It is in the optimization of the content that the keywords come into play, the so-called keyword optimization, and this is what this article will be about. You will understand how a keyword strategy can increase the organic reach of your website.

Search engine optimization is a broad term that refers to all the work that’s done, both on-site and off-site, to influence your visibility on search engines.

How to create good SEO-copy

When you’re browsing through a website or just generally spend time on the internet, you are eager to, quick and easy, find what you’re looking for. Preferably summarized in a short and neat way. Usually, long pieces of text are considered too heavy and difficult to read.

The difference when you write a search engine friendly text is that you are no longer just targeting an audience of “ordinary people”, you are also writing to attract Google’s algorithms, which in turn requires a lot of text.

Google is really nothing more than a very smart computer, called a crawler, which crawls the whole web for the right material to present when someone searches for it. Whenever the crawler finds some content, it’s being analyzed and sorted by Google’s algorithm. A good-looking, modern website consists mostly of images, videos or animations. However, for Google to be able to quickly crawl and understand the content of your website, the page must also contain text, a lot of text.

How much text is necessary?

It’s hard to give a precise measurement of how much text is required for Google to bite. One of the reasons for this is that the amount of text is only one of the factors. The quality of the text is at least as important, as well as whether the text focuses on one or two specific search terms.

Experience shows that articles with over 1000 words rank better than others. And as for a product page, for example, it needs to contain at least 300 words, and preferably more, to even have a chance of ranking. So to get a desired result, where the text leads to increased organic traffic, you need to work with keyword optimization.

Take some time to think about how you want to structure your content according to what you want to optimize your site for.

How does keyword optimization work?

For Google to find your page relevant and refer users to, it needs to have content that matches the user’s search. For example: Anna goes to Google and searches for “soft slippers”. If you offer soft slippers and have chosen this as one of your keywords on one of your pages, Google will choose to present your page as a search hit for Anna.

For this to happen, the word “soft slippers” must be repeated a number of times on your page, both in the page title (the part that appears in the browser tab), in main headings mainly, but also in subheadings and the paragraphs.

If Google finds that the word is repeated enough times on your page, the page is considered relevant to Anna’s search, which means that Google will show your page higher up in the hit list. Anna found what she was looking for, she feels satisfied and will return to Google the next time she searches for something else.

Can you trick Google by repeating a keyword many times?

Does this mean that I can repeat the word as many times as I can? Not really, no. If Google detects that the word is mentioned too much on the page in a context that is not relevant, Google will consider it as spam and choose to not prioritize your page. You then get the opposite effect. Therefore, it is important to be careful with how you write your texts and be careful to place your keywords in a way that’s natural.

This perspective is super important. You may be writing to please Google, but at the end of the day it’s ordinary people you’re writing to who will be the ones buying your products and services. If the keyword is repeated in an unnatural and awkward way, you lose not only Google but also the potential customer.

If you work with captions on your page, a good tip is to use these to get extra exposure for your keywords, for example “a golden retriever leans against a pair of soft slippers and gets scratched behind the ear” Notice the keywords “soft slippers” in that sentence.

How to integrate the keywords

In order to create good SEO copy, you first need to conduct keyword research to find out what potential customers and visitors are searching for. Once the keyword data has been collected, a few words are selected. It is best if you manage to focus the current page to only one keyword. If this is not possible, aim for a maximum of 3 keywords, because the more specific and concentrated your text is, the easier it will be for Google to understand what the page is about.

These words are then the key (no pun intended) to your keyword optimization and, through creative and systematic work, these words are then integrated into the title, headings and text on your page.

Permalinks = domain + slug

As humans, we tend to think of a website as a single page, and the subpages as different pages in a book. For Google, however, it works a little differently. Here, each individual subpage is read as a separate book with its own title, almost completely independent from rest of the website. This is precisely why some pages on your website may rank better than others.

The main URL is your domain, and each subpage has a slug added to the end of the domain. These two together are called Permalinks or URLs, e.g. butik.se/soft-slippers, where “butik.se” is the domain and “soft-slippers” is the slug. It is advantageous if the keyword you have chosen is included in the slug.

Note here that keyword optimization is done on an individual page on your website, not on the website as a whole.

Hierarchy and headings

The headings on your website are ranked in a hierarchical order from H1-H4 with H1 being the highest ranked. As it is your main heading and thus determines the content of the page.

When you optimize for keywords, it is important to make sure that the H1 matches the word you are optimizing the page for. For example, a main heading could look like this: “Soft slippers that make winter more pleasant”, or “Our soft slippers are best in test”.

With that said, it is important to work strategically with keyword optimization and select each individual subpage to be optimized for one or maximum two specific keywords.

3 core pillars of good keyword optimization

  • Website Slug. Since Google reads each subpage as a separate title for a new book, it is important to make sure that your slug matches what you want to optimize your page for.
  • The H1 heading. The H1 is the main heading that tells Google about what content is listed on your page. When you optimize for keywords, it is important to make sure that the H1 matches the word you are optimizing the page for.
  • Headings and paragraphs. Integrating your chosen words in both body text and other headings may seem like the easiest part of your work with keyword optimization. Something that is important to remember is that the optimization is done to attract potential customers who in turn are living people. Therefore, spend extra time being creative and working on adding the words in a nice and smooth way.

Google reads each URL like a title of a new book. Therefore, remember to match the slug with the keywords you want to optimize your page for.

And so on..

This article provides only a general understanding of the basics of how to use keywords to work on keyword optimization. We’ve barely scratched the surface of this huge topic of search engine optimization and there are new things to learn about it every day.

All this, and much more, is something we’d love to talk about and help you with. Write to us and tell us about your needs and we will get back to you with how we as a web agency can help you strategically implement keyword optimization for your entire platform.

/ Sahra Hurtig, Digital Marketing and Content Management


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