How to Choose Keywords and Where to Put Them

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of online marketing, but it may seem overwhelmingly complex to some. Others may have developed a strategy years ago and now find their tried and true methods are outdated and could even be hurting their websites’ rankings in search engine results. Here’s a quick primer in SEO to get you off to the right start.

How to Choose Keywords

• Brainstorm a list of topics you cover on your website and/or blog. Think about your most-asked questions from your clients and what they might search for online.

• Search for those topics in Google, and see what similar search terms Google populates as you type. Also, go to the bottom of the page after you type a term, and look for the related search terms Google suggests.

• Use a keyword planner such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or HubSpot’s Keywords App to refine your list of keywords. Cut out the keywords that are either unpopular or overly popular and focus on a few short and a few longer keyword phrases.Where to Put Keywords

Where to Put Keywords

• Be sure to include keywords in the titles of your web pages and blog posts.

• Use a keyword phrase within the first 65 characters of your headline as this is where Google cuts it off in search engine results pages.

• Include keywords in the body of your page or post, but don’t overuse keywords.

• Include keywords in the URL of each page.

A Note on Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing, or overusing keywords, can hurt your search engine rankings. Search engines want to provide people with valuable, informational content, so packing in too many keywords is now a red flag that penalizes your content. One or two keywords per blog post or web page is a good amount, according to HubSpot.