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Making the Most of Your Keyword Phrases

Having the right keyword phrases is essential to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, but it’s not the whole story. Once you’ve selected your site’s keywords, you can move on to step 2: emphasizing those phrases in your site.

Not all text is equal on your website. Search engine spiders give slightly more “credit” for words and phrases that appear in headings, bold and italics. Try to use your most important keyword phrase inside a h1 tag, and repeat it if possible. You can add even more emphasis by including a smaller h2 tagline under the main header. If your horror movie fan site has a page about zombie movies, you might place a header like this at the top of the page:

Zombie Movie Trivia


Everything you ever wanted to know about zombie movies



Using a careful sprinkling of bold and italicized keyword phrases can also help – just don’t go overboard! Including keywords in regular text is also important in establishing your site for the desired searches. SEO experts use the phrase “keyword density” to describe how keyword-rich your page is. Simply count the number of words on the page, and then count the number of times you used a particular keyword phrase. Divide the number of repetitions by the total number of words, and that number (usually expressed as a percentage) is your page’s keyword density for that phrase. The higher the keyword density, the more likely it is that search engines will put your page at the top for searches on that phrase.

On the other hand, if you repeat a keyword too often your page will become stilted and read very strangely to human visitors. Most experts recommend that you keep your keyword density no higher than 8%. The minimum keyword density will depend on how competitive your search phrase is.

Another vital keyword area is the page title – the text between title tags in your page’s head. Not only do keyword phrases count for more if they’re in the title, but this is the phrase that search engines list for your page when displaying search results. Thus the page title is another balancing act for website developers – you want a title that includes important keywords, but also looks attractive to human searchers so they’ll be more likely to click on the link.

While you’re working on the head section, you should also type up a meta description tag. This information also shows up in search results, so crafting an intriguing description can help draw far more visitors to your site. And don’t forget to work in a keyword phrase or two.

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