This is an important requirement that you really need to focus on. Google has software which scans your site to decide what it is about, as well as looking at the quality of the content.
Things have changed in the Google algorithm and it is now very focused on the visitor experience. Previously it was necessary to write your content with Google in mind and sprinkle regular references to your main keyword search terms on each page. Now Google might actually penalise you for this if it thinks you are ‘keyword stuffing’ or ‘over-optimising’ in an attempt to influence your page rankings.
Google now has enough built in intelligence to work out what each page of your site is about based upon some tags you need to populate (as described below), and the text you use for your content. It can work out for instance that on a site for a Joinery company a reference to wooden window frames is entirely appropriate and on topic.
Google does NOT index and rank websites, it indexes and ranks individual pages of a website. If you have multiple keywords that you want your site to rank for you should aim to have individual pages for each one, if you try and cover more than a couple in a single page you will probably find your site ranking for none of them.
It is essential to populate the following tags (known as Meta tags) on each page of your site that you would like to get good rankings for –
- Title – This is what appears in the Search engine results as the underlined bold heading for each result. So you need to tell your visitor very clearly what this page is about, also your main keyword for the page should be embedded in this text. You should aim to write less than 60 characters and have an absolute maximum of 80.
- Description – This is the text that appears under the Title in the search results. Again make sure you give your visitor a clear description of the page content and reference the keyword. This is your chance to grab the reader and pull them to your site, so make it interesting and tell them why you can help them. You should write less than 160 characters, but don’t make it too short.
Do some Google searches yourself and look at the results you get back, check out your competition by searching on your main keywords. You may find some wording you can borrow as a starting point and play around with (do not copy!). Look at what you find compelling, what would make you want to click on a search result? Try asking friends or family if you need further thoughts and write your tags accordingly.
Take your time and get this right, they are very important and will be a big factor in Google determining your search engine rankings.
There is also a tag called ‘Keywords’, this used to be what Google referenced as the keywords for your page. It now appears that Google does not use this tag at all and just works out your keywords for itself. It is still worth populating the tag with the main keyword for the page, and throw in a couple of others if you have them for good measure. It is possible that the lesser search engines still make use of this.
The other thing you need to do is populate page headings with your main keyword. There are tags for headings that allow for different levels of headings, these help both your visitors and your search rankings. There are 6 levels allowed from H1 to H6.
H1 is your main page heading and should be the biggest and boldest, exactly as if you were writing a book. This tag should also contain your main keyword.
The rest of your page optimisation should focus purely on staying on topic with your main keyword(s) for the page, and giving the visitor as much help and good information as possible. Do not keep referencing your main keyword directly unless absolutely necessary, it probably won’t read well and Google may penalise you.