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SEO Secret 2: Keyword Placement – Positioning is Everything

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[Part 3 of a 6 part series called SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic]

The second SEO secret to creating traffic-driving content has to do with where you place your keywords within the content you are producing.  We’ll cover each location and the strategy for each, specifically.

Title, Header, Sub-Headers

In most CMS platforms as well as most websites, the title of your content is used for the title tag of the page, which in turn is used to tell the browser what information to display in the top of its window.  It’s also used by search engines as the clickable text on search results.  

Because of this, placing your keywords in the title of your content is extremely important to getting it to rank for those terms.  And where you place it in the title is just as important as including it in the first place.  As a rule, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title, the more weight it receives.  

Key Point: Place your keywords in your content title, as close to the beginning as possible.

Let’s go back again to the ‘iPhone 5 release’ term.  Which of the following titles would be the best?

1.  Apple Announces the Release Date for the iPhone 5
2.  iPhone 5 Release Date Announced by Apple… Finally!
3.  iPhone 5 Release Date: Rumors Finally Confirmed as Apple Prepares for iPhone 5 Release

Well, 2 is certainly better than 1, but personally, I like option 3 the best.  

Note that while option 2 and 3 include ‘iPhone 5 release’ at the very beginning of the title, option 3 includes it AGAIN at the end of the title, but in a way that makes sense (well, enough for me not to feel like a total grey-hat SEO slime-ball).  Further, notice that other related and relevant keywords like ‘apple’ and ‘rumors’ are also used in options 2 and 3 in order to help rank for those terms as well.

Along these lines, consider how you can use this type of a strategy in your headers and sub-headers as well, as keywords placed in H1 and H2 tags can also help with a pages ranking.

Body, Links, Captions and File Names

As you are creating your content piece, there a couple other places you should be using your keywords, when possible.  We’ll start with the content body.  

As a general rule, you should try to repeat your keywords throughout the body of your content about 3 or 4 times for content that is shorter than 300 words, 5 or 6 times for content that is longer than 300 words. Also, as with your titles and headers, it’s important that the first time you reference your keywords is earlier in the document, probably within the first 20 or so words.  

Be careful not to go too crazy, though.  Always remember that your top priority is to create content that is engaging and quality.  You never should sacrifice that in favor of optimization.

Key Point: When it comes to keywords, think early and often.  

Another way to make a keyword more important in the eyes of Google is to use it as anchor text to a related and relevant piece of content.  (If you don’t know, anchor text is clickable text that brings you to another page.)  By linking to additional resources using keywords as anchor text, you bring even more attention to those keywords AND you help provide extra value to your readers.  

Finally, if you use images or videos, make sure to use keywords in the file names as well as the captions.  For example, if you have an image of the new iPhone 5, make sure that the file name is something like iPhone-5.jpg and you use ‘iPhone 5’ in the caption text for that image.   Not only will this help you with image/video search, but it is yet another way to add keyword relevance to your content.  

Takeaway: Increase keyword relevance by using keywords in file names and captions

NEXT CHAPTER: Keyword Variation & Relation – Because ‘Other’ Keywords Matter, Too!

All Chapters

Introduction: SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic
Secret #1: Tools for Success – In-Depth Analysis Made Easy(er)
Secret #2: Keyword Placement – Positioning is Everything
Secret #3: Keyword Variation & Relation – Because ‘Other’ Keywords Matter, Too!
Secret #4: Making Your Content a Resource – Going Above and Beyond
Secret #5: Sharing your Content – Because Links are SEO Gold!
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