The search engines face a tough task: based on a few words in a query (sometimes only one) they must return a list of relevant results ordered by measures of importance, and hope that the searcher finds what he or she is seeking. As website creators and web content publishers, you can make this process massively simpler for the search engines and, in turn, benefit from the enormous traffic they send, based on how you structure your content. The first step in this process is to research what keywords related to your business people use when searching for businesses that offer products and services like yours.
This practice has long been a critical part of search engine optimization, and although the role keywords play has evolved over time, keyword usage is still one of the first steps in targeting search traffic.
The first step in the keyword targeting process is uncovering popular terms and phrases that searchers regularly use to find the content, products, or/ services your site offers. There’s an art and science to this process, but it consistently begins with a list of keywords to target.
Once you have that list, you’ll need to include these in your pages. In the early days of SEO, the process involved stuffing keywords repetitively into every HTML tag possible. Now, keyword relevance is much more aligned with the usability of a page from a human perspective.
Since links and other factors make up a significant portion of the search engines’ algorithms, they no longer rank pages with 61 instances of “free credit report” above pages that contain only 60. In fact, keyword stuffing, as it is known in the SEO world, can actually get your pages devalued via search engine penalties. The engines don’t like to be manipulated, and they recognize keyword stuffing as a disingenuous tactic.
Keyword usage includes creating titles, headlines, and content designed to appeal to searchers in the results (and entice clicks), as well as building relevance for search engines to improve your rankings. In today’s SEO, there are also many other factors are involved in ranking, including: Term Frequency – Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF), Co-Occurrence, Entity Salience, page segmentation, and several others.
However keywords remain important, and building a search-friendly site requires that the keywords that searchers use to find content are prominently employed. Here are some of the more prominent places where a publisher can place those keywords.
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