How to Set Keywords for Website SEO Success
  • 13-minute read
  • 12th June 2024

How to Set Keywords for Website SEO Success

Where competition for online visibility is fierce, keyword optimization stands as a critical pillar of effective search engine optimization (SEO). While the best way to boost SEO is to write high-quality content, strategically placing keywords can significantly enhance a website’s visibility, driving organic traffic and improving search engine rankings.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of keyword optimization by looking at the importance of keyword placement, defining what keywords are, explaining where to put them, and cautioning against some common mistakes. Read on for your detailed roadmap to SEO success.

Importance of Optimized Keyword Placement

It’s always important to know how to reach your target audience. Keywords should drive high-quality traffic to your website. Effectively adding keywords to a website ensures that it’s aligned with your audiences’ search queries, increasing the likelihood of your site appearing in relevant search engine results pages (SERPs).

Strategic keyword placement involves integrating keywords into various elements of your website to maximize SEO impact. This includes on-page components like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content body, as well as off-page elements such as backlinks and technical aspects like image alt text and URL slugs. We’ll go into all these aspects in detail below.

What Are Keywords, and Why Are They Important for SEO?

Keywords are the foundation of SEO, acting as the bridge between what people are searching for and the content you provide to fulfill that search. They’re specific words, phrases, or questions that users enter into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. They explain what your content is all about.

Let’s consider some business examples and what people might search for to find them:

  1. A financial advisor based in Seattle.
    1. Seattle investors.
    2. Top-rated financial advisors in Seattle.
    3. How can I find a financial advisor near me?
  2. An ecommerce website that sells skincare products for infants.
    1. Infant skincare.
    2. Best skincare products for my baby.
    3. My baby has itchy skin, what can I do?
  3. A food blogger who wants to promote ceramic cookware.
    1. Ceramic pots.
    2. Non-stick cookware for my family.
    3. What frying pan is the easiest to clean?

Keywords are critical for SEO because they help search engines understand the content of your website and match it with relevant search queries. They can be short, or they can be quite a bit longer.

What Are Short-Tail Keywords?

Short-tail keywords, also known as head terms, are broad search queries consisting of one or two words (e.g., shoes or digital marketing). While these keywords have high search volumes, they’re highly competitive and often lack specificity.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that usually contain three or more words (e.g., women’s running shoes or best digital marketing strategies for small businesses). These keywords typically have lower search volumes but are less competitive and more targeted, leading to higher conversion rates.

Effective Keyword Research

Choosing the right keywords involves a blend of relevance, search volume, and competition analysis. Primary keywords are the main terms your target audience is likely to search for. Using those will rank your website higher in SERPs and have the potential to draw in a lot of traffic.

Knowing how to effectively use keywords is the cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. Luckily, several tools can assist you in identifying the right ones for your website:

  • Google Keyword Planner: A powerful application that researches and provides insights into business-related keywords, search volumes and competition levels.
  • Ahrefs: An all-in-one toolset that can grow search traffic and optimize websites by offering comprehensive keyword analysis that includes search volume, keyword difficulty, and competitor analysis.
  • SEMrush: A platform for keyword research, competitive analysis, site audits, backlink tracking, and comprehensive online visibility insights. The keyword research tool provides reports on keyword difficulty, search trends, and competitive analysis.

When choosing keywords, start by identifying your target audience and understanding their search behavior. Use the tools mentioned above to find keywords that align with your content and have a good balance of search volume and competition.

Remember, use short-tail keywords to draw in a more general audience. Long-tail keywords focus on more targeted traffic and higher conversion potential.

Where to Put Keywords

Search engines look all over your site for keywords, and they prioritize some locations over others. Strategic placement of keywords is crucial for maximizing SEO impact. You need to consider the following areas to optimize your website: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and miscellaneous placement.

1. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO (also called on-site SEO) involves what’s in your direct control. This refers to what you put on your website that’s visible to the public. Here are four important places to incorporate on-page SEO:

  1. Title Tags: This is an HTML code tag that gives your website a title in the browser title bar and SERPs. It’s one of the most critical on-page SEO elements because it tells both search engines and users what your page is about. The best way to incorporate keywords in title tags is to:
    1. Place the primary keyword at the beginning of the title tag.
    2. Keep the title tag under 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in SERPs.
    3. Make the title tag compelling to improve click-through rates.
  2. Meta Descriptions: These provide a brief summary of a webpage’s content and appear below the title tag in SERPs. While they don’t directly impact rankings, they do influence click-through rates. Here’s how to add keywords to meta descriptions:
    1. Include the primary keyword naturally within the first 150-160 characters.
    2. Ensure the meta description is engaging and accurately reflects the page content.
    3. Focus on readability and relevance and avoid unnaturally adding too many keywords (i.e., keyword stuffing).
  3. Headers: These help organize content, make it more readable, and signal the structure and main points of a page to search engines. Here’s how keywords should be used with the different headers:
    1. H1s Should contain the primary keyword and concisely describe the page’s main topic.
    2. H2s and H3s can be used for subheadings and to incorporate secondary keywords and their variations.
  4. Body of the content: This is the most common place for keyword integration. Try to write content that naturally incorporates keywords by focusing on providing valuable, high-quality information that addresses user intent. Don’t try to force too many keywords in. Aim for a density of around 1-2%. Avoid keyword stuffing penalties by not overusing the same keywords.
  5. URL Slugs: To create SEO-friendly URLs, make sure they include the primary keyword but remain short, clean, and descriptive. Focus on readability and avoid using special characters and unnecessary words.

2. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to actions that aren’t visible on your website but still optimize ranking in SERPs. One of the most effective ways to do this is by understanding anchor text and backlinks.

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. You can recognize it because it’s normally highlighted in blue and underlined. The text provides information about the content of the link; clicking on it will direct the user to another website or page.

Using keyword-rich anchor text can enhance your site’s relevance for specific search queries, but as mentioned before, don’t use too many or your links could look cluttered and spammy.

In simple terms, backlinks are links on other websites that will take people to your website. Here are three attributes of a good backlink:

  1. Source: Make sure your backlinks are hosted on reputable and relevant source websites.
  2. Content: The link needs to fit naturally and be relevant to the content of the source page.
  3. Varied anchor text: Links should use diverse but relevant and natural anchor text that includes keywords. This will help align the link contextually with the linked content.

One of the best ways you can foster the creation of effective backlinks is by producing content that’s so well crafted that other people want to link to it. If you need help ensuring your content resonates with your target audience, feel free to reach out to our Proofed marketing and advertising team for assistance. We possess the insight to tailor your content to appeal precisely to your target industry or audience.

Another way to encourage backlinks to your website is to increase your visibility on relevant social media and online communities. You should also fix any broken backlinks if you find them.

3. Technical SEO

The third area to consider when optimizing your website is technical SEO. This involves making sure your website meets technical requirements so that search engines can easily find, understand, and store your content. This can also include ensuring your content can be accessed conveniently with mobile devices.

One great way to do this is through the alt text of the images on your site. Alt text improves both SEO and accessibility, providing descriptions of images for search engines and visually impaired users. The text describes why an image is relevant to the page it’s being displayed on. It’s also read aloud by screen reader software. This provides another great opportunity for including keywords.

To effectively add keywords to image alt text, describe the image clearly and concisely, incorporating any relevant keywords. Again, don’t use too many keywords and keep the text under 125 characters.

Another important aspect of using keywords in technical SEO is internal links. These are similar to backlinks, but they are links created within your website, connecting one page to another.

When creating internal links, be descriptive and use keyword-rich anchor text. Linking to relevant content within your website will improve navigation and SEO, but you want to avoid excessive internal linking to prevent dilution of link value. You’ll also need to ensure a logical, hierarchical linking structure.

4. Miscellaneous Placements

Other places can be optimized for keywords. To find any opportunities you may have missed, it can be helpful to use a SEO plugin. Utilizing a tool like Yoast helps streamline the process of optimizing your website for keywords.

SEO plugins assist in adding keywords to your website by providing real-time analysis and suggestions for keyword usage. They can also help optimize title tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page elements.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you know what keywords are and where to put them, here are a few common mistakes you should avoid when optimizing your website for SEO success.

Keyword Stuffing

This has been mentioned a few times already. Overloading your content with keywords looks spammy and can lead to penalties from search engines and degrade user experience. Aim for clear, concise writing and focus on relevant keyword usage. If this is an area you struggle with, Proofed For Business is here to help.

Ignoring User Intent

To use keywords effectively, focus on understanding and addressing the intent behind user searches. If you’ve taken the time to align your keywords with those intentions, you increase your chances of providing the content your users are looking for and satisfying their needs.

Overlooking Keyword Variations

Incorporate variations and related terms to capture a broader audience and improve content relevance. This can also significantly enhance your SEO performance and drive more traffic to your website.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Keyword Strategy

By observing your keyword strategy and making adjustments when necessary, you’ll be able to track your progress and spot opportunities to rank highly for relevant terms. Tracking the performance of your keywords using tools isn’t difficult. Always remember, proofreading your content can really help for SEO. 

Use Tools to Track Keyword Performance

Keyword tracking tools can provide lists of your website’s ranking for each keyword. Therefore, you’ll know which are the most successful and which need to be revised.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide insights into keyword performance, user behavior, data on search queries, click-through rates, and keyword rankings. There are many other tools available for comprehensive keyword tracking and analysis, here is a list of eight good choices.

Adjust Keywords Based on Analytics

It’s important to regularly review your keyword performance. Once you know how they’re ranked compared to other sites, you can update and refine them based on trends and data insights. Over time, you can test and implement new keywords to continually increase your rankings in SERPs.

Ultimate SEO Success With Keywords

Effective keyword placement is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring. By strategically placing keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, headers, content body, URLs, and through backlinks, you can significantly enhance your website’s SEO performance.

Often overlooked areas, like the alt text of images can also include keywords. SEO plugins and performance tools can help ensure you’re making the most out of your keyword placement.

Avoid common pitfalls like keyword stuffing and ignoring user intent, and continually adjust your strategy based on analytics to maintain a balanced and user-friendly approach. On top of all these tips and tricks, the best way to have the most successful website is to have flawless content.

If you want to make sure everything on your website is of the utmost quality, Proofed’s marketing and advertising team is here to help.

We have a fully managed group of experts that can proofread and edit all your content. If you want to find out how we can take your website to the next level, schedule a call with us today!


1. What is the best tool for keyword research?

The best tool depends on your specific needs. Google Keyword Planner is excellent for basic research, while Ahrefs and SEMrush offer more comprehensive insights and advanced features.

2. How often should I update my keywords?

Regularly review and update your keywords every few months or whenever there are significant changes in search trends or your industry.

3. Can keyword placement affect user experience?

Yes, strategic keyword placement can enhance user experience by making content more relevant and easier to find. Avoiding keyword stuffing ensures readability and engagement.

4. How do I find the right balance of keyword density?

Aim for a keyword density of 1-2%. Focus on natural integration and providing valuable content to avoid over-optimization.

5. Should I use the same keywords on every page?

No, each page should target unique keywords relevant to its specific content. This helps avoid keyword cannibalization and improves overall SEO effectiveness.

6. Are long-tail keywords more effective than short-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are often more effective for targeting specific queries and achieving higher conversion rates due to their lower competition and higher relevance. Short-tail keywords are still valuable because they’re the most commonly used search terms.

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