How to use key terms and keywords on web pages

keyword blockThere is a great deal of misunderstanding about the use of key terms and keywords on web pages. A common mistake is stuffing every page with as many key terms as possible that cover the business or the website, but that is not the way.

Let’s first be clear about the difference about ‘key terms’ and ‘keywords’. The word ‘keyword’ is commonly used to mean not just one word, but often a two or three word string. It is a little confusing and so we prefer to use ‘key term’ instead as it more accurately reflects what we are talking about.

The key terms used should relate to the content of the page overall and are most powerful when used on a page on a site that is of the same broad subject area. So if we are talking about electrical testing on one page it is most powerful when on a site about electrical services in general.

We also get more leverage if the page is highly focused. So if we are talking about electrical testing, then stick to that subject and do not introduce too many other related subject areas.

It will be better if the page is called ‘electrical testing’, so something like ‘electrical-testing.html’ will be a good one.

Each page web page has a hidden field called a ‘title’ tag. You will see the contents of the title tag on any given page on any given browser at the very top left of the browser window. The key terms for the page should be in this title tag. As the search engine will only look at the first 50 or 60 characters, you can appreciate why you need to keep it snappy and not try to get too many terms per page.

Next comes the description tag – again this is a hidden field on the web page. The content of this tag usually shows up as the couple of lines under each item in a search listing, so it is not only important for the search engines to index the page it is also important to encourage potential visitors to click through a search result. You might guess from that, that a list of random key terms will not do and this tag does need descriptive text in there, but with the most important key term fairly early on, eg: “This business specialises in electrical testing …”, etc.

Now on to the visible page content, here the key terms should be used, but not excessively so. It will make sense to have it in the page title, but in the rest of the content the term should be used naturally – over use it and there is a risk it will work against you.

In general it is better to keep it to a key term per page for optimum performance, which also keeps it simple. Remember that the quality of the content is important – if you are just writing filler rubbish with key terms dropped in once awhile for good measure, it will not work.

The search engines are way too clever for that stuff to work any more.

If you would like more advice on this subject, TTMG Internet is here to help you out, but there will also be more information on this subject in future newsletters.