You have a website, of course. Maybe even a blog. But is anyone landing there? You probably have some followers. But you need more—many more. There’s no such thing as too many followers. The secret to building your online audience is knowing how to use keywords correctly.
So for your reading pleasure, may we present. . . Keywords 101.
In very elementary terms, the way people find you when they don’t already know you is through keywords. When someone on the other side of the country does a Google search for “lakefront property Oakville,” does your website appear at or near the top of the first page? If it doesn’t, we can show you how to fix that. Here are six important steps to follow.
- Be natural. Use your keywords in the page title, if you can. But only if it makes sense and sounds natural when you write. This rule applies all the way through your copy. If you have to write awkward sentences to get those keywords in, don’t do it. For example, here’s how your keywords might be used effectively in your page title:
Jerry Jones: Oakville’s Lakefront Property King
- Go out of order. You don’t always have to use the exact words, and not always in exactly the same order. For example, let’s say you have a different page title but you want to get your keywords into the very first paragraph (which you should), you might write it in a sentence this way: Jerry Jones is the acknowledged king of lakefront property sales in Oakville. The words are not in order, and there are a couple of other words added that are not part of the keyword phrase. That’s fine. Those spiders and bots will still find you. They are clever little guys!
- Avoid stuffing. Search engines get turned off, literally, when you go into keyword overload. Keyword stuffing may lead to a website being banned or penalized in search ranking on major search engines, either temporarily or permanently. That’s the exact opposite of what you want to happen. Here’s an example of how NOT to do it:
We sell lakefront properties. Our high-end lakefront properties are the finest lakefront properties in Oakville. If you’re thinking of buying a lakefront property, please contact Jerry, our lakefront property specialist at email@example.com.
Six times in one short paragraph? Definitely a case of overload. Even the most novice reader knows there is something wrong.
- Use them like hot sauce. In other words, a little bit adds some kick. A lot can burn you. Of course you will put your keywords in the title, if possible. Use them once or twice near the beginning of your page or article. And once again near the end. STOP! That’s enough.
- Add keywords to your image descriptions. When you upload an image to your website or blog, you usually have the option of adding an alternate text description of that image. This text will appear if a visitor can’t see your image in their web browser. But this alternate text counts for a keyword too, so use it. Take the time to add keywords that are relevant to the image and post in the Alt-tag for each image you upload. A photo of one of your listings, for example, could contain the alternate text, “We just listed this fabulous lakefront property in South Oakville. Call us for details.”
- Not just words—use the right words. When you go to Google (or Bing, or Yahoo), and type in something like “How do I make money selling real estate?” or “Where can I find good sushi?” Those are keywords, or actually key phrases. But not very good ones. Your keyword phrase should be three to five words long (lakefront property Oakville). Keywords, in a nutshell, describe what your reader is searching for.
So that ends today’s lesson. Now you know the keyword secret. Learn how to use keywords effectively, and the virtual buyers will beat a path to your virtual door.