You can’t trick a search engine, so don’t even try. The days of over-stuffing keywords, and cloaking to get found online are long gone. If you’re serious about getting relevant organic search engine traffic, you need proper on-page SEO tactics in place.
On-page SEO tactics consist of placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages. These on-page elements include Headlines, Sub-headlines, Body Content, Image Tags, and Links. Often times on-page SEO is referred to as “keyword density.” While it’s important to include your keyword as many times as necessary within a page, you don’t want to go overboard with it either. For on-page SEO tactics done right:
Pick a keyword
Pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords on one page, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about. This is very common on homepages in particular, where too many keywords are used.
Place it wisely
Place your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline. These areas of content have greater weight to search engines. The closer your keyword is to the beginning of the post, the better. A good SEO tactic to use if you’re trying to rank for a question someone may ask is to repeat a form of that question in your headline or h2. Just be sure you don’t seem too redundant.
Keep it relevant
Include the keywords in the body content but don’t use them out of context. Make sure they are relevant with the rest of your content. If your keyword doesn’t match your content, users will get frustrated quickly and hit the back button. That’s not good for rankings, and it’s not good for business.
Remember the images
Include keywords in the file name of images (e.g. mykeyword.jpg) or use them in the ALT tag. This will help on a regular SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and also in the case that someone searches for your keyword via Google images.
Keep it clean (the URL that is)
Include the keywords in the page URL and keep the URL clean. Keeping your URLs clean will make them easier to share, but more importantly it will help with organizing your analytics. We don’t want to see a URL that is as long as the blog post. It should be descriptive and clean enough that you can recall which blog it is.
Write for humans
Write for humans first, search engines second. Humans can recognize copy that was written for a robot, but a robot doesn’t know if that content was written for a human (ha, those silly robots). Always prepare your content for your audience and then look to optimize it for search. Content that is pleasant to read will keep your users on the page longer, another factor that helps with your SEO.
Just like you can’t trick a search engine, you can’t trick your users either. So make sure you’re thinking about them first. Your content should match up with what they’ve searched for. Don’t optimize a page for a keyword that has nothing to do with what you’re offering just because you think it’s being searched for more often.