Search Engine Optimization - Part 1: Keywords

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Keywords placed and inserted within your website can greatly increase your ranking on search engines providing that you have brainstormed the phrases and placed them strategically on your site. In this article, you will find valuable resources to get you started on search engine optimization (SEO).


Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! Or Bing use keyword density in order to attribute a theme to a website, categorize it and define the terms the site is relevant to. This is a crucial part of your SEO campaign as the perfect keyword density will greatly increase your site ability to rank higher and get better search engine positions. ” Keyword stuffing” is a common mistake and is against Google Webmaster Guidelines, it will result in your website getting flagged and removed from search engine results. The other side of the spectrum (low density) will hinder your chances to get the optimum benefit; therefore it is important to balance your keyword density correctly.

How to brainstorm for keywords

1. Concept

Start with thinking what your target market or subject matter is and/or what are the products and services you want to showcase. Select 3-5 main words that will represent your theme.

2. List combination

Try to think what phrase or words your client could use to find information on your product/subject and write down as many combination as possible. For the financial advisors out there, try “mutual funds”, “mutual fund returns” and “investment fund performance”. Bear in mind that not every phrase are going to rank high for your website due to the competition on some keywords, thus the importance of coming with as many ideas as possible during the brainstorming process.

3. Check out your competitors

Enter your list of keywords and phrases in your preferred search engine and see if any of your competitors appear on the 1st result page under each of your search terms. This will give you a great idea on how easy or hard it will be for your site to rank high. This is also a great opportunity to use online tools (Semrush, Google Search Insights) to find out what other businesses are putting on their website, learn more about your competition and discover other ways your clients might be using to find the information they seek.

4. Choose unique phrases

To focus the results directly on your website, consider building unique phrases under the keywords you’ve decided to use. Try something like “learn about mutual funds dividend” or “get recommendations on mutual fund performance”. Your goal is to be as specific as possible and make sure that these phrases will be unique so that all that web traffic arrives on your site and not your competitor.

5. Useful Free Online Resources

Google Sets (discontinued) : automatically create sets of keywords from items in a set

Google Adwords Keyword Tool : use this tool to get new keywords ideas based on your phrases or a website content (your competitor anyone?)

How to use your keywords

You've brainstormed for keywords, and now have a list of 15-20 phrases that should work great for your website. Now it is time to define where you will be inputting these.

There are quite a few different places that keywords can go on your page. The most common places are:

  • In your page titles (each page should have a unique title)
  • Within your copy content
  • In the headlines and subheadings (h1, h2, etc.)
  • In your links anchor text
  • In your meta tags, meta keywords and meta description
  • In your image alt tags

Try to diversify your action and place different keywords in each place and remember not to stuff them everywhere.

For SEO projects too large to handle in house you may consider working with an agency such as Geary SEO.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, next week I will talk about unique content and quality. Stay tuned.

Author: Loic Jeanjean

Topics: financial website, Keywords, SEO, Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Disclaimer: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. If you are planning to implement a new marketing practice and are unsure what the regulations are, always contact your compliance department first.