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SEO with KeywordsYou may have heard that it’s important to use keywords when writing for the Web. But do you understand why and how to use them properly? Doing so will help you see why it really does matter and how it can help you improve your page rank, search engine positioning and more.

Writing with keywords, commonly called search engine optimization (SEO), is the best way to move your site up in search engine rankings. This is because the search engine algorithms are designed to pick out sites that best match the terms a user searches for.

For example, if you go to Google and search for “writing jobs,” the results you’ll see include sites where those terms rank highly on that page. The term may be close to the top of the page, it may be in the meta description, it may be in the heading or sub-headings, it may be used frequently on the page, or any combination of the above. That’s why, when you search for writing jobs, you find the sites that deal with writing jobs, that mention writing jobs, the focus on writing jobs. That’s what you’re looking for, so it works out well.

If you want your site to rank higher, for whatever your search term is, you need to use proper SEO strategies. Good SEO will help your page rank higher, i.e., be listed higher on the results page, and appear more prominently in the search engine results. That means you need to decide on your keyword or keyword phrase in advance of writing, and use it correctly whenever you’re creating content for your site.

A word of caution here… you can go overboard and have the search engines penalize you for “keyword stuffing.” That means the search term appears too often in your page. The search engines will ignore such a page at best, or ban it altogether at worst.

The recommended number of keywords per page varies, depending on who you ask. Some say to go by percentage, such as three to five percent per page. Others say to use the keyword in the title, the first sentence, the last sentence and one to two times in the body. The idea is to be sure your keyword or keyword phrase is included in the article enough that it’s easy to tell what your page is about, but not so much that it seems “spammy.”  The best rule of thumb, and the one Google suggests, is to write naturally about your subject and keyword density will take care of itself.

Understanding why keywords matter when you’re writing for the Web and understanding how to properly use keywords can help you achieve much better search engine rankings. That, in turn, will help more visitors find your site, and ultimately increase your sales and profit. That’s why you’re online in the first place, right? If so, this is an important lesson for any webmaster, or writer, to learn.