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SEO Basics: What Keywords To Target On A Page?

Written by Rikki Lear

17 | 04 | 13

SEO  |  
3 minute read

Today I was searching for running shoes in preparation for the Great North Run I am attempting later this year (sorry for the blatant ask for support but it’s all for charity http://www.justgiving.com/rikki-lear) and I came across a great website doing one of my greatest SEO pet peeves. The “all targeting home page title tag”;

Running Shoes | Running Clothing | Running Gear | Running Spikes | New Balance Running | Asics Running | Brooks Running ...

When I see a title tag such as this I think two things;

  1. Great! They have realised the potential of SEO and have done something about it
  2. They must have done a little bit of reading and think SEO is all about listing the keywords you want to target in the title tag

These sites tend to have similar meta descriptions and meta keywords, i.e. stuffed with keywords, in fact this one does as outlined below:

Meta description – Running Shoes, Running Shoe, New Balance Running, Asics Running, Brooks Running, Running Gear, Running Trainers, Running Clothing, Saucony Running ...

Meta keywords – Running Shoes | Running Clothing | Running Gear | Running Spikes | New Balance Running | Asics Running | Brooks Running ..., ForRunnersByRunners.com

If this sets off a trigger in your SEO approach you’re probably wondering what am I doing wrong? How can this affect my site? And what would be a better approach? Let me try and answer these three questions for you…

What am I doing wrong?

From the title tag it would seem the website is attempting to target 7 keywords on the home page. For most websites this is way too many, we recommend a maximum of 2 per page. This is so you can do those 2 keyword justice and "spread the love" across your website!

With this approach you are ignoring your inner pages, for example I am sure this website has an internal page dedicated to Asics Running. Why not utilise that page to target that keyword? It would be much more relevant from a search engines point of view therefore your chance to rank highly is increased and as a bonus it also helps the user to land on the most relevant page without needing to click through multiple pages to find it.

How can this affect my site?

This approach can affect your site in many ways, for example

  1. You are ignoring your inner website pages which means you are not making the most of your website
  2. Your dropout rate for customers will be higher as they have to find the page they want once they have landed on your homepage
  3. If you are also optimising the most relevant page you have internal pages competing for rankings
  4. By targeting many keywords on one page it is likely you are not doing the full practise of on page SEO for all of those keywords

What would be a better approach?

Think of your website link a hierarchy diagram, you need to start with the most broad keywords for your homepage (in this example “Running gear”) and work your way through the website to the most niche keywords (in this example “Running spikes").

I have laid out an example for the 7 keywords they attempted to target on the home page and assigned them to more relevant pages below:

Keyword targeting

Using this approach you need to utilise every page as you work your way ‘down’ the website. This approach therefore allows to target many more keywords and a secondary keyword for each of your original 7.

Overall benefits to this approach:

  • You are utilising your full website
  • You can target a secondary keyword
  • Visitors land on the most revelant page
  • Your on page optimisation can be much better
  • Your website does not look as "spammy"

If you have this problem or you are looking to get started with on page optimisation I hope this post helped. If you have any questions post them below!

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