Keywords - SEO for 2016: The Complete Do-It-Yourself SEO Guide (2015)

SEO for 2016: The Complete Do-It-Yourself SEO Guide (2015)

Chapter 2. Keywords

Google has stated that having the keywords your focused on a webpage in the Keyword Meta tag on the coding of a website page is no longer a requirement. But don’t leave the keywords and the tag out completely. They are still helpful on other search engines. Google scans the actual relevant content that is on the web page and places more weight on the words placed in the Title tag and the description tag. In fact so much weight is now given; you shouldn't place anything other than a single keyword in the Title tag of each page or focus the page on more than one keyword.

WARNING: We already touched on this a little but for websites that have their relevant content or words mainly in pictures or in Flash the search engine crawlers cannot read this. This is why the most Flashy and spectacular looking websites are on found on page 54 or later in a keyword search.

There is now another reason for this. If Google is to rank your website well, you better be compatible with as many browsers and smart phones as possible. The fact is Flash is not compatible with IPods, IPads, IPad Minis, and IPhones. So if you have flash on your needs to go.

Now I said that having the keyword in the Meta tags on Google was not a requirement, but I wouldn’t leave them out. If you were looking at this from a points prospective in terms of getting more point from Google for better rankings you have to think differently. You get points for the more you do. Points for a good description, keywords, and other information in your Meta tag all add relevant point value is they all match the content of the actual page of your website.

As long as keywords appear to be on the webpage naturally and not an attempt to try and boost search engine rankings with lots of keyword stuffing. Natural occurrence is fairly new term in SEO. This is where search engine algorithms look at your website page as well as how often your website is mentioned on the Internet. It then compares this statistical information with the search engine algorithm to see if it is natural meaning it is about the average amount it should be seeing the keywords mentioned. We will talk more about this later in the book.

NOTE: A page will never show in the results of a search engine search without the keyword or keyword relevance showing up on the actual text of a page. Meaning if you are targeting your page for “Miami Plumber”, make sure the words are prominently displayed on the page in actual text.

In the next few sections let's take a look at how to choose your keywords. Then let's take a step-by-step look at properly formatting your Meta tags and the body of your webpage correctly to market your webpage to the search engine spiders and crawlers. Also we will talk about how to make your description appealing to a searcher who sees your webpage in the search results.

The Science behind Choosing Keywords

Keywords are the one of the most important element of your webpage. In fact before you start optimizing your website you need to choose the keywords your page is going to target. Now, the keyword that you choose today maybe completely different than the keywords you optimize for a year from now. That is if you are doing proper SEO and tracking your results and the changes in Google Suggestive keywords.

That last sentence might have really got people scratching their heads so I better explain. Google is getting really good at getting people to use AdWords. Part of their overall strategy to get people to do this is to change the way people search and stay one step ahead of SEO. How do they do that you ask? Well over 50% of those searching Google get keyword suggestions when they perform a search. This means when the person starts to type their search in Google's search bar they get suggested keywords as they type. They then can just select one of the keywords instead of continuing to type their intended search phrase.

So if today you decide that you want to redesign your kitchen and you go to Google and start searching for a kitchen design company you might start by typing "kitchen" and you may get some keyword suggestions. The suggestion today might be "kitchen remodel". The suggestion six months from now might be "kitchen renovation" or "kitchen remodel". It changes up the keywords you should be optimizing for at the current time. But I wouldn’t change the pages you already have ranking. I would make new ones because six months from now Google might go back to the way it was before.

By now you should be starting to get the reasoning behind my statement that that the keywords you focus on today may be different or added to later on. When choosing the best keywords to focus on for your website there is a simple rule. Good research gets you good results. You can start off with the basics of searching for keywords and use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool which is now called the Google Keyword Planner Tool. It is a free toll but this is Google's suggestions and not necessarily what people will be searching for a month from now.

TIP: There are other third party tools you can use to determine the best keywords. You can use services such,, or

Google has this tool not just for suggestions, but the more people they have vying for the same keywords, the higher the going rate per click will be for each of those keywords. Adwords per click price is ruled by bidding on the keywords and the people willing to pay the most amount of money usually end up on top. I say usually because there are some variations to that rule such as ad quality. But for the most part, the person willing to pay the most money per click usually ends up on top of the ads.

You can get to the Google Keywords Planner Tool from:

By entering a search phrase in the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool you can see what sort of competition you are up against for any keyword. You can also get a list of suggested keywords that you can focus on that you may have not known were related to the services or products you are targeting. You can see from the screenshot on the next page that you can also have it look at your website and give you some keyword suggestions. I have used this feature many times and rarely does it give me the relevant keywords I need unless the website has already been optimized for the keywords. Try it for yourself however and maybe prove me wrong with your line of business.

You can see from the figure on the next page that I have chosen to look for the keyword "kitchen renovation". I happen to have a lot of experience in the kitchen and bath industry over the years as I have had over forty clients in different markets. So I have become somewhat of an expert.

In the figure on the next page of the Google’s Keyword Planner Tool it came up with about ten categories of relevant keywords. I chose the first category which was the most relevant and it gave me about 480 keyword suggestions.

You will notice from the results that the tool gives you the basic keywords that people search for, the number of searches for the previous month on Google and the competition level. The Competition Level indicates how hard it is not only to rank for that keyword but also is a good indicator of how much competition there is targeting that keyword. The higher the Competition Level indicator is, the more likely you’re going to pay more money for a first page Pay-Per-Click ad for that term. The higher the Competition Level is the harder it will likely be to get on to page one and the more you're going to have to do in SEO terms to get ranked on the first page for that keyword term.

Every business owner who has a website wants to rank highly for the keywords that are relevant to their business with high competition. They are the most relevant and sought after for any business of course. If you’re new to SEO and you’re just starting to do SEO or trying to rank a new website, you're going to be sorely disappointed that you won't rank well or be seen for a while.

I recommend if you are new to SEO or you have a new website that you try and find combinations of keywords that return pages with "POOR" competition scores. If you can write and optimize a page of content using one or more "POOR" keywords you should be able to rank highly in searches and get at least some visits and traffic to your website quickly. That is provided that you follow the basics of search engine optimization.

TIP: There are two subscription based keyword suggestion tools you can use for keyword results if you want to pay money for them that I recommend. They are the keyword tools from and They won't do the work for you. Just give you a second or third list of keywords. Some of these may or may not be what Google already gave you.

You can also select from the options below when searching and get more information on Negative Keywords, select a different country for search results, select alternate languages and even change the results to see Google search partners instead of just the Google search engine as seen below.

The keywords in the SERPS that Google gives you are the keywords that Google considers related to the term you searched for. Many times it will not cover all the bases and give you all the keywords you should be focused on. The next step is to brainstorm new keyword ideas based on whatever the topic is that your website focuses on. It can be model numbers, part numbers, product descriptions, etc. Keyword terms can also come from you sitting in the driver's seat and thinking, if you were the person searching for what I have to offer, what would I search for? Ignore the results Google tries to give you and think for yourself. You can also look at your competitions website or use a website called to see what your competition optimizes their website for. This site will also show you the competitions PPC ads. These are all great ways to find some of the less competitive keywords to focus on.

Now that we have learned how to search and get the suggested keywords and you probably have a very long list if you stopped reading and started making the list. If you haven’t figured it out yet, every keyword you chose has to have its own separate webpage, written text focusing on the keyword, get links built for the page, and social media with keyword anchor test targeting the page. So you are going to want to narrow this list down to a smaller list which we call our trophy keywords if you have selected too many to start with.

We already know the possible keywords, the number of local and global searches, and an estimate of how much competition there are for those keywords. So where do we go from here?

I spend countless hours finding and applying the right keywords for my customers and finding the most effective keywords is a science. Sometimes it’s an experimental process as well. If you have a newer website it's pretty easy, take the "POOR" rated keywords, and find the ones that are most relevant to what you sell or do and focus on the most searched for first.

If you have a website that is already ranked or you are over six months in to your SEO campaign you have to look at the keyword list from Google. You can take in to account the amount of competition the keyword has and make better decisions on the keywords you can target. If you have a high Google ranking for your website or webpage you can compete against pretty much whoever you want for the keywords that have a much higher competition score.

If I went right out for the search term “kitchen renovation” as shown in previous screenshot, there are 8000 sites ranked higher than a brand new website which has a Google ranking of "0". It's pretty hard to get on to page 1 for that. However, if your website or website page has a ranking of "3" or more your competition narrows to about 200 websites. If only about 5% use any professional SEO or keep up with the latest SEO techniques you are looking at only about 10 competitors. You’re now seeing how ranking and optimization play a role with search engines.

WARNING: You may want to use ranking for your website as Google has not updated their PageRank results in more than a year. The MOZ ranking is very close to Google PageRank results.

If your webpage or website already has a Google Ranking of "2" or more then you can start focusing on "MEDIUM" or "HIGH" competition keywords. If this is the case you should choose only the keywords that have the highest number of searches and choose those keywords to create pages first. After those are done work your way down to less often searched keywords. You should continue doing this until you have either exhausted your ability to create new keyword pages, you cannot create enough backlinks to support the pages or you cannot adequately provide social media for the new pages.

If you have a newer website or are just starting SEO, stick to the simple rule of choosing keywords with the highest amount of searches and the lowest amount of competition. Find a place in the middle of the competition score versus the number of searches.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that have at least two, and some times as many as five descriptive words in the phrase. Just like normal keywords, long tail keywords are used to define what is on the web page and what the searcher wants to more specifically find.

Long tail keywords are more specific, and tend draw less traffic for the website, but tend to draw more quality traffic for keywords that have much less competition. Visitors to your website normally use long tail keywords to narrow down what they are searching for. When a potential visitor to your website is looking to remodel their kitchen in Baltimore, if they just searched for "kitchen remodel" they might get results from all over the country and not targeted to their local area. They might then create a more refined long tail keyword search such as "Baltimore kitchen remodeling company" to get more specific results. You have to take that in to account and optimize for that keyword combination as well. Another keyword combination you might also target is “Baltimore MA kitchen remodeling company”.

To know what long tail keywords to focus on, researching and brain storming for yourself is basically the only way to know what keywords to focus on. There are no good automated tools out there to learn those from. A small investment of time and effort could pay off dividends in the future. Longer tail keywords always have a much lower competition score and if your website focuses on a local geographical area you need to always include the city and keyword. You will want to focus on the opposite form as well. So if you are in a Baltimore kitchen remodeler you will want to focus on “Baltimore kitchen remodeling” as one keyword and “kitchen remodeling Baltimore” as a completely separate keyword. People tend to put the city first more often identifying their geographical location.

Now that we have an understanding of the keywords we are going to use, the first step is to create a page for each keyword and setup the Meta Tags and the Title for each one of those pages you are optimizing.

Creating the Meta Data for Each Page

We already learned earlier in the chapter that our Meta tagging starts with determining our keywords. I am going to create an imaginary company focusing on kitchen renovation since I have already been that example throughout the whole chapter.

Let's call our imaginary business Kitchen Remodeling Experts and say it is in Baltimore, Maryland. We need a domain called I also did a Google search to make sure it wasn’t already a business.

So my imaginary company needs some keywords. So based on my analysis the most sought after and highly competitive keywords are:

· Baltimore Kitchen Renovation

· Baltimore Kitchen Remodeler

· Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling

· Baltimore Kitchen Ideas

· Baltimore New Kitchen

I actually came up with about two hundred more keywords but these are the most basic for this tutorial. Also if this were a real company I would also use all the keywords with the cities Washington DC and DC as along with the city of Baltimore this nation’s capital is very close.

So let us take a look at what I came up with for the Title Meta tag for this website. After I show you the Meta Tag I will break each line down so you know how to choose each lines specific text.


<Title>Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling</Title>

<Meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">

<Meta name="keywords" content="Baltimore kitchen remodeling">

<Meta name="description" content="We are the best Baltimore kitchen remodeling company. Call us today or you may pay too much!">

<Meta name="googlebot" content="index, follow" />

<META http-equiv="Content-Language" CONTENT="EN-US">

<Meta name="robots" content=" index, follow ">

<Meta name="Revist-After" content="7 days">

<Meta name="city" content="Baltimore">

<Meta name="country" content="United States (USA)">

<Meta name="state" content="MD">

<Meta name="zip code" content="21201">

<Meta name="subject" content="Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling">

<Meta name="author" content="Kitchen Remodeling Experts">

<Meta name="copyright" content="Kitchen Remodeling Experts">



(This is where the visible portion of your website is configured.)


Take a look at each one of these in the next sections.

Configuring the Keyword Meta Tag

The order that you place META data on the coding of a page is actually unimportant and to help this make sense to you I am changing the order I explain it in just a little bit. First off, I am going to debunk a misconception. I am going to tell you keywords are IMPORTANT in Meta data. Regardless of what you read, someone on the Internet says, the latest rumors, etc. You shouldn’t even think about placing a Title tag or a Description tag until you have decided on the keyword you are focusing the page is on.

You already learned the science behind carefully choosing your keywords. So once you know the keyword you are assigning to the page, the tag is configured like this:

<Meta name="keywords" content="Baltimore kitchen remodeling">

Although I don’t recommend more than one keyword on a page, if you were to add another you insert a comma like this and add the second keyword like this:

<Meta name="keywords" content="Baltimore kitchen remodeling, Baltimore kitchen renovation">

I made keywords bold for this example but the keyword is not really bolded in your configuration. You might notice something else. All the keywords are in lower case except for the City. Why? Well Google doesn’t care about being case sensitive, but we need to think about all the search engines. Some search engines are case sensitive and most people don’t capitalize their SERP queries. They just type in their keywords they want to search.

Configuring the Meta Title Tag

The Title tag is used to define the title of a web page, with the Title tag placed between the <head> and </head> tags in the html of the page. Search engines will recognize the Title tag as the title of the page. Each page should have its own distinct and original Title tag.

It is recommended that you keep your Title tag short, with no more than 70 characters. Don't use irrelevant words (meaning words that are not found on the page) in your Title will dilute the impact on your targeted keywords.

The Title tag is normally where Google learns the keyword it is looking for on the page. Google rarely uses the Keywords tag for learning the keywords of a page. However, other search engines do use it. The keywords should always be included on the title. Here are a few acceptable Title tags:

<Title> Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling</Title>

<Title> Best Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling company.</Title>

<Title>Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling at its best! <Title>

Configuring the Description Tag

The maximum length of a Description tag varies between search engines. In creating this tag, try to place your most important keywords early in the text just in case one or more search engines truncate the results. Your wording should always include a suggestive call to action as well. Such as "Call us first or you may pay too much!" or "We are just a phone call away!"

Keep your Description between 50 and 149 characters, including spaces, whenever possible. Google will display 154 characters, but other search engines display less. Longer descriptions are of little value, as most search engines place little to no importance on this tag except for the keyword that is in the text. This is the tag most SERP queries display as text in the organic results however.

Configuring the GoogleBot and the Robot Tags

This is actually not one but two tags that are focused on allowing search engines to index the website or not. Google likes to see its own tag. These two tags on your webpage instruct the bots and crawlers that come from search engine whether they are allowed to scour your page for information or not. The tag qualifier “robots” is the default for all search engines. The qualifier called “googlebot” is targeted only to Google crawlers. Here are some of the most frequently used options for these two tags:

index: This allows the search engine to index that page.

noindex: This tells the search engine not to index the page.

follow: This allows the search engine to follow the links from the landing page and other pages it finds and index them as well.

nofollow: This instructs the search engine not to follow links from that page for indexing.

Noodp: Prevents the search engine from using the page's Description tag.

The tags are easy to configure and you should place them on any webpage you create. Also, you never know where visitors or search engine crawlers will arrive from and so these should be in the Meta tags of every page in your website.

<Meta name="googlebot" content="index, follow" />

<Meta name="robots" content=" index, follow ">

Language Identifier

<META http-equiv="Content-Language" CONTENT="EN-US">

The Language META tag declares to the search engines the natural language of the web page or document being indexed. Search engines which index websites based on language often read this tag to determine which language(s) is supported. This tag is particularly useful for non-English and multiple language websites. It also helps Google to determine which or how many of its different county search engines it should list the website page.

The different choices for this tag are:

· BG (Bulgarian)

· CS (Czech)

· DA (Danish)

· DE (German)

· EL (Greek)

· EN (English)

· EN-GB (English-Great Britain)

· EN-US (English-United States)

· ES (Spanish)

· ES-ES (Spanish-Spain)

· FI (Finnish)

· HR (Croatian)

· IT (Italian)

· FR (French)

· FR-CA (French-Quebec)

· FR-FR (French-France)

· IT (Italian)

· JA (Japanese)

· KO (Korean)

· NL (Dutch)

· NO (Norwegian)

· PL (Polish)

· PT (Portuguese)

· RU (Russian)

· SV (Swedish)

· ZH (Chinese)

Configuring the Meta Revisit Tag

Google and other major search engines typically visit your site once per month by default. But let’s say your website’s content changes more frequently such as a news website? How do you tell the search engines spiders, bots and crawlers to visit more frequently? The “Revisit-After” Meta tag is used just for this purpose.

<Meta name="Revist-After" content="7 days">

Configuring the Meta Location Tags

These tags are really important to search engines to help identify the local geographical locations. In the example below, we add the city, country, state, and zip code, just as if you were mailing yourself a letter as shown below:

<Meta name="city" content="Baltimore">

<Meta name="country" content="United States (USA)">

<Meta name="state" content="MD">

<Meta name="zip code" content="21201">

Configuring the Meta Subject Tag

This tag arguably has very little influence with the major search engines but it does have some with smaller ones. I typically place the first long tail keyword from my Meta Keywords tag here which should be the most important subject of our website as shown below.

<Meta name="subject" content="Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling">

Configuring the Author and Copyright Meta Tags

These two Meta tags also do very little to enhance your search engine rankings and have more to do with identifying the person or entity that did all the hard work that was put in to creating your web page. The “author” tag should list the person or company name that created the content and graphical design of the page. The “copyright” tag identifies who owns the copyright for the page. Let’s take a look at how this fits together so far.

<Meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">

<Meta name="keywords" content="Baltimore kitchen remodeling">

<Meta name="description" content="We are the best Baltimore kitchen remodeling company. Call us today or you may pay too much!">

<Meta name="googlebot" content="index, follow" />

<META http-equiv="Content-Language" CONTENT="EN-US">

<Meta name="robots" content=" index, follow ">

<Meta name="Revist-After" content="7 days">

<Meta name="city" content="Baltimore">

<Meta name="country" content="United States (USA)">

<Meta name="state" content="MD">

<Meta name="zip code" content="21201">

<Meta name="subject" content="Baltimore Kitchen Remodeling">

<Meta name="author" content="Kitchen Remodeling Experts">

<Meta name="copyright" content="Kitchen Remodeling Experts">


WordPress Meta Data

There is no doubt that Google loves WordPress more than any other platform with the exception of HTML5 which has begun to optimize and index just as well. It optimizes easily, indexes fast and for the most part is easier to rank than all other platforms. So how do you enter all the Meta info? I highly recommend the ALL IN ONE SEO plug-in for the Meta tagging.

With this plugin you can put in the Title, Keywords and the Description Meta tags at the bottom of each page when you create them in WordPress. Google requires less of WordPress and that is all the information you need in your tagging. The rest of the Meta data can be entered with programming on the page or special field provided in the configuration of the plugin.

Choosing Quality Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is complicated I know. As I stated earlier, keywords in Meta tags are no longer a requirement but you still want them there. I see companies with a ranking of one or two on Google all the time. And sometimes I get a client or student that points that out. They point out that some pages that do not have a single Meta tag, nor a list of keywords and no description either are ranking.

Somewhere on the page is the keyword its ranking for, or other tanking factors kick in to play. Such ranking factors as the domains longevity, linkage, and relevant content sped them along in the process to get ranked. But it won’t get them much farther in the ranking process. They will only rank well during some periods of the year when a ranking algorithm ranks websites with those factors higher. It is usually only temporary.

Each stepping stone that you with adding items that help you rank gets you a little higher in the ranking process. I always like to explain it to customers that each item you do equals a point value to the major search engines. Some of my student ask me what some of the major factors are. Slowly I have compiled a list of some good examples:

· Have a website that has been online for a long period (years), add points.

· Have your website registration paid so it expires in 5 years or more, add points.

· Create your website in WordPress get points. (Google seems to love WordPress more than any other web development platform.)

· Have it expire in less than a year, subtract points.

· Have Meta Tags, add points.

· Have relevant content, add points, have quality and relevant links, add points.

· Have a good hosting speed add points. (You can check at A passing score is 70 or more.)

· Have a homepage that has is smaller than 180KB get points.

· Have news articles published about your website on websites that are determined by Google to be “Official News Sites” such as,,,, etc., add a lot of points.

· Have links from .gov and .edu sites, add points.

· Have a good website quality score, add points. (You can check this by employing or

· Do well on all 130+ factors I outline here in this book, get higher rankings!

The higher the point values, the higher the rankings can become. The more points needed is based on a number of factors, including the industry you’re in, the competition you have, competing companies performing their own SEO vying for the top spots, local or national campaigns, traffic to your website, two way links, longevity of your domain, and much more. It takes much more than just choosing a keyword for your web page.