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I Want to Rank for These Keywords… Now What?

On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I Want To Rank for These Key Words

Step 1:  What Are Your Keywords/KeyWord Phrases?

You’re getting for a website and certainly want people to find your website!

So… let say you want to rank for a list of keywords – take a minute to write down your list.

Here is my short list:
Tucson Web Designer
Tucson Affordable WordPress Web Designer
Tucson WordPress Web Designer
Pima County Web Designer

Now … if I would have just wrote Web Designer – or WordPress Web Designer –  I don’t think I would’ve made it to page one of Google to rank for those keyword phrases.   When you Google Web Designer there is about 2,910,000,000 results.

Narrow down your keywords to a unique keyword or a local area.  

Step 2:  Research Your Keywords / Keyword Phrases 

Now let’s do some keyword research.  You may think you know what keyword you want to target, but fact-check your instincts.

Here are a couple of Free Keyword Research Tools:

Choosing a keyword with good volume, but not too much volume – In general you don’t want to target a keyword that has low relative search volume if there’s an equivalent term that is much more popular.

For example, there are usually over twice as many searches for “ABC  jobs” versus “ABC careers.”

However, don’t always automatically go for the keyword with the highest volume or difficulty; some keywords are simply too competitive and not worth your time. You’re not going to rank for “airline” unless you are, in fact, an airline.

Choosing a keyword that’s relevant to your business and possibly tie in your city/location .  You’re more likely to succeed in ranking for a keyword if the term is relevant to your site and your business.  You’re also more likely to get some real return on your ranking – remember that rankings in and of themselves aren’t particularly valuable, unless they’re driving worthwhile traffic and leads.  

For example, a Portable Storage Shed business might target “How to Make a Man Cave in a Portable Storage Shed” – but “ Man Caves in a Garage” isn’t really going to be relevant to them or their target audience.

At this stage of the process, you should also make a list of close variations on your primary keyword. These will be helpful in writing and optimizing your content later on.

Step 3:  Who is Your Competition?

Once you’ve settled a list of Keywords/Keyword Phrases, do a search for it on Google and a few other search engines to see what your competition is already doing.

Make a list of the top five competitors URLs.

Run the URLs through:  

Or the free (don’t register)

And let’s see what keywords they are using.

You’re looking for ways that you can differentiate yourself.   You’ll need to do at least as much as your competitors are doing to beat them. Ideally, you should be doing more, and doing it better.

Step 4:  Creating Your On-Page SEO Content

To understand what marketers mean by SEO content, it’s helpful to break down the phrase into its component parts:

  • “SEO” refers to search engine optimization, or the process of optimizing a website so that people can easily find it via search engines like Google.
  • By “content,” we mean any information that lives on the web and can be consumed on the web (more on the various types of content below).

So, putting these two concepts together: SEO content is any content created with the goal of attracting search engine traffic.  Now starts the work of taking your keyword/Keyword phrases and adding them to SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) CONTENT.

Incorporating Your KeyWord/KeyWord Phrase in your content.

Rule of thumb – One web page of Content using One Main Keyword/Keyword Phrase

Page title should reflect your keyword phrase:  Example: 
You can guess what keyword phrase the page is focused on: Tucson WordPress Web Designer

Google ranks pages highly because it has determined they are the best answers to the searcher’s query. This means that your page has to provide value to searchers and be better than any other page Google has for it.

Not only that, but you also need to consider keyword density on your pages so you don’t stuff it with keywords and risk penalization. In fact, most SEO experts believe that an ideal keyword density is around 1-2%. This means the target keyword appears about one to two times per 100 words.

It’s also a good practice to use your main keyword once in the first 100-150 words of your article because Google puts more weight on terms that show up early in your page. It’s an old school on-page SEO tactic that still makes a difference.

How Long Should the SEO On Page Content Be?

When your text is longer, Google has more clues to determine what it is about. The longer your (optimized) text, the more often your focus keyphrase appears. This is no excuse for keyphrase stuffing though! If you optimize your copy naturally, your focus keyphrase will pop up here and there throughout your text. You can also fit in more synonyms and related keyphrases. In a longer post, you can add more headings, links, and images, in which you can also mention the keyphrase.

A longer text might also help you rank for multiple long-tail variants of the keyphrase you’ve optimized your text for. That’s because, in a lengthy text, you probably address various topics. Your article, or your other posts that take a deep-dive into the subtopic, will have a chance to turn up in search results for the long-tail variants of your keyphrase. If you do some smart internal linking you can even boost the traffic to the extensive post you’ve written. This will help you drive more organic traffic to your site.

Also, if a page consists of few words, Google is more likely to think of it as thin content. All search engines want to provide the best answers to the queries people have. Thin content is less likely to offer a complete answer and satisfy the needs of the public. Consequently, it will probably not rank very high.

Goal:   Use the same keyword/keyword phrase a minimum of 5 times interspersed throughout a 400-500 words of content.   This content will be indexed by the search engines and will be found by potential customers - when they search your specific keyword/keyword phrase.    General Rule of Thumb:  One keyword/keyword phrase per web page.

Looking at my homepage:

It is fairly easy to figure out what keyword phrase I was going after “Tucson Web Designer."   Within my website I probably have 30+ keyword/keyword phrase content pages.  For example I have one dedicated to “affordable Tucson web designer”     And if you google that term … I’m on page one.

SEO Tools: 

I use the SEO Yoast Plugin to help with other aspects of On Page SEO:


Content is the key (and content is king).

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