SEO is often confusing and does not always work the way you want or expect it to. In many cases, Google will rank your page based on keywords that are different from those you directly target.
To ensure that the focus is on the keywords of your choosing, you need be certain that Google receives the correct signals from your page. Make sure that you define the line separating optimization from over-optimization. Crossing that line could sabotage your objective.
You can optimize your page for select keywords and improve page rankings with these tips:
- Verify baseline rankings – Before you start, determine where your pages currently rank for the keywords you aim to improve. How can you know what’s improved if you don’t know where it started? You can manually search Google and note your position, or you can make use of a rank-tracking tool that will automatically perform this task on a recurring frequency. We like Advanced Web Rankings (free trial).
- Explore variations – Be creative and consider Google Keyword Planner or even a thesaurus to find potential keyword alternatives. You can also type keyword considerations into Google. You will find keywords suggested by Google, see top ranked pages, and get ideas for related searches.
- Review and confirm expectations – Search Google yourself for the keywords that you’re considering. You’ll get a crash course on what competition you’re up against.
- Spread the keyword love – Gone are the days of single pages focused on single keywords. Ensure that your keyword targets are referenced throughout the entirety of your site and not just a single landing page that’s overly stuffed with keywords.
- Diversify – You know which pages that you want to drive up in the rankings for which keywords. Now optimize your other pages using supporting content. Repurpose your content, including infographics and videos, to show that your site is diverse and is a well-rounded resource for your keyword targets.
Top rankings don’t happen overnight, but don’t get discouraged. With ingenuity, time, hard work, and patience, you can ascend the SEO ranking ladder.