Keyword Placement: Page Optimization Basics

Robnant asked:
I have found my Keywords & Phrases - in order to generate traffic, where do I insert these? Are they to go inside the “Keywords” tag or simply in the copy text?

Keyword Placement: Where To Use Your Keyword Phrases

Once you choose keywords that are related to your website, there are a variety of ways that you can use your keyword list strategically to generate traffic. The actual placement of your keyword phrases on your web pages is important, as is use of keyword phrases off your web pages, so I will cover both in this tutorial...

  • On-Page Optimization

Each page of your website should be optimized for keyword phrases that are specific to that page. Keep in mind that the search engines rank pages, not sites, so you want to optimize each page of your website to rank well for a specific keyword phrase. If you have a pet site, for example, you may have pages optimized for: dog training, cat grooming and parrot tricks.

It is best to choose very specific keyword phrases, and to have 2-3 phrases per page. You will often hear the term Primary Keyword Phrase - this is the keyword phrase you most want that page to rank well for in the major search engines. Secondary Keyword Phrases are 1-2 additional phrases you would like that page to rank for as well.

note: The most important thing is that your web pages read well to your visitors, so keep this in mind during keyword placement. If it doesnt make sense, or reads strange, getting a lot of traffic to the page wont give you the results you are looking for - its the actual readers that take action (subscribe, click ads, make purchases) so you must optimize for the visitors as well as the search engines.

Your Primary Keyword Phrase should be used in these places:

- File Name (ex: filename.html or file-name.htm)
- Title Bar, or the Title Tag of the web page
- Text Header, or the heading at the top of your page (h1 tag)
- Sub Headings (usually using h2 or h3 tags)
- Within the actual content on the page
- As the Anchor Text in reference links or outbound links

To give you an example, this web page currently ranks #4 for the term think and grow rich. Outside of the file name, this page contains all of the placements outlined above. (No one "on the page" element is going to "make or break" your rankings)

As for the "keyword meta tag" in the actual HTML code of your page, this is not necessary. You can place your keyword phrases here for good measure, but only your primary and secondary keyword phrases (no "stuffing" - it looks spammy). That said, you DO want to use the Description meta tag to write a descriptive sentence or two about the web page, as this will show up in the search results.

  • Off-Page Optimization

Your off-the-page optimization will actually carry more weight in Google than your on-the-page optimization. While the content must be relevant and the page elements need to be in good order, what your links say about your page is much more important than what your page itself says.

To put that in perspective, lets say that you have a web page that you tell Google is all about "yellow". However, 10 different authority sites say that your web page is about "blue". Which do you think Google will believe? Similar to the way society views people, Google views web pages by the company they keep and their general associations.

This means that you want to pay special attention to who you link out to, and who links to you. While you cant fully control who links to your pages, you can seek out high quality inbound links that will give your page a "good reputation" and specific association with your topic.

It is better to have one link to your pet page from a pet-related page on another pet site, than to have 10 links to your pet page on general link pages on general sites. Make sense?

With that in mind, you want to use your keyword phrases to search out related sites. These established sites that rank in the top 20 for various related keywords are your best link partners, as they are most relevant.

In addition, and most importantly, you want to use your keyword phrases as the Anchor Text or Link Text for any links that point to your web pages. You will want to use some variation, so this is where your Secondary Keyword Phrases will come in handy again.

Using my Think & Grow Rich page as an example again, that page ranks in the top 5 results on Google for all three of these phrases:

- Think and Grow Rich
- Download Think and Grow Rich
- Think and Grow Rich Audio

Not only does that appear natural to Google (not everyone will link the same, except a spammer), but it gives you a wider reach in the search engines. You can now funnel traffic from a variety of keyword phrases that your target market may use.

Anchor Text (or Link Text) is simply the text that you link a URL to. The Anchor Text defines the web page you are linking to, and associates that page with a specific word or phrase. So when I link to my T&GR page like this: "Think and Grow Rich Audio", it tells the search engines that the page is about Think and Grow Rich Audio.

Your goal is to get links pointing to each of your web pages (not just your home page!) from relevant web pages on related sites, that contain relevant keyword phrases as the anchor text.

In addition, you want to optimize your Internal Links. These are links within your own site that link to pages of your site. They might be Navigation Links, or links within content areas. While these are not as relevant as links from other websites, they do still count and should be optimized properly.

Not only does that tell the search engines what your web page is about, but it is very helpful for your actual readers as well. "Download Think and Grow Rich" is much more obvious to someone scanning the page than "Click Here".

If you have any questions about Keyword Placement, or additional tips on where to use keywords, feel free to leave a comment below!


About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Good post Lynn; this is a touchy skill but when mastered the skies the limit.

  2. Laurie Neumann says

    This is excellent, Lynn. You have a way of saying things that make it very clear.

    Thank you!

  3. Thank you - glad you enjoyed it! 😉

  4. Thank you for the information Lynn. Keyword research has always been a mystery to me; this post was a huge help.

  5. Glad to hear it was helpful 😀 If you have any questions, there is a Market Research category at the forum.

  6. Excellent! I think it's time I utilze keywords and phrases.

  7. Lynn,
    Was there a particular reason why you choose not to optimize using the File Name (ex: thinkandgrowrich.html), instead opting for tagr.html? I’m just curious... I'm learning from you that everything is done with a purpose in mind. BTW...are you a chess player? Your writing always seems to stay a step ahead of my thoughts.

  8. Brenda Nicholson says

    Lynn, thanks for the great article. It's clear and easy to understand - I think I can put this to use right away!

    One question - on my blog, more than one post may show on a page at a time. How does this affect page rank, since each post is maximized for it's particular keywords?

  9. Lynn,

    This is a great post for someone that is new to keyword placement like me.

    Now I know the where to use keywords on my blogs.


  10. One question - on my blog, more than one post may show on a page at a time. How does this affect page rank, since each post is maximized for it’s particular keywords?

    That's only on the main page and category archives and such. Your main goal is to optimize those individual posts so that the pages get good rankings for their keyword phrase - as each post is a page of its own.

  11. Was there a particular reason why you choose not to optimize using the File Name (ex: thinkandgrowrich.html), instead opting for tagr.html? I’m just curious… I’m learning from you that everything is done with a purpose in mind.

    Good question! I created that page several years ago, and originally it was just a page where I offered the ebook as a free download. I made it a short link as I sent it out via email to my subscribers.

    Later, when I realized it was getting good traffic from the search engines, I decided to monetize it and better optimize it.

    The filename is something I generally choose purposely, as you pointed out, but is not a huge ordeal. It holds very little weight in the grand scheme of things - in regards to search engine rankings. So it was better to leave it as it was (already indexed) than to start fresh with a new file name at that point.

    BTW…are you a chess player? Your writing always seems to stay a step ahead of my thoughts.

    LOL Wes - Nope 😉

  12. John Paul Riger says

    Thank you, this was very informative. I am so new to this but I found this answered many of my questions.

  13. Glad you found it helpful John Paul - welcome to ClickNewz 🙂

  14. Great blog topic you got there. Hopefully someday i'll became a good blogger too. Hehehe... 🙂

  15. Lynn,

    Do you have this article in EA or elsewhere so I can use it in my newsletter?

  16. Do you have this article in EA or elsewhere so I can use it in my newsletter?

    I dont, Greg - but you are welcome to link to it.

  17. Thanks Lyn, I was only creating backlinks to my index page, now I will mix things up and link to other pages as well. No doubt I will see a difference.

  18. James Holmes says

    Lynn - What a great guide to on page and off page factors to consider. I appreciate that this post is so actionable and will have a high ROI as these are skills that will maximize your blogging and site creation efforts.


  19. This is great advice for those that do not know much about SEO. As a Realtor, I know how important it is to my business to rank well online. I took an interest in SEO years ago and it has been a tremendous benefit to my business.

  20. Laptop Acer says

    good topics Lynn, I have just started on page optimization because I'm newbie here. thank you!

  21. FYI, make sure you download by Dan Thies. It's free, less than 100 pages, and the BEST information on search engine optimization (SEO) that you can read.

    Should be required reading for ANYone starting a website or hoping to make money online 😉

  22. GailJ Richardson says

    Lynn,Thanks for the download link to seofaststart. I have read it and about half way through the second time around. It is even better now because I feel like I know a little bit about what he is talking about.I wish I had read it a year ago.Thanks again

  23. I'm still trying to master page optimization basics Lynn, there were some really good points in this post that I'm going to take note of.

  24. Great article, but what would be really helpful, in addition, is details on how exactly one should go about actually obtaining backlinks from authority sites. Perhaps you covered that in another article?

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the info.


  25. Good job, Lynn at simplifying this subject. Keywords are not so talked about much in this simplified detail (or they are made complex) such that as a beginner I was afraid of getting into keywords and SEO - until now.

  26. Hi,
    let's say you want to set up an ecommerce website selling hot dogs. Your domain name is registered as
    You now need to create a meta Title, description and some possible keywords.

    Which would be a better recommended title?
    The Dog Father | Selling Hot Dogs Online


    Buy Hot Dogs Online | Online Store for Hot Dogs

    which would be a better description:
    this website is the official Dog father website to sell fresh hot dogs online.


    Buy fresh hot dogs online through the Dog Father's official website


    • Hi Brad,

      It's not necessary to repeat the site name in the Title Tag. You should use the Primary Keyword Phrase for that specific page in the Title Tag of that page.

      If you chose "selling hot dogs online" you would attract people looking to sell hot dogs online. If you chose "buy hot dogs online" you would attract people looking to buy hot dogs online. So choose your keyword phrase to attract the ideal visitors.

      I also would not use the | character, but create a compelling 8-10 word title that sounds good *and* includes your keyword phrase. So your last example would be the closest to what I would use.

  27. Bill Gassett says

    It still amazes me how few people actually work on SEO for their websites. There are some folks that have great content yet it is never seen because of their lack of understanding with just the basics of onsite and offsite search engine optimization.

  28. have a good day lynn! these whole stuff is still a mystery to me but i am slowly learning, i want to be a blogger and right now i have no idea yet how to start, i have begun my research though its better to ask than just read alone. do you have detailed tutorials on blogging, SEO stuff? thanks i would love some tips from you.

  29. Good post. But what about using key words with photos? I thouight that photos were powerful links to one\'s site. What\'s the difference? Thx!

  30. Azhar Nadeem says

    terrific article. I am more impressed by Tutorial Sign up form...Can I have this one?

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