Alistair McAlpine

Keyword placement for Web Writers

In Writing for the Web on September 23, 2010 at 2:14 p09

Video Version available

The keywords web users type into search engines are key to grabbing their attention.  Clever keyword placement stops them in their tracks, remember they only spend a few seconds on your page before deciding to stay or leave.

Websites for Hunter-Gatherers

Back when we were a Neolithic hunter-gatherers our instincts were honed to maximize our chances of success hunting mammoth or blackberries.  The same instincts come into play when we load keywords into search engines on the internet.


Keywords stand out on the web page landscape

Keywords – stuff you feed search engines

“Mammoth easy to bring down”, words describing what we’re looking for. Click on a search result and up pops a web page  Very quickly we scan the territory, is this going to be fruitful or not?
Is this page going to be easy to read?
Do we see any keywords on the page?

It only takes us between 2 to 5 seconds they say, to make up our mind.

Keywords, where do we look for them on a web page?

Scanning a web page for keywords we check the headline. Are there any keywords in the headline? As a web writer, you’d better put keywords in there.

We scan down the left hand side of the page, checking out the sub-headlines. Are there keywords in the sub-headlines?

We may even read some text

Put keywords in the first words of any paragraph. Why? Due to the liquid nature of web text the only words guaranteed to be on the left side of any page are the first words of paragraphs.

Links – outstanding eye-grabbers

Put keywords in your links. As we scan the page links are obvious places to check for keyword clues.

Links, a Web Writer’s take” is an article worth checking out.

Keywords placed strategically in image captions stand out too, put keywords in captions.

Keywords are mammoth traps in:

  • Headlines
  • Subheadlines
  • The first words of any paragraph
  • Links
  • The captions of images

Put juicy Keywords where web users look and they’ll stay with your webpage.


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