Keywords are at the heart of SEO.  Keywords help your site get recognized by Google, and as a result, help would-be clients find you on the net.  The correct selection and placement of keywords is imperative.  The following is a simple outline for using keywords:

Use a keyword tool – You don’t have to guess what clients are searching for.  A number of great keyword selection tools make research a snap.  Google Adword keyword tool, Wordtracker, and Keyword Discovery will help you find popular keywords.

Use common sense – It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what potential clients are searching for.  If you operate a limo service in Nashiville, people are searching for phrases like: Nashville limo, Nashville limousine, Nashville wedding limo, Nashville airport limo.  If you rank well for a few big keywords, you’ll own your local online market.

Focus on phrases – Most people use large phrases like Hummer limo in Nashville, not individual keywords.  It’s important to optimize your site around phrases, not individual words.

Break your site into sections – Breaking a site into sections makes it easier to organize keywords into various themes.  Typical limo keyword groups are vehicles, weddings, proms, airports, and rates.

Target keyword phrases – It’s a good idea to target different keyword phrases on each page.  Target no more than one or two primary and two or three secondary keyword phrases per page.

Page Optimization

Once you’ve selected a group of targeted keywords, it’s important to put them in the proper places throughout a site.  Your site should be optimized for humans and search engines.

Put keywords in the page titles – This is the most important place to put your keywords.  The keywords should be placed near the beginning of the title.  If you decide to put your company name on every page, it’s usually best to put it at the end of the title.  This would be a typical wedding page title with the company name: Nashville wedding limo – Sunshine limo Service.  For those of you with limited web experience, the official title is the name of the page on top of the browser window, not on the page.

Keep it brief – Short titles are typically better than long titles.

Overlap keyword phrases – Overlapping keyword phrases can rank well for multiple phrases.  A phrase like Nashville limousine service will rank well for Nashville limousine and Nashville limousine service.

Meta Tags – The Meta description tag is important.  This is the tag Google uses for the search excerpt.  Be sure to use a keyword phrase and write it for humans.  It doesn’t help with rankings, but it helps sell the site.  The keyword tag is a waste of time, so don’t worry about it.

Use a H1 header – Every page should have a descriptive H1 header with a keyword phrase similar to the page tile.

Break up the page – Most readers skim web pages.  Breaking up a page with subheadings defines the subject and makes it easier to read.  Bulleted lists and bold type also help readability.

Final Note

It’s very important not to do anything stupid with keywords to boost your rankings.  Unless you hold a doctorate in Computer Science, trying to fool Google’s algorithm is futile.  Google also employs thousands of real live humans to review questionable sites.

Keyword stuffing is a big red flag along with hiding keywords in the footer.  Always play it safe and write for humans, not Google.  Rankings are important, but every limo site needs a compelling pitch to sell the service.