Once you’ve chosen the best keywords for your virtual assistant business, it’s time to place them throughout the content of your website – both front and back end.
If you’re not yet sure what keywords you should be optimising your website for, you may want to cast your eyes over a past article How to choose the best keywords for your VA business which gives some pointers on this topic.
For those of you who have already gone through the process of researching, analysing and choosing the best keywords for your VA business, this article should act as a simple guide when implementing them throughout your website.
Let’s start with looking at the behind-the-scenes stuff.
- Page titles
- Meta tags
- Alt tags
1. Page Titles
The page title is the text that appears at the top of the webpage when you hover over the browser tab. For example, the page title for Virtual Assistance Professional Magazine is the magazine name, as you can see by the highlighted section in the visual below:
It also acts as the title in a Google search result – the text in bold shown in the visual below:
- Place your primary keyword(s) as close to the front as possible.
- Ensure the title is no more than 70 characters so that the full title appears in the search results.
- The homepage is the most important page to optimise and should ideally include your company name as well as your primary keyword.
- All other webpages are recommended to be optimised, but each page must have its own unique page title.
- Ensure that the keywords you’ve used for each page also appear within the main content of the page, otherwise you risk being penalised by Google for ‘keyword stuffing’.
Google provides some great advice on creating descriptive page titles – definitely worth reading whether you’ve already created your page titles or are just starting out.
2. Meta Tags
Whilst technically meta tags aren’t seen by website visitors, Google will sometimes use them to display in search engine results if it feels they provide a more accurate description of the webpage. So it’s worth spending a bit of time optimising each of your webpage meta tags too.
Google uses numerous meta tags, but the only two you really need to concentrate on are the:
- Meta description tag
- Meta keyword tag
The meta description tag is what Google may use as the snippet to display in search engine results. So make sure it’s clear, informative and provides a good synopsis of the page content.
As with page titles, make sure each page has a unique meta description and ensure that any keywords are also included within the page content.
The meta keyword tag allows you to enter your keywords in list format for each page. But there are rules to help you stay focussed and to ensure you don’t cause a detrimental impact to your website ranking:
- Separate each keyword with a comma.
- Don’t add hundreds of keywords to cover everything – less is more. Include keywords specific to your business and niche.
- Ensure any keywords used are also contained within the page content.
Again Google provides thorough information on meta tags which may be useful when updating your website.
3. Alt tags
An alt tag is the description used for an image contained on your website. It’s recommended to include alt tags as they serve two purposes:
- They act as the description if the image can’t be displayed on the browser, so the user has an idea of what should be there.
- They are used on specialist browsers for the visually impaired – the alt tag will be read out loud by the computer.
So as before with page titles and meta tags, you can include keywords when adding alt tags, but don’t overdo it. Make sure it’s relevant to the image being displayed. For example, if I include a profile picture on my website to let people see the ‘VA behind the business’, the alt tag could read:
“Sarah Begley, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Miss Begley”
It displays my name, job title, and business name. Perfect.
What I shouldn’t do is try and cram as many keywords in as possible:
“Sarah Begley, Virtual Assistant, Copywriter, Administrative Assistant, Business Support Services, Virtual Miss Begley”
The main reason being, it’s essentially keyword stuffing which Google doesn’t like. In fact, Google can and will penalise any websites it feels are using keyword stuffing techniques.
So just keep it simple and to the point. Include keywords where you can, but include them naturally.
And again, Google has some good advice on alt tags – check it out before going any further.
The final place you need to include your keywords is throughout the page content. I’ve left this until last because for many this can be quite a daunting task. But don’t worry, it’s not too difficult. There are some easy rules to follow to ensure your content is well optimised for search engines.
- Ensure your primary keywords are placed naturally throughout the content of each web page. To check if it is done naturally, read the page text out loud. If it reads fluidly then you’ve done a good job. If you feel it’s a little forced in places, it may be worth spending more time tweaking it.
- Try to place your main keyword as close to the beginning of the text as possible. It’s also recommended to include it in the last paragraph of the page.
- Try to have your page content be at least 500 words. Any less and Google may not register the page at all.
- Include headings and sub-headings on the page and try to ensure keywords are contained within them. this has a dual purpose – it breaks up the copy making it easier for your visitors to read, and it’s another opportunity for keyword placement.
Once you’ve written your page content to include your chosen keywords, it’s a good idea to have someone else read it. Preferably someone who doesn’t know you too well, and ideally someone who doesn’t really know what your business is about.
Ask them to critique the copy and give feedback as follows:
a) Does it read well?
b) Does it make sense?
c) Is it clear what the page is about?
d) Does it give direction on what you should do next?
The last point relates to your call to action. If you haven’t included these strategically throughout your website you may wish to refer to our earlier article How to make a stronger call to action for a few suggestions.
If you find an honest reader who is able to give constructive feedback, listen to them and implement any changes that you feel are needed.
And that’s it! You’ve now optimised your website with the best keywords for your business.
What’s next? Link building which we’ll cover next time.