There are many factors that go into determining where your pages rank in the Google search results, at last count more than 200 and growing. And this is only a guess, based on the available empirical evidence SEO’s and webmasters have been able to divine from looking intently behind the curtain. Don’t be stuck guessing, follow these tips to start.

There are at this count in excess of 200 items that play a part in the Google search algorithm, and keyword relevance is one that we’d like to focus on here. We feel that keywords, while only a factor, influence the remainder of the ranking in many ways. In a way, it’s where everything starts.

One is through the use of keywords. We’ve always known that keywords play a huge part in ranking pages. In older times people could rank highly by simply stuffing their pages with the keywords they wanted to rank for, and presto, they were sitting high atop the rankings.

No longer. Google’s search algorithm is now so advanced it takes into account a large number of different aspects to figure out where to place your page. Let’s have a look at how keywords affect this now.

How to use keywords to lift your search rankings

Shaping your page content to go after a particular keyword ranking is something of an art. Often the domain name may have little to nothing related to the keyword in question, and that’s one reason why keywords in domain names are no longer the signal they once were.

Today having the keyword in your URL, title tag, H1-5 headings and sprinkled judiciously throughout the content is the best way you can help your cause. Keywords are important.

What keyword tactics to avoid

You can shoot yourself in the foot several ways  in this respect as well. Keyword stuffing, that aforementioned relic of yesteryear, is one.

One more way is through the improper use of anchor text in your site’s backlinks. Having all the backlinks that appear for a particular page using the same anchor text, and all be followed links, is a sure red flag in this current algorithm. Aim for as natural a link profile as you can build, and vary your anchor text with natural phrases that would occur, such as a few “click here” and the like.