Keywords are vital to your online success. Your goal is to organically (naturally) rank high in Google and in other search engines, so you need to implement certain SEO (search engine optimization) strategies, and keywords will play an important role in those.

When you conduct keyword research, you’re doing it to learn how your prospective customer is utilizing search engines to find the information or products that they want. You then take the words (and phrases) and use them on your site, to ensure it’s relevant for your target audience.

In the old days, keywords could be stuffed and hidden all over a website to trick search engines into helping a site rank high. Now that they’ve caught on, you have to use them with a more whitehat approach or risk getting de-indexed in Google and other search giants.

Where do your keywords generally need to be? Don’t discount Meta tags in your HTML code. These are still important, but they may not be the most important tactic to use anymore.

Keyword placement depends on what type of page you’re building. If it’s a web 2.0 property such as a Squidoo lens, HubPage or Google Knol, then you want a keyword in the URL that you register, in the titles, subtitles and content that you write, and also in any tagging space they give you the opportunity to fill in.

If you’re making a blog post on your blog, then the keyword should be in the URL, too. But you may have to check to ensure that your blog template is using this strategy. Under settings and then permalinks, you’ll be able to set your preferences.

For instance, many blogs default to give your post a number like this:

You’ll need to choose custom structure and enter this code: /%postname%.html – this will make your blog post URL appear with the title of the post, where your keywords will be, like this:

Use keywords within all of your content, especially the first paragraph and preferably in the first sentence, so that the initial snippet Google shows has your keyword included (it will appear bold if the person searching uses this exact keyword in their search).

Experts disagree about what density you have in regards to keywords. Some say 2% and others go as high as 10%. What you really need to do is write both human visitors and search engine spiders alike. That means enough keywords so that the searchbots see your content’s relevancy and not so many that it turns off your reader because it reads awkwardly.