Integrating keywords into your blog content is a key component of any effective SEO strategy. The better you get at choosing your keywords and integrating them appropriately into your content, the more traffic you will drive to your blog and the more your bottom line will grow. To take your keyword strategy to the next level, here’s what you need to know about taking your keywords seriously.
Do keyword research. Some keywords receive hundreds of thousands of clicks per day, while others only receive a few. However, when it comes to clicks, more isn’t necessarily better. Simple keywords, like “shoes” or “pizza,” will receive hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of clicks each and every day simply because these generic words are much more likely to be used in a search query. However, because these keywords are so common, it is incredibly difficult to rank well for them. Long-tail keyword phrases, by contrast, tend to be much longer and specific. Long-tail keyword phrases, like “best pizza in Rochester, NY” or “brown suede boots with a low heel,” are not likely to be used in search queries nearly as frequently single keywords, but they are easier to rank for. Furthermore, these long-tail keywords tend to convert much better. Someone making a generic search about shoes is probably much less likely to make a purchase than someone who is searching for a very specific style of shoe.
So, what does all of this mean when it comes to choosing the correct keywords to use in your blog and other content? The bottom line is that if you want to be successful, you need to target long-tail keywords effectively. These constitute about 70 percent of all search queries. They are much more likely to attract customers whose needs and wants align with your offerings, which is good for your conversion rates and bottom line. This should go without saying, but when choosing keywords, remember that you need to choose words that are relevant to your industry and niche. Keywords don’t just need to rank; they need to coalesce with your content and prove relevant to your target audience.
When it comes to keywords, sometimes less is more. The goal is not to incorporate as many keywords as possible into your blog content. In fact, that could actually hurt your SEO strategy, as search engines might think you are keyword stuffing. The number of keywords you should be leveraging ultimately depends on the size of your blog and your specific niche or industry.
“The exact number that you need will be determined by the size of your site and your industry. Most small blogs, for example, only cover one or two different main keywords, while authority sites can cover hundreds,” Mike Templeman explained in Forbes. “After you have selected your main keywords, you need to find several long-tail keywords that relate to your main keywords. These can help serve as inspiration for your blog posts and help you target a more niche market.”
Pay attention to what your competitors are doing. To boost your rankings in search engines, it is a good idea to pay attention to what your competitors are doing on the keyword front. “It's important when analyzing keywords that you know which keywords your competitors use and if you’re in the proper league to either continue to use them or try for keywords that are still popular yet not used as often,” online business consultant John Rognerud told Entrepreneur. To determine what keywords your competitors are using, you can use a keyword research tool and input your competitor’s web address.
Integrate keywords into your editorial planning. When it comes to using keywords in your blog posts, the goal isn’t just to stuff them. Rather, you should be developing content around specific keywords so that content is relevant to these words and keywords can be integrated organically. That’s why it makes sense to consider keywords in your editorial planning process. Figure out what blog post idea fits with what keyword and develop content accordingly.
Know where to use your keywords. It doesn’t just matter what keywords you use; it matters where you use them. Ideally, you should disperse keywords strategically throughout each post in the following places:
· Title: The title of a blog post is what search engines and users use in order to ascertain the relevancy of your content. Therefore, you should always aim to integrate keywords into your titles. Ideally, the keyword should be placed within the first 65 characters of your title, as this is where Google cuts off the headline in SERPs. So, if you have a long title, make an effort to squeeze the keyword into the beginning.
· Headers and Body: In addition to using your keyword in the title of your blog post, you’ll want to use your keyword at a normal cadence throughout your blog post. If possible, try to get your keyword in the first paragraph or two, and from there on, do your best to integrate it into the content in an organic way. Remember, failing to do so could result in a Google penalty, so make sure to avoid overusing keywords. The goal is to create content that is perceived as both valuable and relevant to your core audience — not to stuff your posts with keywords.
· URL: Search engines examine your URL to figure out what your post is all about, so the URL is one of the first elements to be crawled on every given page. To take advantage of this, it helps to optimize your URLs on every post you publish.
· Meta Description: Your meta description gives search engines and users info on the essence of your content, so your best bet is to optimize this with a keyword.
Remember, it isn’t just what keywords you use; it is where you use them. The better you get strategic keyword placement, the stronger your SEO strategy.
Track your keyword performance. Once you have a keyword strategy in place and are publishing content with your keywords, it is a good idea to track the performance of your keywords. This helps you figure out what keywords are performing the best and driving the most traffic to your site, allowing you to refine and tweak your strategy accordingly. How can you do this? Well, if you have Google Analytics, it’s easy. Just head over to the “Traffic Sources” menu, and you’ll be able to see the keywords visitors used to get to your site.
The bottom line is that taking your keywords seriously is ultimately in the best interest of your business. A comprehensive keyword strategy with keywords that are well chosen and effective is an excellent way to drive traffic to your site — and boost your bottom line.
Need help with your content marketing strategy? Contact the team at 10twelve today!