In an earlier post I talked about how to get your business blog working harder. I gave you seven tips to optimize it, however I neglected one important item: keywords.
We all know that content is important, and part of that is choosing the best keywords for your content. But how do you make sure that you’ve got the best keywords in your content?
Language and the words you use in your blog are an important part of SEO. Good writing techniques like conversational language, and appropriate content, as well as good linking techniques ensures that search engines highlight your blog in their results. Promoting your content helps build a community with like-minded readers, as well as develops relationships with potential customers. This is why having a business blog is important in today’s market. It is another way for you to reach out to your market, and for them to contact you.
Adding good keywords to your content will increase your “sharability”, and solidify the relationships you’ve built.
Keyword Tools to Use
Some people think that keywords (and their relative the keyphrase) are created by users on the fly as they write. Keywords are like Twitter hashtags, right? You can create them as you like.
While keywords are created on the fly when users search for topics online, when you create content using keywords, it’s not the same thing. You have to create the content with the keywords in mind. You need to know what people are searching for, and then write the content that uses those keywords.
Regardless if you’re a professional SEO company like Search Engine People, or a freelance content specialist and copywriter like me, you need a keyword tool to help you focus in on the right words for your content.
Step 1: Create a List
The first step is to create a list of words for your blog. Try to think of it in general terms, and not the specific topics you’ll be writing about. Don’t forget to think about your blog from your reader’s perspective. After all, they’re the ones doing the searching and reading.
Step 2: Research the List
Using a keyword tool like Google’s Keyword Tool, plug in your list and see how effective those keywords are. The Keyword Tool gives you a number of metrics for those keywords, including number of searches per month, as well as their competitiveness. (Remember, the higher the competitiveness, the harder it is to get ranked for that keyword.)
While the Google Keyword Tool is great, don’t forget to use a few other tools to check out your list. Each tool uses slightly different algorithms when producing the numbers, so it’s good to compare to see how your keywords stack up. Other tools include:
You can find even more here: [click to see more SEO tools]
Step 3: Rank your keywords
Last step would be to rank your keywords from lowest to highest competitiveness. This will act as a blueprint for your content creation, and help drive your writing.
You’ve Done Your Homework, Now What?
Now it’s time for a little mixology, writing-style. Using your keyword rank list, choose some of the highest and lowest ranked words, and plug them in to your editorial calendar. The mix of high and low means that your posts will rank higher in the search engine results for the high ranking keywords, and will also move the lower ones up the list because of the association. It’s all about who you know, or rather, who your keywords know.
- Incorporate the keywords in your blog post titles, as well as in the posts themselves.
- Write naturally and include the keywords appropriately in there.
- Add the keywords in your post’s meta description tags
- Include the keywords in the ALT tags for all images in the post for accessibility and hidden search engine rankings
- Repeat the keywords and keyphrases naturally throughout the post
- Avoid overuse and inappropriate use of the keywords and keyphrases, as that’s penalized by search engines
A little more information on the meta description tags…
Most people forget about these when writing their blog posts, especially business blogs. They’re an important and easy way to super-charge your blog’s visibility and ranking. Depending on your blog’s theme, SEO meta descriptions may be included automatically, or you may need to use a plug in (link). Either way, add in the keywords for the specific post in the meta description tags each time you write. It’s like a double-dipping on your SEO: the search engines will find the keywords inside the body of your post, but also in the meta tags.
Use the optional description meta description field too. This is the description shown under the link in Google. Here’s an example of one from one of my posts:
This information can be completely different from your post content and title. It’s a great way to add in a third layer of SEO for the post, and one method people often forget about.
The Final Frontier…
After doing your keyword research, setting up your priority list, and familiarizing yourself with some keyword tools, the last step is to get writing. Create quality content with good keywords, and your readers will come. Keep on top of your keywords and changing trends, and you’ll maintain your position and readership.
So Get Writing!