You can achieve SEO, or search engine optimization, through a number of methods. In a previous article we discussed using subtitles and hierarchy, optimizing your images, incorporating internal links, and other strategies for increasing your blog’s SEO.
Here, we’re going to dive into the topic of keywords. As it turns out, the name is apt, because they are a major key to unlocking SEO success.
What are keywords?
Think of what you do when you need to find something online. If you’re looking, for example, for a landscaper to help you remove a storm-damaged tree, you might search for “landscaper,” “best landscaper,” or maybe “tree removal.” These are keywords.
Keywords can be either long-tail or short-tail. Long-tail keywords are slightly longer phrases, whereas short-tail keywords are shorter phrases, generally two to three words. In our example above, “tree removal” is a short-tail keyword, whereas “tree removal in Colmar” would be a long-tail keyword.
When incorporating keywords into your blog, aim for long-tail keywords. The reason they are preferable is that they narrow down the search to more specific terms, so you have a better chance of showing up higher in the search results.
A quick Google search turned up 5,260,000,000 results for “tree removal” but only 4,530,000 results for “tree removal in Colmar.” Using a long-tail keyword brought the competition from the trillions to the millions—better odds for a landscaper looking to rank for the service.
How do you find keywords?
In establishing the keywords you want to incorporate into your blog, consider first what the main topic is. If you were a reader, what might you type into a search engine if you were looking for information on this topic? You can try different variations of keywords as we did above, fine-tuning your keywords to a phrase that will return a volume of results that makes it easier for you to rank.
You can also use tools to help your keyword search. Google Keyword Planner is a popular tool, and many also use tools (some of them free or with free versions) like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Wordtracker, and SEMrush.
Whatever tools you use, your goal is to establish keywords that fit what you can expertly talk about and are highly searched by your audience, keeping in mind that you do want a manageable volume of competition.
How do you use keywords?
Once you’ve found your keywords, use them throughout your blog post. Areas you’ll want to pay particular attention to are your blog title, the body of the text, and your subheadings.
Two areas people often forget to incorporate keywords are in images and descriptions. You can include keywords in image names as well as alt text, and places like the meta description, which is the snippet people see under the title when your blog appears in a search result.
There is one thing you definitely want to avoid when it comes to keywords, however. Keyword stuffing, or keyword spamming, is when you force keywords into every part of your blog, so it almost reads like a string of keywords instead of a value-add for consumers. Not only will keyword stuffing turn off your readers, but Google detects it and penalizes keyword stuffers with lower rankings.
Keywords are critical to your blog’s SEO success, and the time and effort it takes to research them pays off in higher search engine result rankings and more clicks through to your blog. Give the marketing experts at RedKnight Marketing a call today for help identifying and using keywords to boost your blog’s performance!