Keywords for seo purposes are one of the most important things every blogger who hopes to rank in the search engines should think about. Keywords are one of the most important parts of seo and you should consider them carefully when deciding which keywords for seo purposes you will use on your blog.
What are keywords for seo?
Keywords are certain phrases that are held through your blog and you blog posts. They are the phrases that you wish to rank highly for in the search engines. For example if you wanted a particular post to rank highly for “Best holiday destinations in May” you would sprinkle the keyword throughout your post where it sounded natural to increase your keyword density.
Now the problem with keywords for seo is that if you aim for too high of a density it begins to look unnatural and it while you may rank high temporarily, actually reading the post will be difficult for anyone unlucky enough to come across it.
Therefore it is important to strike a balance when writing, try to find middle ground between writing for search engines and writing for your readers.
How to know which keywords will rank well for seo purposes?
While there are many tools out there that help you pick keywords for seo purposes, some paid and some free, I am personally recommending the Google Adwords tool as a beginner tool. Here you can type in both long tail and short tail keywords and see how many (approximate) searches there are for the terms each month. It also lists the competition for these terms but this is related to ad campaigns so ignore this.
There are many better paid tools but the google adwords tool is great for those starting out in the world of blogging and seo. So before writing your blog posts have a few keywords in mind and type them into the google adwords tool and see how many searches they come back with.
How to pick keywords for your blog posts?
Remember to have your audience in mind when brainstorming keywords and try to use long tail keywords which will direct more relevant traffic towards your blog. For example if you write a post about ice cream shops in Toronto try to rank for keywords like ‘the best ice cream shops in Toronto’ as opposed to simply ‘ice cream’. This way your traffic will be more targeted and you’ll have a lower bounce rate. Sure you may have more traffic if you somehow manage to rank for plain old ‘ice cream’ (good luck with that) but it won’t be quality traffic and it wont be the type of traffic that converts.
So follow these steps each time you write a blog post
- After deciding what to write about, think of a couple of keywords that describe your post. If you are writing and article on how to change a nappy these could be ‘changing nappies’, ‘how to change a nappy’, ‘nappies’ etc.
- Then think about what your potential reader would be typing into google when searching for your information. It is unlikely that they would be typing in ‘nappies’ if they were instead searching for information on changing a nappy, so the more appropriate keyword would be ‘ how to change a nappy’ as written above or some variation on that phrase. Don’t forget that keywords with three to five words are best as they better decide you article and are more likely to be used when searching for something online.
- So now that you’ve got your keyword (or keyphrase as it’s otherwise known) you can go to the google adsense tool and type it in. This tool should also show you some variations on the keyword so you can pick the most relevant one from here. I can’t stress enough to aim for relevance instead of a one worded keyword with a million searches per month. Not only will it be harder to rank for, the traffic you receive may be full of ‘bounces’.
- Now write your article while being conscious of the key phrase while writing naturally for your readers.
- After you have written your article go through and see where you can add in the keyword for seo purposes to increase your keyword density. You’ll want to put it in the title and also in a sub heading or two, as well as ensuring your keyword is used atleast once near the top of the page. After doing this read through your article again and make sure it still sounds natural and that the keywords appear to occur organically, you don’t want it to sound like it’s been stuffed full of keywords.
- Consider installing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin which is a free seo tool which can tell you the keyword density among other helpful seo tips.
While you may try your best to rank for certain keywords you may never get on the front page of the search engines, why is this?
- Your keyword may be too competitive. If your keyword is highly sought after and you’re up against blogs and websites with seo geniuses and a high site authority or age on their side it can be incredibly difficult to rank well. Suck it up and move on.
- You’ve chosen too general of a keyword: You may have chosen ‘blogs’ as your keyword. Well do you know how often that term is used in every other blog on the planet? Chances are, its been used a lot and will be almost impossible to rank highly for without un-natural keyword stuffing which will turn off your readers.
- You’ve chosen too specific of a keyword: While it’s great to be specific e.g. “travel bloggers from Australia”, trying to rank for a keyphrase too specific like “female travel bloggers in Adelaide” will mean that too little searches will be made looking for this keyphrase and you’ll unlikely get many visitors.
For more beginner SEO tips see this page.