Using keywords is a major part of any good blog. Without them, your content won’t be found in search engines like Google!
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be daunting at first, but once you learn the basics, it isn’t so bad.
In this post, we’ll discuss the most basic of SEO principles: Researching, using and ranking for keywords.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Research Your Keywords
Before you write a blog post, you should know what keywords you want to rank for. (But before you do that, make sure you have Google Analytics set up!)
To find your keywords, you must first know your topic. What are you writing about?
Pro Tip: You should be writing about a single topic. One of the most important factors to ranking in Google include covering every sub-topic within your main topic. Don’t be too random in your topics or it will hurt your SEO.
Once you have a topic in mind, start by searching for it in Google.
For example, let’s say we’re writing about “How to get more traffic to your blog”. Here’s what comes up:
From this one simple search, we now know what else people are searching for. We can add “how to get more traffic to your blog for free”, “how to get more traffic to your blog wordpress” and “how to get more traffic to your blogger” as potential keywords to use in the article.
Next, let’s take a look at the related searches at the bottom of the page:
It’s like our birthday! We now have eight more keyword phrase ideas to add to the list.
Pro Tip: You can also use these methods to generate topic ideas. For example, “how to get more traffic to your blogger” can be a different topic than getting traffic to a regular blog. Also, you can continue to look at the suggested and related searches for each of these new phrases, increasing your potential for ideas.
Another great way to do keyword research is a tool like SEMrush. They show you the difficulty of ranking for a keyword and tons of other information as well. You can do a few searches for free, but after that you have to pay.
Alternatively, just plug your keywords into the Google Keyword Planner to get some interesting info.
Using Keywords in your Blog Post
Once you’ve got a good list of keywords, it’s time to add them to your post.
Personally, I like to write the post first, then go back and add in the keywords where it makes sense. This makes it easier to focus on writing so you don’t interrupt your flow.
Don’t over-stuff your article with keywords!
A good rule of thumb is to put your keyword in once for every 300-500 words. Any more than that and Google may flag you for keyword stuffing and push you out of search results.
Besides adding them in your copy, you also want to put them:
- Once in your title
- In your heading tags (h2, h3, etc.)
- In image alt text
- In your meta description (this doesn’t effect SEO but may effect click-thru rate which in turn affects SEO)
- In your URL
There you have it! A super quick guide to using keywords in your blog posts.
Finding and using keywords doesn’t have to be as complicated as it looks. While this article only covers the absolute basics, it still gives you a fighting chance to rank on Google.
Of course, there is more to SEO, like backlinks, usability, site speed, and more. We didn’t cover any of these in this post. If you would like us to cover them in a future post, leave us a comment to let us know! Comments help us understand what you want to read about and directly affect what we write about.
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