Keywords and Content – Writing with Keywords in Mind
Keywords are an important strategy when trying to boost your site’s profile.
With a little effort, your content can work to increase your Google ranking and find those extra views you need.
Put the ‘B’ in ‘Subtle’
Writing for keywords is NOT about filling your page with hundreds of keywords. In fact, all the big search engines are constantly adjusting their algorithms to prevent “keyword stuffing” and attempts to do so will end up hindering your efforts rather than helping.
There is no point trying to bludgeon Google with keywords. You need to be writing compelling and relevant content. Make it obvious to Google what your page is about. This is done through effective research and writing with keywords in mind.
The first step to ranking up is ensuring that Google knows exactly what your site is about. When choosing a keyword you’ll need to go beyond your company or brand name.
So how do we figure out what that keyword to use?
There are many tools for analysing websites and finding relevant keywords.
SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Spy, KWfinder and Bing’s Keyword Research Tool all offer helpful suggestions and tools for gleaning relevant, powerful keywords.
Also, take a look at how the keywords you choose relate to your customer persona. You want a level of granularity in your keywords that mirrors the detail of your customer persona to ensure you are attracting the right kind of clients. Don’t be using beer and hotdogs keywords when your customer persona likes champagne and caviar.
1-3% is the target figure. If you overuse keywords, it will affect readably and lower the value of the post. Again, subtlety is important. No need to remind people that you sell affordable shoes every two sentences.
Also, ensure that readability and context are maintained. “Holidays Gold Coast” won’t roll off the tongue but “The Gold Coast is an increasingly popular holiday destination,” reads much better.
Keywords in Action
The body of your text needs to reflect the needs of your readers and give them what they expected to find when they clicked on that link. As they read your high-quality content they should encounter your keywords naturally and in a relevant fashion.
Always try and put the main keyword in a heading. This will help signal to readers and Google alike what the page is about.
When search engines search body copy the first 200 words are most heavily rated for relevance. Be sure to use your keywords in those first few paragraphs.
Stay on topic and don’t force keywords into the script. Remember to keep the keywords around 1-3% of the text, no more and make sure it reads as naturally as possible.
Not directly related to writing content, but images do increase both reader engagement and give search engines more reasons to suggest your page over others. Filename, alt text and the surrounding copy all count towards relevance. Try to use alt text that describes the image and uses your keyword.
When you create a link to another page on your site make sure that the linked word or phrase (the anchor text, as it is known) contains one of your keywords.
Relevant links to high-quality external sites are also a good idea but place these links after the first 200 words.
Keywords are an important strategy in helping get your message out there and as long as you are doing it in a natural and relevant way your efforts will be rewarded.
For more tips on boosting your Google rank take a look at our free guide The Top 10 Things You Can Do For Your SEO Strategy.