Keywords are extremely important when it comes to improving Search Engine Optimization, in short, SEO, of your blog posts. There are strategic ways in which you can implement these words in your posts. Today I will show you the following ways in which you may improve your SEO and make Google fall in love with your content:
- How to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find keywords in your post niche.
- How to implement these keywords in various parts of your post for better SEO.
However, before all of that, let us talk about SEO and what it can do for us, and how Keywords come into all these. Let us look at the following scenario:
Somebody decides to go vegan, however, they have no clue what sort of vegan food they can prepare at home. So, they search for vegan recipes online. May be they want to narrow down recipes even further, and want to search for quinoa salad! We all know the term “niche” by now I hope. Vegan recipe is a niche, and quinoa salad is a niche within a niche.
In short, vegan recipe and quinoa salad are all keywords! Now, many people may be searching for vegan recipes, but not all of them will be searching for quinoa salad. Therefore, focusing on the keywords “quinoa salad” as opposed to “vegan recipe” will make you appear on Google towards the top as your content will appear relevant more over just vegan recipes!
I hope that made sense. If not, then please check out this comic strip that will definitely make the whole keyword and SEO stuff clear for you.
The goal of using keywords strategically is for Google to show your page on its search results, so people, who may benefit from your content, can find you easily. And the more people read your content, the more Google will love you, and the more you will end up in Google’s search results. It’s a not-too-vicious cycle! At least for those of us who like great content.
So, in short, the more people like your content, the more Google likes your content. And for people to find your content, you need to use the right keywords in the right places. As simple as that.
Now, let us see how we can strategically use these keywords.
Find the Right Keywords
We will use Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner to find the right keywords. As mentioned in the above scenario, one should always try to niche down on keywords. “Vegan recipe” is great, but “quinoa salad” is BETTER! “How to improve concentration” is good, but “yoga poses for improved concentration” is smarter! Before you write a blog post, sit down and think of ways in which you can really narrow down your keywords.
One tool that we can use to help us choose some of the focus words is Google Adwords. Now, keyword is not simply one or two words necessarily. We can use our keywords in phrases in multiple locations of our blog post to help Google find out content faster, and more easily. Google Adwords Keyword Planner is an amazing tool that can help us do that effectively. Here’s how to use it:
First, go to adwords.google.com and then sign in with your gmail account. If you are using Adwords for the first time, you will need to create a new account.
Second, go to Tools > Keyword Planner. DO NOT click on “Create your first campaign”. That is NOT what we are doing here.
Third, expand on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” On the expanded window, under “Your product or Service” we enter our keyword(s) or phrases. You will see some other options here, such as location, language, etc. We will disregard them for the time being, and assume our audience come from all over the world. After entering the keyword(s), click on “Get ideas”.
In the next step, we see a bunch of keywords and key phrases with a few other things listed next to them, as you can see in the image. The two things we need to pay attention to are: “Avg. Monthly Searches”, and “Competition”. We need find the sweet spot where we have a lot of average monthly searches, but with a low competition. Now, in the images I am showing you, I searched for Quinoa Salad, and as expected, this is a very niche topic, and so there is very low competition, and a fairly decent average monthly search. Meaning, quinoa salad makes for a really good key-phrase! A few other good key-phrases from this list are: quinoa recipes, and quinoa salad recipes. These are all key-phrases with low competition, but a fairly high search volume.
Use Keywords Strategically
There are a few places where keywords and key-phrases are the most important.
First, the post title. Your keywords needs to be in the blog post title itself.
Second, the post slug, as in, the extension that tails behind the URL of the post itself. In WordPress, you can easily edit this part by editing the permalink.
Third, Image alt tag and image file name. Especially the first image or the featured image alt tag is VERY important. And please, DO NOT name an image “ffuwe573296749.jpg”. That’s just ridiculous! Name your files something that makes sense. For example, the file name for the first image you see in this post is: “keywords-for-better-seo.jpg”. Also, make sure to insert the keywords in the alt tags of your images.
Lastly, make sure your keywords and key-phrases appear in the first paragraph of the post. That is a very important step.
Additionally, if you are on self hosted WordPress, do yourself a favor and install the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s like your SEO police and will practically force you to write a blog post that is guaranteed to have all the aforementioned strategies put in the right places. Don’t take the plugin too seriously, as it is only a plugin after all, and does not have the editing skills of a proper human editor. Pay attention to its suggestions, and then use your own judgement.
Well, I hope this post was helpful to you. Much of what I shared with you I learned from Melyssa Griffin, so yeah, a BIG shout out to the blogging and online business queen! Do let me know if something I said was not clear. Leave a comment below and I will do my best to clarify.