Keywords 101

keywords

If you’ve set up your online presence, you probably heard the word “keyword” thrown around. Don’t dismiss it as a buzzword – keywords can make or break your success on search engines, like Google. This is because they are important for answering the questions of Internet readers everywhere. With keywords, you are answering questions you might not have known were being asked, or ones that you had anticipated.

But it’s not as simple as filling every text box on your site with every important word you can think of. No, there’s a keyword code of conduct you have to abide by. Read on and see how you can improve your ranking!

Keywords and SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization, keywords are everything. Keywords are the meat of your content; they are what signal to interested parties that what you have to say is worth their time. This is because you are answering their queries, stepping up to the challenge and offering a solution to their problem. Having proper keywords in your copy means there’s a better chance of seeing your site higher on their search engine returns.

With this in mind, your keywords should reflect the mindset of your potential audience. Every piece, blog, blurb, description – whatever it is, you should word it in such a way that it reflects what people are punching into search engines. This can drive organic traffic to your site and improve your ranking!

How do you do this? You can form pieces around popular keywords or add popular keywords to pieces you already had in mind – just include keywords and phrases that are on the mind of your audience. But you can’t pad your stats and get away with it! Including keywords means writing natural-sounding sentences and avoiding something called keyword stuffing.

Keyword Stuffing: Don’t Do It!

Keyword stuffing is… bad. Bad, bad, bad. No, I’m not stuffing this blog with Michael Jackson-themed keywords (you’d be off the wall for thinking that!) – it’s just important to remember that you really shouldn’t stuff your site or blog with keywords.

keywords

Now, keyword stuffing is a very specific sin. It means you’re shoving words where they wouldn’t actually belong in a sentence, sacrificing proper structure for words your audience might like to see. It’s tempting to do, so we don’t blame you for the impulse. It feels like an easy way to game the system, but a word to the wise: Google is a very worthy adversary. The world’s most important search engine will penalize your site if it detects unnatural structure

Here are some great tips that you can use when thinking of blogging:

  • Write longer pieces. It sounds like a lot of work (believe me, no one knows that more than I!), but it’s very important because then you have more proper sentences. An 1000-word piece has 750 more opportunities to naturally pop in keywords than a 250-word piece.
  • Do grammar good… er, well. Believe it or not, Google can detect incorrect phrases, so you have to add those keywords in natural sentences. Consider adding a spell checker app or plug-in like Grammarly before you write your next blog.
  • Use them in headings and tags. Add unique keywords to the structure of your pieces and pages.

Find the right keywords. So you’ve worn out your copy of Strunk & White and each piece is an essay worthy of Joan Didion. Did you include the correct keywords, though? Do diligent research and see what your audience is looking for. Another great plugin to include is Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

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