Creating and executing a successful blog requires more than just good content. Your blog posts must have intent and accompanying high-ranking keywords. And, although keywords don’t hold the same weight that they used to, they are still essential to your online success. So how do yu optimize keywords for higher SEO ranking? Keep reading.
What and Why?
By now you probably know what keywords are, but if not, here’s a quick refresher. Keywords are words or phrases that people use when searching online. They are also the words that you target so that they can find you from search engines and boost your web traffic.
You should be using them in your blog content, titles, and metadata to help boost your Google ranking and increase the number of readers who find your blog via online search. The latest trend in keyword mastery is using long-form or long-tail keywords, which are longer phrases—as opposed to one or two words—that more closely match what individuals search for online. Keyword Tool is basic, but helpful with long-tail suggestions for keywords you already have in mind.
The Google Angle
Google uses myriad algorithms to retrieve the most relevant content for searches. Using ranking keywords helps them find your content. If you need help finding in-demand keywords, check out Google's Keyword Planner for assistance. Google Trends let you see what is trending and discover the amount of interest in your particular keywords(s).
Once you know what the demand is you can better plan your content and integrate these keywords into your posts. However, when it comes to getting found, keywords are just part of the equation that also includes regularly posting important content and quality backlinks.
Using the Right Tools
Regardless of how knowledgeable you are about your niche or industry, keyword research will help you pinpoint what terms are hot and trendy…which translates into profitable.
WordPress is a blogger’s dream with so many integrated tools that handle the motherlode of SEO mechanics and keyword strength indicators. However, never rely on keyword stuffing; your content must serve a need and high-value posts, as opposed to a higher quantity of posts, will increase the chances of you landing on Google’s first page. Experts also recommend revisiting and either removing or revising outdated content.
Research and Repeat
If you are not using a WordPress platform, you can still get a leg up on the competition with other keyword research tools. There are myriad tools available to aid in ranking keywords.
WordStream offers a keyword finder as well as a keyword niche finder that helps narrow down niche keywords for SEO and PPC. The keyword tool will search through trillions of search results letting you know how popular a particular word or phrase is based on how often it is searched for. It also offers keyword suggestions based on your search.
There are also several paid options available depending on your budget and how serious you are about rankings. If you are a HubSpot user, they have an SEO/keyword tool built into their dashboard that helps ID, optimize, and track keywords.
Term Explorer offers a free trial for assistance finding the most profitable ranking keywords. Moz's keyword and SERP tool uses exclusive algorithms to score keywords and give you a projected search volume range to illuminate opportunities for you.
More Than Just Words
Once you develop a keyword strategy, remember there are a lot of other factors beyond keywords that increase your visibility and boost your ranking. Google’s own Matt Cutts, the leader of web spam team, offered this advice, “Don’t just rely on keyword research and on publishing weak articles targeting keyword phrases people search for. Don’t post content on topics that you don’t care about, that you have nothing interesting and useful to say about.”
Here are some other ways to help solidify your blog status:
Create compelling original content
Use guest bloggers and guest post on other blogs
Only post reputable backlinks
Craft “evergreen” content that stands the test of time
Ready to take the next step toward blog post domination?