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Keywords are the terms your ideal reader is tying into Google or another search engine when they need an answer to a question. “Where to stay in Manchester” and “mindset coach for female entrepreneurs” and “how to upload a book to Kindle” are all examples of long tail keywords.
Where to put my keywords?
Knowing the keywords you’d like to be known for is critical for attracting “organic” traffic to your site, but that’s only one part of the equation. You also have to use your keywords strategically. This not only helps Google but also the accessibility and readability of your blog posts too.
Page Titles or Subjects
If you’re tempted to use cute, funny or clever blog post titles, bare this in mind before you press publish: the subject is the keyword field to which Google and other search providers give the most weight. Don’t waste that space with a funny sentence that no one will be searching for. Instead, be clear and concise, and say exactly what your article or post is about.
Everyone today is in a hurry and scrolling has become the norm for so many of us. How often to you actually read an entire article from start to finish? Instead, we “skim” it for the most important points before deciding if we want to invest the time in a more complete reading. My point is here that if your post or article is more than a few paragraphs long and just full of text be sure to include sub-headings to give the skimmers an overview.
Not only are you providing time-pressed visitors a quick overview but sub-headings also tell the search engines what your content is about. Be sure to use your keywords strategically in your sub-headings so Google (and others) know how to classify your posts.
A good guide in Gutenberg to help with sub headings is by clicking the (i) button on the top menu which will open up the document outline that will show you if you’ve used an incorrect header.
As you’re creating new blog posts and pages on your site, it’s a good idea to link from one to another for two reasons:
- it helps readers learn more about a specific and potential similar subject
- it helps the search engines find and explore other content on your site.
In both cases, it’s helpful to use keywords as the “anchor text” for these links. Don’t hyperlink a ‘click here’ or ‘read more’… it’s a clear declaration to both human and non-human readers that the content linked to is about that specific subject.
The meta data is the snippet of text and brief description that shows up below a listing in Google and other search engines. With WordPress, you can either explicitly declare a meta description with the use of a plugin such as Yoast or let Google decide what to use.
While the meta description itself doesn’t guarantee a high ranking post, it can have a great deal of impact on whether or not someone clicks through to your site. Take time to write a compelling description that contains the keyword you want to be found for!
Image titles and file names
This is something I talk about regularly with my clients because if you search for nearly anything on Google, and you’ll see images appear at the top of the search results. These images will almost always have file names and titles that correspond to the keyword you’ve searched.
You can (and should!) make use of your chosen keywords by naming any images appropriately BEFORE you upload and setting the titles and alt attributes to clearly describe what the image is.
It should go without saying that including keywords in your content is important not only for search engines but for readers, too. But try not to make the mistake of using the same phrase over and over again in the same paragraph or sentence. Doing so will turn your readers off.
Instead, use variations of your keyword throughout the text of your article and include LSI keywords (other keywords you are wanting to rank for). That way you won’t bore your readers, plus you’ll reinforce your main point with the search engines and have supporting information to back up that your content is the content Google should show to their readers.
Don’t worry if you don’t get your SEO perfect from the off. It can take time to properly optimize a website – and I some would say it never ends – but do keep these 6 areas in mind for every post you make and your site will be much easier to find in a search.