Using Target Keywords to Improve SEO

As we mentioned in our previous post, having a targeted-keyword is the number one most important thing you can do when you create a blog post. Let’s dig into this step a bit deeper, shall we? Great – let’s do it!

Ideally, each page of your website should include a thoughtfully chosen keyword phrase in order to improve your search engine page rankings. Unfortunately – and more often than not – this step gets overlooked when it comes to blogging. That’s right! It’s not enough to have keywords and keyword phrases on each of your site’s pages, but these steps need to be taken on your blog posts, as well.

Blog posts give you an opportunity to target trending topics by capture search engine traffic while that particular keyword is hot.

Let’s say you have a website geared toward men’s grooming supplies and it’s November – when the NoShave November movement is in full effect – yikes! What can you do when millions of potential customers are swearing off their grooming habits for a whole month? Why, you blog about it, of course – AND include keywords like #noshavenovember and #noshave. In doing so, you’ll still show up in search queries and potentially find new clients during what might otherwise be a slow sales period.

Here’s a quick and dirty, three-step process for targeting keywords with blog content:

1: Identify Keyword Opportunities

You’ll want to determine what keyword phrases are likely to bring in relevant traffic. The kind of research you do will depend on your goals for the post.

Don’t forget there are lots of tools available to help identify trending topics (Google Trends, Google Suggest are great places to start.)

2: Narrow Your Topic Down

The best way to find keywords that are relevant to your audience over the long term is by consulting your own analytic data (we use Google Analytics). Specifically, look for keywords—and, more importantly, groups of related keywords—that are driving traffic and/or conversions, but for which you don’t already have a dedicated page.

For example, if people are finding your food blog with the keyword “tacos,” but you don’t have a post dedicated to tacos, write one! A post with that keyword phrase in the title tag will not only rank higher for those searches, it will be more obviously relevant, increasing click-through.

As a topic, “tacos” is a bit broad. You’re extremely unlikely to rank on the first page for that keyword. You’ll need to pick a narrower topic that will still appeal to a good number of readers. If you use keyword grouping software, you can quickly find a variation that is both specific and relevant. Otherwise, use a keyword tool—and your best judgment—to determine a suitable phrase.

You might decide that “video of how to make tacos” is a good choice. This is much more specific, and you could make it even more specific if you chose (“video of how to make tacos from scratch,” “video of how to make the best fresh tacos,” etc.).

3: Remember that Keywords are the Input

You’re creating the output. Instead of asking yourself “How can I include this keyword on my page?” ask yourself, “How can I answer this question?”

4: You Don’t Have to Have a Separate Page for Each Keyword You Want to Rank for. 

If you’re writing a blog post about “choosing the best running shoes,” for example, it makes perfect sense to answer multiple questions related to that topic within the same post, such as “road vs. trail running shoes” and “running shoe features.”

5: Check out Pages Currently Ranking for Your Target Keyword and think about how you can create a page better than that.

Get creative and have fun – this is the time to really shine the light on your offerings and share them with the world!

To recap:

  • Use your keyword in the title tag. It’s a key signal for search engines – a beacon, if you will.
  • When possible, introduce new concepts in each of the blog posts you post.
  • Even if you’re doing a video post, you’ll want some text on the page. Use your keyword, and relevant variations on your keyword, in the text.
  • Promote your post—on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Play around with your keywords and track how they’re potentially impacting your traffic using analytics to see if you’re bringing the traffic you’d like to see on your site. Once you get into it, identifying and implementing keywords to help boost your SEO and page rankings can be fun!