Incorporating targeted keywords to search engine optimize your blog is an important component to every inbound marketing plan. Blogs provide solutions to common problems, shed insight on your industry, and enhance awareness about your brand. But its one thing to write an interesting blog, it’s another thing to actually attract readers. Ensuring your blog is search engine optimized with the right set of keywords is crucial for outranking your competitors and building an audience.
The following best practices will help you identify the right keywords for your audience, allowing you to optimize your blog posts and gradually rank higher in search engines.
Five SEO Best Practices for Using Keywords
1. Do Your Research
Think of the last time you used a search engine to answer a question. Chances are you used a combination of keywords to answer your question. And as most of us know, the more specific your keywords, the better our results.
Now put yourself in your ideal buyer’s shoes. Ask yourself, what common questions might your potential customers have that are related to your industry and area of expertise. Mimic their language. How would they phrase their query in a search engine? It shouldn’t take long before you’ve built up a nice list of specific keywords and phrases that you could incorporate to optimize your blog.
2. Expand your list
Now, take some of those keywords from your list and type them into a search engine yourself. What other alternatives appear? Add those additional words into your list. You may even find that in many cases the search engine will attempt to finish your sentence for you with some of the most popular queries. Make note of any relevant results. These common questions and phrases are excellent fodder for future blog topics.
3. Determine which keywords are already being used to find you
If you’ve had a website for any length of time, you should be able to track how people are finding you. What keywords or phrases are they already using? There are a variety of tools to help you track organic traffic sources, such as Google Analytics. When you understand what keywords people are already using to find you, you can continue to create content around those words to increase your search engine ranking for those keywords and phrases.
4. Find Your Best Keyword Opportunities
Your goal here is to identify keywords that have a high search rate but low competition. Granted, when you’re first starting out, this might sound like it’s easier said than done. However, it’s not impossible when backed by solid research and some creative thinking. Drill down into your keyword analytics to find the current rank for each keyword, the number of monthly searches, and what the competition or difficulty level is.
Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for because there is less competition. For example, it would be very difficult to rank using a short and broad search word such as “tomato”. You would find your site in competition with over 154 million other search results featuring recipes, gardening advice, health tips, and even graphic design companies. Meanwhile, a more specific long-tail keyword, such as “growing heirloom tomato seeds” knocks the search results down to 804 thousand. Sure, it’s still a lot of competition, but it’s also a lot less competition.
5. Create SEO Content Around Your Keywords
Once you have a solid list of keywords, create an editorial calendar for your blog with topics crafted around your keywords. The more optimized content you create, the higher your search engine ranking will grow. Remember, increasing your search engine ranking is a gradual process.
Put your Keywords into Practice with our SEO Template
Implementing targeted keywords is just one aspect of many in the search engine optimization process. Moda Partners' free On-Page SEO Template will help you organize your efforts as you optimize your site with the best keywords targeted to your audience.