Everyone will tell you that blogging helps your SEO – I’ve done it myself – but often they don’t say why or how it works. Now I’m not going into technical SEO-speak (I wouldn’t know how!), but there is one thing that you really can improve your SEO with:
It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned them. There’s a reason for that: they really are – er – key.
You should decide on your keywords not just because they appeal to you but because your research shows that they are words or phrases that people actually search for. So check on Google, Buzzsumo and all the other sites I’ve mentioned in past issues, and see what’s being discussed and what people are looking for.
Key phrases (also known as “long-tail keywords”) are often easier to rank for than keywords, so I’d look at using a 3-5 word phrase.
Having chosen your keyword or phrase, how and where do you use it?
In the title (so it’ll show in the URL of your blog), the first paragraph of text, somewhere in the middle and at the end. Depending on the phrase, you might break it up, as I did at the end of my first paragraph.
Google is smart enough to recognise similar words and expressions, especially singular/plural versions or variations like “improving your SEO with keywords” instead of “improve …”.
It’s smart enough to pick up on word-order changes like the version in the previous sentence, too (see what I’m doing here?!?). So you don’t have to use the same parroted version of the key expression every time, whatever some people will tell you. Things have moved on since those days, which means you can be more natural in your writing.
Something else that’s moved on is that your keywords have to be an intrinsic part of the text, not just stuck in so you’ve got x number of iterations of it, and definitely – absolutely – categorically not stuffed into every sentence.
Keyword stuffing used to work for the search engines. Now they want content to be relevant and interesting before they rank it, so writing the same keyword or phrase over and over again won’t cut it with them. In fact they’ll probably downgrade you.
It won’t cut it with your readers either (it never did, to be fair). You’ll have seen pieces that have the same word repeated ad nauseam, I’m sure; I bet you stopped reading after a few sentences. What’s sauce for the goose works for the gander too, so don’t inflict keyword stuffing on your “ganders”!
Again, that means you can write more naturally and keep things interesting and lively – which, again, is appreciated by the search engines (if robots can “appreciate” anything; I’m not sure how far Artificial Intelligence has gone down that route).
So that’s how you can improve your SEO with keywords and phrases. Use them cleverly and they really will help you rise up the rankings.