If you want to improve the ranking of your site and your posts on search engines, it’s essential to know how to use SEO and keywords. Your aim is to attract visitors, but they need to find your content easily.
Search and you will find – maybe
How many times have you heard someone say ‘I’ll just Google it’?
That’s how your potential customers will find you, right? Easy.
Well, not necessarily.
Searches won’t help you much if your listing is at the bottom of Page 9. Unless people are specifically looking for you, they definitely won’t read that far. You need to make sure your listing is higher – on Google and other search engines.
The very first place to start is your content.
Obviously, you want people to read your articles and posts, so you have probably chosen subjects that interest your target audience. That’s a good start.
You have also populated your website with valuable and useful information that your readers will appreciate. To show your readers the respect they deserve, you must also make sure your content is engaging and extremely well written. If it isn’t, your visitors will quickly lose interest, and working on your SEO ranking will be pointless.
Read some tips that will help you Write Effective Web Content.
Why you need to use SEO and keywords
There are lots of companies out there who claim to be experts on SEO and keywords. They probably are, but they will cost you lots of money. Here are a few ideas to get you started. And it won’t cost you anything.
Readers are impatient. When they search they will rarely go further than the first page of listings. That’s where you need to be. In short, you need to rank highly.
Your ultimate objectives are:
- To appear on Page 1 of a user’s search results
- To have your listing appear as close as possible to the top of the page, right underneath those advertisers who are paying for their top spots.
If you are to have any chance of achieving these objectives, you need to give some attention to SEO.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. In simple terms, it describes a series of things you can do to make sure search engines find your content. When search engines look for answers to a user’s queries, or match words or topics that the user has entered, they do it by locating keywords.
Your choice of keywords is vital. Use the wrong keywords, and there’s no chance your post will rank highly enough for readers to find it.
How to use keywords
One aspect of writing effective content is making the best use of keywords. To maximise the chances of visitors actually finding your posts, your content should be ‘keyword rich’.
This doesn’t mean you should use the keyword in every third or fourth sentence, but it should appear several times in your post.
Use your keywords:
- In the title
- Somewhere in the first paragraph of your post, not necessarily in the opening sentence
- In one of the sub-headings
- Somewhere in the body of the post
- Somewhere else, too, if the post is very long
If your post is about breeding pigeons, for example, you might be thinking it will be difficult to limit the word ‘pigeons’ to four or five mentions. It doesn’t matter, because ‘pigeons’ won’t be your keyword. And here’s the reason why not.
How to choose keywords
Using a single keyword in a post isn’t much help. When people search, they usually ask a question or type in a few words. The idea is to match your keyword to their query or search phrase. An effective keyword is more likely to be a string of words rather than just one.
Here’s why. Try searching ‘pigeons’ on Google. You’ll get 204 million search results. Good luck with that one!
Forget ‘pigeons’. You’ll need to narrow it down.
Try two words: ‘pigeon breeding’ reduces the search results to just over 9.5 million. Better, but nowhere near good enough.
With three words – ‘successful pigeon breeding’ – you score just over 4,830,000.
Better again, but with absolutely no chance of ranking highly enough to make a difference to your web traffic.
You can play the guessing game, and add a few more words, but what you really should do is research your keywords.
How to research keywords
The keyword – or more specifically, keyword string – in your post should meet three conditions:
- People must be searching for it. That means you need to target keywords that are heavily searched
- The competition should not be overwhelming. There’s no need to aim for zero competition, but the figure should be low.
- Your keyword string must make sense; in other words, it should be a sensible, meaningful phrase. Always remember you are writing for your readers, not for the sake of keywords.
A simple Google search might help you make a choice, but that isn’t the ideal way to find the best keyword string for SEO.
Instead, use a keyword search tool. There are free tools available, or you could invest in one with a few more bells and whistles.
We recommend Jaaxy. You can take it for a test drive before committing to the monthly fee.
Jaaxy’s keyword tool is useful. Just select a topic or theme related to the purpose of your website or individual blog post, type it in, and you’ll be offered lots of suggestions for keywords.
Learning how to use SEO and keywords is not quite as difficult as you thought. Follow the guidelines above, and make your content even more effective.
For more things you can try, without spending a cent, read this post: 7 Ways To Increase Web Traffic: All Free.
Your comments and questions are welcome, below.