One of the most common tips you will receive for writing a blog post is to have a focus or target keyword. Many bloggers are still not aware of the importance of keyword targeting, and how some very simple keyword research can help with this important aspect of blogging.
It’s true that writing quality posts will help you to drive traffic, but have you ever asked yourself why you are still not ranking in Google searches for any keyword, or why your quality posts stop getting traffic after some time has passed?
Well, first you must understand that the Google bot is a machine which uses an algo to rank a site for a particular keyword. There are many factors which impact your ranking, but one of the most important factors for ranking in Google is your target keyword. You can certainly work on backlink building to increase your rank further and get more traffic for your posts. But first and foremost, you must address the issue of target keywords.
You may be thinking that this just an SEO gimmick, but I will show you results based on my own experimentation, so stay tuned!
What is the importance of keywords from the perspective of SEO?
Google has already made it clear that they do not consider meta keywords when selecting keywords, and this makes sense because many bloggers who are new to blogging or article writing add lots of keywords in their posts.
For example, one would write the following meta keywords for this post: “keywords, SEO, keyword research”, and so on. Now ask yourself – would anyone who is searching for keyword tips and tricks want to see this article first? Personally, I would not like to rank for these keywords, because people will land here and then leave the blog. This will impact my bounce rate, and also my average time on site.
If I target my blog post for particular keywords like “importance of keywords”, it will be easier to rank. In the example above, you can see that I searched for competition for my target keyword using Traffic Travis SEO software, which tells me that it is an easily target-able keyword.
How to search for keywords using Instant Search:
Let’s have a quick look into an easy way to search for keywords using Google Instant Search.
Based on my permalink and previous analytic stats, I found some keywords, and used Google Keyword Search Tool to find monthly searches and then check competition. I will explain this complete process in another post, but for now you can quickly use Google Instant Search to find your target keyword, like this:
When you are targeting a keyword, it could be a long tail or a short tail keyword.
Here are examples of short tail and long tail keyword searches:
- Short tail: keyword density
- Long tail: keyword density checker websites
Keyword density and keyword placement
Keyword density is a complex topic. This Wiki article will give you a fair idea of how keyword density is calculated. Depending on the target keywords, (long tail or short tail), you maintain a particular percentage of keyword density. When bots crawl your page, they can determine from the density of the keyword, that this page is useful for users searching for a particular keyword.
Keyword targeting is important, but stay away from keyword “stuffing”, which is the overuse of keywords throughout the body of an article, as this will ultimately be harmful to your ranking.
Different SEO gurus have different ideas about keyword density, but your keyword should not increase more then 3% of your article length. I personally try to keep it between 1-1.5%, along with related search terms. One idea is to experiment with keyword stuffing for your post and see the difference for yourself. For WordPress, you can use a useful plugin call Keyword Density Checker for WordPress. You can also use online keyword density checker websites.
What does keyword stuffing do?
Stuffing your articles with keywords is never a good idea. Overuse of keywords alerts Google bots to the fact that you are “spamming” your post by stuffing it with unnecessary keywords. Google penalizes for this action, as spiders are alerted to the fact that you are trying to trick the system by using lots of keywords many times. This can affect your ranking. So be wise when you select the number of keywords you are using for SEO. Particularly since Google Panda, we highly recommend that you stop taking SEO actions which do not appear to be natural. If you are not sure about your SEO practices, use forums or ask quiestions on the ShoutMeLoud Facebook fan page.
Meta title, meta description and meta keywords:
Now you have searched for a perfect keyword and you are delivering it into a post or a page. Try also to use that keyword as part of the title of the post.
One additional tip: Try not to use numbers in your permalink, because in the future if you want to extend the article by adding plugins or sites or additional information, your number will no longer make sense.
Adding a relevant meta description will give more insight about your page to search engine bots. I suggest that you use your keyword in your meta title, meta description and meta keyword field along with an H1 tag. Also, try to write more SEO friendly articles by using H1, H2 and H3 tags. However, don’t overuse heading tags, as improper headings and too many H2 or H3 tags can lead to a negative ranking.
Still not convinced?
Here is a post which I wrote as a guest blogger on another blog, using target keywords “Google Panda Penalty“. Read and analyze the post, and you will realize the extent of the on-page optimization I have done in an effort to make this post reach the number 1 position in Google. The article is very detailed, and I’m sure it will help you to learn to write better SEO optimized articles.
Now that you are aware that keywords play an important role in SEO, your first task is to find 5-6 profitable keywords for your next post. You can use the Google Keyword Tool, Traffic Travis or any other online tool. Write a post on your target keyword, and use any of these Google keyword ranking sites or use Free Keyword Monitor for Google, and keep track of your keyword positions. Work on link- building, and improve your article’s ranking.