Keyword Analysis Part 10 of 12
This is the next step in the series designed to guide you through finding the best keywords for your small business. If you missed it, here’s the link to read Part 1 Keyword Analysis: How Keywords Work, so you can get the series from the beginning.
Writing with Keywords
Once you’ve got all the basics of keyword usage worked out, it’s time to tackle the fun stuff: content. This is where you’re really going to put keywords to work for you.
When you write a blog post or article for your site, the first thing you need to decide on is a topic. A lot of new online business owners get hung up on this part, struggling to find something to write about. But you, with your experience in your market and list of keywords, will never face that problem. Simply get out your list and choose from the dozens of topics you already know will attract your audience!
You’ll want to pick from the low-level keywords, so that your topic is as narrow as possible. After all, it would be nearly impossible to write a short post or article about “women’s clothing.” Writing about “flattering styles for pear-shaped women,” though, is simple, because it’s a focused topic. That’s what long-tail keywords are all about. A highly focused topic.
As we talked about earlier, you should try to include your keyword in the title of the article. This lets the search engines – and readers – know what your page is about. Subheadings (remember the <h3> tag?) are also good for keywords, but don’t go overboard.
Your keyword should also appear in the first and last paragraphs. If you can make it sound natural, go ahead and use it more often in the body of your article, but don’t force it. Remember, you’re ultimately writing for humans, and they’ll be quick to “click” away if they come across something that reads like this (we’ll use “flattering styles for pear-shaped women” as our long-tail keyword):
“When choosing flattering styles for pear-shaped women, it’s important to remember that not all flattering styles for pear-shaped women will be acceptable to all pear-shaped women. For some, the flattering styles for pear-shaped women will include bright colors and bold prints, but for other pear-shaped women, they prefer their flattering styles for pear-shaped women to be more subtle.”
Yuck. No one will stick around to read that!
Google and the other search engines are smart. As you saw when we researched keywords, they recognize related words and phrases, so you don’t have to worry about stuffing your exact keyword phrase into every nook and cranny of your article.
Use it a few times, but also use other, related terms. The search engines will know what your page is about, and your human visitors will appreciate that they can read it easily.
Some website owners find it easier to write the content first, then go back and add keywords later. It’s a simple to rearrange a sentence or two to include a keyword phrase, so if you find yourself stuck when trying to build an article around a particular phrase, just say what you need to say, and go back and add keywords later.
Using Weird Keywords
As competition for good keywords increases, and as searchers get savvier, webmasters are beginning to find themselves in a tough spot. You probably noticed it yourself, and in the last few paragraphs you’ve been thinking, “Well, that’s all find and good. You’ve got good solid keywords that lend themselves to natural language.”
If your keyword list includes things like “women’s clothing retail” and “women’s clothing plus size,” you’re not alone. Searchers know they don’t have to enter a phrase into a search engine as it would be used in real life (though some do – we’ll talk about that in a bit). Instead, they enter words that go together, but not always in that order. Like “ladies fashion online shopping.” How are you supposed to write about that without sounding like you put your text in a blender?
The key to the creative use of odd keywords is punctuation.
The first thing you need to know is that Google doesn’t see punctuation. It doesn’t recognize the end of a sentence, a parenthetical aside, or even a paragraph break. To the Google-bot, your page is one long string of text.
That means it’s a simple thing to get those odd-sounding phrases into your content without too much trouble, if you can learn to think outside the sentence.
Here’s an example using “ladies fashion online shopping.”
“When searching for bargains in ladies fashion, online shopping is often the first choice. The stores are always open, the selection is fantastic, and you never have to search endlessly for a parking space. Christmas buying rush? Not online. A quick Internet search will turn up dozens, maybe hundreds of shops all catering to those looking for the hottest deals in ladies fashion.
“Online shopping does have a downside, though. You can’t try anything on first!”
You can see where I’ve bolded the keywords in the example above. The text – while not award-winning prose – is readable, doesn’t sound stilted or “spun,” and most of all, points out to the search engines exactly what the page is about.
This trick works with heading tags, too. You can use hyphens or colons to the same effect, like this:
“Find the Hottest Deals in Ladies Fashion: Online Shopping Secrets of the Pros”
Yes, it takes a little more creativity to write that way, but once you start thinking outside the customary writing constraints, you’ll get the hang of it.
Now, grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen and begin writing down article topics for your business based around the keyword list you decided on in part 9. This is a brainstorming sessions, don’t erase anything.
For more topic ideas think about conversations you’ve had with clients. What are some of the questions you hear over and over? Write them down, these are the foundation for great articles. What are some other questions you get from clients? Write those down too.
We’re working on establishing you as an authority in your market and to help establish that you need to share what you know and what your experience has taught you.
Now that you have a list of topics write a few paragraphs in this format:
- Tell them what your going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you just told them
A nice beginning, middle, and end about the topic. If you get stuck, pretend the client is right in front of you and have a conversation (don’t worry, no one’s looking :)). Shoot for 300 words. No, 300 words is really not that much.
If you feel comfortable enough, use the computer. If you can write fast, use a notepad…whatever works best for you.
In the next part of the keyword analysis series we’re going to talk about using your keywords outside of your website. If you haven’t had a chance to read How to Use SEO Like a Superstar, it will be a good foundation to the next part of the keyword analysis series.
Did you have an “Ah-Ha” moment while you were reading the tips above? I’d love for you to share it in the comments below.