When creating content, you want to be sure that you’re strategically using keywords that will enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) and help readers find your work. To give your writing a competitive advantage, it’s not enough to blindly write and hope that search engines will find your work. Rather, you must carefully think about the words you’re using. Even words with similarly meanings can have drastically different search engine results and so you want to be sure to pick the keywords that will serve you best.
Before you even begin writing, there are some key steps you should take to identify the most relevant and powerful keywords to include in your content. Here are five pieces of advice that will help to point you in the right direction for researching effective and meaningful keywords.
Think like your audience
Try and place yourself in the mindset of the audience you’re trying to reach. What are these people likely searching for? What terms or words are they most likely to use in their searches? For some audiences, these might be very technical and professional terms, for others the keywords might be more common and casual. Even before you research your keywords, research your audience and the terms they most commonly use.
Choose a popular niche
The terms “popular” and “niche” may seem to contradict each other, especially when it comes to keywords. Should you pick popular and frequently searched terms and risk competing with millions of other writers or should you pick a smaller niche where you have a better chance of making an impact? The answer is you need a balance of both. Research keywords that are popular and research keywords that are unique. Then develop a short list that includes some from both. This balance will help give your content strengths in both areas and increase your SEO.
Use meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are descriptions of your content (in 150 characters or less) and are excellent opportunities for search engine optimization. Before you begin writing, create your meta description as a way to focus your content and highlight your most relevant keywords. This description will then act as a very succinct summary that will help tailor the rest of your writing and help search engines to more easily find and archive your content.
Take advantage of free tools
There are a lot of free tools out there that can aid in your keyword research. Keywordspy.com provides a stealthy way for you to review the keywords that your competitors are using and clearly identify the most profitable combinations of keywords and ad copy to use. Another tool with a free option is semrush.com which most uniquely provides you with a visual comparison of various SEO metrics. This is helpful for identifying trends and opportunities that might be missed when looking only at numbers.
Additionally, one of the most effective websites for researching keywords is InboundWriter.com. With a free account you can research terms and phrases before you begin writing to see how they rank among other options. Then, as you incorporate high ranking keywords into your content, you will be given a score for how optimized your content is, while being offered tips for how to improve its ranking.
Don’t overdo it
Overloading your article with long lists of keywords won’t better serve your SEO or your readers. Instead, the keywords will appear crammed and read awkwardly since they likely won’t flow with the text. Narrow down your long list of keywords to just the top few that will provide you with the most powerful results. Then, spread your keywords evenly throughout your writing so they appear to be more organic.
Use these five pieces of advice to make your content even more powerful with the use of keywords. While SEO can sometimes be an intimidating and confusing topic, these tips offer some easy and straightforward ways that will help you to write even more effectively and reach an even broader audience! ~Stephanie
Share your insight! What other ways have you found helpful for researching keywords?