If you are working on proper SEO techniques and hope to get more organic traffic, keyword research is one of the first steps. It isn’t enough to know what keywords you want to target, however – you also need to know how to use them in your blog posts. Many people just beginning think that stuffed a post full of their target keyword or phrase is best for Google to pick up on it. However, the bots are smarter than that – they will detect your “stuffing” and ding your site for it.
So, what’s the right way to use keywords in your blog posts? It’s all about putting the phrase into the content enough to tell the search engines what your article is about without making it too awkward for your readers to understand. Read on to find out where, how, and how often to place your keywords in your blog post.
If you are on WordPress, the Yoast plugin will greatly benefit you as far as keywords are concerned. If you are on another platform or do not want to go the more automated route, there are still ways you can manually incorporate your phrases so they will be a good fit within your content.
1. Start with the keyword phrase in your title. If possible, put it at the beginning. For example, say your keyword is “Baking a Cake” a good title would be “Baking a Cake in 4 Easy Steps”. However, if your phrase would sound awkward at the beginning, place it in the title where it would sound most natural.
2. Add the keyword phrase to your permalink for the post. The permalink is the direct URL to the blog post. For instance, “http://yourdomain.com/baking-a-cake-in-4-easy-steps” is the default permalink for our example title above. The permalink often needs to be shortened in order for the keyword to stand out to bots. In WordPress, you can easily edit the permalink to just include the phrase, so it would look like “http://yourdomain.com/baking-a-cake” instead.
3. Use a subheading with your keyword somewhere in your blog post. I typically do this right after the introduction. It’s easy to separate the intro from the rest of the text within my post and it fulfills this requirement. To continue our example, you may want to do, “Baking A Cake Is Easy” before you go into the four steps you recommend.
4. Create a 1% keyword density in your blog post. Density is basically the number of times your targeted phrase is used compared to the word count of the entire post. In a 400 word post, for example, you want to add the keyword 4 times. The subheading counts as one time, so you only need three more times. Use variations of the keyword so you don’t add it too much.
5. Add your keyword to the alt tags of your images. The alt tags let search engines bots know what the image is about – since they cannot “see” photos shared on the internet. To add the alt tag in WordPress, fill in the appropriate section to the right once you upload the image.
6. Edit your meta description to include your keyword. WordPress automatically pulls the first words of your blog post for the description (which is the little blurb shown in the search results beneath the title of your post). The Yoast plugin offers you a way to edit the description quickly by placing a text field beneath the post area in the WP dashboard.
That’s basically it! Doing the above six above will tell the search engine’s bots exactly what your post is about so it will have a better chance of ranking high for your intended keyword!