The internet has an insatiable appetite for information. Millions of searches are conducted every single day looking for everything from starting a keto diet to why is the sky blue?
For anyone in the blogging business, these searches bring a steady flow of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
A blog is an easy and cost-effective way of being found by the people who most need you and your services most.
But, this only works if you have a strategy in place first!
With so much information out there, you have to make sure your people can actually find you. So how do you do that?
Table of Contents
Figuring out your keywords
So what is a Keyword?
According to MOZ:
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.” If you boil everything on your page — all the images, video, copy, etc. — down to a simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.
Keywords are so incredibly important!
I will admit, when I first started, I avoided figuring out keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) because I was just way too overwhelmed with it. It seemed overly complicated.
This was a big mistake. My blog was receiving good traffic, but it was 95% from Pinterest! This would be just fine, except putting all of your eggs in one basket, is never a good idea. It took me over a year to realize that my entire business could be pulled out from under me with a simple Pinterest algorithm change.
And Pinterest has changed significantly since I started. Much of my traffic still does come from Pinterest, but after shifts in Pinterest’s structure, I decided to really focus on multiple sources of traffic.
So what keyword should I use?
Ideally, you want to rank for search terms your ideal client is using to find answers to their questions. When you know what your keywords are, you can easily create blog posts that will:
- Attract the right visitors to your site
- Position you as the expert in your niche
- Make it easy for your ideal client to find (and get to know) you and your services
♦Action Tip: Create a running list of keywords you think your perfect visitor would be searching for. (I recommend on a google excel spreadsheet, and put it in your bookmarks bar so you can access it easily when you think of a few good ones while working!)
How do I use my Keywords?
You should always be writing for people, and not for search engines (like google.) Google actually recognizes this. In the past typing in the same keyword over and over would help your post rank faster. For instance, if someone was trying to rank a top spot in Google for a post and decided that “High-Quality Blender” was their keyword, it would have looked like this:
High-quality blenders are great. My favorite High-quality blender is the Super awesome Blendy co. 7. It’s one of the most blendy of all the high-quality blenders out there. High-quality blenders rule!
See how unnatural all that keyword action is?
People recognize this.
Google also recognizes this. The search engine is much smarter now, and this no longer works. Their search bots have better technology, and keyword stuffing is no longer necessary in order to rank in google.
Actually, using keywords in this way can hurt your standing with Google, as they will flag you as spam.
Write for people
Instead, you want to make sure you write for people and not search engines.
While it’s important to know and use keywords in your blog posts, it’s even more important that you write content that’s readable for people. Your blog should be engaging, informational, and even entertaining, but above all else it must be readable.
This will not only build up your trust and authority, but it will help prevent you from getting a penalization from Google. Which is never good.
Use your keywords in the right places
So when you do figure out what keywords you want to be using, make sure to include it once in each of these areas:
- Your Post Title
- Your Slug (The URL)
- The post text (preferably near the top)
- An H2 Heading
- Your Meta Description
- An alt tag (of an image)
Placing your Keyword In Your Yoast Plug-in
Here’s a screenshot of the easiest way I know to put your keywords into your Google post title, your slug and your meta description.
You also want to place your keywords in your alt text of any images in your post.
Use Good SEO Practices
Aside from keywords, great bloggers know there are many techniques you can use to bring in more readers, including:
- Link out to authority sites from within your blog
- Link internally to other, related content on your own sites
- Use graphics and sub-headlines to break up long text passages
- Take the time to write compelling meta descriptions
- Create content that other sites will link to
All beginner bloggers should really take the time to read this beginners guide to SEO basics from MOZ. It’s a long read, but great quality information, and will help you with understanding SEO, it’s importance and how you can put it into practice.
Of course, SEO and Keywords take a while. Sometimes months to get indexed depending on the competition of the keyword. Social media is a fantastic way to see an instant bump of traffic.
Each new blog post is an opportunity to be seen, so take the time to share your content socially, and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your post on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and anywhere else your ideal client is likely to see it.
I suggest just focusing on one or two depending on your content. For example, mom blogs do really well on Pinterest and Facebook, whereas tech posts will do better on Twitter or LinkedIn. You want to focus your time on promoting in areas that your people hang out in.
If this sounds overwhelming at first, but you’ll slowly figure out where you should be focusing your time. Join Facebook blogging groups and find other bloggers in your niche. Strike up conversations and see what’s working well for them and what kind of advice they can give.
Above all else, have some fun. Inject your personality into your blog. Not only will you more easily attract your ideal client but you’ll enjoy blogging a lot more if you use your authentic voice. And the more you enjoy it, the more likely you will remain consistent as well.