Do you blog for your business? If so, don’t worry about using keywords in the copy, the article’s title or meta tags. Those things are only important if you want your prospects to find your articles on Google.
Hold on a minute.
You want your articles to get found in Google?
Oh. Well, that’s a different story. Keywords are the essential ingredient to blogging success. But not just any keywords will do. You can optimize for simple words like computers, pools or lighting fixtures. But you’re going to be competing with millions of websites if you do.
A more successful strategy to undertake is to focus on long-tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that are made up of at least 3 words. For example, a short-tail keyword would be: homes; medium-tail: new homes; long-tail: new homes in Orlando.
Once you have a topic for your blog article, it’s time to do some keyword research. There are free and paid online tools that can help you in this search. Whichever tool you use, select the long-tail keyword phrase that best relates to your product or service, and your particular topic. This is the phrase you will focus on in your article.
There are three main areas of your blog article that should include your keyword phrase:
1. Title – The title is the most important component of your blog, and it’s where you should spend the majority of your time. You only have a short time to grab someone’s attention online. Your title has to be compelling enough to get someone to read on. Eight out of ten people read blog titles, but only two out of ten read the rest of the article.
The trick is to come up with an attention-grabbing title that includes your long-tail keyword phrase. Remember, the goal is to have your article show up on page one of the search results when your prospect types in that keyword phrase as a search query.
The best way to accomplish this is to make sure that your keyword phrase is one that would be used by your customers. Marcus Sheridan, content marketer and author of The Sales Lion blog, recommends that you make a list of the 20 most common questions your customers ask about your product or service. These questions can serve as the topics for your blog.
2. Body – Now that you’ve chosen a title for your article, it’s time to write the content. Naturally, the long-tail keyword should be included in the body of the article. But this is the area that confuses many people. They get hung up on how many times to use the keyword phrase in the article. In the early days of the Internet, SEO experts paid a great deal of attention to keyword density. The theory went that you had to include your keyword phrase a certain number of times in the body of your article in order for it to get picked up by the search engines.
In the years since, Google has gotten a lot smarter and is paying more attention to the quality of the content itself. With the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, Google has been letting SEO experts know that stuffing keywords into a web page isn’t going to cut it any longer. Content must be written with the reader in mind.
For best results, use the keyword phrase in the copy three or four times, depending on the total article’s length. And don’t worry about using the phrase exactly as written either. Let’s say your keyword phrase is “new homes Orlando FL.” You can use the phrase as-is, or you can switch it around, and put the location first, and then the phrase “new homes.” You can also add connecting words to make the phrase read better in a sentence, such as “new homes in Orlando FL.”
3. Description meta tag – The last place to add the long-tail keyword phrase is in the description meta tag. This is a special HTML tag that tells the search engine spiders what is on the web page. If you have a Wordpress-based blog, it should be easy to create content for the description tag because your blog likely includes an SEO plugin, such as All in One SEO Pack.
If that’s the case, you just need to write a short summary of your blog article using the keyword phrase. Ideally, when Google or other search engine spiders crawl your website looking for a match to a keyword query, they will find your description tag and use that content on the search engine results page.
A blog can be a powerful marketing asset for your company as long as you provide good quality content that addresses the needs of your prospects. Answer common questions about your product’s price, features and benefits. When you include long-tail keywords that address those needs, you’ll be able to reach your prospects online and convert them into customers.