By now every web marketer knows that each page of a website should target a well-chosen and researched keyword phrase (whether or not they follow through on this strategy!). But many people skip the keyword research step entirely when it comes to blogging. This is a wasted opportunity for a number of reasons. In this post, I’m going to talk about:
because keyword-optimized blog posts can help you both now and later:
RELATED: 9 Free SEO Blog Post Templates Guaranteed to Drive Traffic (Based on Our Top Performers)
Here are just a few examples of keyword-targeted blog posts:
Here’s an easy three-step process for targeting keywords with blog content.
Before you can target anything, you need to determine what keyword phrases are likely to bring in relevant traffic. The kind of research you do will depend on your goals for the post.
If you’re chasing a timely topic – Use Google Trends or Google Suggest to find keyword phrases. Traditional keyword tools can also be of some use here—our Free Keyword Tool, for example (shameless plug) pulls in fresh data so you can research current events sooner.
If you’re chasing recurring traffic – We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: The best way to find keywords that are relevant to your audience over the long term is by consulting your own analytic data. Specifically, look for keywords—and, more importantly, groups of related keywords—that are driving traffic and/or conversions, but for which you don’t already have a dedicated page. For example, if people are finding your food blog with the keyword “guacamole,” but you don’t have a post dedicated to this happy ending for avocados, write one! A post with that keyword phrase in the title tag will not only rank higher for those searches, it will be more obviously relevant, increasing click-through.
Use our Free Keyword Tool to identify the best keywords to target with your blog posts.
As a topic, “guacamole” is a bit broad. You’re extremely unlikely to rank on the first page for that keyword. You’ll need to pick a narrower topic that will still appeal to a good number of readers. If you use keyword grouping software, like WordStream for SEO (shameless plug), you can quickly find a variation that is both specific and relevant. Otherwise, use a keyword tool—and your best judgment—to determine a suitable phrase.
If you have a Flip camera at your disposal, you might decide that “video of how to make guacamole” is a good choice. This is much more specific, and you could make it even more specific if you chose (“video of how to make guacamole from scratch,” “video of how to make the best fresh guacamole,” etc.).
I always feel like choosing your topic is the hard part of blogging—once you know what you want to write about, the actual writing is easy! (I realize not everyone feels this way.)
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your keyword-targeted post:
Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? In fact, targeting keywords with blog posts is rather easier than doing so with web pages, since you don’t have to worry about how they fit into your site architecture. (In addition, promotion is often more natural.) And keyword research is as good a way as any to come up with topics to blog about.
Ready to get started? Here are some resources:
Have you already started keyword targeting but want to improve?
Elisa Gabbert is WordStream’s Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.
See other posts by Elisa Gabbert
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