Keywords are still useful for improving search rankings, but only when they’re used the right way. These ideas will help you incorporate keywords without compromising the quality of your writing.
Despite changes to Google’s algorithms, keywords are still central to a smart SEO strategy. Good search rankings foster good business for your clients, which means that you should include keywords in your content. As a writer, you’ve probably spotted poor keyword usage all over the Web. Your challenge is to craft great writing while practicing artful keyword inclusion.
Answer the Reader’s Question
Readers still type search queries into Google’s search field. However, many users — thanks to smartphones and Google Glass — now speak their questions directly to Google’s search engine. Google’s search algorithm updates are focused on interpreting these spoken questions. Instead of pulling up a useless website stuffed with keyword-rich phrases, searchers see great content that actually answers their queries.
Your challenge: Think about how a reader might search for your content. For example, your review of a restaurant in Seattle might come up when a reader searches for “where can you eat in Seattle.” The keyword phrase “best restaurant in Seattle” satisfies this query. Therefore, you could incorporate that keyword phrase into your article.
Think in Longer Phrases
Readers use longer and more specific search queries — called “Tall Terms” by marketers— when they’re close to a purchasing decision. Although these queries won’t generate as many results as a short query, they tend to produce stickier, more useful results for the reader.
Your challenge: Move beyond generic keywords and brainstorm more specific queries. For example, “restaurant in Seattle” produces a lot of general search results, but “great seafood in Seattle” serves up content about something specific a reader desires.
Make Keywords Sound Natural
If your current keyword phrases still sound unnatural or you’re struggling to generate innovative ideas, an online keyword generation tool can guide you in the right direction. Select your keywords and plug them into the tool. Then, use the generated suggestions to refine your original keyword phrases.
Your challenge: Before you submit an assignment containing keywords, read the assignment aloud to yourself. If your keyword phrase makes the content sound awkward or clunky, modify your keywords or rework the surrounding content until each sentence sounds natural.
Quality Matters Most
Thin, poorly written, keyword-stuffed content no longer gets the job done for today’s businesses. Clients need writers like you to build outstanding content around their keywords. Be thankful for Google’s algorithm changes — they’re now rewarding the best writers. Thanks to Google, your efforts give businesses a better return on their marketing investment.
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What hints do you have for effective keyword use? Leave some ideas for your fellow writers in the comments below.