Content Marketing August 8th, 2022
A long time ago, way back in the far-away land of the mid-nineties, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King.” There’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard this before because, unlike frosted tips and denim-on-denim, this quote has actually aged shockingly well.
While more than 25 years have passed since Gates’ essay, his statement proves even more true each day. Content marketing has become essential; thus, it’s now more crucial than ever to understand how to correctly use keywords for blogging. Why?
Everywhere they go, consumers are inundated with ads. The more ads put in front of them, the less they see them. So when is an ad not an ad?
When it’s valuable to consumers.
And that’s where content marketing comes in. Instead of simply showing off a brand or marketing a product, content marketing focuses on providing information and entertainment that users enjoy.
This helps build brand awareness and recognition, increase brand loyalty, and much more. However, like most forms of marketing, content can’t rule all by itself. No matter how funny, well-written or informative your blog is, it’s going to need a little help from SEO.
Which is, of course, where keywords come in. Without a proper keyword strategy, it’s unlikely that your blog will gain much—if any—organic traffic. Keywords are how people find your blogs and are the cornerstone of basic SEO.
This article will cover the basics of using keywords for blogging, including why you need them, how to find them and how to properly implement them in your writing.
In the simplest terms, keywords are everything and anything that people are searching for.
If you’re looking for the best pizza in your city or trying to remember the name of that actor from that movie you watched last week (it was Ryan Gosling) the query you input tells Google what you’re looking for.
Part of a marketer’s job is to understand what people are searching for as it relates to a specific niche. If you’re doing the marketing for a pizza parlour in Toronto, someone searching for “best pepperoni pizza in Toronto” is a search query with relevant keywords.
Seems straightforward enough, but not all keywords are made equal.
Finding relevant keywords takes time and dedication, but the results are worth it. If you can correctly leverage strong keywords, you can improve your ranking on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), bringing your business a ton of organic traffic.
So why do you, as a content writer, need to know about keywords? Isn’t that the job of an SEO marketer?
As mentioned, the best marketing strategies are the ones that work together. SEO and content go together like peanut butter and banana (trust me, it’s a great sandwich). Without SEO, you’ll get far fewer views on your content; without content, SEO has very little to optimize for search engines.
One of the most important things to understand about incorporating keywords into your writing is that you’re not just picking one word or phrase and plugging it as many times as possible.
This is called keyword stuffing, and it actually works against you. Keyword stuffing is considered a black-hat SEO practice, and search engines have begun to penalize websites that do this. More on this later.
Fortunately, there are several different types of keywords to use, in addition to your primary keyword, so you should never feel the need to just repeat one over and over. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of keywords.
There are a number of ways to ensure you’re choosing the right keywords for blogging. You can take a look at your competitors or those producing similar content and see what keywords they rank for and the content they used to do it.
The best method for keyword research is the one that produces the best results, so play around with some different methods and see what works.
When you’re conducting keyword research for your blogs, various tools exist to help you find the strongest keywords. These tools are great resources for doing general research on keywords and finding primary keywords.
Once you have your primary keywords, there are a number of ways to discover longtail keywords.
As discussed, longtail keywords are more specific than primary keywords and demonstrate more specific user intent. Because you’ll have less competition, it can be easier to rank for these keywords.
Use these tools to discover longtail keywords:
Google’s autocomplete function, People also ask and Related searches.
Someone inputs the word Chicago into the search bar; are they looking for information on the city, the 2002 movie (or the play on which the film is based) or the American rock band?
A person looking to plan a trip to Chicago will probably be pretty annoyed if Google tries to sell them tickets to a play.
LSIGraph is an excellent way to discover LSI keywords to add greater context to your blog. It’s simple to use and provides fantastic results.
While LSI Graph no longer offers a free model, its platform is still highly affordable for marketers on a budget. Their monthly subscriptions start quite low, and they even offer a one-time payment option that gives users access to their platform for life.
Now you know how to find keywords, but how do you use them? As we’ve discussed, it’s not just which keywords you use but also how and where you use them.
You don’t want Google to penalize you for keyword stuffing—using the same keyword repeatedly in the same text—but if you don’t use it enough, you might fail to get noticed by the algorithm.
So how many times should you be using your primary keywords? Twice, three times? Honestly, this is an ongoing debate within the marketing community.
The amount of keywords used within a text is referred to as keyword density. The recommended amount of keywords to content varies depending on how long your blog is.
However, setting aside complicated formulas for calculating the ideal keyword density ratio, it’s always good to remember that you’re writing for your readers, not the algorithm. If you’ve used your keywords (including variations and longtail) so much that it sounds unnatural, you know you’ve gone too far.
Below is an example of keyword stuffing.
Keyword: Gardening Tools
If you’ve ever wanted to find the best gardening tools to make tending your plants a breeze, this blog will discuss the best tools for gardening that every green thumb should have. Tools to garden with include trowels, spades, gloves, shears and more. These gardening tools are an essential part of taking care of your garden. Ensure you’re using the best garden tools available, and learn about other tools for gardens that you’ll absolutely love.
Just from reading that short paragraph, you can tell it doesn’t sound right. The keywords are used too frequently that it doesn’t read naturally. This is exactly what you need to avoid when using keywords for blogging.
Not only will Google penalize the keyword stuffing, but readers will be turned off and quickly quit your page (which in turn also negatively affects your SEO).
Something else to avoid when incorporating keywords into your blog writing is prioritizing using the keywords exactly as they are over readability.
Keyword: Best Pizza Toronto
If you’re a pizza lover, you’ll want to know where to get the best pizza Toronto. The city of Toronto is filled with so many awesome restaurants and eateries, so we’ve put together a list of the best pizza Toronto.
This goes back to the importance of writing for people, not search engines.
Just like the first blog, the second doesn’t read correctly. Blogs like this are off-putting to readers, who will likely exit a page after just a few sentences.
Using prepositions with your keyword can help them to read more naturally and won’t affect your ranking. It’s much better to use best pizza in Toronto than risk increasing your bounce rate with sentences that just don’t make sense.
Use your keywords in a way that sounds natural and reads normally.
Another essential aspect of keyword placement, in addition to the how and when is where keywords should be placed. It’s not just the amount of times you use a keyword that counts towards your ranking; it’s also where you put them.
In addition to dispersing keywords throughout the main body of a blog, it’s also essential to SEO that you include keywords in a few other key places.
Inserting keywords in these places allows you to utilize your primary keywords more frequently and effectively and without the risk of keyword stuffing.
As a writer, knowing how to correctly utilize keywords for blogging is one of your most important assets. Effective SEO helps drive organic traffic to your page, gaining you more readers and allowing you to leverage your content for additional marketing purposes.
As Bill Gates proposed all those years ago, content is king. But if content is the ruling monarch, consider keyword research and SEO indispensable members of the court.
Using the right keywords is the best way to support your content and give it the boost it needs to really take off. After all, if you write a blog but no one’s around to read it, is it even really marketing?
To learn more about content marketing and how search engine optimization can support your marketing efforts, get in touch with a Techwyse expert or visit our blog for more invaluable marketing insights.