Businesses have come to learn that along with establishing and maintaining a good online presence it is also very important to establish and maintain good web content. This is what draws users in and engages them in, answering their questions and solving their problems. However, simply writing and publishing content, even excellent content, does not automatically guarantee that a business will experience the online traffic they desire. This is achieved through the careful placement of SEO keywords.
What SEO Keywords Are
Simply put, SEO keywords are those keywords (and keyword phrases) that will contribute to a business’ search engine optimization, so that they are more likely to be at the top of organic search engine results, and are therefore more likely to be visited. Of course, this means that a business will want to find out exactly what keywords to use for SEO and then use these keywords as much as possible throughout their content in order to drive up their search engine ranking. However, simply plugging these keywords into your content just to have them there for SEO purposes can create awkward content that is frustrating for users to read and then serves to turn them away rather than draw them in. What you have to do is find out how to use keywords naturally in your content, so that users are drawn to it through their search queries and are also completely satisfied by what it provides for them.
How to Incorporate Keywords Naturally
When trying to incorporate keywords naturally into your content, it is important to keep in mind what your target audience is looking for in your content. This is actually what should guide your writing, as above all you need to have a clear message to deliver. Then, incorporate your keywords in the following ways:
- Consider Google’s semantic search when using keywords. There was a time when content writers had to use keywords and keyword phrases in exact ways in order to benefit from search queries using these keyword phrases. Unfortunately, this made content awkward and keyword usage obvious. Today, however, Google’s semantic search allows for users to be connected with content that is obviously matching their search intent, even if it doesn’t match their keywords exactly. This means that content can be written naturally and, instead of containing awkward phrases like “best tires San Diego,” it can say things like “we are happy to provide our customers with the best tire options in the San Diego area.”
- Understand how your customers will search for you. Even with Google’s semantic search, you still need to understand what keywords your customers will use in an attempt to find your business. You should consider the products or services that you provide and where you provide them, along with anything else that could be associated with your business. This can include single keywords as well as keyword phrases, and you may even want to survey your current customers to see how they would search for or describe you.
- Prioritize your keywords. It is important to create a content strategy that defines the different types of content you will write, as certain keywords are more appropriate for certain types of content than others. For example, the phrase “how to find the best tires for your car” may be perfectly suited to an informational blog, while the phrase “buy the best tires for your car” is better suited to a transactional content page. At the same time, it is important not to participate in keyword stuffing–especially since Google may flag you for doing so.
- Write content for users, not for search engines. While SEO is obviously incredibly important, writing for SEO should never take the place of writing for readers. Readers want answers and solutions, not keyword-stuffed content that is dull and difficult to read. They will be drawn to content that is written to fulfill their needs and will abandon content that is clearly written for search engines.
- Use keywords where they will have the most power. Keywords can be far more effective if they are used in specific parts of your content, especially the h1, page title, and URL. With semantic search, you can slightly vary your keywords while using them effectively in places that will further drive up your search engine ranking.
At the end of the day, the most important point to keep in mind is that while keywords are very valuable to SEO, they need to occur naturally so that your readers are not just drawn to your content, they are engaged and satisfied by it.