If you are a business owner or have otherwise been handed the responsibility of taking charge of your organization’s marketing efforts, you likely have devoted some time to blogging or are, at the very least, beginning to consider it. Deciding to take on the responsibility is step one. Step two is trying to figure out where in the world to start and if you’re doing it right.
Which Keywords Should You Target?
Keyword targets are the first place a lot of novice bloggers stumble. The natural tendency is to focus on the most straightforward option. If you’re writing on behalf of a dentist, you may decide to target “teeth whitening.” However, such a broad term is being widely targeted, not localized, and extremely competitive. Ranking within the first 10 pages, much less the first page, of Google search results for such a term is incredibly unlikely.
Instead, use a long-tail version of your preferred keyword. Rather than “teeth whitening,” get more specific and try something such as “ZOOM teeth whitening Houston.” This phrase is far more targeted and includes a geographic qualifier that lets both Google and its users know precisely where you are located. Exceptions to this may include businesses that are not geographically restricted. However, targeting desirable markets specifically with your content pieces can still be a strong strategy.
How do You Use Your Keywords for SEO?
Now that you’ve determined your primary keyword, the next question is where and how exactly to use it. For the purpose of search engine optimization, the first place you’ll want to include your keyword is in your title. Get creative to make sure it conveys your topic accurately while remaining within a 70 character limit. Going back to our teeth whitening example, a potential blog title could be “ZOOM vs. At Home Teeth Whitening for Houston Patients.” Your reader will know immediately what to expect, while search engines will better understand which search queries this blog best satisfies.
Moving on from your title, you’ll want to keep your long-tail keyword phrase in mind as you write your blog. This isn’t to say that you should repeat the same phrase throughout. Doing so will make your blog read unnaturally and may even be deemed keyword stuffing, ultimately hurting your efforts. Google and other search engines have become quite adept at identifying user-friendly content that searchers actually want to see. The best approach is to write as naturally as possible about your chosen topic. Doing so will come across in a positive user experience, and you will generally use a few variations of your keyword throughout, whether purposeful or not.
Keeping Your Keyword Momentum Going
Moving forward, you’ll want to monitor your keyword progress. Use other content throughout your site, as well as marketing platforms outside of your website such as social media to promote your blog. Link to your blog wherever it may be considered relevant. The more life you are able to breathe into it, the better it will perform in search for your targeted keyword and similar variations. As blogging becomes a habit (weekly or more frequently is best in most cases), your efforts will continue to pay off in qualified visits from search terms that you dictate. You’ll also be better equipped to pinpoint other long-tail keywords that may be beneficial to focus on. As you chip away at each of these terms, you’ll find the process more natural and that the ability to get your content, and thereby your business, seen becomes simpler.