I quickly mentioned “Keywords” the other day in how to use image alt and title descriptions as a SEO tip.
Google likes keyword rich content. More importantly, it likes it to pertain to your actual content (not just keyword filled for no apparent reason).
When I started trying to figure out SEO, I had a few questions about keywords:
- What keywords should I use in my posts?
- How do I make them my keywords?
- What can I do to maximize these keywords for SEO?
What keywords should I use in my posts?
The keywords are what a reader would use to search for in Google to find your post. It should be relevant to your post. They’re not necessarily a word like “toddler” or “activity”, but can be a phrase such as “toddler activity”.
For instance, the 50 Activities Just For Your Toddler post is my most searched post on hands on: as we grow (it brings in the most traffic from Google). The keywords for this post could be:
- toddler activities
- sensory activities
- toddler art
- toddler crafts
- toddler sensory activity
How do I make them my keywords?
Google looks for keywords in a lot of places.
- The Title of your post/blog. This is what you see in the tab or at the top browser window. You want to make sure your title of the post shows here, not just your blog name.
- Post titles. (H1, H2, H3 headings, these will also probably be your blog title and sidebar titles).
- The URL. (By default, the URL is the same as your post title but with hyphens – and some other exceptions – but you can change this to make it even more keyword rich if needed.)
- The beginning of your post. The first paragraph should have your keywords in it!
- Image alt tags.
- Post content.
These are very important places to make sure you include your keywords in order to optimize your SEO. A biggy is your content. You need to have your keywords in your content! And for SEO purposes, the keywords should show up the most in your content. Checking back in with the 15 minute SEO guide, number 4 on the list is about keyword density:
Keyword density in document text
Another very important factor you need to check. 3-7 % for major keywords is best, 1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text.
You can check your keyword density using a keyword density checker! (They make a tool for everything, don’t they?) This one only shows it based on a word and not a phrase, but if gives you an idea of your most used words, as well as if you’re getting a little wordy (you may want to cut out unnecessary parts in your post to make your keyword density higher). Just try to get those main keywords in the 3-7% range.
Bonus tip: Google loves to look at larger text, or bold or italic words in your content. Try to work these styles of formatting with your keywords into your post as well when its fitting!
What can I do to maximize these keywords for SEO?
To maximize your keywords even further, you can use Google’s Keyword Search Tool to analyze the best phrases and words that people are looking for.
You type in a phrase, or two, of what you believe to be your keywords and Google will tell you how many monthly searches are made on that phrase, and what kind of competition that it gets. The lower competition the better. The higher the number of searches, the better. The goal is to find the best balance of those that fit with your keywords.
This keyword tool will also give you suggestions of other phrases you might want to try.
For an example, I entered in the above keywords that I mentioned for the toddler post. What would be ideal is if my post was about ‘games for babies’! A ton of monthly searches on that, with very little competition. Unfortunately, most of the keywords for this post have a medium competition, but the monthly searches are decent.
This will be something you’ll have to play with to get the hang of. Give it a shot!