optimizing keywords for more of what works

I have a confession. I used to be one of those people who didn’t care about optimizing keywords. When I first started blogging, I didn’t do much to drive traffic other than share my posts in my emails and on social media. And that was about it. I got comments at the time because I was in a bunch of social and blogging groups where you traded comments and likes. Keyword optimization and SEO were like dirty words for me because “I wrote for humans.”

optimizing keywords for more of what works

But the truth is, whether we like it or not, we need keywords and they do need to be optimized. Because it’s a fact of modern life that when people want to know something, or buy something, or research something, they turn to the search engines. And for most, the search engine of note is Google.

And we all know that Google runs on keywords. That means the better you are at optimizing keywords for your content, the better the chance that people will find you when they go searching.

Are you optimizing keywords intentionally?

Or is your keyword optimization and other SEO done unintentionally and without much thought.

There is a lot of work that goes into creating high-quality content for your website. You have to research your topics and create relevant content for your audience. Your research should give you the keywords you need to get your amazing new content found, but are you using them intentionally so that you get the best results?

A lot of bloggers I know (me included) have often been unintentional and haphazard in our keyword use. And it shows in the search engine results you see when looking for your own content. If your goal is to get your content on page 1 of the results, then you need to be much more intentional in optimizing keywords that get your content found.

Here are 5 tips for optimizing keywords for your content

Tip 1: Be intentional in choosing keywords

The keywords and phrases you use do matter. Search engines recognize words and phrases associated with searches and instantly deliver ranked material. You want to choose the keywords that are going to give you the best chance to be in the top 2 or 3 listings, because those are the only ones that most people will click on.

Use keyword tools such as Soovle to find out what people are searching for, and use Google Search Console to find out which pages on your site get the most traffic from Google search results, so you can do more with those pages to get them ranking higher.

Tip 2: Make keyword optimization part of your content planning

Regardless of what type of content you are creating, whether it’s a blog post, a sales page, or an about page, you want to make sure you know what you want to say and how best to get your message across. What keywords will you include; where and how will you use them?

Once you know this it’s easier to plan your content around the keywords so you can get the best results.

Tip 3: Use keywords strategically

Using your keywords strategically is key. Ideally keywords should be found in URLs, headings, subheadings, meta-description, and in image properties. You’ll also want to use keywords in the first 100 words of your text, sooner if possible.

Using an SEO tool like Rank Math* can help you optimize your keywords to get the best results.

Tip 4:  Avoid keyword stuffing

It can be tempting to use your keywords everywhere but be warned… Overusing or “stuffing” keywords is very much frowned upon. You need to remember that while you are considering search engine algorithms in your content, you are mostly writing for people. Make sure your content is readable and doesn’t scream keyword spam. Always focus on creating amazing content for your audience, and let tools like Rank Math show you where to optimize.

Read this: Google’s Helpful Content Update*

Tip 5: Rinse and repeat

This is where optimizing keywords for content creation can get really fun. When you find keywords and phrases that work well, create “silos” of additional content that takes deeper dives into the theme and interlink between the various posts to boost your ranking and offer an abundance of content. 

This post is an example of creating a silo in action. It’s the third in a series of 5 posts all on one related topic, with related keywords that work well together. You can see the silo effect at the end of the post where I have all the other posts in the series listed.

Final Thoughts

Your audience needs the content you are creating for them, but they also need to be able to find it when they need it. Optimizing keywords used in your content helps you do more of what’s working, by improving your search engine rankings and getting more eyes on what you have to offer.

This is Part 3 of a 5-part series on Doing More of What Works. Other posts in this series include:

  1. 4 Ways to Use Data to Determine What’s Working Now
  2. Using Data to Determine What’s Working on Your Website
  3. Do More of What Works by Optimizing Keywords (This article)
  4. 3 Ways to Expand on Content That Works
  5. 4 Tips for Doing More with Social Media Content that Works

*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.

About the Author

Ruth is self-styled creative soulpreneur who loves that she gets to play with words and pictures for a living. She started her first email newsletter in 1997 and has never looked back. Between creating printables and courses, she publishes a daily newsletter, loves to golf and walk on the beach and is teaching herself how to do hand-lettering and doodle art.

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