Practical SEO for Every Blogger
Keywords and Writing
You’ve picked a topic and 2-3 keywords that you want to focus on. Time for the writing to begin. To produce quality, relevant content, writers really need to focus on readers. There’s really no getting around that. So I recommend you write your post without a thought of SEO, and save the keyword positioning for the editing stage. Attempting to do both at once is like trying to serve two masters, you won’t do either well.
The Key to Keywords
Don’t pick a key that will open every door on the block, or a key that only you will be able to find. Translation: Avoid key words that are too broad and likely to be in every document. At the other extreme, don’t choose words that only you use. But then, you knew that.
Use keywords naturally. Overuse of keywords is to search engines as overuse of home office deductions is to tax forms–it raises a flag that you might be trying to beat the system. Avoid that. Using too many keywords is not only dangerous, it’s unfair to readers who come to you expecting a post that is well-written prose, worth reading.
Keywords and Formats
Posts come in many sizes and flavors. This section actually gives you two lists in one. It’s a main list of formats your posts might take. You might use it to spark your imagination before you start writing when you’re looking for some variety. Within that list is the information on where your keywords might best be positioned after each kind of post is written.
Post Formats and Keyword Information
Lists. In a list, keywords should be in the title, any list description, and only as necessary in the items.
Q & A or Interview. Use keywords in the questions, and enourage the interviewee to use them in his or her answers–if the interviewee finds they come naturally.
Informational Essay. The title should carry the keywords, if it can. Subheads–h1, h2, h3–should repeat the appropriate keywords for each section. The paragraphs that follow each subhead would naturally use the keywords the section content discusses.
Running text with multiple links. When you offer links with an explanation, it would seem important to the reader that you put the descriptive content before the link. Keywords could be part of that description. There also seems to be no reason that keywords couldn’t be part of the hot-linked text.
Multipage posts with or without the more –> feature. Remember that you need to repeat your keywords again at the beginning of each new page. The spiders see each page as a new article, so to speak.
Graphics, Tables, or Photos with text support. Position keywords in the image description as well as in the appropriatie parts of the text. For the image description, use this tip Gerald McGarry left for us as a comment yesterday.
As far as images go, the accepted way to assign text to them is to add an alt=”description of image” tag to the image. This gives the search engine something to chew on, but more importantly it provides valuable information for blind users who rely on screen reader software.
Five Simple Keyword Rules
Other formats, those intriguing things, that we come up with every day follow the same basic rules as described above. What are those rules?
- 1. Position keywords after the post is written.
- 2. Keep the number of keywords limited.
- 3. Avoid overusing keywords in the document.
- 4. Position keywords in titles, headers, early in text, and on new pages.
- 5. Position keywords in graphic descriptions as appropriate.
Some Fun Tools. Play with them. Then put them away. 🙂
Keyword Density Analyzer
Find out what the key words on your blog already are
Remember all of the keywords in the world have no relevance on their own. They need quality content. Write for your readers and the rankings will follow. So will the readers.
–ME “Liz” Strauss