There are almost 2 billion websites on the internet, with new websites going live every single second of the day. That means that no matter what kind of website you’re running, you can expect some competition within your niche for traffic.
That’s where keywords for SEO come into play. By knowing how to find the best keywords for your website, you give yourself a chance to rank high on search engines like Google.
This is important for all websites, especially those that are new and are playing catchup to more established sites in their niche. After all, you need to be able to generate traffic from search engines to make money using services like Google AdSense.
In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide on everything related to SEO keywords. We’ll tell you how to find the best keywords, as well as how to use them the right way, so you can get positive results fast.
Zero in on a Niche
If you want to take your website to the next level, the first thing that you need to do is zero in on a niche for your site. Odds are, you already have a niche in mind that you’d like to create content about.
With that being said, there’s a good chance that you can zero in on that niche, even more so, helping you get better results.
For example, if you want to run an outdoor adventure blog, try to find a more specific niche to focus on. Instead of just writing about all things outdoors, you could stick to local trail reviews in your area, or another keyword-friendly niche, helping you get your blog off the ground faster.
Know Your Target Audience
No matter what niche you choose, there’s going to be a target audience that is associated with that niche. For you to get the results that you’re looking for, you need to know that target audience well so you can ensure that you’re creating the content that they want to read.
The good news? Odds are you have the same interests as your target audience. That means that, as long as you keep yourself in mind, and what you’d like to read, you should be able to reach your target audience at all times.
Still worried about reaching your target audience? Don’t be, we’ve got more tips and tricks on how to do so successfully in this article.
Perform Extensive Keyword Research
Once you’ve zeroed in on a particular niche, it’s time to start performing keyword research. This will help you determine what kind of content you need to be creating, as well as what kind of content will give you the best chance to rank on search engines.
There are tons of SEO tools and keyword planners out there, so feel free to go with whichever option is most affordable to you. It’s also not a bad idea to do keyword research on multiple websites, to ensure that you’re getting the best, most reliable information.
A pro tip? Consider performing keyword research before you decide what specific niche you want to go after. This will help you pick a niche that will be easy to rank for fast, which of course is a good thing.
Scout the Competition for Ideas
Regardless of what niche you choose to target, odds are there are already a few blogs or websites out there that are successful. It’s never a bad idea to scout these blogs and websites for ideas on what kind of content to create for your own site.
Of course, stealing ideas from other sites isn’t really the best idea. With that in mind, our advice is to actually look for content that isn’t being talked about by other websites in your niche.
For example, if you’re making an outdoor blog, and only one other site is doing trail reviews for your area, going that route for your own site is a good call. That way you won’t have to deal with as much competition, and thus, you can target keywords that are easier to rank for.
Consider Search Intent
It’s important to remember that, when someone searches for something online, they usually are doing so for one of four reasons. Those four reasons can be easily explained by the four search intent categories:
- Preferential/Commercial Investigation
It’s a good idea to keep these ideas in mind to ensure that, no matter what keyword your choose, your content checks one of these four boxes. That way you can make sure that you cover search intent, which is something that websites like Google care a great deal about.
Let Keywords Drive Content Ideas
To have a successful blog or website, you need to have a content creation plan in place. Mapping out all of your future content is the only way to ensure that you build a website that is created with SEO in mind.
Coming up with content ideas can be difficult, to say the least. Thankfully, you can take some of the guesswork out of the equation, by letting keywords drive the content creation process.
Simply put, all you need to do is create content that will help you rank for niche-related keywords. So, by picking keywords that are easiest to rank for, you let the keywords themselves decide what it is you’re going to write.
Pretty simple, right?
Create Content That You Would Want to Read
Again, it’s important to not only perform extensive keyword research but also to let that keyword research dictate what it is you’re going to write. With that in mind, it’s still important to listen to your heart and make decisions with your niche’s best interests in mind.
Perhaps the best way to do that is to write content that you would want to read yourself. After all, you’re most likely a member of your target audience, too. So, writing content that appeals to you means that your content will most likely appeal to a larger audience as well.
On top of that, writing content about topics that you’re passionate about will come across in your work. And quality work is key to getting the results that you’re looking for.
Listen to Your Analytics
Once you start creating content, it won’t take long for your target audience to start speaking back to you. On top of things like comments and direct feedback, your audience will let you know what they live via your analytics.
It goes without saying, but it’s important to listen to your analytics and use that information to create future content plans. That, combined with keyword research, will give you the best chance to reach your biggest goals with your website.
How to Use Keywords
Now that you know how to go about finding the best keywords for your blog or website, it’s time to talk about how to use them properly. Because even if you pick the right keywords to target, if you don’t use those keywords the right way, you won’t rank as high as you want to on search engines.
If you’re overwhelmed by this idea, don’t be. There are 7 things to keep in mind when writing content based on keywords. We’ll breakdown those 7 things, so you can maximize your results, below.
1. Article Title
If you know anything about writing content on keywords, you most likely know that you need to put the keyword in your article’s title. Of course, doing this is as simple as creating a title that sounds good while also featuring your keyword.
Where your keyword is at in your title doesn’t matter. As long as it’s in there, and it reads somewhat naturally, you should be good to go.
2. Meta Description (SEO Description)
Have you ever searched for something and then, after getting your search results, noticed that each result had a little summary of the article below the link? That summary is called a meta description, or SEO description, and it’s super important for helping you rank for keywords.
If you don’t have one already, go ahead and get an SEO plugin for your website, like SEO Yoast, that will allow you to create meta descriptions. SEO Yoast is a WordPress plugin that is both free and easy to use.
If you’re not on WordPress, don’t worry, you should be able to find something similar for your platform of choice after a quick Google search. And, of course, once you start editing meta descriptions, you need to include your keyword in there once to help you rank for it.
3. First/Last 200 words
Whenever you start writing content for your keyword, there are a few places that you need to make sure that you have your keyword located. Within the first 200 words of your article, as well as the last 200 words, is a good place to start.
Our advice? Create an intro and an outro section for everything that you write. That way you can have a place to include your keyword, as well as create content with a layout that is easy to read and user-friendly.
By reading this article, you can see that we’ve utilized headings throughout. Not only is this a way to make your content easier to read, which search engines like, but it also gives you another way to post your keyword.
You should try to include your keyword in one heading per article. If you’re struggling to fit your keyword into a header naturally, consider adding it to the last header in your article, above your conclusion.
5. Image Tags
Having an image for your article is a given. But what you might not know is that having your keyword in your image’s alternate tags is extremely important for your article’s SEO, too.
Want to take things a step further? Name your images for your articles after your keyword for that article. That way both the image tag and the image itself have the keyword for your article in them.
By naming your article something that features your keyword, your article’s URL most likely will have that keyword in it as well. But if you plan on shortening your URL, which isn’t recommended, make sure that your keyword is at least apart of that newer shortened URL.
We’ll be honest. Not having your keyword in your URL makes it quite hard to rank for that keyword. That’s why our advice is to let the title of your article be the URL, so you can make sure you check that important box.
7. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
We’ve just told you about 6 places that you need to make sure that you include your keyword within your article. And while it’s okay to naturally fit in your keyword in one or two more places throughout your article, doing much more than that isn’t a good idea.
Why? Well, search engines will flag you for keyword stuffing if you’re not careful. So, having your keyword in your article more than once or twice isn’t recommended, for this very reason.
Need More Help Choosing Keywords for SEO?
As you can see, a lot goes into choosing keywords for SEO purposes. Knowing what to do, and what not to do, takes a bit of practice and experience to figure out.
With that being said, if you keep these ideas in mind, and follow our guide, you’ll set yourself up for success going forward.
Looking for more SEO tips and tricks? Check back with our blog often for everything that you need to know to make sure that your blog ranks high on search engines like Google.