I’ve trained and worked as a digital marketer in a leading agency for five years — here’s all I’ve learned about where to use keywords for SEO
Keywords are not the most important thing when creating content. That’s a controversial thing for a digital marketer to say — don’t report me! But it’s true. When creating quality content, passion and enthusiasm matters most. You have to care about what you’re writing about and you need to be knowledgeable. If you don’t care, you’ll lose interest and so will anyone reading your content. It’ll be an exercise in futility and you’ll never rank high for anything. You’ll never build domain authority and your blog will fizzle out.
So interest in your niche comes first. But let’s be realistic — passion alone won’t get you far. There are a lot of parenting bloggers out there, and if you want to rise up the ranks, you need to use all the tools at your disposal. If you want your blog posts to be found, you need to understand keywords. You need to know how to pick the right keywords, you need to keep volume and competition in mind, and you need to know where to use keywords for SEO purposes. Ignoring keyword placement is one of the most common SEO mistakes you see online. Addressing keyword placement, on the other hand, will help you get noticed for the specific terms you’re targeting.
Before We Get Started: Finding the Right Keywords For Your Mummy Blog
As a content marketer, I create blog content for my clients every day, and a lot of the time, I’m presented with a ‘chicken or the egg’ question — do I find a topic that the client’s readers will love, then try to find a fitting keyword? Or do I do keyword research and establish blog topics from there? It’s often a little from column A and a little from column B. What’s important is that you ultimately find a ‘target keyword’. This keyword will help give your blog post focus.
This target keyword should have a decent search volume (the number of searches for that word per month). You also need to look at the competition of that keyword, to give you an indication as to how difficult it will be to rank for that given keyword. You should also consider whether the keyword is long-tail. Long-tail keywords will usually have lower search volumes, but they will attract more relevant traffic and they are easier to rank for. I’ll look forward to geeking out on this topic more in the future, when I write my post on how to find keywords for your blog.
Where to Use Keywords For SEO Purposes
So you’ve checked out your SEO tools, you’ve done your keyword research and you are planning out your post. But where do you place your keywords for maximum impact?
I’m a team leader in a leading digital marketing agency, and in the content marketing team, these are the rules we live and work by. To help Google out and to give the little virtual search goblins everything they need to place your content appropriately, remember to place your keywords in:
Don’t hit ‘publish’ on your newest parenting post without first checking out your metadata. Your page title tells Google, and anyone viewing the search engine results, what your page is all about. You want to make sure your keyword is present and clear.
Part two of metadata — meta descriptions. In 2019, Google announced that meta descriptions aren’t a direct ranking factor. However, they have a huge impact on your click through rate (CTR). Essentially, if you put your target keyword in your meta description and people are searching for that term, they are more likely to click through to your post. This, in turn, has a positive impact on a page’s ability to rank.
Your URL Slug
While we’re on the more technical side of things, be sure to use your target keyword in your slug (example below). Slugs aren’t too complicated, but take the time to optimise your URL slug for SEO and user experience. Try to keep your slug succinct and reflective of what’s on the page.
Your Title (Your H1 Tag)
Your target keyword should definitely be in your title. This is your H1 tag. Your H1 will tell Google what your post is about and, importantly, it’ll let your readers know what to expect. Try to keep your target keyword towards the front of your title, as with my ‘parenting books’ post below. Search engines put more weight on words at the start of the title.
Your Subheadings (Your H2 and H3 Tags)
It’s a great idea to divide your post up into subheadings. They make your post more scannable. And nobody likes to read long, continuous chunks of text. Subheadings also give you a chance to use your keywords! Try to use your keyword in at least one subheading.
First Hundred Words
You should use your target keyword early on in your blog post. Let Google know what you’re writing about, and make it clear to your readers.
Throughout your Post
Use your target keyword throughout the body of your post, but be cautious of keyword stuffing. Using the same exact keyword over and over can come across as really spammy and unnatural, which will have a bad impact on your bounce rate. Nobody will want to stick around to read really awkward text. Let me give you an example — think of how engaging my post on unnecessary baby items would have been if it had read like this:
“Check out these unnecessary baby items. I was talking to my mum about unnecessary baby items, and she gave me a list of unnecessary baby items and I agreed with the unnecessary baby items on the list…”
Use your target keyword, but do it naturally. And use variations. We call them LSIs. So, for example, if you were writing a post targeting ‘unique baby names’, you should also include terms like ‘unusual names for babies’ ‘uncommon baby names’ or ‘modern names’.
Here’s a great (and free!) tool you can use to search for LSIs:
This is an area that often gets forgotten! Use your keyword in your image titles and alt text to give Google an indication as to what the images are about.
Once you’re done writing your blog post, go through your previous posts. Look for natural, organic mentions of your keyword. Then use this anchor text to link back to your new post. Interlinking and appropriate anchor text is a hugely important part of SEO and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Use your keywords when promoting your content across social media. Keywords should also be used as hashtags in social media updates, to make it easier for people to find your content.
If you are guest posting on another website and building links back to your website, use anchor text to your advantage. Link back to your post using your target keyword — it will give Google even more context on what your post covers.
As we all know, SEO is a bit of a minefield, and the rules have a habit of changing from update to update. It’s always worth keeping up with articles to ensure your SEO remains on point and your amazing articles can be found.