You’ve done your research and decided what keywords to target. Now what? Here’s our guide on where to use keywords to make your blog rank.
We all know how important keywords are — if we want our content to rank, we need to have a keyword (or several) in mind. Then, we need to focus our content around those keywords — and related terms — so that search engines like Google can determine what queries to rank you for.
Today, we’re letting you in on the secret of how, where and why you should use keywords in your blog posts. But before we do, we want to stress the importance of passion, enthusiasm and relevancy.
For your business’s blog to help drive leads, show your expertise and entertain readers, you have to care about what you’re writing about, and you need to be knowledgeable. If you don’t care about what you’re writing about, you’ll lose interest — and so will anyone reading your content. It’s an exercise in futility and not only will you struggle to rank and build domain authority, but more importantly, you’ll have a much harder job converting those who do end up on your site.
So interest in your niche comes first. But let’s be realistic — passion alone won’t get you far. There are a lot of children’s brands out there. And that means a lot of businesses vying for the attention of your target audience. 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, to keep volume and competition in mind, and you need to know where to use keywords for SEO purposes. Keeping keyword placement in mind will help you get noticed for the specific terms you’re targeting.
Before We Get Started: Finding the Right Keywords For Your Blog
As digital marketing experts, we create blog content for our clients every day, and a lot of the time, we’re presented with a “chicken or the egg” question — do we find a topic that our client’s readers will love, then try to find a fitting keyword? Or do we do keyword research and establish blog topics from there? It’s often a bit of both. What’s important is that you find a “target keyword”, as it will give your blog post focus, but if it’s related to a topic that you know will bore you to write, that will show in the final result, and you’d be better off not wasting your time writing it in the first place.
When you do pick your target keyword, make sure it has a decent search volume (the number of searches for that query per month). But it’s not always the case that a high search volume will mean it’s the perfect keyword to pick.
You also need to look at the competition and keyword difficulty of that keyword, which will give you an indication of how difficult it will be to rank for. You should also consider how long the keyword is. Long-tail keywords (those consisting of three or more words) will usually have lower search volumes, but they will attract more relevant traffic and are easier to rank for.
Let’s look at a quick example.
Let’s say you sell children’s toys, and you decide to write a blog showcasing the best children’s toys in your range. Now, if you were to consider the keyword, “best kids toys”, you’re looking at around 1,000 searches per month. That’s pretty good. But what if we niched down a little? How about, “best toys for 4 year olds uk”? Now we’re looking at a much smaller search volume (140 searches per month), but consider how much more qualified people searching for that keyword are. These are people looking for something with a very specific audience in mind (a toy suitable for a four-year-old child), which means if they were to land on your blog, they’d be more likely to stick around and see what’s on offer — and perhaps even buy!
What’s more, you’ve also eliminated any competitors in the search results showcasing children’s toys available outside the UK, and given yourself more potential topics for the future. Do you also sell toys suitable for three-year-olds, five-year-olds, and older children? Each of those could become blog posts of their own!
Where to Use Keywords For SEO Purposes
So you’ve checked out your SEO tools, you’ve done your keyword research and you’re planning out your post. But where do you place your keywords for maximum impact?
Don’t hit “publish” on your newest parenting post without first checking your metadata. Your page title tells Google, and anyone who stumbles across your site in the search engine results, what your page is all about, so including your keyword here is vital.
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) — the percentage of users who see your page and click through. Your meta description is prime real estate to tell users why they should click on your website specifically. As an added bonus, Google will bold out a user’s search term if it appears in your description, so including it is a perfect way to capture a skimmer’s attention.
Your URL Slug
While we’re on the more technical side of things, be sure to use your target keyword in your URL slug (the part after the forward slash). 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, let your readers know what to expect. Try to keep your target keyword towards the front of your title, as this is where search engines place more weight.
Your Subheadings (Your H2 and H3 Tags)
It’s a great idea to divide your post up into subheadings. They not only make your post more scannable (as nobody likes to read long, continuous chunks of text), but they also give you an opportunity 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. Not only does this tell Google what you’re writing about (which will help the search engine decide where to rank you), but it also lets readers know that they’re in the right place so that they stick around and read your blog.
Throughout Your Post
Use your target keyword throughout the body of your post, but be cautious of keyword stuffing. Using the same keyword over and over can come across as spammy and unnatural, which will have a bad impact on your bounce rate (the percentage of readers who leave without taking any action, such as clicking a link to another page on your site), which can itself negatively affect your ranking. Nobody will want to stick around to read really awkward text. Let’s give you an example — think of how engaging (or not) our post on parenting books would have been if it had read like this:
“Check out these parenting books. We were talking about parenting books recently, and we decided to create a list of excellent parenting books, so here are our favourite parenting books for those looking for parenting books…”
Use your target keyword, but do it naturally, and use variations. We call these Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, or 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” and “modern names”.
Here’s a great (and free!) tool you can use to search for LSIs.
Because it’s so easy to upload an image and go, this is something that often gets forgotten! Use your keyword in your image titles and alt text to tell Google what your images represent.
Once you’re done writing your blog post, go through your previous posts. What you’re looking for are mentions of your chosen keyword (or an LSI) or opportunities to slot them in organically (don’t force it!). Then, you can use these mentions as anchor text to link to your new post. Interlinking and using appropriate anchor text are vital for SEO, and they can give your new blog post a boost from the moment you hit “publish”.
Use your keywords when promoting your content across social media. You can also use keywords as hashtags in your social media updates to make it easier for people to find your content.
If you’re guest posting on another website to build links to your website, use anchor text to your advantage. Link to your post using your target keyword — it will give Google even more context on what your post covers and help push up your blog ranking that little bit further.
And there you have it.
As we all know, SEO is a bit of a minefield, and the rules have a habit of changing from update to update, so it’s always worth keeping up with what’s happening in Googleland to ensure your SEO game is on-point and that your amazing blog posts can be found.
Need help with your business’s blog posts? We are all about children’s brands, and we know how to create a blog post that demands attention. Get in touch to discuss our blog writing services.