Selecting the right keywords is an essential skill for any writer. Strong keywords set the tone for your article and help people find your content when they search, on social media, or in Google. Your keyword is the anchor that will help you rank higher in search engine optimization and be found by more potential readers. Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Keyword?
Before we get into selecting keywords, let’s be clear on what they are. A keyword is a single word or phrase that describes the topic of your article.
For example, if you are writing an article on tips for sewing pants, then the words “sewing pants” would be your keyword. In this case, you’d want to use that exact string of words when you write it.
However, that string of words is not something you should target when writing your article or trying to optimize your writing for search engines such as Google.
Instead, you’d want to target a more general term that describes the topic of your article. So, if you are writing an article on tips for sewing pants, then sewing pants would be a better keyword to target.
In short, keywords are descriptive words and phrases that tell people what your article is about.
Why Keywords Are Important for SEO
You might think that keywords are just something you should use to improve SEO. While that is partly true, there are other reasons why you need to understand keywords, too.
If your article doesn’t have the right keyword or keywords, it’ll be hard for people to find it on search engines such as Google. Even if people see your article, they probably won’t care because they won’t realize what the article is about. This could lead to fewer visitors and more frustrated readers.
If you have a website, strong keywords can also help your website rank higher in search engine optimization. This creates a better user experience for people who are looking for sites like yours.
Strong keywords can also help you rank higher in search engines such as Google when people are using social media. If someone shares your article on Facebook or Twitter, then Google will show it to the right audience and help you reach more readers.
Ultimately, strong keywords will make your writing more effective and will lead to more traffic from search engines.
Now to the tips for selecting strong keywords:
1. Use Contextual Keywords
Keywords that describe a topic are contextual. You can easily find contextual keywords if you just read your article and take note of the words that naturally flow out of you. However, if you can’t think of any, then add the following question to your writer’s toolkit: “What words would someone use to search for this?” Make a list of these words and use them as keywords in your article.
2. Pick Keywords You Can Use in Your Article
Most people don’t realize this, but you usually only use three to six words in your article. These words are the keywords you want to target with your article. It is better to write an article that has 1-2 strong keywords than 30 weak phrases. Also, it might be better to add a keyword or two for better ranking on search engines than write an awesome article with no keywords at all.
3. Avoid Keywords That Don’t Describe Your Article
Use only the words in your article to describe your topic. Avoid using words that are too general, such as “use a computer.” Try to use keywords that are specific enough that you can tell people exactly what you are writing about. You might also want to avoid using too many keywords in one article. If you do, search engines might see it as spam and not show the article when people search for key phrases with more than three words.
4. Limit Keywords to Three or Less
Search engines will probably only show your article when people search for one keyword. You can sometimes get away with more, but it rarely works well and you might annoy the search engine as well. However, if you are trying to rank on a social media channel such as Twitter or Facebook, then you could try using multiple keywords. Keep in mind, though that the results might not be what you expect and that Google might not like it either.
5. Use a Keyword Research Tool
Don’t depend on your writer’s toolkit to find keywords for your article; instead, use a keyword research tool like Wordstream. Wordstream can help you find keywords that are already performing well in search engines and help you remove the guesswork from writing an article. Wordstream also has a feature that lets you see what other sites rank for each of your keywords, so you can see if other people have used that particular keyword as well.
6. Use Google Search Autocomplete
Google has a feature that helps you find terms other people are searching for. This can help you find the keywords your article needs to rank on Google. Just enter your keyword into the search box and make sure your cursor is in the Autocomplete section. Then click “Next” and Google will show you all of the related search terms people are typing in.
7. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner
The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is another great tool that can help you find potentially strong keywords. If you want to get the most out of it, however, take the time to create an account and learn all about how to use it. Otherwise, you might get incorrect information.
8. Check Other Content on Your Site
If your site has existing pages that have already been indexed by search engines, then check those pages for strong keywords. You can find important key phrases to use in your article in several places on your site. You might also want to check the headers for other pages to see if they contain any keywords that you can use.
9. Check Google Analytics
If you have a Google Analytics account, then you already have access to a wealth of information about your site with its search engine traffic reports. However, it is possible that the search engine listings are not accurate enough for you to use them on your own articles.
10. Use Google Search Console to find keywords other pages on your site index for that are not specific to that page
Google Search Console is a way to see all the information about your site. The advantage of this is that you can see if a keyword appears on other pages and infer whether that keyword exists in multiple places. Then you can use the keywords in your article to give it more content and increase its chances of ranking.
11. Use Google Trends
Google Trends is another way to look at data about what people are searching in Google and gives information about the difference between various time periods. You can use this information to find the best time to publish a particular article and get more views.
12. Look at what your competitors are doing for inspiration
If you are not a serious competitor to the top search results for your keyword, then look at what your competitors are doing. If they have great content for their articles and related keywords, then you can use that information to create a better article.
13. Check google search results to see what Google thinks the search intent is
Google uses the information it has about the search images and intent to determine which results are most relevant to give to you. This can actually help with your article content because the ranking algorithm uses this information when deciding how high your article should be ranked.
Checking out these tips should help you get started with writing your first articles to rank on google, and hopefully, they will help you in the future. The more keywords you define, describe and identify, then the better your chance of succeeding on Google.
If you want a greater understanding of SEO and its benefits to content writing we have created this guide for SEO Content writing. Feel free to visit and learn everything you need about SEO.