The term ‘keyword’ is often associated with content writing and marketing and I first introduced the idea behind keywords in a previous blog post.
However, my focus for this article is on bloggers and writers who have been commissioned by a commercial company to write an article, or writers who work on commercial blogs (that’s any online business including writer’s own platforms as well).
The difference at this higher and more advanced level of using keywords is that it is not just about placing words into an article and a couple of headings, and then assuming that is it. At this level keywords operate throughout your article and also influence the content you write.
This article explores the following issues;
- Using keywords
- How to choose a keyword
- Comparing other articles under the same keyword
- Using keywords in sub-headings
- Long tail keywords
- Using keywords in your content
- Keywords and social media
In this example I hope to walk you through how keyword planning tools such as the one being used here, can inform all the content you produce. Unlike standard keyword articles the aim is not just to get ranked in google, that will help your business of course…
But it is also to get ranked and enable customers to find you, using sub headings within your work, that work alongside the main title page.
How does this work?
Well one of the tools that a blog offers, is that different sections of an article can appeal to different readers, depending on the topics covered. As a content writer ideally you want to make sure that you are appealing to customers and answering their questions all the way through, right to the end of the article. However there are times especially when writing reference articles, that some aspects will appeal to readers more so at different times.
A keyword plan can also assist you to attract those readers if used a little more creatively. Here is an example.
How to Choose a Keyword
The keyword that I’m going to focus on initially is ‘strategic plan‘, because I am in the process of writing an article on this topic for a client.
As this is for a blog article that I’m going to write for another company, then I might decide to choose as a heading the 10 points that any business should consider when developing its own strategic plan.
I’m also aware that there may be sections or points within this article that people are looking for independently, so I’m going to do a number of keyword searches at different times as I plan my article content.
To assist me in this task and for the examples shown in this article, I have used the keyword tool at Wealthy Affiliate and typed ‘strategic plan’ into the search bar. You can use other options such as Jaaxy as a keyword tool, many of them work in exactly the same way.
As part of my results I now have a long list of related search terms all using the word strategic and/or plan in the phrase.
The list below gives the first 14 answers, but there are actually 56 different keyword options that the search produced.
The list also shows the number of searches that have been made in a month and the amount of traffic that this word attracted (as you can see some terms did not acquire any traffic).
The last column in the table shows article power, this is the suitability of the keyword given the number of searches and the number of competition sites all looking for the same clients.
From this list I can see that the term ‘strategic planning process‘ actually scores higher than any of the other top search results. Since that also fits into my theme I’m going to choose that as my keyword and include it in the title of the article.
Comparing other articles under the same keyword
Once I’ve selected a keyword I also want to check out what the other sites are using that heading and what they are actually writing about. In my keyword tool I can click on the view result and I will get a google search for the term.
I can scroll down the list looking for anything that might be similar to my idea, or anything that’s already been done.
I actually find on page one of the search a World Bank report on Strategic Planning – 10 principles, but it is 14 pages long. I can write a blog article that is only 1500 words long and know that currently there isn’t really anything else out there covering this topic.
Using Keywords in Sub Headings
You might think as far as keywords go that’s it, but if I want to write an article on 10 points related to strategic planning then any one of these headings could be a keyword in its own right.
This means that my article could get ranked higher for one of the sub headings, then it does for the main title. So I should check each of the 10 points I am planning on writing and type them into the keyword planner. This might give me other options to use or highlight other areas that people are specifically asking about.
For example one of the areas of my article is to consider strategic goal planning, so my keyword for this sub heading is strategic goal. However when I put this into the keyword planner here are the results that I selected.
There is actually a strong potential to include a strategic plan template as obviously people are looking for that.
Similarly people are also looking for examples and help on writing strategic goals, so these are more ideas both for my content and also for the sub headings that I decide to use.
I can use the same principle and apply it to any of the other headings linked to my 10 points. Essentially each of the 10 points are sub themes, which I then treat as separate mini or micro blogs.
Long Tail Keywords
Many of the examples I have shown so far use more than one keyword, these are known as long tail keywords and Google in particular likes these.
As you can see from the image below long tail keywords are not searched for as much, because they tend to be more specific. However because of the large number of websites now available it is very hard to get ranked using just one or two popular keywords.
Long tail keywords however are searched for less but give greater potential for being ranked, and so they can drive more traffic to your site. Most keyword tools use this principle to try and find the long tail keyword that will give the best ranking choice, rather than the highest search volume.
Using Keywords in Your Content
Keywords need to placed at a few points throughout the article, so that search engines are clear as to what exactly your article is about.
The word ‘Keyword‘ has been used several times throughout this article including in the heading, main headings, ordinary text and images. Google knows that I am writing specifically about keywords and not just mentioning the term in passing whilst discussing another issue.
I have used this infographic about search engine optimisation or SEO tips to explain the use of keyword placement within content. The infographic shows all the places that keywords can be placed including in the headings and body text. It also highlights the importance of incorporating images and labelling the images in the alt text descriptor.
Keywords & Social Media
Finally promoting your content on social media is also important, otherwise readers won’t know about the article. Keywords are still important even at this stage because they can also form the basis of your social media campaign.
So a tweet for the article I’ve just written might read;
‘ Advanced Keyword Use in Business Blogs‘.
The same heading can also be used in an email newsletter, if you already have a list of subscribing customers. You can also make use of company or business Facebook pages, which can lead readers to the site.
So that’s the end of this brief tour of advanced keyword use in your content writing. I hope that you found this article useful, and please don’t forget to sign up for the email bulletin to keep yourself informed of all the latest developments on SEO and content writing.
Other articles on this site that you might find useful for further reading are.