Advanced Keyword Use in Content Writing

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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.

google and keyword searches

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


Using Keywords

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.

Keyword tool search bar

screenshot of the wealthy affiliate keyword tool






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).

Keyword search tool

Keyword search using ‘strategic plan’

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.

screenshot keyword google search

google search for “strategic planning process”

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.

Strategic goal keyword search

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.

image long tail keywords

Image found on bit

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.

infographic keywords

Example of an info graphic

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.

image different social media companies

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.

12 thoughts on “Advanced Keyword Use in Content Writing

  1. Tim

    Hi Admin,

    I just read your blog post about using google keyword tool to help write articles.

    I write articles myself but sometimes the keyword tool doesn’t drill down far enough.

    I’m a bit of a tinkerer, so I built my own tool… It analyses the top ranking articles for your keyword and gives you -related keywords & -article topics for your next article.

    The great thing is that the keywords you get back are much more varied & interesting than the standard permutations the google keywords tool loves to give you.

    The tool is called SEO Cloud Content and its in early access right now.

    What do you think about trying it out? I won’t charge you a single cent & in return I just want to know if you found the tool useful or not.

    Content Optimagic

  2. Julius


    your website is amazing. I especially love the visuals! This article is really informative, and every beginner should read it. I’m a blogger, and I can really tell that keywords are probably the most important thing when it comes to online business!

    Thank you for your effort, and keep up the good work!

    1. Marie

      Thanks, keywords will form the basis of all your SEO work so it’s good to get grips with them as early on as possible.

  3. Chris

    Keyword research can be a very powerful blogging ally but so many newbies tend to ignore it – I did myslef and I learned the hard way! By locating the right title for your article you are giving yourslef a huge chance in outwitting the competition – every time! Great read – you touched on all the bases!

    1. Marie

      HI Chris thanks for sharing your own experiences. I admit keyword research is another skill to learn and with everything else so new it can seem pretty daunting at first. Hopefully this article helped a bit for some and there are other posts on the site as well including an article on LSI keywords What Are LSI Keywords And Why Do They Matter? for you to check out.

      Thanks, Marie

  4. CarlM

    Keywords…..Oh these used to be the bain of my life. Never ever understood them and why they were so important until I started at WA. This is a REALLY well written page and describes in detail why they are so important and how to use them correctly. Will be a great aid for those who need to know more.

    Great Job


    1. admin

      Hi Carl thanks for your praise it’s much appreciated! I agree it can be a complex topic but I think the sooner you start implementing it the easier it will become. My advice is also to keep reading, come back to articles and read on the issue and eventually it will all make sense.

      And if you think this article is useful please use the social media buttons and share the content, I would love for others to benefit in the same way.

      Thanks again, Marie

  5. rufat

    Good research on how to understand and use keywords when creating content. I agree that using a long tail keyword can significantly increase the chances of rankings which will bring more traffic to your site. I always use keywords throughout my content as you describe it here but unfortunately Google doesn’t always follow their own rules. Very often I find older websites out rank my site or other young sites under specific keyword that they don’t even have in their content and the only reason is because those sites are older. What do you think?

    1. admin

      Hi Rufat thanks for commenting and bringing in your own observations I really appreciate it. I agree I think Google still gives stronger weight to older sites, and older sites often have more engagement, with a larger number of posts which all influences the ranking.

      It will be interesting though in the future because Google’s focus has shifted and it is looking at social media engagement a lot more as well, so the placing of keywords needs to be across all areas. I think gradually those stand alone sites, that have been around for a long time, will lose their positions to newer and better quality sites with more information and clearer keyword use.

  6. Jeff

    This is a good article on the use of keywords. The points that you make are very helpful and show how you should use keywords throughout the article – with some different variations. I have recently started using Twitter to promote some of my posts – and will think about using the keywords there also – based on your information. thanks for sharing.


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