Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Keywords are at the core of on page SEO. Keywords are those words that people search for. For example, if you want to learn more about the Taj Mahal, then you search on Google for ‘Taj Mahal’. ‘Taj Mahal’ is the keyword here.
Importance of Keywords
Say that you wrote a post on X but people generally call it Y and while searching on Google, they search for Y and not X. If you have not used the word Y atleast once in your post, then the probability of Google realising that your post is about Y is very low. Had you used the word Y instead of X, your post could have been ranked much better for the word.
In short, it is important that you use words that people search for instead of expecting them to search using words that you use.
Creating posts based on popular keywords
While including keywords in an article that you are writing (or have already written and are modifying it for SEO) is one aspect of SEO, writing on keywords that people generally search for is another. Say that you feel like writing about some monument and you have two choices – The Taj Mahal and some other local monument that not many people are aware of. Now, you have to choose one of the two. (Writing an article on both could be an option, which is infact better, but for the moment, consider that you can write on only one). From the perspective of SEO, it is wise to choose ‘Taj Mahal’ as more people are likely to search for it compared to the other monument, because of which the likeliness of your page being shown on Google SERPs increases.
However, this may not always work. People generally do not click beyond the first few search results. Getting a #1 position on a search term (keyword) having 1k daily searches is better than getting a #20 position on another search term having 1 lakh daily searches.
The numbers used above (1k and 1 lakh) are only an example. It is up to you to decide what is better and this can be learnt from experience and experimentation.
There are tools like Google Keyword Tool which helps you find out what people search for. We will look into more on this in the page on ‘Finding Keywords’. (post to be written soon)
Some people feel that creating posts based on keywords is not a good thing. While their arguments are valid to a certain extent, it is not a bad thing either. When one invests time in their blog, to get good returns, using proper keywords is essential. There is no point in writing hundreds of quality articles that people never search for. There may be a handful of websites that have succeeded without depending on keywords and SEO. But, not all are that lucky. A good thing would be having a balance between the number of posts written based on search popularity and posts based on your interests.
How to add keywords to your blog content
Keywords are the topic(s) around which your post revolves. It is recommended that the keyword appear atleast once in the article title and in the post body. Some people say that the keyword density should be x% for good SEO. According to me, such a thing doesn’t make much sense. Including the keyword atleast once is necessary but trying to include it as many times as you can, whether it is necessary or not is a bad practice and is a black hat technique that you should avoid. But that doesn’t mean that the keyword should appear just once in the entire article. When you are writing a post about X, then the word X will naturally appear a number of times. You shouldn’t try to alter the natural frequency of that word in your article.
Long Tail and Short Tail keywords
Short tail keywords are keywords of 1-2 words while long tail keywords are keywords that have more number of words. They could be even complete sentences. For example, ‘books’, ‘Taj Mahal’, ‘blogging tips’ are all short tail keywords while ‘How to add a gadget in Blogger’, ‘How to wash clothes in washing machine’ are long tail keywords.
Mostly bloggers try to focus on short tail keywords as the number of searches for them are generally higher than those for long tail keywords. But as every blogger thinks in the same way, the competition for those keywords is higher and it is more difficult to rank for those keywords.
On the other hand, the competition for long tail keyword is lower but at the same time, number of searches is also lower. Try to focus on both long and short tail keywords. Long tail keywords help to increase your traffic gradually while short tail keywords are most likely to increase your traffic steeply in a few days. At the same time, traffic from short tail keywords can also drop dramatically in a few days. While short tail keywords bring high traffic, long tail keywords bring short traffic that is comparatively more stable.
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