SEO for Blog Posts Part 4: The "Key" to More Traffic on Your Website?

Have you ever fumbled around in the dark for just the right key to open the door to your car?  Your visitors are looking for you. Don't lock them out by using the wrong keywords. They have children too!It can make a seemingly normally coordinated person turn into completely clumsy one in a hurry- trying to put the wrong key into the lock and not being able to get it open.  Frustrating isn't it?  

Well that's not how you want visitors to your site to feel.  They've likely typed in a phrase or keywords into Google hoping to get the answer to their question and they will feel frustrated if they end up on a page that doesn't have anything to do with what they're looking for. 

For example, if someone types in "Pet Toys" in a search engine and ends up on a site for "pet tricks" they'll leave pretty quickly.  Why?  It's just not what they were looking for.  That's often what happens when people write content but don't include the proper keywords in their blog posts.  We want our blog posts and any pages we write to draw readers who say "Yes! this is exactly what I'm looking for!"-right?

So how can you make sure that what you are writing about in your blog post ends up being read by people who are looking for it?  In a word:  Keywords.

 In the last few blog posts we've gone over writing for the search engines vs. writing for people who actually read your blog and writing searchable yet catchy title tags but now we'll take a moment to talk about how to use keywords in your blog posts to get maximum traffic. 

How to and Tools:

Keyword Research Step 1

Please read SEO for Blogs Part 3:  Double Sided Title Tags That Stick. After you read and do what it says there you should have some nice keywords in your title tags.  Now you're going to take those keywords and put them into a keyword research tool and see what comes up. There are a ton of keyword tools out there.  If you're going to use just one, please use: Google Adwords Keyword Tool

If you want to check out a bunch then here are more on Aaron Wall's SEO Book page:

What you're looking for

These tools will show you not just the popular keywords but keyword modifiers, synonyms and phrasing you may not have thought of. 

Keyword Research Step 2

Unlike a static web page, blogs are more social in nature and often rely on what's new, what's fresh- what people are talking about now.   You need more than just keyword ideas to reflect that.  So how can you find this out?  More tools:

Using your keywords you have researched, do a search on the following sites to see what's going on in the area of what you're writing about:Technorati, Google Blog Search, and Google News. Services like Google Trends and Yahoo! Buzz Index

Now you know what and how people are talking about the ideas and keywords you're targeting.  You can adjust your blog post and the way you use your keywords accordingly.

Putting it all together

Now that you've taken a few minutes to do keyword research how exactly should you use them in writing your blog post?   Let's start with the don'ts:

Don't stuff every keyword known to mankind in your blog posts.   This isn't 1999: the search engines know about this bad technique and could ban you for keyword stuffing.

Don't make you're blog post sound weird or robotic just to get that keyword in there to supposedly rank higher.   Remember, it may be the search engines that crawl your site but it's people who read it.  They just won't hang around, never mind become a regular reader if your posts sound lame and don't have the human touch.  See  the post SEO for blog posts Part 2:  You're Only Human- And That's OK.

Now the Do's:

Use the keywords, synonyms, modifiers and phrases in your posts a few times, but only if it sounds natural like a real person wrote it.  Balance writing well for people with putting these keywords in.

It's really that simple.

Isn't it interesting that you have the key(words) to whether you're blog posts draw people who are searching for your content.  As tempting as it may be to just shoot out a quick blog post, take the five minutes to research your keywords.  The benefits are obvious:  People will find what they're looking for on your blog, and they may become regular loyal readers and continue to return for more.

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