In order to leverage the maximum SEO benefits of keywords, one must understand how to use them correctly on their website/blog. In this post, I’d like to address how to do this so you can apply it for your website. This is really broken down into 3 VERY simple steps.
Step 1: Make sure you’re targeting a LOW competition keyword
There’s no point in chasing keywords you’ll likely never get ranked for. I constantly see people chasing keywords which are highly searched, yet extremely competitive. It is important to understand that if you’re going to have your website get visitors, you need to start off with keywords that don’t have a lot of other websites competing against you (300 or less to be exact!).
What is also important to understand is that through targeting low competition keywords (full tutorial), you will be able to rank faster/higher for it, earn better/faster authority in search engines and overtime start to rank in more competitive search terms.
With that in mind, let me explain step 1. In essence what this comes down to is simple:
You need to find keywords which meet 2 standards:
- They have a high search volume monthly.
- They don’t have a lot of pages competing for the same keyword (again the magic number is less than 300. In fact the less the better).
If you can find a keyword which matches these criteria, you are good to go! One obvious question you may have at this point is:
Well how do I tell what the competition of my keyword really is? Well it’s actually quite simple! There’s really 2 ways to do it:
A) Use the keyword tool called Jaaxy. It’ll tell you right away what the real competition is.
B) Type the keyword you are seeking into Google, but MAKE sure it’s in quotes! Then when the results pop up, scroll down to the bottom of the search results where you see the # of pages the results show. Then go the VERY last page in search results. Once you get there, it’ll show you the actual competition on the top left (under the area where you type your keyword). That is your EXACT competition. It’s really not difficult at all.
So again, target LOW competition keywords. This will yield maximum SEO benefits in the short/long run.
Step 2: Write a page/post on your site targeting this keyword.
This is fairly simple. Take the keyword you chose and enter it into the title of your article/page/post. Just make sure the title makes sense. Also you can add in some other words to decorate the title and make it more appealing. You can even break up the keyword within the title if it makes sense to do so. Doing this will NOT hurt your rankings.
Step 3: Make sure to use your keyword once in the first paragraph of your body.
I usually write 2-3 sentences per paragraph. In terms of where to put the keyword, make sure it’s somewhere in the first paragraph of your body. What will happen is that once your article gets indexed and starts to get ranked in Google, when people search for your keyword, if your site pops up, the title and places where the keyword is in will appear bold.
In addition Google also shows a small snippet of your body (the first paragraph) in it’s search results and if you entered the keyword there, it will also appear bold. What this means is that the more bold words that appear in search results, the more eye catching it is!
An example of the 3 steps in action:
Step 1: My low competition keyword will be: How to get dog to stop barking at night. Here is what Jaaxy showed me in terms of competition and how many people search for it online:
Monthly search-wise, it’s a good number. Anything over 50 in my book is good. Also notice the place where it says QSR and the number 5. This is ACTUAL competition. It’s less than 300 so we’ve got this part covered!
Now we can make Step 2 & 3 appear as one. Here I took a screenshot of what my article might look like when I implement the keyword:
By the way, for those of you wondering, I am using WordPress to make my site. If you’re using other platforms, you should have similar options available. Either way, use the same idea from these 3 steps as reference on your site and if you’ve never built a WP site before, I recommend this option as it lets you build 2 of them without any charge.
Note: I’ve underlined and bolded the areas which will appear bold when someone finds this article in Google or another search engine.
1. Make sure your articles have at least 1,000 words. I notice the more content you have, the more/better you rank. Some suggest 400 words, but I say the more, the better (as long as it makes sense to do so). You’re really chasing a better user experience here and with that the rankings will come.
2. Use H3 headings. This makes your words appear bigger on the blog/website page. If you use your keyword at least once in an H3 format, it will have better SEO benefits.
3. Do NOT keyword spam! This is SUPER important. Make sure to never over do it on typing up your keyword over and over. This appears as spam to Google & can have your site rank lower in the SERPS. As a general rule, I never write my keyword more than 1% of the total body.
Ex: If I have 1,000 words, I never write the keyword itself more than 10 times.
Now what is also true is that if it makes sense to write the keyword or a variation of it in the body, do so. In fact, after adding your keyword within the first paragraph, feel free to write freely, but never try to be artificial about it in that you purposely try to “keyword stuff”.
4. Don’t expect every keyword you chase to rank highly. This is another VERY important lesson. I’ve chased many keywords which met the criteria of low competition and high search volume, but in many instances, no matter how much I followed the “rules”, the keyword/s did not rank as high as I wanted them to. Some of them are still not indexed. Just know that it’s OK if this happens (and it will).
The WORST possible thing you can do is that stop you. A lot of people get too caught up in trying to rank 1 specific keyword that they spend most of their time working to make it happen when in fact what they should be doing is: Adding more content to their website.
So if you keyword doesn’t rank high or at all, don’t worry about it. Overtime it probably will. Your main goal is to keep chasing other keywords, adding quality content to your website and repeating this cycle.
What you also need to know is that this day n age, when it comes to SEO, content ranks as well, meaning you may have tons of other keywords within your body that will also appear on Google, so rather than chasing 1 specific keyword per article, use these 3 steps, then write freely and keep adding content to your website. This will lead to better long term results.
If you have any question regarding this subject, do let me know!