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INTRODUCTION

So you have a website and now you want it to rank with SEO.  First, you will need to understand keywords and how to use them to get search engines attention!  This guide will help you rank in the top of Google Searches.

Balancing Keywords to Optimize SEO

Balancing Keywords to Optimize SEO

Basic Understanding of SEO and Keyword

Search Engining Optimization (SEO) is the idea that by utilizing specific KEYWORDS in your articles you can rank higher when a person uses a search engine.  Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines rank all websites based on what they believe will be relevant to the searcher. In order to rank your article these search engines, like Google will scan your site for keywords.  When you use a few basic keywords and tags throughout specific areas of an article and on your website, you can build your ranking with search engines.

In this lesson, I will be giving you 10 steps to help you rank in an organic search with search engines.

Build Your Blog Following to Enhance SEO with Keywords

A new website has a difficult time ranking with any search engine.  The reason is simple, search engines are going to scan older content and websites that have a following before they are going to scan newer content without a following.  In order to build your blog following, you need to be active with other bloggers.  A great way to get views and subscribers is to get some backlinks to and from reputable blogs through collaboration and guest posts. Make sure these backlinked sites are in your niche and are using your keywords in their posts.  You will also need to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin to drive traffic to your website. When writing post descriptions make sure to use your keywords in the descriptions. In addition, don’t wait to start an e-mail subscription for your blog (find out more about e-mail subscription here)!  When emailing your subscribers use your keywords in your newsletters.

Register Your Site on Google Search Console

If you have not registered your website on the Google Search Console you will want to do this now!  This no-fee service by Google will allow you to check your indexing status and improve your visibility to search engines.  Not only will it allow you visibility to search engines there are many useful tools such as listing pages that the Googlebot had trouble accessing, list of keywords that found your site, and security issues.  I had a spambot entering my site, which was messing up my indexing. Google Search Console identified the spambot and allowed me to block the bot, this would prevent inaccurate results for my stats.

Register your site at Google Search Console by clicking the link use the easy to follow directions.

Research and Use Keywords that Will Optimize your Indexing

In order to rank for keywords, you will first need to research the keywords people are searching for using the popular search engines.  There are many tools out that will help you with this research. In the long run, you will need to find a tool that fits your website needs and budget.  

Some popular keyword research free tools are:  Soovle (unlimited with some cool features), Jaaxy (30 free searches), Your Google Search Console (if you haven’t registered here yet, do it now, see step 2), Google Keyword Planner, and some paid platforms that have free trials are:  SEMrush, Moz.com.  The idea is to to make sure you are doing your research and using the keywords that are right for your website and niche.  

How do you choose keywords that will get you the best ranking is a little more difficult than finding keywords.  When you are choosing your keywords DO NOT choose the most popular keywords you find in your research. These are generally very competitive and search engines will point to the most popular brands using these keywords.  

For instance, a search on Jaaxy for the keyword “airfare” will come up with the keyword of “airfare” as the top on the list with 62,000+ searches in a month (see red on the image below). If you search this keyword in the Google Search Bar you will get all the most popular brands.  However, if you go down the list you will find, “cheapest airfare” with about 3000 searches a month, this is a great number of searches per month (green on the image below) and if you have quality content, your content could list on this search. If you can optimize your content for these keywords you be more likely to be able to rank.  On the other hand, you don’t want to choose keywords that are rarely searched liked, “airfare flights” at a low of fewer than 130 searches a month (see yellow on the image below), it isn’t searched enough to help you rank.  

Jaaxy and choosing keywords for seo

Jaaxy and choosing keywords for seo

Structured Data Tool and Keywords Help Index Your Content

Adding a Structured Data Tool to your website using a plugin can help search engines find your keywords and content.  What is structured data? It is also known as Schema Mark up and it is HTML code that Google and other search engines use to find your content.  It can get pretty complicated if you want to research and add your own structured data through Google Search Console. However, there are some excellent plugins that do this for you automatically.  

NOTE – BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND ACTIVATING ANY PLUGIN YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT CERTAIN PLUGINS CAN IMPACT YOUR WEBSITE AND CREATE A CONFLICT WITH OTHER APPLICATIONS.  IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE RISK MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH THE PLUGIN, READ REVIEWS, AND CHOOSE PLUGINS THAT INTERACT BEST WITH YOUR CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

The plugin I have been using called Schema App Structured Data by Hunch Manifest.   When you download and activate the app it will show on your posts at the bottom and will look like the image below.  The plugin will automatically create an HTML markup using the keywords in your content to enhance it for search engines to find and index. Make sure you find a plugin that works well with your content creator, theme, and self-hosted platform.  

Schema Mark up Screenshot

Schema Mark up Screenshot – How it looks in your post creation tools on WordPress

Create Quality Content and Incorporate Keywords

This step is the most important step and I cannot stress it enough, CREATE QUALITY CONTENT that incorporates your keywords in the maximum places in your content!  Make sure you are using exact matches for your keywords as well as a few alternatives. For instance, if your keyword is “Photography” use other words such as images, photo, portrait, snapshot, picture.  

  • The Title
  • The URL/Slug
  • Headings (H Tags)
  • Subheadings
  • Italicize a few time
  • Bold it a few times
  • Backlink to another post with same keywords
  • Body, but be careful not to ruin the quality of the article with keyword placement.
  • Description/Preview
  • Tag all variations of the keyword
  • Alternate Text on Images
  • Image Titles
  • Image URL’s
  • Image Descriptions
  • Image Captions (if you use a caption)

I need to stress that you should NOT your content to fit your keywords.  They need to come naturally in the content. If it doesn’t flow naturally it will be difficult to read and look spammy to search engines.

Next Lesson – How to Analyze your content to make sure it is optimized for search engines.

How are you doing with your SEO and Keywords?  

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Check out these lessons on Blogging 101 with Witte’s World

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