Tips for Using Keywords

IMPORTANT: The tips below are your default guidelines. However, client instructions always override these guidelines. If there is a conflict between the client’s instructions and the guidelines below, always go with the client’s instructions.

In your content creation career, sometimes clients will request that you incorporate certain keywords into articles, blog posts and other written works. These keywords are used to improve rankings with search engines and to ensure increased visibility for the finished content within the online community. Clients hire SEO content writers because they expect results.

Simply adding these keywords to your existing text, however, will not produce the desired results. To make the most from these SEO tools, you must integrate them naturally into the flow of your articles and blog posts. Here are four strategies for managing SEO requirements in the content creation field.

1. Stay Current

Google and other search engines are constantly adjusting their ranking algorithms to provide greater accuracy for their end users. SEO strategies that worked a few years ago may already be outdated and may fail to deliver the results your clients want and need from their content.

For example, Google made changes to its search engine algorithm in 2012 to incorporate semantic search features. These changes tied content topic directly to the keywords being incorporated into that content. As a result, focusing your articles and blog posts on the keyword subject can boost overall rankings for your content in the online marketplace.

2. Position Your Keywords Correctly

Some clients may require specific placements for their keywords; in these cases, you should follow their instructions precisely. If no placement requirements are indicated, however, you should follow these guidelines to create maximum SEO impact for your content creations:

  • Primary keywords should be included in the title, the metatag description, the first paragraph and at a 3 to 5 percent density throughout the entirety of the blog post or article.
  • Secondary keywords should be limited to a 1 to 2 percent density within your text.
  • Don’t put keywords solely in the headers of your paragraphs as this can interfere with their use as anchor text for hyperlinks. However, using keywords in bulleted lists can sometimes draw added attention to the text and increase click-through rates for your clients.

The percentages listed are estimates based on current industry trends. A 2012 article published in Forbes and entitled “The Death of SEO” created significant controversy within the industry regarding appropriate percentages and uses for keywords.

The article downplayed the importance of keyword frequency and suggested, in part, that writers and companies should focus on delivering high-value content rather than worrying about the appropriate keyword usage strategies. While this approach may have some merit, most Internet professionals still integrate keywords into their content to ensure that all bases are covered from an SEO perspective.

3. Managing Keyword Difficulties

Your clients may request keywords that seem impossible to place into your text in a natural way. Adding short words within awkward keyword phrases can make them easier to incorporate into content. These SEO stop words are not considered by search engine algorithms when determining rankings and will not reduce the effectiveness of your keyword placements.

Although Google has not released a complete list of these words, a number of online resources are available with best guesses as to which words are not counted as part of a keyword phrase. Seeking out these references can provide added help in managing difficult keyword combinations or phrases.

4. All Natural Keyword Integration

By including keywords as an organic element in your content, you can create a smoother, more professional product for your readers. Rather than forcing a keyword into a paragraph where it does not naturally fit, try rewriting to put a greater focus on the keyword. This can often help you create more appealing and persuasive text without the stilted phrasing that so often characterizes poorly written content in the online world.

Additionally, by focusing your text on the keyword and subject matter, you can avoid penalties from Google and other search engines for failing to provide relevant information on your chosen keywords.

Closing Thoughts

With time and experience, you’ll become more proficient in integrating keywords smoothly into your content creations. This added skill set will make you more valuable to your clients and will improve the quality and SEO rankings of your blogs and articles in today’s demanding online marketplace.

For more information on keyword placement and SEO writing strategies, please see the resources below.