Lesson 5: Where to use your keywords in your post
You’ve found your keywords, but now you need to know where you can use them to have the most effect on your SEO standing.
In this lesson we are going to discuss:
Headers and content
Step 1: URLs
Your URL is likely automatically generated through your template but you can change it in most themes when you are writing your posts, or at least change the settings so you have more control over it.
Why? Search engines will first look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, as it is one of the first places that they crawl. You want to ensure the following:
Your keyword is in the URL
That it is four or five words long
You have divided up those words with a dash
Not included filler words like “and”, “the”, or “a”. For example, a blog post could be “5 mistakes newbies make on Google AdWords” and the URL is “common-mistakes-Google-AdWords”. The keywords we’re optimizing for are mistakes on Google AdWords, but we’re not going to put the “on” in the URL.
WARNING: If you change your URL after your post is published, you’ll break the perma-link. Only do this for new posts!
Step 2: Titles
Most people don’t realize that the title of their post plays a dual role. It is the title, yes, but it also serves as the title in the Google search results.
A good title needs to be:
55-60 characters long (so it doesn’t get broken up in results pages) • Includes your target keyword
Accurately describes your post • Interesting enough to click on.
Step 3: Headers And Content
A well optimized post will have only one H1 tag on the page. This is usually the same as the title of the post in most templates. Even if it isn’t, what is important to note is that there is only one H1 tag and that it includes your target keywords.
Mention your keyword at a normal pace throughout your content, and let the goal of your post and your natural writing style inform where you put your keywords throughout the content. When you create content, your primary focus should be on what is going to engage your audience, and not where you can fit all your SEO keywords.
PRO TIP: Sometimes Google gets crazy and will alter post titles, however this is rare, so it is better that you optimize it for yourself. If you can’t help yourself and have a longer title, make sure your keyword is in the beginning so that when you do show up in search engine results, the keyword is definitely seen.
Step 4: Meta-Descriptions
Meta-descriptions are the additional text that appear in search engine results below the title. These let readers know what the page is about and gives people information on whether or not they want to click through that link. A meta-description does not appear on your page or within your post, but is crucial to getting those clicks to your website.
Meta-descriptions should be compelling, relevant, and include the long-tail keyword you want to rank for. Google will bold that phrase in the search engine results as you can see in the example below.
Step 5: Images
When you use images in your blog post make sure they aren’t too large, that they look good, but also that you are filling out the alt-tags on those images. Include the keyword in the file name, and fill out the alternate text field with a keyword rich literal description of the photo.
Remember, incorporating keywords into your blog post is not the same as keyword stuffing. Don’t go write a post and put the keyword you’ve decided to focus on in every place imaginable. Your post still has to be user friendly! Next up, we’ll be discussing internal and external links.
Allow 20 minutes for this lesson.