Choosing the best target keyword phrase is the most important aspect of writing or editing an article with Search Engine Optimization. Do you know that, it is one of the trickiest strategies of content SEO to master.
But if you choose the right keyword phrase for a given article and weave it into an engaging vans well-written piece, your article could be well on its way to a page one ranking in seach engine for that phrase.
The target keyword phrase should be a two-to-four phrase (may be even more words) that conveys the articel’s core topic or message.
While a given article might rank in search engines for a handful of different keyword phrases, the target phrase best conveys what the article is about and thus is emphasized more than other keyword phrases. If you could wish for your article to rank highly for any phrase,this would be it.
There are at least 3 additional reasons why the target keyword phrase is so critical.
- The research you put into choosing the target keyword phrase can trickle down to the rest of the article. What you don’t choose for the main phrase can become secondary keyword phrases that will enrich the article’s deck, intro, subheads, etc., further enhancing the article’s clout in search engine’s indexes.
- It will make you a significant portion of your headline and meta title- usually the first part pf your article a potential reader will see. It is in those nanoseconds when you are most likely to hook or miss a potential reader.
- Studying the keyword phrases people search for will make you a better write and editor. Simply put, the research gives you insight into how your potential audience thinks about and looks for information.
After you have a headline with a strong target keyword phrase, don’t consider your SEO work done. The best SEO is not just bolted on to an article or to the editorial workflow. What you learn vi Keyword research can be applied throughout the whole writing or editing processes to improve the article’s readability and findability.
The main goal in here is to make an article better for and more easily accessible by its potential audience.
Below is a step-by-step look at how to choose the best target keyword phrase for an article, I cluding a hypothetical example to illustrate the steps.
Consider The Article
You should first consider, what the main topic of the article, not broadly but specifically. And what is its main reader benefit? What questions does it answer?
An article about the advantages and disadvantages of cork flooring-why it is “green” it pros and cons for different rooms in a house, different options of colors and textures, how must it costs, etc
Brainstorm Your Keywords
Before you go anywhere near a keyword research tool, the first thing you should wait and think is “what you would search for if you wanted to find an article on this topic”. Scribble down a few phrases of varying lengths, but nothing shorter than two words (more on that later).
cork flooring, cork flooring cost, is cork flooring green?, cork flooring uses, cork flooring options.
Do your keyword research
I will suggest you Google Keyword planner. There are a lot of keyword research tools out there with different types of options (best 9 ) . Some of them are free while some of them are not. Personally for me, it is hard not to use the tool from the No.1 search engine. When you open the (free) Google tool, start by entering the best phrase(s) from your brainstorm list in the “word phrase” box. Leave the “website” box blank, unless you want to limit the results to keyword that bring you website traffic.
Review the results
you will see the phrases you have searched for, at the top of the result list. And below that you ccan find the related phrases. In the columns right of the phrases you can see search volume and trends in different ways, and there are few options to sort and customize the information.
After you have your feet wet with this keyword tool, check out those customization options. But for now, I recommend focusing on the Global Monthly Search columns.
After that jot down the search volume numbers for the phrases you searched for and any of the related phrases that truly reflect what the article is about. You better avoid phrases that are not natural language because they will be difficult to work into headlines and the text (more on that below).
You may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 a couple of times to find good phrases, or you might find great right away.
cork floors(90,500), cork flooring (74,000), cork flooring pros and cons (5,400), cork flooring prices (1,600), cork flooring cost (1,000)
Remember that even though you are looking at bunches of numbers, do not forget that those numbers represent real people using search engines to find the information your article might provide.
If you are not sure whether a particular phrases matches the article’s topic, or you are looking at words that can mean different things in different contexts, Google the phrase. The results will show you what the search engine regards as relevant results for that phrase. Googling the phrases will also receal the competition for that phrase (both who and how much).
Resist the temptation of big numbers
Don’t run with the short and broad phrase that has the highest number of searches. Your of ranking on page one will be higher for a more specific phrase that gets less search activity.
It is better to rank on page 1 for a phrase that gets a few thousand searches a month that to be on page 15 for a phrase that gets a few hundred thousand searches a month.
The only trick is to look at phrase that most accurately reflect what the article is mot specifically about and then use the numbers to weight the different options within that.
Choose the long tail
after you have experince researching keyword phrases,If still have trouble weighing the options and/or feel the temptation to choose vague phrases with super-high search volume,
then you should try: you can get a sense of the ideal search volume for your topics and website by using Google Analytics.
First look up the top entrance keywords for your website, then enter those phrases into the keyword tool. Then compare their search volume to the number of visitors they actually bring to your website.
You might be surprised that some of the most continually productive entrance keywords for your website do not have huge search volume. Enter the long tail theory.
A shorter and more general phrase may have a much higher search volume that a longer and more specific phrase, the people searching for thw latter are on a more focused and determined path. When people search for short and broad phrases they are in early research mode and they are likely to refine their search quickly to something more specific.
These days, ranking for long tail keywords is more important than ever. People are becoming increasingly savvy with using search engines at the same time as the amount of information thoe engines access continues to expand exponently.
Double if you can
Know that if you target a multiple-word phrase, you will also effectivley target the words and phrases within that phrase. A win-win scenario is when a high-volume, broad phrase is verbatim in a longer and more specific keyword phrase.
Write the headline
Look at your list of target keyword phrase options and write different headline options for tge article. If you want the article to rank on page one for the phrase, odds are the phrase needs to be in the headline. Your best bet is to start the headline with the target keyword phrase.
Keep in mind that your final headline needs to be clear and engaging, with natural language. The last thing you want is a fraken-headline that makes the reader do mental acrobatics to understand it.
Weave it in
When you want an article to rank for a given phrase, it must be in the article. If it works naturally, use the target keyword phrase again in the the deck and subheads of the article. If not, use secondary phrases. Definelty use the target phrase at least once within the article’s introduction. Then sprinkle it here and there throughout the piece.
There is no magic number for this- too little or too much will depend on the context of he article and what the search engine consider natural for that topic. Generally speaking, for a feature-length article, aim for at least three uses in the body copy: intro, middle and conclusion. But do not force it.
It should be easy to use “cork flooring pros and cons” in the introduction and in the conclusion. But it may not be natural to use it more than that, which is fine.
Use Secondary Phrases
Phrases from the cutting room floor are great for to use in the deck, subheads, body text, etc. you may even discover new ideas for related article or sidebars.
All of this may sound like a lot of steps, but with practice, you will find that the whole process generally moves swiffty and smoothly for most topics. Each time you do it, you will get faster, and you will learn something new.
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