A Crash Course On Writing Search Engine Optimized Posts

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Do you write Search Engine optimized posts? Can your posts be found by the Search Engine users searching for something you write about? You may not know the answer, and if so, you are probably not aware of the impact a good SEO strategy can have on your blog.

You probably despise the idea of writing content for the Search Engines, it may seem dishonest to you because you may think of it as disloyalty to your readers, but do you know that good SEO practices have nothing to do with the search engines? Yes, you heard me right, good SEO practices to promote your blog are aimed at search engine users not the search engines themselves.

Countless number of searches are made everyday, and while searches in a particular niche may follow the same pattern, they still come in wide varieties and different combinations of keywords. Unless you know what most of the searchers are searching for, and which keywords they are using to find the relevant content, you’ll probably never rank high in SERPs, and lose a lot of potential readers.

In this post, I am going to briefly highlight how to write a post for your readers but still make it rank top in Search Engine results for your targeted keywords.

Use Keyword research tools to know what your audience is searching for

Head over to free keyword suggestion tool from Wordtracker and type in the keyword that broadly defines your post topic. For example let’s assume you are writing a post on ‘environment’.

Write down the relevant keywords and ignore the irrelevant ones such as “java runtime environment”. I’ll write down the following:

  1. save environment
  2. environment pollution
  3. problems associated with mining waste water on environment
  4. protect our environment
  5. help the environment by recycling
  6. define environment
  7. environment issues
  8. littering the environment
  9. and so on.

Your next stop is Google synonym search tool. Again, when you type ‘environment’, here’s what comes up:

  1. climate
  2. environmental
  3. green
  4. nature
  5. earth
  6. water
  7. and so on.

Note these down too.

Your final stop is Google AdWords keyword tool. Insert ‘environment’ again and make sure ‘Use synonyms’ option is checked. Google gives us a massive list of many keywords combinations and keyword synonyms; some are new and some are already on our list. Write down the new relevant keywords.

If you scroll down the page, there is another Additional keywords to consider list. This list contains related keywords that may or may not contain the term ‘environment’. Write down most of these words too, because these are the sub-topics of your main topic ‘environment’. See, someone may just find your post searching for ‘global warming’ rather than ‘environment’.

Sort out the keywords list

If you have been writing down most of the keywords that came up in your searches, you must have compiled a huge list of keywords. It’s time to prune the keywords list. Since ‘environment’ is a broad subject and can be divided into many topics and sub-topics, you’ll need to delete any keywords that do not have a place in the specific topic you are writing abut.

Write a keyword rich post

The hard part of researching and sorting the keywords is done, and now its time to do the fun part. Keep the keywords list open and start writing your post inserting all the keywords you have gathered so far, and make sure you keep in mind the following guidelines.

Include keywords in Title, Headlines, and Permalinks

Search engines give most importance to these elements. Include your primary keywords in the post title, post permalinks and post headlines (h1, h2 etc.).

I have described a way to define custom post titles, title tags, and permalinks in WordPress in a guest post over at Lorelle on WordPress. Check it out.

Include keywords in opening paragraphs

Make sure your opening paragraphs contain your primary keywords. Search engines determine the content of the rest of your article from the first few paragraphs.

Include keywords, keywords synonyms, and keyword phrases throughout the post

Don’t repeat the same keywords over and over, because it will amount to keyword stuffing and can get you penalised by the search engines. Instead, use keyword synonyms and other combinations of keywords you collected earlier.

Write keywords in boldface

Enclose the keywords in strong HTML tag wherever possible. By making a keyword bold, you tell the search engine robots that this particular keyword is more important than the rest.

Include keywords in link anchor text, link titles, image titles, and image alt attributes

Whether you are linking to yourself or to external content, make sure the anchor text of links is keyword rich. Likewise, make use of the title attribute of links and images, and describe your images by placing keyword in the alt tags.

Don’t go crazy with the keywords

Remember you promised you will write only for your readers while optimizing your posts for the Search Engines too? Don’t forget that your posts will ultimately be read by the human beings. Search Engines are only a means to connect your content to your readers. If you start writing solely for the Search Engines, your writing will look artificial and insincere.

Researching the keyword before you write and using them wisely in key places can ensure that you reach your audience wherever they are, and still keep your existing readers happy.

Another good aspect of researching keywords is that it gives you many more ideas to write about. Every keyword phrase contains a topic in itself.

Do you take the time to research your keywords and write search engine optimized posts?

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This post was written on random post day.

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