In Content SEO
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, it’s time to write your post.
There’s no need to “stuff” the content with keywords. In fact search engines don’t like that at all. There are, however, a few key places within your content that you do want to include your keyword phrase.
Examples in italics for the keyword phrase “puppy training”
- In the post title, preferably toward the beginning – Title: Puppy Training Basics
- In the post permalink – that’s the URL for your post – Permalink/URL: /puppy-training-basics/
- In the first paragraph or at least toward the beginning of the post – First sentence of the post: Here are some puppy training tips to make teaching your new puppy fun and effective!
- In at least one subheading – My article will be broken into 3 sections, each with a subheading…. One of those will be “When To Start Puppy Training”
- In the post excerpt – (this is the meta description in the SEO tool section) – I like to use the first few sentences of the post since I’ve already made sure to include my keyword phrase in the first paragraph: Here are some puppy training tips to make it fun and effective! Follow these short but useful tips to make your new puppy feel safe and loved.
- The keyword, synonym, and related keyword phrases should be included a few times throughout the body of the post. Search engines these days are smart enough to know that exercise, fitness, and workout are related terms. Using synonyms will make your article read better and sound less robotic – In this case the SEO tool is harder on you than the search engines. You just want to make sure that you include the phrase “puppy training” a few more times throughout the article…
In addition, for the best in content SEO optimization, make sure your content meets these additional guidelines.
- At least 300 words in length with a keyword density of at least 1% (That’s about 1 time per 100 words for a 400 word post) – don’t worry so much on this one – if you follow the steps above, this will happen anyway…
- Contains outbound links – these could be links to other websites or links to articles on your blog (cross-linking) – ideally you link to related articles on similar topics: potting training your puppy, teaching your puppy to walk on a leash, training your puppy to sit & stay…
- Has a relatively short URLs (permalink) – eliminate the unimportant “stop” words like “to”, “and”, etc. – In my example the URL is already short but lets say that my Title was something like “3 Incredibly Easy And Fast Puppy Training Tips” – that’s going to create a really long URL: 3-incredibly-easy-fast-puppy-training-tips – I recommend shorting that to the following URL: puppy-training-tips
- Is easy to read, with concise sentences – don’t use a lot of filler language and don’t speak above your audience. Try to keep it so that a 6th grader could read and understand it.
- Includes images where appropriate with alt tags – when you add an image to your post, the media editor provides a place to include alt tags (or alternate text) – this will show in case your image doesn’t load for whatever reason. Also, the search engines see this :-).
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast
At BlogPress, we provide the WordPress SEO plugin free to all of our customers. It’s a really cool tool that gives you a simple red, green, or yellow rating for how well your post is doing for your selected keywords. It even shows how the post listing will appear in the search engines.
We love this in content SEO tool for several reasons. Here are just a few…
- You can easily write better content with the built-in content analysis tool
- Easily optimize your search engine results listings including titles and descriptions with the preview tool
- Automatically generate your site’s XML Sitemaps
- And lots more technical stuff that you don’t even need to worry about…
So what are all of those fields and how do you use them?
Here’s a short tutorial that will help you apply the in content SEO tips above to the SEO tool. There are 3 tabs across the top – General, Page Analysis, and Advanced. I recommend that new bloggers ONLY look at the General tab. The other tabs are useful for more advanced folks, but not required to achieve a green light and make sure that your post is optimized for the search engines.
Here’s what all those fields are and what you should enter into them…
- Snippet Preview. This is an approximation of how this post will be displayed in search results listings (e.g. in Google or Yahoo).
- Focus Keyword. Think of the Focus Keyword as the main topic of your post. A good article doesn’t focus on several topics. It focuses on one. When you write an article it should have one main topic and then 3-5 subtopics.The Page Analysis (that second tab I told you to ignore :)) functionality will use the Focus Keyword as input to analyze your post. The analysis tool will use ALL of the words that you enter here in the EXACT ORDER that you enter them. Don’t think of this as a list of keywords, but rather the ONE word or phrase that you want to target. (see the example below for more details)It will show in bold font in the Snippet Preview.
- SEO Title. By default, this is the Title of your post with your site name appended at the end. If it fits and the SEO title is not too long (and your site title is not too long), then leave the default. If it’s too long you’ll have to tweak it a bit to make it fit.This is the top line of the snippet preview in the image below.
- Meta Description. You should include your Focus Keyword in the meta description. I normally start with either the first few sentences of the post or my post excerpt. The Meta Description is very short, so you’ll need to tweak the text a bit to make it fit. This is shown as the black text under the SEO Title in the image below.
In Content SEO Example: Puppy Training
I have written and optimized an article on Puppy Training. By implementing the recommendations above, it’s quite easy to get a green light on all of your posts.
The keyword phrase I’ve selected is “puppy training”.
You can view the article here: https://myawesomeblog.theblogpress.com/puppy-training-basics/
Remember the 6 quick tips at the beginning of this post? Here they are in action for the article above.
- The keyword phrase is included in the post title: “Puppy Training Basics”.
- The keyword phrase is included in the post URL: “https://myawesomeblog.theblogpress.com/puppy-training-basics/“
- The keyword phrase is included in the first paragraph of the post: “Here are some puppy training tips to make teaching your new puppy fun and effective!”
- The keyword phrase is included in at least one sub-heading:
“When To Start Puppy Training”
- The keyword phrase is included in the SEO tool’s Meta Description field.
- The keyword phrase and synonyms are included throughout the post. Note: The SEO tool will not give you credit for the related keyword phrases, but the search engines will.
By following just these 6 short recommendations, you will be able to get a green light on the majority of your posts the first time.
This is really all you need to ensure that your post is written in a way the search engines will like.
Just a quick reminder: I do not recommend that new bloggers worry about the Page Analysis or the Advanced tab. Yes, it is possible to get every light green on the Page Analysis tab, but your time will be better spent writing more posts and growing your following. And, everything in the Advanced tab is, in my opinion, just “too much”. Unless you’re in the business of professional SEO Optimization, there’s no need to worry about these settings. In Content SEO is just ONE component of creating a good blog – don’t get stuck here and forget about the rest!