How I select and organize keywords for writing optimized content

Although SEO spammers have given a bad tinge to the art of using keywords in your web page copy, they are still as relevant as when the humans discovered their importance vis-à-vis search engine optimization. Really, it makes common sense. It’s the keywords and the key phrases that tell both the search engines and the visitors what you’re talking about in your web page copy or blog post. Miss the keywords, and you miss the whole point.

But aren’t there various ways of saying the same thing and wouldn’t you prefer to let the feral stallions of your imagination run wild on the meadows of writing, you may ask? Sure, but when you’re writing for your client, or when you’re writing for business (maybe yours), the need to generate business takes precedence over your proclivity for articulating psychedelic expressions.

You need to use the language used by prospective customers and clients.

Researching and selecting keywords and phrases

When I start a new optimized content writing project (to be candid, everything I write turns out to be optimized because of the way I write), I begin with a brainstorming on what sort of audience I’m writing for and this pretty much decides what keywords and phrases I’m going to use. This is often difficult and many content writers end up with near-gibberish content, but you can sort this problem out by making a list of benefits of the product or service you intend to promote through your writing. This may seem like a clichéd approach in the beginning but not every product or service is known by its name.

It is natural if people search for a "web designer" or an online "copywriter" because by now they are very known services, but there might be a few people who don’t know what SEO is and they may search for something like "improve my search engine position" or "get me on google first page". So aside from optimizing for a generic term like SEO, you also need to take care of people who conduct searches using direct benefits as search terms. Similarly if you are selling a mobile application that lets you manage your ERP system through a smart phone, there is a possibility that people look for "smart phone erp application" rather than the actual name of the software. Or for that matter people may search for "safest family car" instead of using known brands. If you are ignoring such search terms, you are missing the real traffic, whether you are a big business or a small business.

Organizing keywords

I use the main keyword in the heading and the title of the web page or the blog post. Although I use it just once in the first paragraph, if the context demands a repetition, use it again, but don’t use it more than twice. If you feel like using it more than 2 times, rephrase your sentence.

If your keyword is an expression comprising multiple words (for instance, online content writing services) you don’t have to use the complete expression all the time. Use it once or twice (try using it at least once in the first paragraph) in its entirety and afterwards, just scatter it across your remaining paragraph. You can repeat the complete keyword in the last paragraph too, but don’t force it if it doesn’t seem appropriate.

Aside from the paragraphs you can also use the keywords — partially or fully — in your headings and subheadings, bulleted lists, and even in your anchor text.

Is there some other way you feel the keywords can be researched and organized? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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