Greetings, boomer bloggers. This is Ron Whitaker, Guest Blogger, with part 2 of your series on keywords.
If you remember, last week I discussed the basics of keyword research.
Here’s a quick review:
If you remember my example from last week, I said that if you and I were having a discussion about my trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, throughout our discussion, you’d definitely hear me mention words like Flagstaff, Arizona, Northern Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.
I wouldn’t mention or discuss Paris, Eiffel Tower, or the Berlin Wall. Those words simply have nothing to do with Flagstaff!
Easy enough, yeah?
OK. So if you’re writing a brilliant blog post, where do you actually put the keywords or key phrases so that the search engines can find them and determine what your blog post is about so that it can be ranked well for that keyword or key phrase?
Well, that’s the point of today’s lesson. Let’s get started!
You asked for it…you got it!
Here’s where you’re going to need to place your keywords for best SEO practices.
Drum roll, please!
1. Page Title
2. Body text headers
3. Within links
4. Within the content
5. ALT Tags
6. Meta Description tag
7. File names
8. Domain name
Ta-da! There you have it.
Now, let’s discuss each one.
What’s the page title?
If you’re familiar with HTML, the scripting language used to design web pages, the title of a website is found between the <title></title> tags.
And where is the title of the web page found?
Take a moment and look at the very top of your browser. In Firefox, my browser of choice, it’ll be at the very top within the blue bar.
THAT’s the title. And it’s a critical place to include your keywords!
Now, do you need to know HTML and modifying the tag for each blog post?
The good news is no! Thankfully.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, there’s a little trick you can use to get your keywords into your title.
Log in to your WordPress admin page.
Under the Settings menu item along the left side of your screen, select Permalinks.
On the Permalinks Settings page, within the Common Settings section, select Post name.
When you choose this option, the next time you create a blog post, the title you enter in the Edit Post screen will become the title of your blog post within browsers.
Very clever…and helpful! (Thank you, WordPress!)
Body Text Headers
As you’re creating your content, it’s always a good idea to break it up.
For example, the headers so far in this blog post are “Where to place keywords revealed,” “Page Title,” and this section, “Body Text Headers.”
Not only is it a nice way of breaking up the text, especially if you’re publishing a long blog post, but it’s also a great place to include your keywords!
How do you include a header?
Here’s where some research into “H” tags will come in handy.
Here’s another great place to put some keywords: within links!
As you write your blog post, there may be times when you need to link either to another blog post on your own site, or to another site completely.
When including links in your post, go ahead and put a keyword in the link that relates to the post you’re writing, as well as the page you’re linking to.
Within the content
This one’s a no-brainer!
The most obvious place you want to include your keywords is within the content of the blog post itself!
Tip: When planning and writing your blog post, you don’t need to write the keyword in the exact same manner every time.
As an example, as I planned and wrote a post on relieving caregiver stress through journaling, the key phrase I determined I would use was “relieving caregiver stress.”
Along with that, I used a variation: “relieve caregiver stress.” I also used the phrase “caregiver stress” which also provides a good clue to search engines as to the intent and focus of this post.
The takeaway here is that once you’ve determined your keyword or key phrase, come up with some slight variations as well. Don’t worry, search engines like Google are smart enough to figure out what your post is about.
What do you do if you want to post a video?
First, determine what topic you’re going to cover in your video. And yes, that’ll include determining a keyword you want to focus on.
Second, shoot your video.
Third, once you’ve finished your video and are ready to publish it, go through the video (or have someone else do it) and transcribe it.
Then put the video transcript beneath the video when you publish.
As an example, I wanted to let my potential customers know the focus and purpose of my website. I also determined that I wanted to present it in a fun video.
I decided that the keywords I wanted to concentrate on were what boomers can do with all the “stuff” they’ve ended up with.
So, I created the video, uploaded it to WordPress, then transcribed the video with the content used, which of course included the keywords.
Remember, Google can’t “grab” onto the content within a video. But, it can grab and index the text on a blog post.
Hence, the video transcription below the actual video is a great way to do this!
What are ALT tags?
In a nutshell, ALT tags are found within <img> tags. The <img> tag is the tag you use to place an image within a blog post or on a static web page.
Mouse over any of the images I’ve used so far in this blog post. Let it sit there a second and you’ll notice text pop up near the mouse pointer.
This is a result of the ALT tag used in the <img> tag.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to know how to insert an <img> tag within your blog post.
Here’s what you can do:
The simplest way to insert an image into your blog post is to first place your cursor where you want the image to appear, then click the Add Media button located right above the text box where you write your blog post.
If you haven’t already, upload your image(s).
Select the one you want to insert into your post.
Notice at the right something similar to the following:
At the top is a thumbnail of the image. But it’s the section below that we’re interested in.
Two entries specifically—Title and Alt Text—are our new BFFs!
Simply enter a phrase—with your keywords, if it works—into each of these text boxes and WordPress will do the rest for you!
Meta Description Tag
Have you ever read those little descriptions below the title of a Google search result? Perhaps an image would better illustrate (pun intended!). Check out the chunks of text in red below.
Those chunks of text come from the Meta Description tag.
If you manually entered it into your blog post, it would look something like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.”>
Don’t worry, there’s a MUCH easier way to enter the text you want to be included in the meta description of your post. Please see The Best SEO Plugin Ever section at the end of this post.
For now, just know that putting your keywords in this section is a boon for you and those searching on your keywords.
What file name makes more sense as far as search engine optimization goes?
Without question, option #2!
Simply put, it’s got your keyword in it?
So, how do you get your keywords into the name of the file?
Again, thanks to WordPress, it’s a snap!
Remember this image from the Page Title section above?
Notice the second arrow pointing to the Permalink line. The cool thing is that whatever you enter in your title not only will be entered as the title of your post, and therefore appear at the top of your browser, but it will also become the filename of the blog post itself.
So, if I’m writing a blog post titled “How to write a blog post” based on the image above, the file and URL of the blog post will look something like this:
How nifty is that?
Don’t forget, you’ll need to go into the Permalinks section of your WordPress admin and set Common Settings to Post name. See the Page Title section above.
Not sure what a domain name is?
The following are domain names:
Sometimes it can be challenging to get your keywords into your domain name. As an example, look at eBay.
Granted, eBay is now a brand, but before it came onto the scene, I doubt many people were searching for the word eBay.
If possible though, your domain name can be a fantastic place to include a keyword.
The Best SEO Plugin Ever
OK. If keeping track of all the above seems a bit overwhelming, well, it is!
But, there’s some smart guys over at Yoast who’ve created this amazing plugin for WordPress. It’s called WordPress SEO, and I HIGHLY recommend you install it in your WordPress admin and use it!
It makes all this keyword stuff so much easier!
Once installed, the Yoast plugin will appear below the text box where you enter and write your blog posts.
Here’s what it looks like:
You’ll notice four tabs at the top of the WordPress SEO by Yoast section: General, Page Analysis, Advanced, and Social.
For this blog post, I’m just going to concentrate on the General tab.
When I first enter the Add New screen to write a blog post, the first thing I do is scroll down to the Yoast plugin section and enter my keyword into the text box next to Focus Keyword. Notice here a sample from my own blog. The keyword I was focusing on was “sandwich generation.”
From there, it’s pretty much downhill!
The Snippet Preview shows what your search result will look like in Google.
One of my favorite features appears below the Focus Keyword text box. Once you enter your keyword, Yoast will show you how many times your keyword was found within the Article Heading, Page Title, Page URL, Content, and Meta Description.
How awesome is that!
You now know exactly where the keyword has been placed and how many times it was found.
Remember above in the Meta Description section I referred you to this section? Here’s why:
Notice at the bottom of the Yoast plugin the Meta Description entry? All you have to do here is enter your description—using your keyword?and bam! It’s all done for you. Yoast will enter it automatically into your blog post.
Well, that is it for this week’s blog post and where to place your keywords for best search engine results.
Next week we’ll discuss how to be popular!