Have you wanted to jumpstart your search engine optimization (SEO) but instantly abandon the mission at the mention of keyword planning? Keyword planning is critical for SEO but also can feel overwhelming at the beginning. They certainly didn’t cover SEO keywords when teaching writing in occupational therapy school.
Good news alert! You don’t need to make it complicated to make some effective changes. I’m here to help you learn the basics of keyword planning for your websites and blogs.
Let’s start with the purpose of all this SEO stuff. Keyword planning is a tool to improve your SEO so that your content can be found by Google (or other search engines). This will bring people to your website organically, without having to spend money on expensive Google Ads.
The combination of strategic keywords and thoughtful headings can make a big impact in your SEO. Check on this blog where I provide step-by-step directions so you can learn to use headings to create a well-formatted blog.
At the core, keyword planning comes down to this: Pick a word for your specific topic and make sure you use that word throughout your writing. This makes it easier for Google to know what your content is about. Google then displays your blog or website when people search for that topic.
Still not sure what to do? Keep reading and I will share other useful tools for selecting and using keywords.
What is an SEO Keyword?
A keyword is a word or two that is the core of your topic. For some keywords, it is hard to get a good ranking in Google because there is so much content on the internet for that word. For instance, it would be very hard to rank high for words like autism or hand because these topics are general. That doesn’t mean you can’t write about or use those keywords. It just means you can’t expect to get on the first page of a Google search.
So again, once you select a keyword, just try to use it throughout your text and headings. At this point, it is important to share this important reminder: make sure you don’t just write content for keywords. Prioritize good writing and only use your keyword when it fits naturally within your content context or sentence. Always write for the reader first.
Check out this example where I show how to easily add a keyword.
Keyword: Aging in place
Title (H1): 5 Ways to Increase Safety in Your Home can be easily upgraded to:
5 Ways to Increase Home Safety So You Can Age in Place
Subheading (H2): Learn More about Ramps can easily improve SEO by becoming: Learn Why Ramps Can Be the Key to Aging in Place
Use Long-Tail Keywords to Connect with Your Audience
A long-tail keyword is essentially a phrase. People frequently type entire questions or phrases into the Google Search box. When you include these phrases in your writing, it helps Google match people to your content. The good news is: long-tail keywords are more specific, so they are less competitive compared to a simple keyword.
There are many different examples of powerful long-tail keywords. The statement of your services plus your location can be an important long-tail keyword to ensure people from your geographic area get directed to your website.
Example long-tail keyphrase: We are a pediatric occupational therapy practice located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Your service and location is a keyphrase you will want to include on multiple pages of your website so that Google recognizes this as important information.
People frequently type questions into the Google search bar. For this reason, including questions can also make great long-tail keywords. These can be easily incorporated into a subheading (Heading 2). Then you write the answer to the question in the text.
Example long-tail keywords for a cubital tunnel blog: Why does my pinky go to sleep at night?
You might only use a long-tail keyword one time or you might use it several times depending on importance or the context.
For instance, a phrase like “hand pain after stroke” you would want to use several times. You can even change the order of the words so that it will make more sense in the context of your writing.
Possible Title (Heading 1): Five Ways to Decrease Hand Pain after Stroke
Subheading (Heading 2): Why do I have hand pain after a stroke?
Then, use the phrase hand pain evenly and naturally through the body text of your blog post.
Congrats! You have created an optimized blog using long-tail keywords. That wasn’t so bad.
How do you research and pick good keywords?
Sometimes to get in the right frame of mind, it’s helpful to envision a person sitting at a computer. Picture them ready to type and anticipate what words they might put into the Google Search Box.
But, you don’t have to guess what people are searching for in Google. You should also do research to help you pick keywords and keyphrases.
Check out these easy and free keyword tools:
Ubersuggest.com: The free version of this website lets you type in possible topics and then provides suggestions for keywords for each topic. I like to go there and get inspiration so I have an idea of what words or topics to use in an upcoming blog.
Google Adwords: This is the account where you can purchase Google ads, but you can also use it to find suggestions for your own copy without purchasing an ad. You just need to set up an account but not take it to the end where you buy the add.
Google Itself: I saved the best for last. This one’s the best because it’s the easiest. Use Google to get ideas for topics and keywords. Just type your topic in the search bar and scroll to the bottom where it lists: Other search related to… This section provides tons of easy keywords that people really are using in Google Search bars.
You can check out this quick video where I show you exactly how I do some basic keyword searches before I start writing a blog or website.
Start Practicing Writing with Keywords and It Will Get Easier
You can do this! It is like anything new. Start small and grow your skills. Use the basics of keywords and headings to positively impact your SEO. You will continue to tweak and grow as you practice and figure out what works best.
Just a reminder: Keywords are most powerful when combined with headings and subheadings. Master headings by visiting my blog post about formatting.
P.S Writing and keyword research not your thing? There’s no need to invest your precious time into mastering something that isn’t your passion. I love the challenge of combining powerful keywords and engaging content to create SEO optimized content that readers enjoy reading.
Spend your time doing what you love – and hire me to do what I love! Reach out to discuss how I can help write your SEO optimized blogs and websites.
P.S.S. Check your learning. Go back and look for my keywords in this blog. They are SEO keyword and keyword planning. Are you able to spot any possible long-tail keywords?