“Oh great, one more thing to do,” thinks every editor you’ve ever approached about search engine optimization.
Because of this common adverse reaction, it’s important to emphasize the longevity of articles when they’ve been search optimized.
For example, have they ever written an article they were so proud of that their heart sank when nobody retweeted it on Twitter, or shared it on Facebook?
Sometimes it’s just about timing. Maybe it was posted during the holidays, or a Friday afternoon. The thing about SEO-optimized blog posts is that time doesn’t exist.
Time doesn’t exist because when you optimize a blog post, you’ll often be getting new traffic to that blog post on a daily basis for years to come. It doesn’t matter if you get a low open rate on your emails or if nobody clicks on your tweets because that post will still deliver traffic through search.
Even better, if the post got a lot of traffic and social media love on its first day to digital press (your blog), those re-tweets, likes and comments will boost your SEO ranking even more so you really see a return on your hard word.
Obviously for you, the benefit is clear – traffic, traffic and more traffic.
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How to Turn Editors in Keyword Analysts
Here’s the most simple SEO recipe you can use to find targeted keywords for a blog post. If you want to know why it’s done this way, take a look at the plethora of free SEO white papers we offer that have much more room to explain.
- Go to the Google Adwords keyword tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
- Type in the keyword phrase that your article is about. Let’s say we want to write about knitting sweaters. So we type in “knit a sweater”.
- The results list that you’ll get will give you all of the most searched for terms that are related to “knit a sweater.” Check the “exact” match checkbox to your left to see only people who are searching for that exact phrase.
- You’ll see in the results that “knit a sweater” has only 170 people searching for this exact phrase every month, meaning that there are 2,040 annual searches if you multiply it by 12 months in the year. So, if you had a page #1 ranking on this term, you may get more than 2,000 hits per year from this one article.
- Go to Google.com and type in “knit a sweater” in quotes. We Google in quotes because it gives us a more accurate future prediction, since Google is more likely to rank an exact keyword than one that’s jumbled. Below the search box you’ll see that there are 1.3 million other pages in Google competing for that exact phrase. Darn. Back to the drawing board to find another phrase with lower competition. We love ones under 100k.
- If you repeat the above process, sometimes a few times, you’ll find a nice niche keyword. For example, “how to knit a sweater for beginners” showed up in results and has 320 people searching for it per month and only 9,490 competing pages! Since the competition is so low, we have a good chance of ranking on the keyword, so we move on to the next part.
- Mulitiply the 320 searches per month by 12 months to get 3,830 searches per year. Divide the 3,830 searches per year by the 9,490 pages and you’ll get a KCI (Keyword Competitive Index) of 0.4. We consider anything around 0.5 to be a great KCI, and anything over 1 means that there are more people searching for it, than there are pages competing for it.
- So now the name of your article is easy: “How to Knit a Sweater: For Beginners.” When a keyword phrase doesn’t make complete sense you can always throw a colon or dash in to divide it up, Google doesn’t mind. Don’t move around the syntax of the words though, because you’d be surprised at how different the competition can be just by rearranging one word.
- Now do the same thing to find a subhead for your blog post. Or, use the same keyword (if it’s short enough and makes sense.)
- BAM! You have two niche keyword phrases you can use throughout whatever it is that you’re writing.
Additionally, you can discover ideas for new articles with this method and create an SEO-optimized editorial calendar. For example, “how to knit a dog sweater” had 260 people searching for it per month and only 13,000 competing pages.
What’s also nice about this process is that when you discover really great keywords (ones with high search and low competition), you can save those terms to turn into free white papers. Since the main goal is to build an email list, we like to save our best keywords for conversion landing pages because they rank well and convert better than article pages.
Questions? Lay them on us in the comments!