Yesterday, we talked about how you can use Google to find content ideas. I touched on how using keywords can help with this, but now let's talk about how this specific SEO tactic can actually increase your blog's traffic, too.
Keywords are how search engines categorize web pages. They help Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. find your blog content, and help your posts rise the ranks of results pages so that readers get to your stuff. The key with keywords, is not to overdo it. Search engines can tell when you're abusing their ranking tools, so finding a balance that works for you and them is again, key.
How does a search engine “crawler” choose keywords? They are terms that appear often and in important places on your site.
Headlines & Titles
One of the most visible places you can use a keyword is in your blog name. For example, if you're blogging about maternity wear or style for moms, you might want to include those words in your blog name. The more specific you are, the more helpful your title will be to search engine crawlers. [You have to decide for yourself if you want use your blog name to drive traffic – it might not be as important as having something personal and original.]
Post titles! Remember, you don't want to over-stuff your titles with keywords, keeping your personality and authenticity in tact is just as important as tipping off search engines to relevant content. What's the main point of your post? What's the focal point of your outfit? Is it a “how to” or a round up of “stylish winter coats?” Use these questions to guide your post-titling.
Headings & bold words
As I'm sure you know, when you create a heading in your content, it creates an HTML tag that crawlers can see. These tags tell the crawler that these words are important. (It looks like <h4> </h4> for example). Your site does the same thing with bold words, with tags like this <strong>Tags</strong>. It can look a little awkward, but using bold words/phrases and headings to highlight important keywords in your posts will alert search engines to your content.
Tags & Categories
The tags and categories you use on your blog should be as specific and straight-forward as possible. Develop a reasonable and manageable list of ones you use often, and try and stick to them. Personal style, shopping tips, New York City, menswear, winter style, etc., etc. The more tags and categories you use, the harder it will be for search engines (and your readers) to organize your content.
Always keep in mind: content is king. You know this. All the SEO tactics in the world won't get you very far if you don't take time to cultivate high-quality content that you are proud to publish. Abusing keywords use may boost your rankings for a time, but it won't sustain your reputation online, or earn you loyal readers.