How to Use Targeted Key Phrases in Articles
One of most fundamental aspects for optimising a webpage article, is identifying the right keywords to target in the first place. If you do not target and include the most relevant key phrases into business articles, those articles are less likely to rank in search engines...
Why is Key Phrase Analysis Important?
Failure to consider key phrases means your articles probably wont attract the right quantity, or type of visitor you were expecting. Key phrase research is crucial, because search engines generally score web pages based on the meanings of textual words, related paragraphs and web pages. By naturally blending in the key phrases into your business articles, you are more likely to attract the right kind of prospective customer. There are many inter-related ranking factors to consider when writing articles. These include; keyword density, keyword proximity and keyword semantics. The richer and more diverse your command of language, the greater the possibilities for visitors to find your article.
Lets get one thing clear. Always write for humans, and NOT search engines! Give users something compelling, engaging and knowledgeable - a buzz! So why bother focusing on keywords at all? The answer lies in the fact that, without structured focus, the numerical algorithms used by search engines may not be able to automatically rank your article in the way you hoped. You must arrange each article, to help search engines understand what the article is focusing on - making each webpage 'search engine friendly'. You will find that if your knowledge of a particular business topic is pretty convincing, it will rank well. A naturally written business article of over 800 words, is already likely to have a combination of the right key phrases and synonyms. These are the words and phrases your target audience already uses to find things.
However, you cannot assume that your writing style and chosen topic itself, are enough to draw your online target audience. You have to write about the right topics in the first place. Therefore, you must go through a logical and systematic process, of researching what your potential customers are typing into search engines.
With all this technical talk, it can be easy to forget about the very people who you want to trust you. Your customers! Remember that your website is a means to an end. Your top priority is to produce business articles, that focus on the expectations and needs of your target audience. You must be as empathetic, obvious and as authentic as possible. Never, ever copy or plagiarise articles from elsewhere! Your articles need to convince readers you are a credible and knowledgeable. Always use the writing style you feel most comfortable using. This may involve writing some of it in the third person, and some of it in the first person. Your style may need to change, depending upon whether you are expressing your opinion in your blog, answering a question on your forum, or writing a more formal guide or business article.
How to Undertake Keyword Market Research
There are three main ways to discover what your target customers are typing into search engines...
Firstly, try the keyword search services. They provide the ability to interrogate search engines own internal database. The results identify how many people search for any given search term, over any given period, and for any geography. This exercise should form the foundation of your secondary market research. It allows you to build up a list of hundreds or even thousands of search phrases, which can be grouped into logical topics. This process tests and validates your gut feel, assumptions and practical experience, against live search engine data. These services can help you expand your initial guesswork, by providing derivatives of phrase you type (such as the broad match, plural, derivatives, related phrases, trends over time and demand by online distribution channel).
Secondly, analyse your competitors website to get a reality check. Look at your competitors web pages, to see what key phrases are prominent in the metatitles, and H1 tags of their web pages. However, do not blindly copy competitors keyphrases, as the basis for your research. They may not have done their homework properly. Do not be a lazy lemming! To find your 'real' competitors, simply enter a dozen or so 'trophy' search terms, and see which websites ranks top for each term. Lastly, ask your customers for feedback. This can either be done verbally or (if the relationship is fairly weak), via some type of survey or contact form. Constantly tracking 'which search terms did you use to find out website?' can be highly revealing. It provides the raw data and descriptive language that prospective customers prefer to use.
Once you have built up a list of target search terms, organise them logically by sub-topics, by popularity and by geography. These logical groups or 'themes', provide a basis for designing a list of business articles for your company website. Remember there is intense competition to dominate rankings, for popular commercial key phrases. So concentrate on less competitive, three or four word phrases, (known as 'long tail' search terms). Remember to identify the competitiveness of each search term, before you finalise your target list. Although there is less demand for these longer search terms, the chance to achieve a top ranking increases exponentially. Lastly, be mindful that approximately 20% of all search engine queries, include references to the users local geography (such as postcode or local town) so you must consider using search terms that also relate to your local area.
How to Keyword Optimise and Target a Business Article
Each business article should include the key phrases you are targeting. Here, is where we enter the realms of search engine optimisation. Keywords should appear naturally within key parts of the webpage. These include the meta title, meta description, page title, H1 (header) tags, initial introductory paragraph, within the body content, image tag description, and names of web files. The number of times a given search term appears on a webpage (relative to all other words on the page) is called the keyword density. Keyword density is usually expressed as a percentage.
There is a very fine line between over optimisation, and helping search engines better understand the focus of the page. The basis of 'understanding', is an automated mathematical algorithm scoring system. These algorithms instantly measure 'on-page' elements, to compare the pages with similar web pages stored within its database. This comparison forms the basis of how every webpage is ranked, for any given search term.
Once you have written a business article, you can check it using a keyword density analyser tool. These tools mathematically identify key phrases by density percentage. Try and keep the keyword density of your targeted phrase between 3-5%. Any higher any you have repeated yourself too many times. If your use of English is poor, use an online thesaurus tools to help you. It will provide alternative words with similar meanings i.e. synonyms. This will make it more appealing for the reader. Using synonyms also waters down the density of the primary key phrase you are targeting in that article. Try and keep your total word count under 1000 words (as most people's attention span glazes over after that). If your business article cannot be condensed, then try splitting it up into two web pages instead.
Do not be tempted to artificially 'stuff' keywords into articles, in the vain hope this will improve your rankings. It is more likely this practice, will get that webpage ignored, or even the entire site penalised! Instead, view key phrases as an aide memoir, to help you write your articles. Use your normal writing style. Try not to repeat key phrases unnaturally for the sake of it, and wherever possible, find alternatives descriptive 'semantic' words with similar meanings. This avoids keyword duplication.
Lastly, if you hate writing or typing do not despair! Many business people find writing articles extremely monotonous and cumbersome. Luckily there are many speech to text recognition software tools, which can automate and speed up the process dramatically. This means that you can speak your articles directly into your PC. Then after a bit of editing, you will have a decent sized business article, done and dusted in one or two hours per day.
Good luck with producing relevant and exciting articles for your business website!