Thursday, October 8, 2015

SEO essentials for pet bloggers: Where to put your blog keywords

Liam the pug mapping his SEO keyword strategy
You've determined the keywords you should use in your blog post, and you're ready to begin mapping out your blog post (hence Liam the pug with his map up top -- gotta work the dogs into this lead somehow!).

But where should your keywords go?

There are 5 places that absolutely, positively should have the keywords you've chosen. And I'll list them here in what I think is the order of importance.

1. The headline. 

Google bots scour your blog posts, trying to determine what your entries are all about. The headline can tell the bot a great deal, and it's often the first thing people read when they come to your page. In a Google search, it might be the only thing people see. So your headline (obviously) should have keywords.

Added bonus: If you put the keyword in your headline, it will probably be included in the web address for your page, too. So by keywording your headline, you'll get two mentions in one. Time saver!

2. The post description. 

If you're using Word Press, you probably have an opportunity to write up a few words about what your post is about, and those words will get served up on Google in a search result. They might also get served when people share your post in other places, like Facebook and Google Plus. So putting your keyword here can benefit you in search results AND on social.

3. The body content. 

Obviously, your keyword should appear somewhere in the body text of your post. That should happen naturally, if you've chosen a term that relates to what you want to talk about. I can't write about SEO for pet bloggers, for example, without using the words "SEO" and "pet bloggers" somewhere in the body text. If I can, I have the wrong keywords. The words I chose to focus on should be part and parcel of what I am writing about.

But, be careful with density here. Don't try to use your term over and over and over again as you write. If you do, you'll sound repetitive, and people will stop reading what you have to say. Just stick to one or two mentions.

Where should blog keywords go for SEO dogs ask
"Where else should we put our SEO keywords?"

4. One image attribute. 

Do you use alt text and title text in your blogs? You should. I'll tell you a little more about them next week (and I'll include some tips for people using Blogger). But for now, I'll tell you that you should be using your keyword in at least one alt text, one title text and one photo caption on your blog. In a perfect world, you'll use a keyword in the file names of your photos, too.

Believe it or not, the theory among SEO experts is that Google bots look for these keywords as they scour through images. You'll need to make sure yours have the right keywords included, so they will be served up in response to searches.

5. Tags (kinda).

As it turns out, Google hasn't used the tags as a ranking factor since 2009 (see more about that right here). So if you were hoping to just tag the holy hell out of your pet blog and see a boost in SEO, you'll need to rethink that strategy. But there's one sneaky reason to keep on tagging your pages.

Google does look at something called "time on page" to determine how valuable a website is to a reader. The longer you can make people read before they click away, the better your page seems to the bots at Google. Tags could help with that.

Your tags can help to group and organize your content, and that makes searches within your website a little speedier.

Let's say someone came to my site with a keyword that has to do with "pug temperament." That reader likes the article, and sees that I have tagged the article with that keyword when the reader comes to the end of the piece. The reader could click on the tag and then see 4-5 more blogs I wrote, all tagged the same way. Magically, I get a longer time on the page. That makes my SEO better.

Not finished yet!

Now, there are dozens and dozens more places to put keywords (including many keywords you pop into sites when you build them). But if you put keywords in these 5 places and you stop there, you'll be better off than if you use none at all. These are great, proven places for keywords, and they're optimal for pet bloggers new to SEO.

Have no idea what I'm talking about? You may have missed the intro to this series that defines keywords (right here) or the followup about how to do keyword research (here). Check up on those.

And come back next week, when we'll be talking all about how to mark up photos for SEO.

Do drop a note with questions; happy to help!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and informative post. I have trouble with all these things.