Good morning, bloggers! What is happening in the world today? Well, apart from the fact that you very clearly want to know more about what you should and shouldn’t do with SEO blog keywords. Or, specifically, what you shouldn’t do … What you DEFINITELY shouldn’t do.
4 Things You Definitely Shouldn’t Do With Your SEO Blog Keywords
If this is the first time you’re learning about SEO blog keywords, you may find a couple of my other posts helpful:
SEO keywords are a bloomin’ great tool when you want to promote a blog or website, but only when they’re used in the right way. The process itself isn’t overly complicated; it’s simply a matter of steps until you have everything in place and the green light to publish that post. What is complicated, sometimes, is understanding the ‘best practices’ — the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to do things. Knowing the ‘right’ ways will benefit you greatly, but knowing the ‘wrong’ ways can be doubly as beneficial. When you consider that these little SEO accidents can bump you down the search engine results quicker than you could write “Search Engine Optimisation”, they’re definitely things you’ll want to avoid.
1 – You shouldn’t keyword-stuff.
Do you know what you shouldn’t do with your blog keywords? You shouldn’t just shove blog keywords into the post, randomly, without sense or meaning, just for the sake of ‘upping’ the number of blog keywords you used in that post. Search engines are actually going to rank you lower if you use blog keywords too fast and furiously, so learning how to use blog keywords effectively, without making common mistakes, is definitely wise.
What is keyword stuffing?
The paragraph above is a perfect example of “keyword stuffing” — the art of stuffing in as many keywords into a blog post as possible, to hopefully rank higher in search engine results.
The keyword/phrase was “blog keywords” and I used it 5 times in one paragraph. Three sentences. Five keywords. FIVE! That’s too many. Far too many.
Once upon a time, this practice might have worked a little bit, but we’re talking back in the early days before Google got smart and changed the algorithm every five minutes. Keyword stuffing now, with so many really good non-keyword-stuffed blogs out there, is not going to do you any favours. It is basically blogging suicide. You’ll end up so far down the Google results that no one will get to your blog. They’ll already have found what they were looking for in the hundreds of blogs that are displayed in the results before you.
Well … that’s depressing.
How many keywords should you use in a blog post?
Ah, good question. I don’t actually think anyone knows the answer to it, either. In fact, I don’t think there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answer, which doesn’t help you I know.
The trick is to use your head. Use keywords where they should be used, are naturally placed, and that flow well with the rest of the blog post. If you’re saying the same keyword or term over and over again when you read the post out loud, you’ve stuffed too many of them in there. Take a few out.
I’ve written down the keyword process that I go through in every blog post, step-by-step, and you can find that here:
2 – You shouldn’t write a blog post for the sake of it.
Just because you found a keyword that is a bit related to your business or blog, doesn’t mean you gotta write a blog about it. If you’re a florist working in Southend, Essex, trying to target the keyword “Florists in Nottingham” is not going to help you, unless you have a branch in Nottingham too. At which point, it’s probably a good idea.
Not all keywords are going to work for you, and you’re not going to want to use all the keywords that you find. That’s fine. Accept it. Move on.
(*Alternatively, hire me as your blogger. I bet I can find a blog post title + idea that works for an obscure keyword. You’d be amazed by the weird stuff I’ve been asked to create in the past … )
3 – You shouldn’t use the same keyword for multiple blog posts.
If you have Yoast installed on your WordPress blog, you’ll soon find out if you’re targeting a keyword that you’ve already used. It’ll tell you, loud and clear. After a while, this accidental duplication might happen, especially if you’ve published a fair few blog posts already and you’re slowly starting to running out of inspiration.
Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. And all of us.
Just in case you wanted to have a read for yourself, here’s where the Yoast link in the image above takes you: Why you should use a focus keyword only once.
It is not a good idea to try and use the keyword “Southend florist” for more than one blog post. Liven things up a bit. Use “Southend florist” in one and “florist Southend” in another. “Florists in Southend” could be the keyword/term for another blog post, and you could look at “Flower shops in Southend” or Essex and surrounding areas, too.
If you use the same keyword or phrase/question for more than one blog, Yoast will tell you that it’s not a very good idea. There’s no point in doing it — it doesn’t benefit you. Ideally, you’ll want to use as many DIFFERENT keywords as possible, not hitting the same ones over and over again.
4 – You shouldn’t force a blog post.
As much as sometimes we all need to kick our own butts, forcing out a blog post just because you found a new keyword, without any real direction or idea for that post, is not smart. You’ll end up with a piece of writing that makes no sense, doesn’t offer interest or value to the reader, and might even undo some of your existing SEO hard work.
Referring back to the earlier point I made about creating a blog post for a keyword even though it doesn’t work for you or isn’t relevant for your business, there are so many keywords, terms and questions to pick from, there’s no point in wasting your time trying to squeeze out something that offers zero value to your blog.
If you can’t think of something to write for keyword A, move on to keyword B. The inspiration for keyword A might come to you.
If you waste an hour working on keyword A today but still don’t manage to come up with anything at the end of that hour, you’ll have wasted an hour and still won’t have anything to show for your hard work. If you had just moved on to keyword B, or another keyword that jumped out at you with title inspo quickly, you would have at least made a start on something. You might even have finished it.
Here’s a little example …
I ghostwrite for a wildlife guy. He removes animals, live and dead, from residential and commercial buildings for a fee. The right way — licenses, permits, humane, safe, all that kind of thing. He sends over a list of keywords/questions/phrases and I write blog posts for them. Sometimes, the keywords are SO similar, I’m practically rewriting the same article over and over again, just with a few little changes or snippets. When that happens, finding inspiration to write something brand new and unique — something that doesn’t already exist on the internet — is bloody hard work. I can spend three hours trying to come up with a unique angle for just ONE blog post.
I’ve learned to take a different approach: I jot down the titles that immediately jump out at me as soon as I see the list of keywords. Those are the ones I’ll work on — writing blog posts for them — while I’m struggling to come up with inspiration for the rest. If I can’t think of a title or blog post idea within 15-20 minutes, I move on to one that I can, preventing myself from wasting any more time.
Time is valuable. You can’t just go around wasting it.
Nine times out of ten, as I’m writing the ‘easy’ ones, the inspiration for the ‘tough’ ones jump right out at me and I end up getting twice as much done.
Quit forcing the ones that don’t happen. Move on to the ones that will.
And there you have them — the four biggest mistakes you’re probably marketing with SEO blog keywords, and how to stop yourself from making them.
I hope this blog post has helped you today, but I’d love to hear what problems you’re faced with when trying to add some SEO sparkle into your blog. If you need a hand getting things back on track, feel free to shout out your questions and concerns, or send me a message to find out how you can hire me to be on your team.