How do you target a keyword? Learning how to structure your blog posts to target the keywords you want to rank for is key.
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Content is all about planning and in this post, I am going to explain the formula I use to get my pages ranking in the search. This is a well know approach and can be very successful when done correctly.
Firstly you need a plan, get yourself a simple blogging calendar. Use tools like Moz and SEMRush to establish what keywords you currently rank for, those that have real potential to rank highly for you and those you want to target moving forward.
Here is an example of my blogging calendar.
Focus Keyword & Landing Page
If I want to rank for WordPress Website Design, which is a broad and highly competitive keyword, I need a landing page optimised specifically to target that term.
The landing page should outline the services I offer, my expertise and examples of my previous work. It helps to add things like a client quote and social proof (I’ve created this website for Mr Joe Blogs which has resulted in a 50% increase in online enquiries).
If people land on this page directly from Google search results, they will want to know I can do everything they need.
Target one main focus keyword each month, a total of 12 over a year. These keywords are for your landing pages not blog posts. This is the word you want people to search Google for and see your page in the results.
Related Keywords & Blog Posts
These are the keywords that are going to support the main focus keyword. These can be much more niche and even location specific to target local search. Use these posts to produce more specific content that outlines your key offerings. What do you do differently from your competitors, what’s your project process and so on.
I might write a blog post about Triathlon Club WordPress Website Design if I wanted to target that type of business. Think about your potential clients, who do you want to work with, what kind of business are they in, what are they looking for from you (fast, reliable, high-end, bespoke), etc.
You will need to produce at least three supporting blog posts for each landing page. These serve to try and get the landing page ranking higher for the WordPress Website Design term. The blog posts will also start to rank in their own right for their more niche terms like Triathlon Club WordPress Website Design.
The more related blog posts you can produce the faster your main focus keyword will move up the rankings. There is a checklist of things you must include on these posts to be successful, see my post here for more help with this.
Who are you writing for?
A lot of people fall into the trap of writing about stuff that they find interesting. Writing about your weekend warrior obstacle course or who’s employee of the month is not going to interest very many people. Save that stuff for your social media channels.
Whenever you write a piece of content, ask yourself ‘Would someone search for this?’ Using the example above not many people would search for the term Triathlon Club WordPress Website Design directly. They might, however, search for things like Best CMS for a Triathlon Club website, Triathlon club website builder, WordPress theme for triathlon club. You have your niche blog post titles there already.
Clearly identifying your audience will make it easier to write your content. Try to think like a potential client or customer. They may not always be familiar with the technical terminology. Often they will be looking for a solution to a problem so position your blog posts like questions and answers. Do you need a website for your triathlon club? Why should I choose WordPress for my triathlon website? Which is the best CMS for a Sports Club websites?
Choose your words carefully
Once you have identified your keyword do some research on it. Typically, users will search broad terms first and then make them more specific to find the results they need.
This is an example of a broad search term
There are 118 million results for the above term which means I am going to find it hard to rank for that. Below is an example of a niche search term. It has just 1 million results which means it’s more specific and reduces the competition in the search rankings.
Think about search intent
Search intent is why the person is searching using the keyword or phrase.
Website Design – is broad so someone who is searching for this is likely researching or looking for examples.
Website designer – this is more specific, they are looking for a particular person. They potentially have a problem or a task they need help with.
Triathlon club website designer – the search intent here is clear, they need a website for their club and are looking for a designer with previous experience or someone who offers this service.
Check that you haven’t used the keyword you’ve chosen before
Make sure you use a different keyword for each post and page. Search engines will struggle to establish which page/post should be prioritised in the search results if they all share the same keyword.
If you already rank for a keyword but want to move up higher in the SERPs, apply the same process as we’ve discussed above. Make sure the existing landing page is fully optimised.
It is very important not to cannibalise your keywords (writing different content that goes after the same keywords). Doing this will only punish you in the SERPs.
Write good quality content
Write naturally and make sure your content is grammatically correct. Try to vary sentence length and break up text with headings and lists where possible. A post should be 350-500 words in length. Your landing pages can be anything from 500-1500 words but don’t waffle.
Consider the title of your post or page carefully and keep in mind the things we have mentioned above. For more on how to write good content see my post The important of great website content.
If you need help identifying your target keywords or creating perfect content get in touch.