Blogging is a great way to share your experiences, stories, and helpful ideas with an audience. Better yet, blogging on a regular basis can help you control the content that’s related to you on the Internet — your digital footprint.
Individuals and businesses can both benefit from a well-written blog, so make sure that yours is the best it can be! Use focus keywords in your content development process to center your posts around specific topics and ensure that they are findable via search engines.
Why should I use a focus keyword?
You can blog without focus keywords, of course. That’s what I did for years. But my writing wasn’t cohesive at all. I’d digress like it was my job!
Considering focus keywords during your content development process can help you:
- Center each individual piece of web content around a specific topic
- Choose content that is the most relevant to your topic
- Stay brief and say only what you need to say
- Better understand your audience and what they want to know about your topic
Note that choosing a focus keyword is not the same as choosing meta keywords for your content. Meta keywords now often go unused for SEO.
How do I choose a focus keyword?
I like to employ a “Jeopardy method” to choose each blog post’s focus keyword and develop my content.
Start with the answer. What are you writing about? to your audience. What do you want them to understand after they’ve read your post? Your answer might be anywhere from one sentence to a whole paragraph of ideas. This will later form the basis for your blog post.
Work backwards from your answer to distill your concepts down into a few words or phrases. This helps you identify the exact subject of your blog post. You’ll also see if anything is off-topic or detracts from your words or phrases.
Examine at your list of words and phrases. They’re likely all related to each other, which is good! You want everything in your blog post to be on-topic. Throw out anything that’s off-topic (or save it for another blog post).
Pick your focus keyword! Pick a keyword or phrase that sums up the topic of your blog post best. The others on your list, the secondary keywords and phrases, can help you outline your blog post.
Lastly, put yourself in the shoes of your reader or customer and brainstorm some questions that use your focus keyword. These are the questions that lead people to a search engine and they’re likely what they’re typing into that box. Make sure your content answers those questions.
Use your focus keyword to optimize your WordPress blog post
My favorite plugin for WordPress is the free Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. Once you install it into your site, you’ll see a new WordPress SEO module, like the example I have below:
Type your focus keyword into the specific text field. The plugin will then guide you through the process of making sure your content is centered around your focus keyword and that your content can be found in search engines. It’ll check to make sure your focus keyword is in the title, URL, and in the actual content. The plugin will also show you a preview of how your blog post will appear in search engine results.