Part of successful SEO strategy is finding the right keywords. There are a few different considerations with keywords, however. We won’t get into all of them here, but a first consideration is to figure out if a keyword is appropriate for a blog post.
I like to approach blogging as question and answer. What questions is the target audience searching for and how best can those questions be answered with a blog post… That’s what I’m thinking about and the reason I do that is because it aligns a blogging strategy with Google’s intent, which is to provide their users with the best answers.
A keyword might often be best for a homepage or service or product page. For example, “buy blue shoes” is probably best for a homepage or product page or some kind of shopping page. A keyword like, “what shirt matches well with blue shoes”, fits better with a blog post.
Let’s say you have a keyword that seems to fit well for a blog post. A big consideration is figuring out how to title the post.
Here are some thoughts on that.
1. Determine The Intent of The Searcher’s Question
Once you have the keyword and determine that a blog post is appropriate for the answer you have to go one step further and determine the intent. Sometimes you’ll get a keyword phrase that is a big general and could possibly be interpreted in multiple ways.
For example, the keyword “jeans with blue shoes” could find the searcher asking for information on how to wear jeans with blue shoes or to find out if it’s appropriate or to some other possible things. A good first step is to see what results exist now. That will give you some kind of idea. Also scroll to the middle and bottom of the result page and look at other related questions and keywords. This can help you figure out the real intent.
2. Title Format Options
Once you are confident on the intent you can figure out how to title the blog post. Several years ago it used to be beneficial to mirror your pages and posts to the keyword you’re targeting. It is generally still important to use the keyword in a title, but I generally like to follow basic blog title formatting. This makes it comfortable for the potential blog reader. Many people have read blog posts and like familiar titles.
Common formats for blog posts are:
- Questions – What is Blue Shoe Fashion? or Can You Wear Jeans With Blue Shoes?
- How To’s – How To Wear Jeans With Blue Shoes or How To Determine The Best Blue Shoes
- Lists – 10 Best Blue Shoes For This Year or 10 Blue Shoe Styles We Love Right Now
- Why – Why Blue Shoes Go Great With Jeans or Why Blue Shoes Set You Apart
There are others, but these formats cover a lot. You can turn just about any keyword into any of these titles. Try to find the one that best fits the intent that you think would most intrigue and most benefit the searcher/reader.
3. Create A Basic Outline
Once you’ve chosen one of the title options begin laying out an outline. Think about how you would answer the question or the points you would include in a list post. You can do this in your head. You can write or type it down. This is a good process for determining if you really chose the most appropriate title for this keyword.
4. Write The Post
This step is straightforward. Obviously, though, there is a lot that goes into writing a post. You may use your own knowledge. You may find supporting information. You may do interviews. There is a lot of research, writing and editing that can go into a blog post.
5. Reassess The Title
Once the post is complete it’s good to revisit the title. Generally I find that you won’t change the title. If you’re starting with a title you’re usually going to let that guide the content in the post or at least guide how you approach and write it. So changing it doesn’t make sense.
But on occasion you’ll find that tweaking the title may make sense. Maybe you got off on a little different direction while writing and really like the way the post turned out. But a new title will be more appropriate. Definitely change the title if this is the case while still staying true to the intent of the keyword.
I’ve seen this happen where you start out aiming to write a how to post and at the end you realize that you have 20 items and you may as well number them and re-title the post 20 Ways… or whatever it might be.
Usually this process is pretty intuitive. You identify the keyword, can see the question being asked and you can just right into the answer. And you come out with a great blog post. But sometimes it can be a little confusing. And you can second guess yourself on the title and if it’s right for SEO and that kind of thing. Hopefully this has helped you a little with the process.