Should You Focus On Keywords When Writing Your Blog Posts ?

The short answer is…it depends. There you go, I’m practicing to be a politician.

My view on focusing on keywords is that you should always have a keyword in mind but ultimately you should focus more on the human reader than anything else. I think as the search engines get more finicky with their ranking of sites, word of mouth recommendations (i.e. linking to a post or mentioning it on a social media site) will carry more weight in the long run. To be precise, it always has been the determining factor to quality content, it’s just that people have been able to game that particular method so well that they could become more keyword centric.

This is changing as the search engines modify their algorithms. The long strategy is to focus on human readers and produce the best content you can.

So if you are going to run with the more human focused strategy for your blog posts, I’d say have a keyword in mind.

You could even do a bit of keyword research using the Google tool.

Put the keyword you are thinking about writing a post on into the tool.

See what comes back. If question phrases that include your keyword are returned then base the post on that. Even if general phrases come back, think about basing your post around one of those phrases.

In my previous post, I wanted to write something about Kindle. As my blog is about blogging, naturally I thought about how to put my blog on Kindle so that people could read it. So I typed in

“how do you get blogs on kindle”

into the Google keyword tool

This had no searches but I looked down and found

Do Keywords Matter - publish blog to kindle
It doesn’t have great searches a month but certainly better than my first thought.

So I wrote content with this as the main theme. Other than that, I didn’t focus on the keywords. I just wrote it as an informative post and how I’d want it if I was a reader.

It could have had the exact keywords in the title and in a subheading but I don’t think that is necessary these days. I had the words in the title and mentioned when necessary in the post but that was about it.

It could have had the exact keyword phrase bolded and italicized or linked to another post using the phrase but again, this is not as necessary as it used to be. In fact, given the latest Penguin updates, over optimization is thought to be a bad thing – not sure about that – but time will tell.

In the end, it would be nice to rank your post highly in the search engines but a better strategy is to write such a good post that people want to talk about it. This will spread outside of the search engines and eventually the search engines will pick up on this and rank it anyhow.

This is the best long term strategy. The hard part is writing the good content but if you devote more energy to this than finding magic keywords then maybe your content will be better.

What do you think ? How much do keywords figure in your content ?


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