Wherefore therefore: Choosing the right keywords in a blog post

It is tempting to invest a lot of time wordsmithing the perfect headlines and getting input from one or more colleagues for a blog post.  After all, your website is a direct reflection of you and your organization.

But, if we are not careful, it is easy to fall into the Analysis Paralysis trap and spend so much time scrutinizing blog posts and making decisions by committee that blogging becomes burdensome and we just stop – or else settle for a mediocre solution. This would be a mistake.

Recently, I went back and forth in an email debate with a client about the headline of a blog post that we wanted to publish. In the end, we settled and I mean “settled”.

When blogging, it is important to keep two primary things in mind:

  1. The primary purpose of blogging is to rank on search engines for relevant keyword phrases.  These keyword phrases need to be a reflection of the search phrases that your target audience might Google.  Given that WordPress takes your blog post headline and injects those key words into the 3 most critical part of a web page 1) URL, 2) Heading, and 3) Link text; it is very important to put as many relevant keywords into a blog post title as possible particularly if your target audience is likely to Google using 5-7 words in a search phrase.
  2. Once people Google something and your website shows up on its search engine results page (SERP), people will likely click on that link if the heading looks similar to their search phrase.  After they click through to your blog post, if the post or surrounding website catches their attention then they will soon click to some other part of your website and most likely a link on your primary navbar.  Likely, they will spend less than a minute on your blog post and quickly move on to more substantive information on your website.

So, what is most important to keep in mind is that you show up on Google because if you don’t, then you will be invisible to your target audience and all that time you spent dwelling on your blog post will have been for naught because nobody will see it.  You have to rank on search engines to be seen.  You have to reflect the search phrases of your target audience to rank on search engines.  And, you have to know what your target audience is most likely to Google in order to reflect their search phrases.

So here we go … in order to drive traffic to your website you must:

  1. Identify your target audience
  2. Know what they want and would likely search for on Google
  3. Inject that search phrase into the subject line of a WordPress blog post
  4. Put in enough relevant content in the body to make the blog post worth reading
  5. Let WordPress do the rest of the work

If you do that, you will likely rank on search engines, people will likely click on your blog post, if people like what they see they will likely click throughout your website, and then whatever calls to action you have for them will more likely convert web surfers into loyal consumers of whatever you produce.