Are consumers struggling to find your website online? Nearly 70% of all activity online starts with a search enginefor keyword. Unfortunately, 75% of consumers don’t look beyond the first page of   results.

If your website doesn’t appear on the first page, consider using search engine optimization (SEO). You can improve your rankings to reach more customers. Then, you can generate more website traffic, brand awareness, and leads.

Before you can optimize your website, you’ll need to develop your keyword strategy. Using the right keywords will help you appear for relevant searches.

Not sure where to start? Here are seven tips that can help before you start writing articles.

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Gather your list of keywords and start writing blog posts with these tips today.

1. Research Your Customers

First, take the time to research your target audience. Otherwise, you won’t create content that appeals to their interests.

What do your customers search for online when they look for your product or service? What problems are they experiencing? Understanding their pain points can help you provide helpful content that offers a solution.

Start by breaking your larger audience into smaller buyer personas. You can distinguish personas based on:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education
  • Pain points
  • Buying behaviors
  • Marital status
  • Household income
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
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Segmenting your target audience will help you create customized content for each group. After all, a 16-year-old female likely has different needs than a 40-year-old dad. They’re likely searching for different content online, too.

Gather keyword research for each persona.

You can use tools like Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Google Trends, or here to get started. Look for keywords that have a high search volume.

Once you gather your keyword research, you can start writing blog posts that appeal to your target audience. When they search using those keywords, your blog posts might appear. They can click on the link and start reading your posts.

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Your blog posts will help you demonstrate your experience and expertise in the industry. You could have an easier time generating leads as a result.

2. Understand Intent

Before you start writing articles, it’s important to understand your customers’ needs.

Google looks for content that appeals to the user’s search intent. What are your customers hoping to find during a search? For example, they might need content that’s:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial

Perhaps people want to learn about your products or services. Maybe they’re looking for answers to their questions. In fact, about 8% of all search queries are phrased as questions.

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It’s important to understand the user’s search intent before you start writing blog posts.

If your content doesn’t appeal to the user’s search intent, they’ll leave your website without clicking around. Your clickthrough rate and dwell times will drop. Meanwhile, your bounce rate will start to rise.

A high bounce rate will tell Google your content doesn’t appeal to the user’s search intent. Google might drop your rankings as a result. You could struggle to appear in front of consumers online.

Instead, take the time to determine the search intent for each keyword before you start writing articles.

3. Research Your Competitors

As you start developing your list of target keywords to use, don’t forget to check out the competition.

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Look at the blog posts they’re creating. Consider the topics they’re covering within their posts.

Study the headline and try to determine the main target keyword. Then, read through the content.

Is the post helpful and informative? What search intent does the content appeal to?

Don’t copy your competitors. Instead, learn from their successes and failures.

Researching your competitors can help better inform your keyword strategy. You can avoid the mistakes your competitors made in the past. Instead, you can create content that better appeals to your target audience.

4. Choose Long-Tail Keywords 

Take a look at your list of keywords. Which keywords are made up of four or more words? These long-tail keywords are usually more precise.

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For example, the keyword “flowers” could lead you to content like:

  • The best flowers for a wedding
  • Hidden meaning behind different flowers
  • How to create a flower bouquet
  • Where to buy flowers near me

These long-tail keywords all have a different search intent.

Instead of using a one-word, short-tail keyword, look for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more precise. You’ll have an easier time appealing to the consumer’s search intent.

5. Gather Secondary Keywords

Using the same focus keyword when writing articles can lead to keyword stuffing. Google might penalize your content if you’re stuffing posts with a single keyword.

Instead, use secondary, related keywords throughout each post. You can use synonyms or related terms. Make sure your keyword variations are relevant to the content.

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6. Let the Keyword Inform the Content

Once you have a list of target keywords, you can start writing blog posts.

Let your main keyword inform the content. Don’t write a post, then try to stuff the keyword into the writing. The latter option could make your writing sound awkward and unnatural.

As you start writing articles, try to include your target keyword within the:

  • Page or post title
  • URL
  • Opening and closing paragraphs
  • Body text
  • An H1 header
  • Image alt text
  • Image file name
  • Meta description

Try using internal and external links within your posts, too. Internal links send readers to other pages on your website. External links send readers to other websites and resources.

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Try using contextual links as well. Make sure your anchor text links are relevant to the content. Using contextual links can boost your search engine rankings.

7. Analyze and Optimize

Once you start writing blog posts, make sure to review your website analytics.

Which posts are helping you generate the most traffic? Which posts are falling flat?

You can also use analytics to determine which keywords people use to find your website through Google.

Reviewing your analytics will help you improve your keyword strategy in the future.

Stronger SEO: 7 Steps for Developing an Effective Keyword Strategy

A strong keyword strategy will help boost your search engine rankings. With higher rankings, you can reach more prospective customers. Then, you can improve your ROI and set your business up for success.

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