Whenever I search for spaghetti recipes online, I expect to be given the most relevant and most popular spaghetti recipes available….not a recipe for caramel cake, even though that sounds good…or a recipe for spaghetti made with beets and cabbage…

I expect the search engine that I am using
to provide me with a ranked list of only the websites determined to be the most relevant and useful to what I am looking for…

So how does a search engine itself search for what it’s looking for
…and find it so accurately…and so quickly…(and if you see one walking by, send him over to my house to find my cell phone)…

Search engines use
algorithms, mathematical equations, to sort and to rank sites…algorithms consisting of hundreds of variables, also known as “ranking factors.”

Keywords are one of the most important
of these “ranking factors”…not only as a writer or as a reader…but also as a researcher…

Keywords are normally categorized into three groups…

  1. Head Keywords:These are usually single words that have insane amounts of search volume, and articles based on these keywords face intense competition for ranking high on the list of articles found when searching about a particular topic.
  2. Body Keywords: These are 2-3 word phrases that large amounts of search volume, and articles based on these keywords face less competition for ranking high on the list of articles found when searching about a particular topic.
  3. Long Tail Keywords: These are long word phrases, containing at least four words, that are usually very specific. Each individual word does not get much search volume…but the specific groups of words found in these keyword phrases make up the majority of searches online.

At this point, we are still creating a list of keywords to include on our editorial calendars and to use in future content..

Google, Yoast, and their competitors have databases where you can research your keywords as far as… 

  • estimated conversions
  • historical statistics
  • predicted clicks  
  • search volume data  
  • traffic forecasts

Focus on those keywords that are words that your niche audience obviously use…almost nobody looking for a spaghetti recipe will be searching for an article with the keyword “spinnerbaits”…

Start categorizing your list of keywords…more pre-outlining...(so sending this series to two of my high school teachers that are on my fb friends list)…

As far as actually writing content, I have learned that the writer should…

  • Average somewhere between 5 and 20 keywords per post.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site. 
  • Focus primarily on “Body Keywords.”
  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. 
  • Never mass-produce hundreds of poorly written posts simply hoping to boost your “ranking.”
  • Place keywords early in the article.
  • Publish fresh, keyword-rich content regularly.
  • Write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

As far as actually publishing your post, I have learned that the blogger should…

  • Build an internal linking structure.
  • Create “landing pages” for specific keywords.
  • Don’t put the text that you want indexed inside images. 
  • Ensure a clean, keyword rich URL structure is in place
  • Have at at least one static text link for every page.
  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. 
  • Make sure content is not buried inside rich media.
  • Make sure that rich media doesn’t hide links from crawlers.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributesare descriptive and accurate.
  • Use keywords to create descriptive, human-friendly URLs. 

I think that my Blogging Bucket List of things to do and to learn this next year just got larger…I need a Frappuccino or latte or macchiato…

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