Search engines look for whether the keywords you use are represented in the content of the article. If they are not you can be discredited. Try to target the keywords for each post on 3-5 keywords only and tune the content to deliver a good readable message that includes those keywords. The first keyword you list should be incorporated into the title of the piece and the Twitter pitch as well. Using these keywords in a sentence is a good way to make it useful for the audience as well as search engine optimization.

You may be trying to get the site ranked for a lot of keywords but the best way to do that is by focusing specific posts on a specific set of keywords, then write another post for a different set of keywords. Too many keywords and it dilutes the focus and search engines don’t know how to categorize you properly.

You need to think about keywords the way a search engine does. Each keyword is approached individually– meaning taken out of the context of the rest of the list of keywords. Then it’s compared against the content, categories and other information and filed appropriately.

For a working example of how keywords work take a look at this Google tool: http://www.google.com/sktool/

Enter a specific web page and see which of the keywords you want to use for that post are actually being searched for. It might seem obvious that you want to use the ones most searched for, but that’s not entirely true. What you want to find are the ones that describe your content in that post the best and the ones that people are searching for but there isn’t a ton of information out there.

For example attempting to get to the top of the page with the keyword “shoes” could take years of constant posting. It’s too broad. You need to get more specific and write the keywords for the way people actually search “women’s shoes” is better, but still a little broad. Something like “women’s walking shoes” though gets to the point and is written in a way someone would actually search for it in the search engine.

Experiment with different keywords until you get to the core of what you want to be found for. Then make sure that your messaging is consistent with your goals AND your keywords.

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