Blogging For Beginners: The Use Of Keywords

Posted at 17:16pm on 20th April 2009

21st December, 2009 - This article has been revised, and may now be reproduced, subject to the conditions shown below.

Blogging as a means of driving traffic to your website is a well-documented fact. I’ve written in Essential Blogging Advice For Beginners about the need for beguiling blog branding, tantalising titles, and compelling content for your blog. What I want to write about today is the crucial role of keywords, and how to manage them.

Keywords are imperative in that they are what the search engines pick up on in your articles. These are the words or phrases used by internet users to search for information, and they may be obtained by bloggers either free of charge or via pay-per-word sites. I use Google Adwords for which you simply need a Google account.


What you need is to select keywords for your article or blog post. So let’s say that you’re writing on hairdressing and you want to break your post into sections based on cutting and colouring, for each of which you will require a sub-heading.

The think to remember is that there is a ranking for keywords. This means that they are graded by the average number of searches made each month. On Google Adwords, you have the option to sort the data by the ranking for a keyword, by electing to have either the highest or lowest at the top.

Type in the word ‘hairdressing’ and you’ll come up with ‘hairdressers’ 823,000 searches; ‘hairdressing’ 673,000; and ‘hairdresser’ 450,000 as the top average search for the month of March. ‘Cutting’ gives ‘cut’, ‘cutting’ and ‘hair cut’ at 2,740,000, 1,000,000 and 201,000 respectively.

Now you might think that it would make sense to go for the highest number of searches and use these words in your blog title and subtitles. However, the small box in the column headed Advertiser Competition is partially filled with blue to show the extent of the competition you’re up against. The more blue in the box, the greater the competition. Which means that when people type these words into a Google search, they will come up with these huge numbers of results, and you are likely to come well down the list!


However, if you reverse the order so that the lowest rankings come to the top of the list (known as ‘the long tail’ ) the competition you will face will be far less. Of course, not all these entries will be suitable for your post.

So you select the ones you think most likely to be of use to you. Let’s take hairdressing as our keyword. I’m going to ignore many of the entries in the long tail as unsuitable, but ‘so hairdressing’ ‘hairdressing offers’ and ‘hairdressing fashion’ all come in at between 210 and 320 searches. That means that I have a chance of coming fairly well up the list.

If I then look for the word ‘cutting’ in the long tail, I again find many of the early entries unsuitable for my purposes. But if I prefex that with ‘hair’ I come up with ‘how to get my hair cut’ at 36 and ‘about cutting hair’ at 390 searches. And the good thing is that there’s very little competition for the first, and none at all for the second.


So I now need to create my title using a combination of these key phrases. If I can use them in the first three words of my title, then my chances of coming high in the search engine findings will increase. The first of my hairdressing finds would be difficult to work into a title, but ‘Hairdressing Fashion’ is more hopeful. If I then add ‘about cutting hair and make: Hairdressing Fashion: All About Cutting Hair I have a title with a combination of keywords.

The other key phrases can be worked into the content of the blog post or article. However, the use of too many keywords or duplicate keywords is not helpful. You should be aiming for great online content and over-larding your article will merely make it stilted. If readers are going to want to come back to your site again and again, then what you are providing them with needs to flow!


Now the thing is, I’ve told you how to come up with these keywords, but not how to organise them. What I do is to copy and paste them into the top of my document before I begin writing my article. Then each time I use a keyword or phrase, I highlight the relevant word in the list, and the corresponding word / phrase in the content of the article. That way I can see, instantly, if I’m using too many keywords, or repeating them too often.

This also has the advantage of alerting you to the words you’ve used, and the order in which they occur. If you then want to alter and recycle your blog posts to submit to an article directory such as EzineArticles, it’s much easier to do so. Remember, the best blogging sites are those with great online content – and ease of access via good long tail keywords and search engines.

Do let me know how you get on. And please ReTweet the URL of this article so that others may benefit from it.

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This article may be reproduced on any non-commercial website or blog on condition that it appears unaltered, in its entirety, and that the following copyright line and bio are prominently displayed beneath it.


Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. This article, in its original form, may be found at:

RELATED POSTS: Article Writing & Blogging

Your Comments:

21st May 2009
at 7:18am

Hello. I found your article very helpful. I was wondering if I
could apply your advice to my website which is basically a site for
shareing 3d models. I would like to have more traffic but, I
don't really have anything in the way of articals...only models
with very short desciptions next to them. "3d models"
"3d car" and the like are keywords that are too
competitive. Have any advice? Thanks, Eli

Mel Menzies
23rd May 2009
at 8:18pm

Hi Eli,

I'm glad you found the keywords article helpful. I took a look
at your website and found it very interesting. However, I know
nothing about 3D models and, if I were a potential customer,
I'd like to know more.

How about you write a series of short articles - using the
keywords someone would use if searching for what you have to offer
- telling people something about the product; what it's used
for; its history; how you became involved; anything that could be
of interest.

If you had a blog page, you could invite comments from people
using your products. The more you have on your site, the more the
search engines will pick up.

Hope that helps. Let me know how you get on.

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