Clunky Keywords and the Battle of the Awkward Content

typewriterBeing a successful freelance writer requires diligence, creativity, and a heck of a lot of patience. Far too often it also requires the ability to somehow shoehorn super awkward keywords that have all the grace of a fat-footed ugly stepsister into what is otherwise the content marketing equivalent of a glistening glass slipper.

A Brief Keyword Primer

First off, what are keywords? Well, in simplest terms, keywords are words – or possibly a longer, multi-word phrase – that represents the content of a blog, article, or webpage. For the most part they’re targeted at search robots, like the ones that form the army belonging to our future overlords at Google. These search robots skitter all over the web, scanning content and looking for these keywords to help determine what your page is about so it can be ranked according to relevancy and delivered as a search result when appropriate.

Good writers know how to incorporate keywords in a way that is natural, placing them into the content seamlessly so that the content itself remains high quality and still makes sense to the average human reader.

Bad – or perhaps I should be politically correct and say “inexperienced”….? – writers toss keywords all over a blog like a drunken Mardi Gras reveler donates beads to the topless masses.

The Worst Ways to Keyword

Much like the mug shots that hang in your local post office, there are some “most wanted” keywords and keywording techniques that both offend my tender sensibilities and tank your content, and they therefore must be stopped.

  • Too Many Keywords – More is not always better. In the case of keywords, more is usually just messier. I totally understand that you want to bring traffic to your site but filling a page with what basically amounts to a dictionary thrown in a blender isn’t going to do you any good at all.
  • Clunky Keywords – This is the worst, and every time one pops up in the “Special Instructions” portion of the client-issued order form I want to cry. While I can theoretically see someone searching for “freelance humor writing jobs” or “cheap plumbers Laredo, Texas” actually working those keywords into content without looking like you jammed them in isn’t as easy as you may think. If you can skim a blog and identify what the keywords are due to how badly they interrupt the flow, that’s bad.
  • Long-Tail Keywords – Long-tail keywords are usually phrases that expand on and add specificity too simpler keywords. For example, “cookie” will return millions of hits, but “easy no-bake gingerbread Christmas cookie” will narrow down your results considerably. Using these can make your content stand out, or you can offer up something like “insurance agents Las Vegas low fee medical and car package how to find” and make my brain bleed.

The truth is that there are truly no bad keywords, only content writers who don’t know how to use them. Find yourself an experienced writer who is eager to tackle your SEO woes and listen to them. The better your content performs the more likely you are to come back for another order, and freelance writers are always looking for awesome clients freelance writing platform pay weekly no scams. (See what I did there…?)

Alana M is constantly upping her SEO game. When she isn’t hard at work writing all kinds of witty and engaging content, she enjoys long walks on the beach, lion taming, nuclear physics and lying about her hobbies.


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