Freelance writers need the right keywords for content to ensure keywords are popular and not over saturated. They should also describe the content well. To that end, you should find keywords that will perform well in searches before ordering content.
The first step to finding good keywords is to brainstorm. Think about the article’s topic and what words or phrases best describe it. Write down keywords that could be searched to find that particular piece. Make sure these keywords are not just direct searches to the piece but direct relevant searches to the piece. For example, an article about ways to dress for a date should not have the keyword date bread just to generate generic searches. Furthermore, the word date can be a keyword, but a secondary one. It is just too popular and vague a search term. Instead, go for search terms with two words or more like date night, how to dress for a date and date night dressing tips.
Expand the List
Once you’ve written your best terms, compare your list with popular search terms. A good way to do this is to start typing some of the search terms into the Google search bar and seeing what auto-fill terms pop up. What appears there are popular and suggested search terms. To be clear, do not actually conduct the search. Just type in the words and see what shows up below the box for suggested search terms as you type.
Test the List
Testing the keyword list means finding out how much competition each keyword has. Once that has been ascertained, choose the keywords with the least competition and the most monthly searches. A single or two-word keyword with high competition and high searches might sound good, but the competition is too fierce. Therefore, skip the highest-ranking keywords and go for “long tail” keywords (phrases of three to five words), which are more specific and typically have lower rankings.
A great tool for testing keywords is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Enter one keyword from the list at a time to find related keywords, the number of searches on that term, the specificity of the term and how high the competition is. Use the information that this tool offers to narrow down the keywords by that criteria and then offer those keywords to your writers.
Without the right keywords, writers can create content that’s helpful to its audience but limited in its reach. Stay as close to the content’s topic as possible with keywords in order to avoid this shortcoming. Keywords have to contain something that the reader is really going to get from the article to be helpful in searches.
Michelle S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.