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7 Steps to Finding and Using Keywords

For this exercise, we are going to presume people searching for this topic would be better off if they could find you and read what you’ve offered.

For Googlers to find you, you need to show up on page 1-3 of the search results. Let’s talk about the 7 steps to finding some keywords that might land you in those top search result spots.

Step 1: Niche down

You’ve heard it before and its great advice: niche down. It is very unlikely that anyone can show up on page 1 for ‘chocolate cake’ or ‘Mazda’ or ‘Childrens Clothing’. The competition is simply too fierce.

TIP: to check competition, head to google and type in your topic. Review the first 3 pages of results – ask yourself, “Can I beat these websites?”

But you can beat your competition if you choose the right keywords.

The first step is to think about your topic and ‘niche down’. That is, find the particular area of that niche that will be your specialty.

2: Choose something not TOO popular

As in step one, the more popular, the more difficult it will be to get in the top three pages of search results. When selecting your topic, don’t choose one that is too popular.

For example, if you love fashion, instead of “womens fashion”, you’ll need to choose “Womens fashion over 40 on the Coast”.

3: Choose a topic that is popular enough

This is the last tip pertaining to the topic – it does have to be of interest to several people! If your plan is to monetize based on traffic you need to select a topic that is popular and work harder than anyone else to show better results.
In our example of women’s fashion, this is not popular enough: “Womens denim fashion in size 10”.  That may get some people, but it will limit the people too much. Make sense?

4: Use the keyword ONCE

Bloggers tend to write about the same keywords on hundreds of blogs. This splits your traffic between all the pages – essentially you’re competing against yourself. Google looks at each page of your site as its own entity, not the entire site. So if you have 4 pages all vying for the same keywords, you’re in competition with each other. If you’re so popular that you have the top 1-3 spots in Google, then you can start trying to get your complementary pages ranked too. Most of us will have to limit our efforts to one page per keyword phrase.

5: Use cornerstone content

This is how to put one keyword phrase on your site. Put all your best content on a central page. That page becomes one of your site’s ‘cornerstone’ pages.
That cornerstone page should have the following on it:

  • title
  • video or other media
  • explanations or glossary terms
  • your introduction
  • tips for finding and using the best content on your site
  • links to the most relevant /best posts that you have
  • the most recent posts in that topic

The best way to keep track of all the posts that are on this topic is to categorize all similar posts. And then use a display-posts plugin to put the most recent posts from that category onto the cornerstone page.

6: Clean up content

If you’ve been blogging for awhile it is likely you have old, unworthy posts. For a lot of mom bloggers who are using their sites as a baby-book, you’ll want to keep all the posts. But you should un-link them from the cornerstone pages – assign them a different category.

Remove posts that lessen the quality of your site. Remove linky parties. Re-word those posts that are using your cornerstone keyword phrase. And point all your relevant content towards the cornerstone pages. That is where people will find the best content – on those pages!

TIP: when changing content and/or titles, do NOT change the permalink or links will break!

7: Social Media Descriptions

Use your keyword phrase in your social media descriptions – all of them. When you link back to your site from guest posts or any social media make sure that you are linking about your topic, using those topic words, and linking to your cornerstone pages (not your homepage).

Have you tried any / all of these already? Let us know in the comments! How did it go? Have you seen results??

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  1. Thanks so much for this post and I think I understand the issue of ‘keywords’ a lot better. I notice on WordPress when I am writing a post, there’s a box to tick for cornerstone content. I’ve not used it before but think I should now. What about others who don’t blog on WordPress? How is that done?
    Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

  2. These are great tips for keywords and I learned some new methods! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been wondering about deleting link parties. I’ve been hosting a weekly one for over a year. Should I delete all of the old ones or keep a few recent?

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