Choosing Keywords for Better Google Ranking

If you want your web site or video or whatever to be found on Google, you need to know what it is you are aiming for.  You need to know what keywords you want to rank for.

Keywords are what people type into Google to find you.  The term “keyword” can also mean more than one word, like a phrase.  It is important to know what your goal is, so that you can work towards it.

Choosing Keywords for Better Google Ranking

networkLet’s say you have a web site about gardening.  You have plenty of visitors, but want more.  You post information about a variety of topics, but they thing they all have in common is gardening.  If I was to ask you “What do you want to be found under on Google?” you would probably say “gardening”.  But it is REALLY hard to be found on Google for such a broad keyword.  So the next answer is usually “OK then, what about ‘gardening in Michigan'” (or whatever area you are in).

But that is also really really broad, and there would be a huge number of sites come up for a search for gardening in Michigan.

Also, do people really type something like ‘gardening in Michigan’ if they want to find, for example, information on how to prune an apple tree?  No, they type ‘how to prune an apple tree’.

So what you need to be looking at is what very specific phrases can you get your individual pages (or posts) on your web site to rank for.  If you have just written a post on how to prune apple trees, that is what you want to rank THAT post for.  You might have another post about how to support tall sunflowers as they grow – so your keywords you want to rank THAT post for would be something like ‘supporting sunflowers’.

Once you have decided on what keyword you want a rank a post for, what can you do to get that to happen?

If you are running a WordPress site, install the excellent Yoast SEO plugin, and it will help you to analyse each post and advise whether there are any basic tweaks that can be done to help it to rank.

It will advise you to make sure your keywords are in the name of the post and the URL.  You also need to have the exact keyword phrase at least once in the main body of the page.

For example, I am trying to rank this particular post for the phrase “Choosing Keywords for Better Google Ranking”.  I have it in the title and the URL, and it appears within the body of the post.  I also have it as a heading (above), so that shows Google that the phrase Choosing Keywords for Better Google Ranking is important in this post.  I can also add it in italics, like I just did, or in bold, like this: Choosing Keywords for Better Google Ranking

You need to make it look natural.  You wouldn’t, for example, put the phrase many many times at the bottom of the post to make it look like you are TRYING to rank for that phrase.  But you might use sentences like I have just done that include the exact phrase, as well as similar phrases, like “Is this post helping you to understand how to choose keywords so you can get a better ranking in Google?”.

There is a lot more you can do with your keywords, like referring to your post in other places like social media or on comments on other peoples’ blogs, along with your keyword phrase.  For example, if someone on Facebook was asking for advice on how to prune an apple tree, you might reply “Hi!  I did a blog post on pruning apple trees that might help you”, followed by the link to your post.  Google then recognises that your post is about pruning apple trees and that helps you to rank for that.

Once you have a few posts up, and they are all broadly about a topic, you will find your site as a whole slowly climbing up the rankings.  Google loves good, unique content, and the more you contribute to this wonderful thing called the Internet, the better Google will like you and reward your site with better rankings.

Don’t forget, all this applies to videos and other forms of content too.  You can apply ALL these principles to a video description on YouTube to help it to rank.