Content SEO: Step-By-Step Guide to Adding SEO Keywords Naturally (Part 1)

SEO keywordsAdding SEO keywords naturally to your content is an art that marketers need to master. The right way to use keywords in your content is very important if you want visibility and high ranking by search engines. To get indexed by Google for ranking purposes, you need to use SEO keywords strategically.

Keyword Stuffing

Without keywords, SEO becomes virtually impossible. You might be thinking of stuffing as many keywords in your post as you would stuff your vacation luggage to the brim, thinking it would be the best way to rank. However, marketers must avoid keyword stuffing to prevent Google’s hefty penalties.

You don’t have to force keywords in. Remember that you’re writing for people, not for bots. You write specifically to answer a need, so your content needs to be written well and be highly readable. Adding keywords as seamlessly as possible is the way to achieve this.

This article is all about the art of content SEO, giving you a quick and easy guide on how to boost those keywords in any SEO content you create while creating a unique brand in your industry. Get ready to level up your content game and dive deep into effortlessly blending keywords throughout your post while keeping it engaging for your readers. 

Content SEO is a balancing act between adding keywords well and maintaining a high-quality article that your readers will enjoy. A few suggestions on how to increase the keyword density of your content could go a long way toward helping you apply keywords in a natural way. 

So, let’s dive into the world of content SEO, where the skill of adding SEO keywords naturally becomes your greatest ally.

Adding Keywords to a Page: How Many Should You Use for SEO?

When brainstorming your digital marketing strategy, specifically your content SEO, a common question is how many SEO keywords to apply to your content. The answer depends on the length of your article, but should always be added in a way that feels natural.

It has to be so organic that your reader barely notices it. Your content should all connect to each other while you add those SEO keywords to help get your main message across. 

A good keyword research process might give you a list of around 5–10 keywords, but don’t go overboard. It’s important to integrate them smoothly.

As a general guideline, aim to include your primary keyword approximately every 100–150 words. For a 1,000-word article, this equates to around 7–10 instances of your primary keyword, distributed evenly throughout the content. Avoid clustering all primary keyword instances in a single 200-word section to maintain a consistent keyword theme.

Now, let’s look at the basics of content SEO keyword hierarchy and how often you should add them:

  • Primary Keyword:

    Add once every 100–150 words. This serves as your major keyword that should be in the content’s title, subheadings, body, meta description, alt text, and more. It keeps your article organized and focused when you stick to one main keyword, adding SEO keywords naturally throughout your article.

  • Secondary Keywords:

    These secondary keywords should be added to your content less frequently than your prime SEO keyword. Think of a phrase that readers most likely would type in the search bar if they were not using the main search phrase you chose. Most main topics have three to five main points. To make your writing more natural, it’s a good idea to use some secondary keywords in these points.

  • Additional Keywords:

    Add less frequent than secondary keywords, about 25% less. These are some catch-all keywords. They include any other words or phrases that mean pretty much the same thing as the primary and secondary keywords. This group often includes long-tail keywords that can be used naturally as part of your SEO strategy.

Generally, aim for 3 to 8 keywords, depending on your content’s length. This typically includes one primary keyword, 1-3 secondary keywords, and 1-4 additional keywords. This ensures smooth integration of SEO keywords without resorting to keyword stuffing. 

Concentrating on a focused set of high-quality keywords often leads to synonymous terms appearing naturally. Beyond this range, you risk compromising readability and the appearance of over-optimization.

Guide to Using Keywords for Rank-worthy Content

Adding SEO keywords may seem straightforward, but actually doing it well can be a challenge. There are best practices for content SEO that align with what search engines deem as SEO-worthy content. 

Check out this quick guide to seamlessly weaving keywords into your posts or pages:

  • Use SEO Keywords in Your Article Title

If possible, include keywords in the title of your post. Since Google combines this subject title with your meta description to create a picture of what your content is about, having a keyword in the title helps a lot, as long as it can be used naturally. Be keen on Google helpful content updates as well to help you incorporate your keywords well into your article. 

If the keyword can’t be used as it is in the title, use a variety that still makes the point of the article as you create some keywords from your keyword phrase

Imagine writing an article about travel tips for New York City. Your keyword should be “New York City travel tips.” Next, you want to create a strong title that naturally incorporates this particular keyword.

  • Example

Here is an example:

Article Title: “Exploring the Best New York City Travel Tips for an Unforgettable Visit”

In this example, “New York City Travel Tips” is loosely embedded in the article title, providing a clear title and good SEO value This approach helps search engines understand the content and attracts readers looking for travel tips about New York City.

  • Use SEO Keywords In the Introduction

Google crawls your article’s introduction with emphasis, specifically the first 200 words. Simply put, it looks for “clues” to what your article is about in this initial section of your post. 

Your introduction can also make or break the rest of your article. If it’s catchy enough, it can keep your reader glued, which increases their dwell time and is thus significant to your SERP ranking. 

So, it’s a good practice to include your main keyword in the first sentence or paragraph and at least one supporting keyword in the second or third paragraph of your introduction. 

  • Introduction Example

Using our example above, “Exploring the Best New York City Travel Tips for an Unforgettable Visit,” the introduction can go like this:

“Are you planning a trip to the Big Apple and in need of some New York City travel tips? With its towering skyscrapers, world-famous landmarks, and diverse culture, the city offers an adventure like no other. 

So, it’s best to come prepared so your New York City tour is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, having insider knowledge is key to making the most of your stay. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential advice to explore iconic attractions, savor local delights, and tour New York City like a seasoned traveler.”

  • Analysis

Notice that we used our primary keyword, “New York City travel tips,” in our opening sentence. We also used our secondary keyword, “New York City tour,” in the succeeding paragraph.

With this method, Google can get a full picture of your article’s main idea. When you’re making your content plan, you want to help Google find your article by including content that fits with the title. For example, if you said you would give “New York City travel tips,” your content plan should be carefully crafted to do just that.

Lead Google’s attention toward the keywords that matter most to you while maintaining clarity during the optimization process. Your most important keyword should be in the spotlight in key parts, followed by any secondary keywords, and finally any other keyword variations. It’s like building an organized hierarchy, with the most important keywords at the top.

  • Seamlessly Weave SEO Keywords Throughout Your Article

Being SEO-focused should not hinder you from also being customer-conscious when creating content. Your readers and their needs are still your main priority when writing content. 

Make sure that your article can actually help your target audience. It doesn’t matter how well you put keywords in your content; if it is not meeting a need, then no one will read it, and it will not rank. 

Your content, then, should be highly readable, engaging, informative, and offer a unique value proposition. 

In our example above, if we do not include highly useful tips about New York City travel, it’s unlikely your article will rank. In addition, offer tips that are relevant to your target audience. 

If your target market is budget-conscious travelers, do not include attractions that would cost a lot of money. If your target market falls into the A/B market, then you can include one-of-a-kind and exclusive attractions, since this market probably will not mind splurging on their New York City tour. 

  • Include “Stop Words”

Don’t forget to also include “stop words” to craft organic keyword-rich content. As an example, let’s assume that our additional keywords for the example above would be “travel agency New York City.” Inserting it directly may seem forced or unnatural. 

Adding the stop word “in” to your keyword phrase makes it more fluid and easy to include in your writing: “travel agency in New York City.” This is an easy way to add SEO keywords seamlessly without jarring your readers. 

  • Leverage SEO Keywords in Headings (H1s, H2s, H3s, etc)

Headings are vital for content organization, both visually and for SEO. They help readers navigate your content. From an SEO perspective, they serve as signals to Google about content hierarchy and keyword importance. The more content you have, the more headings are required. Therefore, longer content often ranks better than shorter pieces.

Differentiate between heading levels, starting with a single H1 for your article’s main title. For H2 headings, where you can place essential keywords, anticipate about 3-5 for a 1,000-word article. Reserve H3 headings for subpoints and lists related to H2 headings. Optimize them with primary and secondary keywords to enhance their relevance to the content.

  • Incorporate SEO Keywords in the Last 200 Words

Just as the introduction sets the stage for your content, the conclusion, particularly the last 200 words, plays a pivotal role in keyword rankings. Think of it as the grand finale that reinforces the overall theme of your article.

In these closing paragraphs, you should aim to reiterate your primary keyword. This helps to signal to both readers and search engines that your content consistently delivers on its intended topic.

Moreover, if there’s an opportunity to seamlessly introduce a secondary keyword, don’t hesitate to do so. While it’s important to maintain a natural flow and readability, strategically placing these keywords in the conclusion can further solidify the relevance of your content.

By doing this, you increase the likelihood that both your target audience and search engine algorithms will find and appreciate your article.

Conclusion: Best Practices Content SEO = Better Ranking

Adding SEO keywords naturally to your content is one of the best practices in content SEO that you should always be mindful of. By using keywords strategically in your article title, introduction, headings, middle, and conclusion, you can create content that is both reader-friendly and search engine-optimized.

There are other ways of adding content SEO keywords, which we will tackle in Part 2 of this article.

Always keep in mind that your primary goal should be to provide high-quality content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your readers, not just to achieve high rankings on search engines. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can use keywords to enhance your article and attract more organic traffic to your website.