As a writer in this SEO-crazy world, I often find myself working with keywords. I’m asked to work specific, targeted keywords into blog entries, Meta tags, web content and online articles for clients, in order to give their search engine rankings a boost and bring in more traffic. And let me tell you: it works.
Unfortunately, many keywords aren’t terms or phrases you’d normally use in conversation. This makes it pretty difficult to write a great, thought-provoking blog or piece of content without sounds spammy. Cramming keywords like “air conditioning repair Houston Texas” into a blog entry called “Choosing the Right AC Repair Provider” can prove to be pretty difficult, and the end result often needs some finessing before it’s ready for public consumption.

I’ve been working with SEO content and keywords for about 5 years now. And while it was certainly more difficult in the beginning, there are still days where I find it challenging to integrate certain keywords or phrases in seamlessly, without them standing out like a sore thumb. Over the years, though, I’ve picked up a few tips and shortcuts that can help when I’m facing a troublesome keyword or topic. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Get creative – Sometimes you can’t use a keyword in its entirety without sounding inauthentic. In cases like this, it often helps to break up the term with commas, periods or other punctuation marks, and use half of it in the next sentence. Here’s an example: let’s say the keyword is “San Antonio dog walkers.” While it may be hard to work the phrase in on its own, you could instead break it up, and do something like “For pet owners in San Antonio, dog walkers can be hard to come by.” By incorporating the comma, you’ve made the keyword inclusion sound much more natural.
Keep it short – If you’ve got a keyword that’s particularly difficult, make your article or piece of content shorter. The shorter it is, the less number of times you need to use a keyword in order for it to be effective (from an SEO standpoint). While you’d only use it about 3 times in an article of 300-350 words, for a 500-word one, you’d need to include it an additional 2 more times. That can prove problematic for really hard or long keywords that sound awkward on their own.

Do research – Use Google’s blog search tool, and look for other blog entries and articles that may have used your keywords. While they may not be the same topics or titles you’re writing to, they can at least give you some inspiration on how to integrate your keyword in a seamless and unnoticeable way.
In general, you want your keyword inclusion to be as subtle as possible. A reader shouldn’t be able to notice which keywords you’re using. If they can, it’s most likely going to turn them off to your content and, ultimately, your business. But, when done right, keywords can make a significant impact on your site’s performance, upping your SEO rankings, increasing your traffic and giving you more customer leads. It’s definitely an effort worth trying.

Want more info on integrating keywords in your web content? Post your questions here! I’d be happy to answer them!

Author Info

Brad Parnell
Founder & CEO

Brad is the Founder & CEO of Steadfast Creative, leading the team in exploring new ways to solve creative problems and bringing direction and vision for the company. His passion is building relationships, providing solutions and empowering his team to send new ideas out into the world. With over 10 years of agency experience serving local and national brands, he is focused on results for his clients and team. Outside of  work, Brad serves on the board of directors at his local Chamber of Commerce and loves giving back to the community and spending time with his wife and kids.