How to Maximize Keywords in Your “How to” Articles

Optimizing your “how to” article for SEO starts with effectively using keywords. After all, these are the words that both your readers and search engines will use to …

Optimizing your “how to” article for SEO starts with effectively using keywords. After all, these are the words that both your readers and search engines will use to determine what your article is about. Spending a few minutes of time being deliberate about keyword selection can pay huge dividends. These articles are assets, and once you’ve invested the time to create them, they continue to pay rewards for as long as they remain on the web. Your selection of keywords will play a crucial role in determining how great those rewards will be.

Do keyword research
Keyword research will help you determine which terms are most frequently searched with regard to your topic. Start by thinking of what you would search for if you wanted to learn about your topic. Use keyword research tools (see the tip below for more information) to determine other search terms that relate to your topic and how frequently they are searched. For example, starting with “real estate investing” will reveal an incredible number of additional search terms, including “real estate investment,” “investing in real estate,” “investing in property” and more. You may be surprised to learn that the search term you initially used may not be the most popular way to search for that topic. In our example, “real estate investment” is searched more frequently than “real estate investing.”
Tip: There are several free keyword tools you can do to perform search term analysis, such as Google’s Keyword Tool and SEO Book’s Keyword Suggestion Tool. If you are serious about keyword analysis, check out WordTracker or Keyword Discovery.
Pick your top three
Select the three most relevant search terms that you want to target from your list of keywords, and then establish the relative importance of each. You should consider several factors including competition for the search phrase, number of searches, and relation to your topic. For example, in an article about general real estate investing, your top search phrase could be “real estate investment,” followed by “real estate investing” and then “investing in real estate.”
Tip: The most highly searched phrases and keywords may not be the best ones to target. Ask yourself which search terms will bring you the audience most interested in your content. It is often easier to get ranked highly for the less frequently searched terms.
Craft your title
Your title should include your most important search phrase. For example, in your article about general real estate investing, your title could be: “How to Master Real Estate Investment.” The key phrase in your title is the most important piece of information that you control to tell the search engines what your article is about. You may need to adjust your title in order for your article to make sense. For example, your real estate investing article may be more aptly titled: “How to Invest in Real Estate.
Tip: You can often use a subhead to tie in an additional key phrase, especially if your most important search term does not sound good in the title. For example, your article “How to Invest in Real Estate” could have a subhead that reads “Real Estate Investment Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult.”
Sprinkle the body
Now it’s time to craft the rest of your article. It is a good idea to put your most important search term in the first sentence of your article. As for your other two search terms, use them a few times within the body of your article (along with your most important term) where appropriate. If you do this properly, your article will read well and get positive results from search engines.
Tip: Using keywords and search phrases too often can hurt your article’s credibility, so don’t stuff keywords and search terms where they don’t belong. If the search terms are noticeably repetitive to someone reading your article, you will likely turn off both that reader and the search engines. .
Keyword your website link
Let’s not forget one of the big reasons you wanted to create a “how to” article in the first place: you wanted to drive some valuable link juice back to your website. Your bio is a great place to put this link. Don’t neglect to keyword that link to the terms for which you want your website to rank. Now that you know how to perform keyword research and select your key search terms, you can start to optimize the content and inbound links to your own website.
Tip: You don’t have to use the same search term or link to the same page in every “how to” article. In fact, you’ll likely get better results by focusing on the search term and website page that is most relevant to the topic of your “how to” article.


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Jeremy Ames is the executive editor and CEO of NuWire, Inc. NuWire, through, provides news and information on real estate investment and other forms of alternative investing. Mr. Ames has built a career around service based businesses for investors. In addition to founding NuWire, Inc., he has also co-founded an investment focused real estate brokerage and a financial services firm specializing in self-directed investing (Guidant Financial Group, Inc.). In 2007, he received recognition as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Young Entrepreneur of the Year.



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