How to use keywords – Now that you analyzed the keywords, you can start thinking about how to use them within your content. Many keyword research guides end at this point. You’ve found the keyword. You picked the ones with the best metrics.
The question is: What to do next? How to use keywords
In this chapter, we’ll take a look at some useful principles and tips on how to use the keywords properly. They’re closely connected to on-page optimization and content strategy, but very relevant to keyword research too.
Think of keywords as topics (the content hub model)
Instead of organizing the articles into artificial categories (or, even worse, having no structure at all) organize them by topics divided into content hubs (sometimes also called topic clusters).
Here is a scheme of a typical content hub model:
There are two main types of content in the content hub model:
- Pillar content – the main post or page broadly covering the topic – targeting broader keywords
- Cluster content – supporting blog posts explaining the subtopics in detail – targeting more specific keywords
The pillar content and supporting cluster articles are interlinked in a way depicted in the scheme above.
The topic clusters strengthen the semantic relationship between the articles. As a result, it can help search engines to better evaluate the topical relevance of the posts.
That’s the theory, let’s take a look at a specific example: How to use keywords
If one of the content hubs on your blog about running focuses on jogging, the keywords and content titles may look like this:
Focus keyword and pillar article title:
jogging (Jogging: All You Need to Know)
Focus keywords and titles of possible cluster articles:
- jogging types (What Are the Basic Types of Jogging for Beginners?)
- jogging mistakes (The Worst Jogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them)
- jogging benefits (7 Incredible Health Benefits of Jogging)
- treadmill jogging (15 Tips for Treadmill Jogging at Home)
- best jogging shoes (How to Find the Best Jogging Shoes + Reviews
If you take keywords as separate content topics, it makes you think about the natural relationships between them.
You’ll understand that keyword research is not only about search volumes and difficulties. First of all, it should help you understand the way people search and think on the internet.
This helps you to create content that covers the topic thoroughly and satisfies users’ needs.
Use the focus keyword (when relevant)
Once you selected the focus keyword for your page, use it on the page in the key elements.
Don’t overuse the keyword. The best practice is to use the exact-match keyword in:
- The title tag
- The heading of the page (and subheadings, if relevant)
- The body of the page (ideally in one of the first paragraphs of the text)
- Anchor texts of internal links pointing to the page
Everyone knows that keyword stuffing is an outdated technique.
Do not try to stuff the exact match keyword into the post to meet certain keyword density (there is no ideal number and never was).
Tip: Some SEO plugins (such as Yoast SEO) suggest the optimal keyword density. Take it as a clue, but never forget about the user experience.
If your focus keyword is “social media scheduling for agencies”, it would look unnatural to use it 5 times in a 1000-word article. Always consider the length of the keyword too.