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Ok you guys must’ve caught on by now. Wednesdays are when I completely ignore that this is supposed to be a finance blog and share some blogging tips. Since a lot of us are making money with our blogs, I guess it ties in a bit.

Mostly though I just want to give back to the extremely supportive finance blogging community.

Here are some blogging tips topics covered recently:

This is the 3rd part to my blog keyword research series. In the first part I covered the basics of using the Google AdWords keyword tool to find keywords. In the 2nd part I gave some tips on how to effectively use keywords on your blog.

Advanced Keyword Strategies

In this 3rd installment, I’ll provide some more advanced strategies of how you can use keywords to your advantage on your blog. There is more to keywords than just choosing good target keywords and using them in your posts.

If you want to get the most out of keywords you really need to be taking things to the next level. There are countless webpages that could be relevant for your target keyword phrase. So how do you go about showing search engines that you page should be considered most relevant?

Offpage Keyword Strategy

Rather than drawing things out, I’ll jump right into the most important part. For a long time, SEO has largely been a popularity contest. The websites with the best links and/or the most links are assumed to be the best resources.

First there is the overall backlink strength of your entire domain. All of the links you get to all of your blog’s pages snowballs to form your domain’s overall link profile. A strong domain link profile can get a lot of your other pages ranked well just from your internal links.

For more competitive keywords it usually takes more than just internal links. This is where it is important to get external links pointing to all of your important pages.

If your page keyword optimization is solid, any kind of links well help it rank better. To rank well though you’ll want to get links that have your target keyword in the link anchor text. If those links happen to come from pages that are relevant for your target keyword, the links are worth even more.

In a future blogging tips post I will discuss some strategies to go about getting these extremely important links. For now though I need a head-start on the competition 😉

Internal Keyword Linking

As mentioned above, internal links can be quite useful for getting some links to your important pages. For some keywords it is all that is necessary to rank well.

For your especially important pages, it is a good idea to link to them from within your sidebar, header or footer. That way those pages have links from all of your pages. The problem with this is that it is believed that Google discounts links that appear to be part of the main navigation.

So to take it a step further, link to those pages from within the content of your posts. When links are surrounded by text it is called an ‘in-content link’. These links are believed to carry more weight.

For interlinking within post content there are WordPress plugins to help automate this. This ensures that internal links are added without having to remember each time you write a post. I prefer to include internal links manually so that I can use a more natural variety of link anchor text.

Either way, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of internal linking since it is the easiest links you can get.

Using Secondary Target Keywords

For some topics you will be pretty limited in which keywords make sense to target. For other topics there might be a wide range of keywords that you could target. Obviously you can’t use all of those keywords in the important locations of your post.

In some cases you can still effectively target several different keywords with one page. The key is that the phrases are similar enough that they have overlapping words or have different forms of one of the words. For example, with this post I mixed in the phrase ‘keyword strategy‘ and ‘keyword strategies‘. And yes I made those bold font just to reinforce to search engines that those are the important keywords for this page.

The trick is that you use the other variations of your target keyword phrase in some important places in your post. Just don’t get carried away trying to fit in a whole bunch of different keyword phrases. If lots of long tail keyword phrases do show up in the Google AdWords keyword tool, you could still mix those into the main content. Don’t sacrifice post quality when doing this.

If your page builds up enough backlink strength, it becomes much easier to rank well for those secondary keyword phrases. It is sometimes as simple as getting some extra backlinks that use those secondary keywords as link anchor text.

This is where it is very helpful to target long tail keywords as your main target keywords. Then there are naturally shorter secondary keywords that you have already optimized for.

Checking Competitor Keyword Strategy

When you are initially choosing a target keyword phrase for your important pages, it is a good idea to check what approach your competitors are taking.

Try doing a Google search for the keyword you are considering targeting. If you know what to look for you can usually tell right away whether it might be very competitive. From the 1st page results, look at how many use that phrase in their title, excerpt, url and sometimes even domain name.

If someone has built an entire domain around a specific keyword phrase there is a good chance it is a competitive keyword. If they’ve done much marketing, their homepage should have more links than most individual pages they are competing against.

If lots of pages are using that exact phrase in their page titles, again it is a sign that it is fairly competitive. Ideally the 1st page results are mostly targeting other variations of the keyword you want to target.

You might also want to take into consideration the overall domain strength of the sites that are ranked well. Sometimes you will just recognize the site name and know it must be quite strong. In other cases you can visit the site to see what their PageRank is. Obviously you’d be better off competing against some PR3 sites instead of PR5-6 sites.

Anyways enough keyword strategy tips. Arming the competition might not be the smartest move 😛

I was going to announce the winners for my 6 month blog anniversary contest today. With the amount of social shares, I’m going to wait until Friday instead. That way I can give another thanks to the co-sponsors. Also they have a bit more time to get the prizes to the winners. If you haven’t been contacted yet, sorry to say, you probably didn’t win. Thanks for everyone that entered though.

Does anyone else have any keyword strategies that you employ? Are any of you using a plugin that automates internal linking? Did I share anything that wasn’t already obvious?

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