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Keyword Use Gone Wrong: Simple Ways to Avoid Common Gimmicks

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Many of us writers labor under the misapprehension that effective SEO copywriting is a science predicated on inserting a selected keyword in an article a certain number of times no matter how clunky, ill-fitting, or unnecessary it might be. This is simply not the case. To truly optimize articles, keyword use (my selected keyword) must not be some arbitrary exercise done after the fact. Your article needs to be written with keyword insertion in mind. Doing so will improve your article’s quality, will help generate more views, and will help you hone your craft.

Don’t Call Attention to Your Keyword

Let’s look at my keyword phrase, keyword use. The fact that I’m calling attention to it is a red flag. Good SEO writing doesn’t call attention to keywords. They need to be naturally woven into your work, as if they aren’t even there. It’s much easier to do this if you think about it ahead of time.

The problem is trickier when you are dealing with some overwrought, God-forsaken keyword phrase–something like mistakes writers make when using their SEO keywords–that has only so many ways it can go. Don’t force the issue. If the keyword is a sentence, find clever ways to weave it into your narrative, perhaps through some playful repetitive construction. Do not, however, try working it into the piece with quotation marks. I see it all of the time: “Here are some tips to avoid the common problem of ‘mistakes writers make when using their SEO keywords.'” This is a clear sign that the keyword phrase wasn’t written into the piece during the creation of the article.

Keyword Use in Headings Is Acceptable Only So Many Times

But, we are writers and, as writers, should be careful when using this crutch. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. It’s not so bad once in a while, but if lazily plopping keywords into headings is the only way you use them, you might want to consider finding some new tricks.

Bad Grammar

If the keyword is not grammatically feasible, then don’t even bother. Make sure your writing makes sense above all else. My keyword for this piece, keyword use, is easy enough, but what if you claim something like keyword good use SEO write? Unless your audience consists of semi-illiterate cavemen, break up the keyword and notify your editor or program manager.

Contrived Personality

In my eyes, the most egregious mistake involving keywords is writing an intro that only serves to include your keyword without introducing the rest of your piece. There’s a common way this happens: I call it the contrived-personality technique. This is when an author gets sassy and starts writing a bunch of gibberish that’s clearly not true: “You know, I was in class the other day and was talking with my buddies and, you know, one of them asked me about keyword use. You ever get that? Keep reading!” Umm, no.

A piece will only generate as many views as its quality allows. Poor keyword use is the number-one way quality is undermined in SEO writing. By avoiding these keyword gimmicks, you will be well on your way to cultivating a loyal following that respects and admires your work.

danDaniel Vela is a die-hard sports fan, a history buff, and a music lover. He works as an editor at Skyword.

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