Through various web writing projects, keyword basics have been drilled into me. It didn’t come naturally and it still requires some effort, but keywords are essential for writing a good article for the web. Here’s why keywords are the foundation of web writing.

What Are Keyword Phrases?

Your keyword phrases should describe the main theme or idea of your article. They should reflect exactly what a person would type into Google if they were looking for the information in your article.

For example: If you wrote an article about getting help for drug addiction, then include keywords such as “drug rehab”, “drug treatment” and “addiction treatment”.

It’s very important to try and include your main keywords in the title, subheads, bulleted lists and beginnings of paragraphs. 

How Do Keywords Work?

Google determines the topic of an article on the web by detecting the keywords used and then indexes the article accordingly. When a user enters a search term, Google searches its database of articles and brings up a list of results that best match what the user has searched for. Here are two ways to increase your chances of being found on the web:

Be specific in your keyword choice. Google wants to give the reader the pages that are most relevant to their search. Use “family budget planner” instead of just “budget” as this general term will bring up anything from budget insurance to the 2010 SA budget speech. Google Ad Words will help you to find the most popular keywords for your article topic.

Use your main keywords as anchor text for a link. Using the example above, if you’re writing an article on family budget planning, you can use the main keyword, “family budget planner”, as anchor text for a link to a budget planner template.

The Benefits of Using Keywords

1. To attract search engines and readers to your articles and increase page views. Many websites use website stats to prove to potential advertisers that people are visiting their website.

2. To make money. Google Adsense will choose relevant ads to be shown next to your articles. These ads will be determined by the keywords you use in your article and the more people who click on the ads next to your article, the more money you stand to make.

While using keywords is an essential tool for web writing, there is also the risk of using too many. Unnatural keyword stuffing to increase page views can be detected by Google and instead of moving you to the top of the results list it can result in you being bumped to page 20 instead! Although it differs from website to website, an average keyword density is between 3-5%. Use keywords wisely to increase traffic to your site and earn money.

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About the Author

Tessa Wrench is a student on the Writing for the Web Course at SA Writers’ College. She wrote this article as a final project.