Balancing Keywords and Content

Balancing Keywords and Content
12 October 2009 Post Author:
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Do you want your travel writings read by others with the hopes of having your articles published by a well-known travel media outlet?

What would happen if I told you that just writing content without strategically thinking of keywords could be hurting your opportunity for those dreams to come true?

The goal of this article is to teach travel writers how to identify keyword research tools, choose the best keywords and place them in your articles.

Travel Writing Keyword Research

A keyword can be easily defined as a single word or phrase that occurs throughout an article. These keywords will summarize, at a high level, the information contained within your travel blog article. By writing an article about a week long hike through Mexico’s Copper Canyon with no specific keywords selected, you could possibly target the wrong audience. You might get people who searched for “copper” while attempting to learn more about the bronze metal when introduced to oxygen. This really wouldn’t help your blog get noticed by people who may be interested in your hiking experience.

So the question becomes “how do we find appropriate keywords to include in our writing that will target the correct audience, and maybe earn us some cash if you have monetized your travel blog?”

The answer is simple! Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. This useful tool from Google provides you with popular searched keywords based on a word or phrase you input into the tool. The issue you might run into is that the tool will provide you will hundreds of results. So how do you know the best keyword to choose?

Choosing The Right Keyword

I can’t stress enough the importance of finding a niche area to write about when it comes to travel blogs. Keywords are all about who you are trying to target with your article. Using the keyword “skiing” in your latest article would result in millions, if not billions, of similar search results. This would result in very minimal search engine traffic to your article after being indexed by the search engine. You can easily figure out that this is not a good scenario to get people to read your travel writing. Narrowing your keywords to relevant niche topics will help position your work to be read by others.

In Trisha Miller’s article “Why Travel Writers Really Need a Niche“, she perfectly summarizes that there are thousands of travel writers out there who you will be competing against. Focusing on a niche subject such as “adventure travel” instead of just “travel” will serve you best when it comes to generating traffic. The important thing to remember is that we can apply more than one keyword per article. This is where Google’s Wonder wheel tool steps in to become the best blogging research tool (in my opinion!) when it comes to choosing relevant keywords to target a potential audience.

Google’s Wonder wheel can be accessed by searching for a keyword at Google. Once the results appear, you will see an link to “Show Options” under which you will see “Wonder wheel”. Continuing with the example of using adventure travel as your niche, let’s learn some relevant keywords I might want to consider using if I was to write about my trip to Mexico’s Copper Canyon.

By searching Google’s Wonder wheel on “copper canyon mexico” I can filter down to more specific keywords, such as;
Google's Wonder Wheel

  • creel mexico
  • copper canyon mexico map
  • copper canyon mexico train
  • copper canyon mexico weather
  • chihuahua mexico
  • map of mexico
  • copper canyon mexico motorcycle
  • copper canyon mexico pictures

These are related searches for “copper canyon mexico” which I would try to include in my travel article related to this topic. You’ll see why this is important when I discuss on how to weave these keywords into the content of a blog article.

Weaving Keywords in Your Articles

When writing travel experiences, planning tips or unique stories, you are most likely going to try to use fancy descriptive words in your content to help paint images for the reader.

While I agree that using descriptive words is important from an artistic sense, there must also be a focus on weaving keywords into your content. This greatly helps your article show up higher on the list of results when individuals search for these keywords.

The toughest part is keeping your content sounding genuine as you attempt to include your chosen keywords. By using the example of Mexico’s Copper Canyon, I might include a bit of information regarding the city of Creel, Mexico being the gateway to the park and some information about the weather of the area. See how this ties back to the results from Google’s Wonder wheel? This strengthens my article’s authority in regards to Mexico’s Copper Canyon by including key information searched by others. There is one warning that must be made though. The use of the same keywords in every sentence could cause your article to be rejected by search engines as being artificial or spammy. Resist over-populating your articles with keywords as in addition to risking rejection by search engines, your work will look very phony to those reading it. This would be disastrous for any online travel writer wanting to get their work read by others.

A popular method to optimize your articles for search engines is to focus one keyword or phrase in your opening sentence. Then select three more relevant keywords that you learned about through Google’s Wonder wheel and weave them into the next few paragraphs. Just be wary of using the same keywords over and over again as your keyword density will increase, potentially triggering the search giant to flag your article as spam, which I warned about. The reason I only select four specific keywords is that there is also a risk of using too many keywords. Confusing, right? The problem with using too many keywords is that your article might appear to be too general by search engines, thus you will not find your published online work showing high in the search engines results.

It’s a tough balancing act between travel writing content and targeted keywords, but if you can successfully navigate through it, you will be rewarded with increased relevant traffic to your travel blog.

~Bryan

What are your methods on researching keywords and weaving them into your content on your travel blog? Share your thoughts!

8 Responses to “Balancing Keywords and Content”

  1. Rebecca
    Twitter:
    says:

    I use Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Google Insights for Search, and Google Trends. I’ve clicked on Options before look at Videos, Blogs, Reviews, etc…to discover keywords, but never noticed the Wonder Wheel. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Dave and Deb
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, fantastic article. I have been neglecting my keyword optimization I have to admit. But from now on I am going to focus my attention on it. I have been losing out on so many viewers I am sure! Thanks for reminding me about the Google Adwords tool. I knew about it and checked it out when I first signed up with adsense, but I haven’t used it since. What was I thinking?
    Thanks again for providing excellent advice and information. Can’t wait to write my next entry using the tool

  3. B. Cassidy
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hope you all enjoy the article. I’ll try to share some additional tips in the future if allowed! :-)

  4. Excellent article, Bryan. Thank you for the Wonder Wheel recommendation – I had never seen that before. It is amazing what focusing on keywords can do; we recently changed the title of a blog post based on keyword research and it now drives nearly 5% of our traffic from searches on some days!

  5. Corbin says:

    Very cool tip! I never knew about the wonder wheel. I always just use Google’s keyword tool, I like how this Wonder Wheel gives you some great ideas. Very insightful. Much appreciated!
    .-= Corbin´s last blog post: Save Big Bucks with Travelgrove =-.

Trackbacks & Tweetbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CostaRica.com. CostaRica.com said: RT @TravelWriting Great guest blog post today on TWE! Balancing Keywords and Content: http://bit.ly/3LQvRm [...]

  2. [...] Learn How To Balance Keywords and Content This article will greatly help any blogger (yes, that includes you travel bloggers too!) trying to reach a larger audience through balancing popular keywords for search engine optimization. I for one wish that travel blogging only required you to type out your travel stories without having to worry about search engines selecting your article for specific keywords. Dave and Deb – “Thanks again for providing excellent advice and information…” Jennifer – “Excellent article, Bryan. Thank you for the Wonder Wheel recommendation…” Share this post with others!                             0 Comments [...]

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