Web developers have been using SEO principles for years, but only recently has it been given the acronym SEO  (Search Engine Optimization.) The premise is simple: ensure that articles, blogs or posts - yes, posts appear in search engines (under the nick you use on that site) too -  are highly ranked on search engines. For writers, applying SEO practices is not difficult as long as they know about keywords and (for articles and blogs only) the basics of HTML, both of which will be covered here. 

What does "high rank on a search engine" mean?

A link to your article is on the first page of results displayed on a search engine.

What are "keywords or terms?"

The most popular words or terms used to search for an article, blog, or post. Take an article written on the latest and greatest hot tub features for medical use. Users will search for 'hot tub,' of course: they'll receive thousands of pages, though. They need to narrow their search, depending on their particular need. 'hot tub arthritis' or 'hot tub lower back pain' will do the trick: they could even try 'hot tub features for arthritis.' Any of those, when typed into Google or Yahoo, should lead to your article if you've implemented SEO practices correctly.

Why are keywords so important?

That's the way almost everyone searches. If your page isn't linked on that first page, forget it: the consumer is gone, looking elsewhere. Appearing near the top of search engine results is why SEO utilization has become so important.

How many keywords should I use in my article?

According to Google SEO Starter Guidelines, keyword density should not exceed 3-5% of the total number of words. (We used those word counts as they are the mostly used in the industry. If your article is longer/shorter, use common sense.)

Where do I put these keywords? Do I use the same one throughout?

  1. title
  2. sub-headers (Heading 1, 2, 3...)
  3. first paragraph
  4. closing
  5. picture names (alt tags too - discussed under HTML keywords)
  6. link text

Yes it's that simple. As for using the same ones, that would limit the people who want to read your piece strictly to arthritic, for example, if you only used 'arthritis': people with lower back pain would never know your piece exists. Use several different keywords, within the overall limits of course.


For those of you who submit in HTML, there are further steps to take. Those we will cover in Part 2.