Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on May 12th, 2010

Drupal SEO Best Practices for Using Keywords in Blog Posts

According to the PEW Research Center’s July 22, 2008 study on blogging and blog readership, 33% of all internet users read blogs, while 12% of all internet users “create or work on their own online journal or blog.”

That’s quite a large potential audience pool. It’s also a crowded room of opinions, commentary, and verbal wizardry. So how can you give your blog an edge and get it found by all those blog-hungry internet browsers?! Why search engine optimization my friends!

Volacci blogs almost daily. And with our website built a la Drupal, we use Drupal SEO best practices to optimize each and every blog post. One of the biggest keys (wink) to optimizing a blog post is properly using keywords strategically throughout the copy as well as in Drupal’s admin screen.

Please join me after the jump for a quick review on how to use keywords in blog posts using Drupal SEO best practices.

1. Blog Headline

One of the first nuggets of content a search engine spider digests when they happen upon your blog post is its headline. Be sure to use your keywords in the headline of your blog. In the case of this blog post, we are targeting “Drupal SEO”. In your Drupal admin screen, it will look like this:

This is what the reader sees once you have published the post:

It is not absolutely crucial that the keyword or phrase come at the very beginning of the headline, but it certainly helps. In our case, we were able to use the key phrase first and still make it flow well for both the reader and the spiders.

2. Page Title

The page title is the copy that appears at the top of your browser, just above the URL address box. This is also a very valuable nugget of content for spiders to digest, as it a chance to further understand what the piece of content is about. For best practices, use your keyword or phrase at the very beginning of this phrase.

Here is what human traffic will see:

Black SEO practices stuff the page title with the keyword or phrase over and over again. Only use the phrase once, in the beginning, followed by a variation of your headline.

3. Category

This is your chance to “tag” the content for certain subjects or keywords. Use your keywords, phrases, and slight variations of both to make sure you are correctly tagging the content for all ranking possibilities.

Only use each actual phrase once and keep your tagging down to a reasonable amount. It can appear spammy if you have 50 tags that are overly repetitive. It is also important to make sure that all your categories are relevant to your content or are really mentioned in the post. You don’t want to tag “video” when your blog doesn’t have or even discuss a video in it.

4. Blog Body

Throughout the “meat” of your blog, you will want to use your keyword or phrase several times. You may have heard of keyword density (KD) and how content should have a density of 3-5%. In my experience, when you near 5% for KD, it starts to read a bit unnaturally. I tend to get that feeling Luke Skywalker gets in Empire Strikes Back when he is about to encounter a distorted version of Darth Vader in the swamps of Dagobah. But I digress.

In this example, from the blog post 5 Landing Page Optimization Tactics For Your Drupal Website, we were targeting "Landing Page Optimization" and "LPO". We were able to use "Landing Page Optimization" in the Blog Headline and as the first word in the post, and "LPO" was used four times in the introduction.

For Drupal SEO best practices, if you are writing blog posts between 200 - 400 words, use your keyword phrase in the body copy 3-5 times. Posts that have a word count longer than 400 words should obviously use the keywords more often. For every 100 words longer than 400, use the keyword at least twice.

5. Custom URLs

One my favorite features of Drupal blogs is how easy it is to customize your URL.

Click on URL path settings and you will get a get a screen like this:

Using your keyword or phrase, create a customized URL structure. I like to use the headline the blog post. You can see the unique URL I created above for this post.

You do have the option of choosing “automated alias setting” in which a URL is created for you using the title of your blog post, but you run the risk of not optimizing the URL as well as you can.

Blogging is a great way to establish your professional voice and authority on topics within the niche that you are an expert in. Blogs also provide personality and differentiation for a brand or business in the mind of readers. Do you want to engage with your potential audience or customer base? Use the Drupal SEO best practices discussed in this post for using keywords in your Drupal blog. Good luck!

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