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SEO Article Writing: Using Keywords Correctly In Your Articles
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You have a list of keywords--now what?

You have a list of keywords--now what?

Using your keywords correctly in your articles can be a very effective SEO article writing strategy for gaining increased attention from search engines, which in turn will affect your search engine ranking for your keywords and bring more traffic to your website.

Sounds all well and good, doesn’t it?

Just use keywords in your articles and get even more traffic, right?

Actually, there’s a little bit more to it than that.

If you do not use your keywords correctly in your articles, keyword use can very quickly turn into keyword abuse, which is not at all good for your website!

We’ve talked about keywords in the past (see the keyword resource at the bottom of this post), but I’d like to really get down to basics and tell you exactly how to use your keywords correctly in your articles.

So you have a list of keywords. Now what?

This would be a list that you have researched. It should include basic keyword phrases that are 2-3 words long, and some longer keyword phrases (long tail keywords) which are 3-5 words long.

This list may include about 20-30 keyword phrases.

For example, if your website was all about green tea, your list might look like this:

green tea
green tea benefits
green tea extract
benefits of green tea
green tea weight loss
green tea diet
does green tea contain caffeine
benefits of green tea for dieting

And so on…you get the idea.

Now, how in the world are you supposed to use those keywords in your article marketing campaign?

Let’s go through this step by step…

General Instructions

1 – Decide how many articles you’ll submit each month. If you’re submitting through, we recommend 8 articles per month per website (although there is actually no limitation on the number of articles you can submit with us).

I must say that consistency with submissions is the #1 factor in a successful article campaign, whether you are targeting keywords or not.

This means if someone knows nothing about keywords, but they submit articles consistently on their topic month in and month out, they will likely see pleasing results. But, if you are targeting keyword terms and are not consistent in your submissions, then you will not see the results you are looking for.

The reason to use keywords is to bolster the effects of your consistent article submissions.

Consistency is the key. Being very strategic and using keywords cannot take the place of consistently submitting articles over the long term.

2 – It’s also a good idea to use a word count–that will help you as your write your articles. For myself I generally try to stick to somewhere between 500-800 words.

Organize Your List

Sounds boring, huh? Or overly methodical? No way.

Trust me– this is simple and will help you use your keywords in a systematic way. You can do this on a spreadsheet or real paper.

Column 1: List the keyword phrases.

Column 2: Brainstorm article titles based on each keyword phrase. Try to put your keyword phrases at the beginning of the title if at all possible. (More on brainstorming keyword-rich article titles below.)

Column 3: Enter the URL of the originally published article. Obviously you will only be able to enter this data after you have written and submitted the article. If you are a member of, you can just use the URL or article ID of your article as it appears on our own article directory. The purpose of this is to keep a log of which keywords you’ve already addressed in your articles.

How To Brainstorm Keyword-Rich Article Titles

Using the green tea website as an example, here are a few titles based off of the keywords listed at the beginning of this post:

Green Tea Benefits: 10 Healthy Reasons to Drink Green Tea
5 Green Tea Weight Loss Tricks
Green Tea Diet: 7 Steps To A Healthier You!
Does Green Tea Contain Caffeine?

Some of the longer keyword phrases sort of write their own titles, and the some of the shorter ones are very appropriate for putting at the beginning of the titles (green tea benefits, green tea diet, etc). Others are more at home in the center of the title, and that is okay.

The very biggest goal is to have the title sound natural and make sense. And remember, for any title you create, there must also be an article to go along with it!

So, if you don’t think that you have enough information to do a whole article on the topic of  “Does green tea contain caffeine?”, then that would not be a good title for you. Your article needs to deliver on what the title promises, so keep that in mind as you’re coming up with your titles.

How To Use Keywords In Your Articles

After you’ve got your keyword list/spreadsheet set up with a list of your keywords and suggested titles, it’s time to move on to selecting a topic and writing.

Part 1:

Try to incorporate one of your basic keyword phrases into a couple of article titles each month – the selected keyword should then be repeated within the first paragraph of the article, and also the ‘keywords’ field on the article submission site.

So for example, on a particular month, one article title might start with ‘Green Tea Benefits:’ and one might start with ‘Green Tea:’.

This will allow you some freedom in writing articles–you do not have to write all of your articles off of your article title list.

If an impromptu topic comes to mind on your subject, you can write your article, write your title, and try to include a very basic and general key phrases from your research in your title and your opening paragraph.

Part 2:

For the remaining six articles per month, use the list or spreadsheet you set up with your keyword research and keyword-rich article titles.

Aim to use 2 or 3 of the suggested titles each month. Remember, that title determines what you will write about in your article.

Try to include the keyword phrase that you are targeting in your title in your first paragraph. So, if your title is “5 Green Tea Weight Loss Tricks”, then the words that you will try to repeat in your first paragraph are “green tea weight loss”.

It goes without saying that the use of keywords in your article should appear natural and not just like you are peppering your article with certain words. If for the life of you, you can’t make the key phrase fit in the first paragraph, then do not force it. Put the phrase where it will go logically and naturally in your article.

Once you’ve submitted the article, enter the article ID or article URL in your list/spreadsheet. This is just helping you keep track of where you are in your list.

Do all of my articles need to be written using the keywords list?

If you like you can make all of your articles be off the keyword list, but in the plan I’ve outlined you will have somewhere between 4 and 5 articles that are targeting keywords. The remaining 3-4 articles are simply written on your topic, without worrying about what keywords you’re using.

I do this because it makes the writing process easier and allows me to cover specific topics that would be useful to my readers, but do not necessarily fall under any of my keywords.

After I’ve gone through my list, then what?

After you’ve written an article for every one of your keywords using the method above, take your keyword list again and brainstorm new article titles to go with each keyword phrase. You can go through your list several times in this way, each time covering a different aspect of your overall topic. This is a great way to create blanket coverage for all facets of your niche.

Every few months you will want to refresh your keywords list.

Resource Boxes

The resource box is another great place to include your keywords. You do not need to use the same keyword in your resource box as you were targeting in the title and article; in fact, it’s a good idea to use a different key phrase. (See the “further info” at the end of this post for more specifics on this.)

Also, do not use the same keywords for each resource box–switch it up.

At, use the resource box manager to create a resource box for each of 6 keyword terms that you want to target in your resource boxes. You might want these to be your competitive terms (the ones that have a high demand in search engines and high supply). High demand + High supply = competition.

  • 2 articles use the ‘Keyword A’ resource box

  • 2 articles use the ‘Keyword B’ resource box

  • 1 article uses the ‘Keyword C’ resource box

  • 1 article uses the ‘Keyword D’ resource box

  • 1 article uses the ‘Keyword E’ resource box

  • 1 article uses the ‘Keyword F’ resource box

Some Cautions

Using keywords in your articles is a great strategy, but only if you do it correctly. I see a lot of articles come past my desk, so I just want to give you a head’s up on some things to AVOID doing.

Do not try too hard to follow a specific formula. There is a delicate balance–yes, you know what your keywords are, but you want to optimize your article in a natural sounding way. Your article should sound natural to a human reader. If you will keep these tips in mind and for the rest of the article simply write naturally, most likely your keywords will pop up in natural spots in the article.

Do not try to list your keywords in your article. Keywords should always be naturally worked into the article. They should not stand apart in list form. This looks unnatural, and it’s pretty obvious what the author is up to. Â I’ve seen articles where the first “paragraph” (if you can call it that!) is just a keyword phrase, and then the next “paragraph” is another keyword phrase, and then not until after these keyword phrases had been listed at the top of the article did the actual article start. That is a no-no :) . Work your keywords into your article body.

If you cannot fit your key phrase into a sentence in a grammatically correct way, then do not use it. Or if you have a key phrase that includes a misspelling or a grammatical error, do not use it. Â It is more important that your article be high quality (free of grammar and spelling errors). Spelling and grammar errors can get your article declined by publishers.

Do not only put a keyword phrase in your resource box. Remember, the resource box should include bio info, info about your site and services, a reason to click through to your site, and your site URL.

Do not target the same keyword phrase every time in your HTML resource box. Mix it up, as per the instructions above regarding resource boxes. This makes it look more natural to search engines.

Further info: I just wanted to add some further info on targeting keywords in your articles and resource boxes:

Targeting different types of keywords in articles and resource boxes

There is a big difference between the keywords you choose to focus on in your article, and the keywords you choose to use in linking back to your website.

For the former (the keywords you use in your articles), you’re looking at more longer tail keyword phrases (phrases that are 3-5 words or so long) where the competition is low and so you have a good chance of the article showing up high in the search engines (SEs) for the long tail keyword phrase that you’re focusing on. So this is really in addition to the main keyword phrases for which you want your website to rank highly, and you’re trying to get traffic through people finding the article, reading it and clicking through.

For the latter (the keywords you use as anchor text in your resource box), this is about your long-term strategy regarding which main keyword phrases you want your website to rank well for in the SEs, and has less to do with the article itself. By linking back to your site, you’re telling Google what your site is about (not the article itself), and you’re trying to get traffic through an increased ranking on Google for your site under your main keyword phrase(s).

The significance of that link is also increased by the context in which it is found – i.e. you’re writing about your niche in the article, and then linking to a site that is within the same niche. This is a more significant link than say if the article was about dog training, and then you linked to a site in the resource box that was about cooking fish. The link would be out of context, and not make a lot of sense to Google.

Does this help you at all?

I hope so!

Related Resource:

SEO Article Writing 101 (scroll down and see the section on keywords)

Photo by ul Marga

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20 Responses to “SEO Article Writing: Using Keywords Correctly In Your Articles”

  1. Thanks this helped me a ton. I am starting to write articles for my campaign and found your site. Have a good one.

  2. Mark Clayson says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I want to express my admiration of your writing skill and ability to make reader to read the while thing to the end. I would like to read more of your blogs and to share my thoughts with you.

  3. Andrea says:

    Very helpful article! I know the topic of keyword stuffing comes up a lot and there may not be an easy answer to this, but can you provide a guideline as to how many times to repeat a keyword within a 500 word article?


  4. Dan says:

    I’ve been getting your article information for some time now. One thing I like about your information is that it’s easy to understand and follow.

    The worst thing I hate is when someone talk about a subject and expects everyone to automatically understand it at their level.

    Your article are different from the rest because
    even a new bee article writer like me can understand what you saying.

    Now that I’m about to launch a new website, your article information has become a great asset to me.

  5. Dan says:

    I saw an interesting approach that had gained an article a PR rank of 3 on its own.
    Using your Green Tea example, when the writer was listing the top 5 benefits he would use the phrase Green Tea Benefit 1 … Green Tea benefit 2… as headings for his bullet point list.
    It seemed to be working for the writer. Any thoughts?

  6. Jash says:

    Great post, what keyword density for the article body would you recommennd?

  7. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Jash–

    Two to three percent keyword density is good to shoot for in the article. Going higher than that can get your article declined at some publishers.

    I hope that helps!

  8. Wow! What an informative article. It came at a time when I was wondering how to use keywords properly.
    Thank you, thank you!

  9. alicia says:

    Thank you for your information. This is good stuff.

  10. Great advice. I was wondering, would it not be better to spread your keywords a few times throughout your article?

    Maybe once in the opening paragraph, once about half way down an again at the bottom.

    Adrian Key
    editor of the AdWords Adviser, making AdWords more profitable for you

  11. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Adrian,

    Yes, it’s fine to have the same keywords used elsewhere in the article i.e. spreading them out, the key is not to go over the density level, and it depends on both how long your article is as and how many words are in the keyword phrase to how many repetitions of it you can get away with. They’ll be more significant the higher up the page they are, hence a good idea to include in the title and then the first paragraph, and then say in the final paragraph, and possibly somewhere in the middle. But it’s really just doing it naturally and almost not trying too hard by trying to follow a specific formula.

  12. Michael says:


    I have been a member now at SYA now for about 4 months…I think. Have submitted about 10 articles and have a total views on your directory alone of about 1900. I have used about 2% as you advice in the article above. It’s a great method. Here’s to more articles with proper use of keywords. Thanks

  13. Wayne Weeks says:

    I have been writing articles for s some time now, but just recently started paying attention to keywords. I am lookinf froward to seeing the impact on traffic. Your article filled in some important missing information. Thanks for that!

  14. Chuck says:

    Very good article. Many expect their website to bring in lots of people without doing something to make people to be able to find it.

  15. AL Edwards says:

    Thanks Steve,
    This info couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was just about to create some more articles on my niche and was just debating about the volume of keywords to use and now that you’ve explained it’s solved my problem.

  16. Mike Massen says:

    I am very suprised at the number of hits i am getting to my articles – really getting in to the whole article marketing thing. Found the emails very helpful, thanks. Mike

  17. I wanted to jot down a note in order to express gratitude to you for some of the stunning points you are showing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has finally been recognized with reliable facts and strategies to write about with my colleagues. I would claim that most of us readers are very much fortunate to be in a really good network with very many marvellous professionals with very helpful suggestions. I feel rather privileged to have encountered your site and look forward to tons of more fabulous minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  18. Steve Shaw says:

    Thank you–glad you’re getting good use out of the information here! :)

  19. Very nice information. I suggest you that don’t use too much links in resource box. Maximum two links are sufficient, What you say..???

  20. Steve Shaw says:

    Yes, two links maximum would be generally recommended, others publishers won’t want to publish your article, which is after all the whole idea.

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