Support » Plugin: Yoast SEO » Struggling with Choosing Focus Keyword/phrase

  • I am struggling with focus keyword/phrase. I think part of this is simply because my background is as a literary writer.
    Where does overall site focus–site keyword/phrase–fit into this?
    Some of my post ideas come from my forum. I have coined some terms and since these are more specific to my work–or used within that context–those words don’t seem good fits for keyword/phrase and yet often times those are the main topic idea.
    In addition, how does it work with a series about a main idea–where does that series keyword/idea/phrase come in?
    Example: I’m in the middle of a series about Paving the Way. It is a term I’ve used for years and those already on my site are familiar with it–I decided to write the series to clarify what it means after I read forum posts about Paving the Way that showed confusion.
    But that doesn’t help those who have not been to my site understand the context in which I am using the term–that context being the topic of the entire site.
    It seems as though the main topic of a post may not be the keyphrase, but how do we use that main topic for SEO–or do we?
    Another Example
    I have a series about Boundaries. Boundaries as a keyword is way too broad, so using it in a phrase makes sense, but how do I do this naturally. It feels awkward to me–whereas Paving the Way as a phrase works because each word needs the other for the full idea.
    Even focusing on “Setting Boundaries” is too broad. Setting boundaries in what context–my site is a tight niche, so not boundaries with children or coworkers…
    If my site were about parent-child relationships, Setting Boundaries with your children” would make sense, but my site is about midlife crisis in marriage with infidelity with an emphasis on helping those who want to reconcile–too much there for a focus phrase.
    As you can see, I think I’m lost!

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • I suggest you focus more on the interested reader of what you provide. You want your writing to appear for those who are actively seeking information you provide.

    What terms will they be using with their search queries that actually match up with your content?

    Your focus keyword/phrase, words used in page titles, meta title, meta description, URL, headings, words used in first sentences of first paragraph, words used in image alt text, words used in image file names do have to relate to what you are writing about – so you can’t stack them or more importantly don’t let it appear you are stacking them.

    Your last paragraph is full of words you can use in the areas I indicated above.

    “but my site is about midlife crisis in marriage with infidelity with an emphasis on helping those who want to reconcile”

    midlife crisis in marriage
    infidelity
    reconcile after infidelity
    infidelity and reconciliation
    infidelity in marriage
    repair relationships
    marriage problems
    repair marriage
    help my marriage

    Each post or page you write will have a central theme/subject and words that identify that should be used within focus keyword/phrase, words used in page titles, meta title, meta description, URL, headings, words used in first sentences of first paragraph, words used in image alt text, words used in image file names.

    Thread Starter Rollercoasterider

    (@rollercoasterider)

    I suggest you focus more on the interested reader of what you provide.

    What does this mean–of course the focus is on the interested reader. One challenge is that some interested readers are new–those searching key phrases–and others are my regular audience who are already familiar with my work.
    I guess they are more likely to read it anyway, so is the idea to write more for those who have not yet found me, but are searching?
    Some of my posts come directly from questions and requests made by my readers.
    Yes my last paragraph is full of those keywords, so are my 11 years of articles. I did not have an SEO plugin in the early years and need to go back through my articles to optimize, those keywords are the main ones I found in my initial research when I started my main site. We aren’t supposed to reuse, though I imagine perhaps we can use similar phrases that are not identical?

    Please be aware that I am offering suggestions to consider as someone who builds and maintains a number of websites as well as promoting them. I try to keep current on SEO matters but I am far from being an authority.

    I am sure you do this anyway, but try to place yourself as a reader trying to find the information you are writing about. What phrases and search terms would you use? They are the words to go in the areas I indicated. Of course they also have to relate to your postings. Basically if the words people are using in their search queries are not somewhere in your articles they won’t match up with you.

    If, after eleven years of posting, you are concerned for duplicate content and reducing page authority you can use the Canonical URL feature in the advanced tab. You assign the duplicate content of an older or lesser page to be considered part of a newer or more important page.

    The main thing I have gathered is there should be consistency throughout keyword/phrase, words used in page titles, meta title, meta description, URL, headings, words used in first sentences of first paragraph, words used in image alt text, words used in image file names.

    The other thing is to utilise social media as much as possible posting excerpts with a Read More link back to your website. I post social media content almost daily for clients across four platforms – wherever and as frequently possible with links back to their websites.

    Thread Starter Rollercoasterider

    (@rollercoasterider)

    Okay, so looking back at my articles for optimization…
    My Boundaries series is from 2 years ago, but I want to start there for re-optimization and check the keywords/phrases.
    Boundaries is the obvious keyword (well, for one of the articles), but it is way too broad.
    I think what I am struggling with is the main topic (i.e. Boundaries or Paving the Way) versus the keyphrase

    I’m not concerned with duplicate content in the sense that it is identical, but many topics are discussed multiple times. Example: I wrote about No Contact and then wrote about it a few more times to address the questions and confusions. I listened to the tutorial about canonicals yesterday and I thought I got it, but maybe not. How do I use them for this situation?
    Some of the new search terms (around a single theme) I have listed are:
    Betrayal Trauma
    Betrayal PTSD
    PTSD after Infidelity
    Divorce Trauma
    PTSD after Divorce
    With those, I can see how I could tailor multiple articles on that topic or theme and highlight a different keyphrase.
    By maintaining a list of keyphrases I can create something around each. That I get, but I also write based on a topic and that topic does not always translate directly to the keyphrase…UGH, what then. I think it is the topics that are most dear to me because they seem to come more naturally–the ideas come from what my own audience is already discussing.

    I really started this as a discussion in case I’m not alone. I wanted to comment on the recent Yoast article How to choose the right focus keyword, but comments are closed.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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