More on SEO for publishing: trying on keywords and Lady Gaga’s sunglasses
In my last blog post on “Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article”
I mentioned keywords a lot. I really wanted to stress their importance,
however, and in this post I want to give you more hands-on advice on
how to choose keywords for your article title, your abstract, and the
keywords section of your article.
With that being said, search engine optimization is a moving target.
Google, which receives about 80% of online search that takes place,
regularly changes its algorithms, leaving us sprinting to catch up. So,
I want to clue you in on how to employ keywords in light of these
Do you ever browse ebay or etsy? If so, surely you’ve come across something like this:
I’m not saying you’re browsing for Lady Gaga-style sunglasses (and no
judgment if you are), but you’ve probably seen these strings of
somewhat unrelated keywords stuffed into product descriptions.
Sometimes they’re downright funny. Well, Google has made updates
recently to try to see beyond these strings of keyword bait. Nowadays,
Google is looking for natural connections between keywords and the page
(or article’s) content. So, how best to choose keywords?
- Think about what someone might search on to find your article.
The phrase or first three or four words that first pop into your head
may be what you should lead your article title with. A couple of good
examples of optimized articles from Wiley’s portfolio include: “Ocean
Acidification and Its Potential Effects on Marine Ecosystems” and
“Nanomaterials in the environment: Behavior, fate, bioavailability, and
effects.” You can see from both of these titles that the keywords lead
the title and you can even hear the search terms in the titles.
- Use a tool to help. You can easily use Google’s Keyword Planner or RankChecker
(you’ll have to sign up for a free registration for these) to find out
which terms related to your article’s subject matter are popular
keywords or search terms.
- Make sure the keywords you choose accurately reflect the content of your article.
This is a no-brainer, but you don’t want to plug in keywords that have
really strayed from your article’s content. Remember those “natural
connections” to your content I mentioned that Google is looking for when
- Use the keywords field to your advantage. Make sure you use
this field to your advantage when submitting your paper. You not only
need your keywords from the article title and abstract, but also
synonyms. Is there another name or acronym for a concept, study,
compound, etc, that you’re featuring in your research? Include it here!
- Repeat keywords in your abstract in ways that make sense. It’s
important to repeat your keywords in your article abstract of course
but, once again, make sure they are still used in a way that achieves
your primary objective, which should be to briefly communicate the
content of your article.
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