Using a summary paragraph at the start of your blog post can help you capitalize on all of the keywords and long-tail search phrases you need for SEO traffic without detracting from a great story.

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For those of you who know me, I am a big believer in using fiction or story-telling techniques to get your point across. I coach my writing staff to weave our client’s message into a tale that is interesting, memorable and readable – right from the beginning and through to the end. One of the elements I emphasize is to start out with a great hook. An opening line and paragraph that makes the reader want to find out more. For fiction writers, we often refer to this as “in media res”, or beginning your story “in the middle of things”.

Incorporating Key Words

Of course, when it comes to writing and posting blogs, it is critical to incorporate both the right key-words, as well as to use long-tail search phrases to get noticed by search engines, attracting potential customers to your site.

This often presents a challenge for blog writers. The search words simply don’t fit into the story opening. So how do you overcome this? For my clients I recommend including a summary paragraph of about 40 to 80 words right before your blog post begins. An example of this approach is highlighted below. In this case, we created a blog posting for a client who has a strong SharePoint, Lync and Yammer practice. To educate the reader on the value of Lync and Yammer, we tell the story of how a family vacation was able to continue uninterrupted when one of the family members used Lync to quickly resolve a major incident at work.

HOW MICROSOFT LYNC and YAMMER SAVED OUR VACATION

Looking for a best-in-class unified communications platform? Want to include the top features every business needs for collaboration? You might want to consider how unified communications is enabling telepresence everywhere. We reached out to some of our customers to find out just how well Lync and Yammer is working for them.

Driving a convertible down California’s magnificent rocky coast was a bucket list adventure for my husband Mike and I. The famous Hwy #1, crashing ocean waves and sea-salt wind blowing our hair was amazing and not overshadowed by the 200 other middle aged couples in convertibles with HERTZ bumper stickers riding alongside us. Bucket lists are meant to be shared.

In reading the opening above, you will notice that the summary paragraph (italicized) contains all of the key-words and long-tail search criteria that this client wants. We provide additional information by embedding hyperlinks to one of their case studies as well as links to product information. But we’ve also used story-telling techniques to entice the reader to want to know more by delivering an opening paragraph that is engaging, personal and includes a touch of humour.

Summary

While keywords and long-tail search phrases are important in your blog postings (after all, you are blogging for an audience), don’t abandon content or a great story simply to get your keywords in. Make sure that first and foremost you are writing an interesting and educational article that can establish you as a trusted source for good content. Use the summary paragraph approach to incorporate the words and phrases that will help you rank with search engines, and keep writing regularly so that you can be found by the people who need to know about you.