How to Use Irony in SEO

Ironic Writing in Stone

Sometimes, it takes a few seconds to pick up on effective irony.

One of the reasons to develop this department blog was to have a demonstration tool showing Digital Marketing students how to apply content marketing and search engine optimization strategies. As such, I’ll demonstrate how to use irony in SEO by writing this article, which ironically is intended to achieve page one placement in Google search results for the keywords in its title.

Using Ironic Header Tags

One of the basic starting points in helping this article achieve strong search engine results placement (SERP) is effective use of header tags. First, as noted, I’ve integrated my keyword phrase, “How to use irony in SEO,” in the article title. This title has an H1 header tag, making it a content priority for Google as it crawls this page.

Additionally, I’m creating H2 header tags for each section of this post, including the one just above. Within these subheadings, I’m using phrasing that correlates well with the primary keywords. In search engine terms, using closely correlated concepts to positively influence SERP for primary keywords is known as latent semantic indexing, or LSI.

Integrating Keywords Ironically

Another basic component of on-page search engine optimization is effective keyword utilization. What exactly constitutes effective keyword usage has changed over time. Several years ago, emphasis was on infusing keywords at a density of around 3 to 5 percent.

While integrating keywords with a modest density is still beneficial, Google now uses its more advanced artificial intelligence to determine whether density rates are natural for a particular phrase. For instance, achieving natural uses of the phrase, “How to use irony in SEO,” without sending off keyword-stuffing signals is more difficult than naturally weaving “best Super Bowl commercials” into an article (Future Article: How to Ironically Link to Other Articles on Your Blog). Therefore, a smaller density is more practical. However, it is still ideal to use these keywords a few times, as well as to infuse similar phrasing that correlates, which again achieves LSI benefits.

In addition, here are a couple common keyword rules that are still applied in content marketing for top SERP:

  • Include the primary keywords in the first and last paragraphs
  • Include the primary keywords in the title and subheads when appropriate

Above all else, creating a quality article that feeds the interests of readers and keeps them on your site is ideal. A good approach is to write your best article first, and then look for opportunities to neatly and naturally incorporate best keyword practices.

Highlighting with Markdown Techniques

Another simple but effective way to tell Google that certain phrases are a priority on a page is to draw attention to them through markdown techniques. Common examples include bolding and italicizing keywords, and blocking quotes. You’ll note, for instance, that in the introduction and again here, I’ve bolded the phrase, “How to use irony in SEO“. These tactics separate critical pieces of your article from the regular text for both readers and search engines.

Acquiring Back Links

I’ve just about (conclusion still to come) done most of what I can on page to help us rank well in SERP for, “How to use irony in SEO”. The other critical piece of strong SEO is generating quality back links from authoritative and relevant sites. If you operate one of these and want to help the cause, please feel free to share some link juice with a “DoFollow” link to this post. You too can take pride when we reach the top of the Google charts!


There are well over 200 factors in the Google search algorithm. As a human, there is strong potential that I am missing some small pieces to the optimized SERP puzzle. However, I’m confident that within a matter of months, perhaps even weeks, you’ll stumble upon this post on page one of a Google search for, “How to use irony in SEO“. I’m now going to add an image with alt attributes to further the cause.

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Neil Kokemuller

Neil Kokemuller has been a Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College since 2004. Prior to teaching, he worked as a marketing specialist and retail manager. He holds an MBA from Iowa State University

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