Quick Tips on Using Keywords – Be seen on Page One of Google
Let’s start by defining what Keywords are… keywords are those words and expressions that people use within the search engines to find stuff.
They are usually looking for either Products or Problems (how to, where do I, what is the, etc.). Taking a step back it’s important to realise what all the major search engines do. Search engines have software programs that reach out into the web space and try to find everything that they think will be interesting to the public when they search – not only interesting – BUT also RELEVANT.
Keywords, as I mentioned, are those words and phrases that people type into the search box to find things; usually products and problems. Now, if your site has those keywords within your site; hopefully within the URL, title tag, first H1 tag, content, etc. (See my article on how to optimise your website for the search engines) then you stand a good chance of being discovered by the search engines and displayed on a search engine results (SERP) page.
Now, which page you’re displayed on is another matter. Consider that there are literally billions of web pages all trying to get to the first page of Google / Bing. A lot of websites will be making sure that their keywords are optimised for their content – and as importantly – what people are looking for, so you have to make sure that your website is more optimised for those relevant keywords.
Keyword Optimisation is only one aspect of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are about another 20 key factors that affect how your page is ranked within the major search engines, some of these are outlined within the articles on this blog. You must make sure that your keywords are relevant to your content and that your content is unique, these two aspects always score well with the search engines. If you are the originator of content you will always be copied, but you have the originality – and Google likes this.
How do you find keywords for your website?
- List everything unique about your business in a ‘brain storm’ with your staff.
- Get a list of about 50 keywords and phrases that describe your key functions and activities.
Throw in your branding, your company name and perhaps some key products and even the names of staff. Check all these keywords with the search engines by typing them in and noting where you rank. This creates your baseline; where you are today.
Your Customer Base
Send out a survey to your customers to see what they search for. What did they type into the search engines to find your service or products? Of course you may have to offer them an incentive to give you this information, but this will open up some great insights into what the public actually are searching for within your product or service niche area.
This one is easy! When you are searching for your keyword list in stage one above, make a note of all the competition. These are NOT the competitors that you know but the competitors that rank in the first page of Google and Bing for your key phrases and words. These guys are ranking here for a reason – you need to reverse engineer to see what that reason is. Competitor Analysis is a key part of Search Engine Optimisation and you should contact a Professional SEO Company if you want to make sure this done properly. Look at their keywords and structure to see how it differs to yours.
At the start of this exercise you brainstormed your keywords with your staff. You now need to expand on these keywords and get some statistics as to how well those keywords rank within the search engines. To do this you need to understand how to use the Free Google Keyword Tool. The Keyword Tool from Google is a really good online tool to analyse keywords and phrases; time spent learning how to use this is well rewarded.
As you expand your keywords try to think of NICHES that are unique to your services and use the keyword tool to understand the demand for those services and products. There is no point competing with large businesses that already have your market sewn up, try to compete on a more niche basis that has less competition but perhaps higher conversion ratios.
By focusing on your nice you stand more chance of converting those people browsing into actual customers. You can also use the Google Insights for Search Tool for this exercise, when you look at the graph remember the numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. This will also show you some additional keywords you may like to consider using plus the volumes and location based information.
Check your website for all the keywords and phrases obtained so far in the exercise and start to build a strategy to optimise your content for those keywords.
Using your keyword Strategy
- For each keyword that you want to use you should create a webpage or blog entry. This will keep your keywords relevant to the content and also give you the opportunity to optimise your page settings (URL, Title Tag, Meta Description, first H1 Tag, Content, etc. – see Quick Tips and Techniques for Top SEO Ranking).
- Create your content focusing on your keywords and phrases, always making sure that the article or blog entry reads well and is informative and relevant. Do NOT try to create content purely for the search engines. It’s one thing to get traffic, it’s another to provide valid information that will make people come back time and time again to your website or blog.
- Make sure that you monitor each entry to see how it compares and ranks to other entries. Does it rank well? Try to analyse why not. Make sure that you update your sitemap and other key areas of your website / blog and re-submit to Google Webmasters and Bing Webmaster (see other blog entries on these services) so that they are indexed quickly and effectively.
- Post your content to other forums relevant to your industry so that you can start to build backlinks to your content (good for search engine ranking)
Keywords are a part of your overall Search Engine Optimisation Strategy. All your content and web pages / blog articles should be optimised for your niche and keywords in order to be found within the search engines. If you are not visible on the first few pages of Google or Bing then your business is almost invisible to the public. Time taken making sure your business keeps on target with your Search Engine Optimisation Strategy will pay dividends in the longer term and place your website as a site of authority within the search engines.
Jonathan Camp runs Micro Update Ltd a Professional Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Mobile Application Development in Devon. He has been actively involved with the IT and Web Services areas for over 30 years. He is a PRINCE2 Practitioner and manages a very technical team at Micro Update. The business is built on the ethic of providing a practical solution for local businesses in Devon.