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What are keywords and SEO?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the exposure of a website/web page. Search engines such as google, yahoo, and the like show their results to your search and these result pages are also referred to as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ search results. No contract. No payment required. Search engine optimisation is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. These changes might seem like unimportant, but add to it other optimisations, a noticeable impact can be made on the user's experience in organic search results.

Keyword Research

A big part of optimising your website is picking the keywords and phrases you want to be found for. Undertaking keyword research is really just working out what words people associate with your services, products and business. For some businesses selecting your keywords is easy and for other businesses the process can become very technical and involved.

Mistakes to avoid when selecting keywords:

Before you start your keyword research, there are some common mistakes that you should be aware of:

1. Choosing competitive single-word terms: If your business is  ‘Horse rug repairs' then avoid selecting a keyword like 'horse rugs'

2. Terms that are too broad and not focused to what you offer: If your business is ‘Horse rug repairs' then avoid selecting a keyword like'horse virus'

3. Terms that nobody searches for or are unpopular: If your business is ‘Horse rug repairs' then avoid selecting a keywords like 'Animal clothing'

4. Highly-competitive terms which you can't hope to rank well for: If your business is  'Horse rug repairs in Penrith' then'Horse rug repairs Sydney' may be too competitive. Now you have this basic knowledge, you’re ready to go and select the keywords or key phrases you think will work best for you.

Exercises to develop your online business plan:

a) Write down a list of the words that you (and your customers) use when referring to your business.
b) Go to the Google AdWords keyword tool and enter your keywords .
Make sure that you change the settings (under the keyword box) so you receive Australian keyword data.
c) Review the results, add or refine the keywords in the search box and look at more results
d) Enter your website URL and have a look at what keywords Google thinks your website content is related to.
e) Pick a handful of keywords that have the highest amount of search volume
f) Pick a handful of keywords that are the most relevant to your business (they may not necessarily have high search volume).
g) Ask yourself: “Do my customers use these words to describe my business/products and services?"
h) Go to ‘Google’ and enter your keywords one at time and look at the results that are displayed.
i) Look at the number of search results for each keyword to gauge which keywords are more competitive. This will display in google as ‘About 825,000 results’ or similar.
Note: The more specific the keyword/s, or the more words in the key phrase the less the competition for the search term.  And generally, the less the competition, the easier it is to rank well on that term.
Competition   Keyword
11,600,000   writer
1,200,000   real estate writer
48,000   freelance real estate writer
9,000   freelance real estate writer los Angeles
 Webpage Content

Last, but not least – it is important to:

1. Make sure you mention your keywords in your web page content. It sounds obvious but we often see web pages that don’t mention their keywords!
2. Consider whether you have enough web pages. Generally speaking, if you have selected 10 keywords then you should have a web-page per keyword. In 8 out of 10 cases websites need to add more content.
3. Try to sprinkle your main keywords throughout the copy.
4. Try to mention each keyword in a natural way as you are writing.
5. Try to include at least one keyword per 1-2 paragraphs, depending on how large your page is.
Google can easily detect keyword repetition & stuffing so don't overdo it. Search engine optimisation is certainly not a competition about how many times you can mention the same keyword on one page. Read your content out loud, if it sounds like you are 'stuffing' your copy with keywords you probably are!

A final note about content
Content is the KING! Search engines love content. A great example is an asphalt client. Not a particularly exciting subject and not one that you would initially think there is a whole lot to write about. Well the true test of a good writer is their ability to write 250 - 400 words on anything, so if writing isn't your forte, recognise this weakness and look to sub contract this component of your search engine optimisation exercise out. The asphalt client managed to create various pages on topics such as 'asphalt v concrete', 'residential driveways', 'acreage driveways' and so on.

Now you may say – "there's no way people are going to read all of that" and the truth of the matter is that people don't read websites at all – they tend to scan them. The thing is though, Google and the other search engines will 'read' the words on the page, at least their 'spiders' or 'crawl bots' will, and that is who we are really writing for, so that MORE people can find you.
Here is a free tool that will check your webpages and report back which keywords get the most amount of mentions.
Use this tool to check that your keywords are some of the most regularly mentioned keywords on your web-pages.
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