Although you may think all of the hard work is over now your website is up and running, unfortunately, this is just the start of things. Once your website has been set up, you then need to find a way to make sure that other people can locate it.
Whilst we would all love it to be as simple as adding your website to a search engine directory, this is not the way it works. Instead, you have to make sure you use search engine optimisation, both on and offsite so that your site appears on relevant search results pages.
A great way to get your site to rank for the searches you want it to appear for is to identify and optimise keywords. In this article, we will provide a brief guide to understanding the importance of keywords.
How to identify keywords
Before you can begin optimising your website, you first need to identify relevant keywords. These are words that are associated with your website’s industry and niche.
A great way to think up relevant keywords is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Who do you think will be looking at your website and what do you think they will be looking for? You should also look up your competitors and get an idea of the keywords they are optimising.
Once you have a good idea of the keywords you need to optimise, you then need to perform research to find out how competitive the keywords are and how many users search for them (both locally and globally) each month.
Google Adwords will be your best friend when it comes to performing keyword research. It is a great tool for finding out how competitive your keywords are, how often they are used by searchers and other relevant keywords that you may not have thought of.
The tool will tell you the volume of searches related to specific keywords, preventing you from wasting your time optimising keywords that people rarely search for.
We also highly recommend setting up a Google Analytics account for your website. Google Analytics will help you to monitor various different aspects of your site, including what users have been searching for when they have visited your site.
By seeing what keywords they have used in organic searches, you can get a better idea of what they are looking for when they reach your site. You can also see the average time people stay on your website and your bounce rate.
If people are not staying on your website for very long, it suggests you are not meeting their needs and are perhaps optimising the wrong keywords. Use the keywords users have searched for to tailor your content to meet their requirements.
Optimising your keywords
The next stage is to optimise your website content, page titles, image tags and meta descriptions using your keywords. The number one rule when it comes to optimising SEO keywords is to make sure they fit into your content naturally.
The content you create must also be unique, relevant and compelling if you want to stand a good chance at ranking highly for your chosen keywords. Another tip is to use different versions of your keywords in your content. This will give you more coverage and help you to target users searching for similar phrases.
A big ‘no-no’ when it comes to using keywords is stuffing. This is where you try and fit your keywords into your content as much as possible. Although you want to optimise your keywords by using them frequently, over optimising them can cause your website to look spammy.
This will not look good to users or search engines crawling your website. If your website appears spam-like, people will not trust your website and you will soon drop down the rankings. Remember when optimising your keywords, they must be relevant to the content and naturally fit into the text.
In the early years of the internet, you could bring traffic to your site fairly easily and you didn’t need to worry too much about the best keywords to target. However, as the number of web sites has exploded you have to make more of an effort.
The necessity for search engine optimisation (SEO) of your site is impossible to ignore. Now SEO is a very broad topic in its own right but in this article, the initial step of selecting the best keywords will be addressed.
So what is meant by keywords?
Keywords are the phrases people use on Google and other search engines to get information. For example, if you want to search for a London web design agency, you may well type ‘web design agency London’ into Google. There will be millions of searches a month using that keyword.
If you have a business site selling cameras you may want to get to the top of the search results for the keyword ‘digital camera’. To do this you would build links with the words digital camera pointing back to your site. That is quite easy, right?
Unfortunately not. There will be millions of sites also targeting ‘digital camera’ so the competition is tough. However, the answer is to target what’s called the long-tailed keywords. These are search terms that are also used but less often. For example ‘buy a digital camera’ or ‘digital camera with long zoom’.
These keywords are all searched for but you will find much less competition from other sites so they are easier for you to target and reach the first page of Google. Also, they tend to be used by people more likely to buy.
Great tool to pick the best keywords.
The best place to find these keywords is from Google using the AdWords keyword tool. You put in a general keyword such as ‘digital camera’ and the tool in seconds gives you a list of 800 related keywords that people have used. The information includes the number of searches each month to help you in your selection to pick the best keywords.
It is easier to rank for 10 low competition keywords rather than 1 very popular and will bring you higher profits. Proper keyword research takes time and expertise which is why it is a good idea to consult the experts that will guide you towards your best keywords. It saves you time and earns you more money.
Google needs to know that the content you have on your blog is relevant to what people are searching for, therefore it is important to create high-quality content that is relevant to your keywords.
Keep in mind these basic tips when identifying and optimising your keywords and you should set your websites SEO off to a good start.
Remember to monitor your keywords over time to check that they are still relevant and are being optimised effectively; seek the services of a professional SEO Company.
One last thing – make sure you continue to produce fresh, unique and relevant content, keeping your potential audiences’ needs and requirements in mind at all times.