SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has developed a formidable reputation in recent years. Many businesses consider it as a ‘dark art’, something that only the elite few can truly master, and as a result, tend to automatically pass it over to an expert to handle, or overlook it completely (we call this the ‘head in the sand’ technique – of hoping the issue will disappear if ignored hard enough!)
The actual truth of the matter is rather different. Yes, it’s certainly advisable to have an expert to help you, as there are aspects of SEO that can be incredibly tricky to manage successfully, not to mention time-consuming. However, there are certain things that you can undertake yourself, to help improve the search engine rankings of your company, and best of all, once you’ve addressed these issues, you shouldn’t have to worry about them after that (or at least, not for a while!).
Keywords: What Are They Exactly?
In a nutshell, the expression ‘keywords’ refers to one or more words that are of special importance, as they match the search terms of your prospective clients. Most of you probably knew this already, but it’s always a good idea to check!
A few years ago, clever companies realised that search engines such as Google particularly liked keywords. As a result, they made sure to stuff their site with as many keywords as it could possibly handle. The conclusion of this? Ugly, unusable sites, and an alteration in Google algorithms, ensuring that keyword stuffing was banished for good – thank goodness.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that keywords don’t matter anymore. In fact, Google still values keywords highly, when they are used in the right way.
Identifying Successful Keywords:
When you’re thinking about what keywords to feature on your site, think about the following:
- Be specific (and realistic): One of the most common mistakes when using keywords is to try to be too broad. Sure, it would be nice to be on page one of Google for ‘steel pipes’, but let’s face it, with thousands of companies out there, all wanting the same, chances are slim. Instead, think about narrowing the search, and catering for more specific search terms. Instead of ‘steel pipes’, think ‘steel pipes for oil rigs’, or ‘steel pipe manufacturer in Manchester’. These sorts of terms are far more likely to work for you on the search engines.
- Do your research. Ask friends, ask family, in fact, ask anybody; what terms would they use when searching for your service or product? Then, when you’re armed with a list, use a useful online tool, such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, to find out just how popular it is. A word of warning though; the most popular ones are not always the best, as chances are, other companies will be going for them too. Choose wisely.
- Focus on quality, not quantity. Rather than flooding your site with hundreds of keywords, select a smaller range, and focus on using them appropriately through the site.
- Organic, not forced. We always advise on keeping it organic when it comes to keywords. If it reads unnaturally on the page, then not only will Google frown with disapproval, but so will your customers. Instead, focus on weaving it naturally into the wording, to create a readable, appealing piece of copy.
Worried about the next step? Talk to us! (SEO is what we do, after all…) We’ll work with you, to make sure that your keywords are working hard for your business, and generating the right level of business to your site.