Weaving your story to boost SEO
In the first part in this series on SEO basics we discussed how creating engaging content is king. Now that you’re thinking about how you can turn your business into a story (or series of) worth reading (and linking to!) we can look at the things you need to weave into it to further boost your SEO.
There are any number of paid programs and services out there that can help with identifying key words and key terms. This blog is not intended to be a technical guide but will just be talking about simple things you can do yourself to improve your searchability.
Key words and key terms
Search Engine Optimisation is the art of being found on search results. These results are a combination of the search term entered and the ranking of a site for that particular search term (or subject area).
You can improve your search results by thinking about what people will type to find your website and then applying those thoughts to your website’s content.
What individual words best describe your products or services? If your customers are regular consumers, are they words or names that the average person or prospective customer would know? Write them down, check your site content. Are they in there? This suggestion might sound silly, I know but you would be surprised how often a proper description is neglected.
If you were going to search for the product or service your business offers, what would you type into the Google search box? Without leading your thoughts too far down the path, research shows that most people don’t just type in one word when looking — they will use a term that is generally three to five words. For example: ‘management consultant Sydney’ or ‘highest tax returns Melbourne’. Again, write these down and check your content.
Is your business location based? If so make sure you add your location to your list. Location information is extremely common in search phrases. See SEO for Beginners Part I for adding your business to Google Maps.
Adding key words to content
Look at ways of incorporating key words and key terms into your page content. Synonyms are a great way to say the same thing twice and still have readable content. Keep thesaurus.com in your bookmarks – it can also help overcome writer’s block!
Remember that the quality of your content is king and must be written for humans. Don’t write page or blog content like this:
"We provide graphic design solutions to businesses needing help with design. Let us help you manage your brand with our proven graphic design techniques, go to www.graphicdesign.…"
This is called keyword stuffing and is a big no-no. When adding keywords and key terms, make sure it is done in a way that reads naturally. A loose rule is to have one mention in the main heading, a couple in the initial stages of the copy and at the end of the page.
Meta descriptions themselves don’t directly affect search results, but if your page comes up in a search, will appear below the page link. It is still well worth having and well written Meta can help you achieve more clicks.
Another valid point to consider is if you have thought about what people will see in search results you have thought about your site’s content.
The problem with Meta descriptions is you only have a Tweet’s worth of characters (160 max) to describe the page/site. This brings us to the next points about meta data:
Every page and every blog on your site should have a meta description associated with it (sometimes called a page description).
When you write meta data for your page, don’t try to describe everything your site does but if possible sneak in your core message/term.
Describe what the page is trying to tell people – summarise and make sure to include key words in the summary. But don’t stuff it.