I recently had a conversation with a client during an SEO consultation that looked a bit like this:
John – why are less-developed, incomplete sites ranking higher for “Launceston plumbers” than our website is?
Me – do you use the term “Launceston plumbers” on your home page?
John – no
Me – do you use it elsewhere on the website?
John – not really
Me – then that’s why
(NB: name and keywords have been changed)
Non-Negotiable: Your Website Needs Keyword-Optimised Content
As my conversation with “John” illustrates, many website owners can feel frustrated when their shiny new website doesn’t rank well for keywords relevant to their business. Perhaps you’ve experienced that frustration yourself.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo all use search algorithms that identify relevant results for search queries. These algorithms are sophisticated, smart, and increasingly savvy. But they’re not foolproof, and despite recent advances, their “semantic” capabilities are extremely limited.
As such, the reality is that if you don’t use relevant keywords in your website’s written content, you won’t rank for them. None of the search engines are smart enough to work out what your website is about commpletely by themselves. Instead, they need you to provide them with some handy hints through keyword optimisation.
What’s Keyword Optimisation, Anyway?
Keyword optimisation is about placing your keywords in a few key spots on a website page in order to send signals to search engines that that’s what that page on your website is about.
These key spots include your:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- URL (where possible)
- H1 heading
- Page’s content
Times When, Like Love, Keyword-Optimised Content is All You Need
If you sell moisturiser for mermaids, and you’re targeting the keywords “mermaid scale cream” or “moisturiser for mermaids”, it’s a good bet you could rank number one on the first page for both terms by simply keyword optimising your content.
The reason for this is that both keyword phrases are extremely uncompetitive terms. They receive no (or next to no) search traffic, and no one else is trying to rank for them.
If you happen to be targeting uncompetitive keywords that do garner some searches, then you’re in luck. Because there’s a good chance you may be able to rank for them using only keyword optimisation.
Times When You Need Keyword Optimisation and Then Some
Most of the time, however, keyword-optimised website content will only be the first stepping stone to ranking for your chosen keyword terms.
Usually, in addition to keyword-optimised content, you’ll also need to regularly publish fresh content on your site (through blogging), and encourage the creation of inbound links (links from other websites to your website). I’ll be discussing both these elements of SEO in future blog posts, so stay tuned for links here:
How Are You Doing?
Do you use relevant keywords in your website’s content? If so, then well done – you’ve taken the first steps towards ensuring your website is appropriately search engine optimised.
Not sure if you’re doing it right? I’m happy to provide a complimentary audit of one page on your website, with a focus on keyword optimisation and readability. If that’s something you’d be interested in, pop me a note via the contact form.