Gone are the days of randomly guessing what terms people will search for on the web. These days competition is heavy to get on top of the search engines, and the only way to compete is to know your stuff. Instead of picking terms out of thin air and peppering your site with useless phrases you ‘think’ will get you found, there are some much more strategic ways to approach the issue.
Don’t Guess Which Phrases Will Rank Highly
Let’s say your business is Auto Glass & Windshield Repair. Certainly you can fill your site with the terms related to ‘Auto Glass’ and ‘Windshield Repair’, which are obvious terms, and also high-competition terms. Some people might just search for ‘chip repair’ or ‘cracked windshield repair’, along with the city or county name where they are located. Google has become pretty specific in how it handles phrases and the order of words within them, to the point where getting the right combination of terms can be the difference between page 1 and page 2 of the search results.
Keyword Tools Focus Your Efforts
There are tools we use to discover the appropriate terms and variations on them which will bring the most traffic. Google even provides it’s own keyword tool which takes some learning to really use properly, but provides valuable insight into what phrases people are really using. The info can be interpreted in many ways, so it is definitely a good idea to have an expert assist or take the time to study the ins & outs of the system. (I can recommend just such an expert!)
SEO Campaigns Take Time
Business owners want to see results fast – any business expense should have tangible ROI that returns real results in a reasonable amount of time. Instead of randomly choosing search terms and hoping your site will jump to the top of Google, it pays (pun intended) to learn the ropes or hire an expert to do the legwork when it comes to keyword research and implementation. Even with the right keywords, there are other factors to consider, such as avoiding ‘spammy’ usage of terms, ‘keyword stuffing’ which flags Google that you’re gaming the system, etc… Many neophite SEO consultants will jump in a little too heavy, going overboard with adding keywords in ways that can actually hurt the site’s ranking. Dirty SEO tricks are no longer tolerated by search engines…they are getting too smart to be fooled easily!
Keep things Fresh
Once you have established good SEO habits and have some targeted phrases, be sure to keep them updated – don’t think you can ‘set and forget’ with web content. The search engines are smart enough to know when your content has changed, and they give more importance to new content in most cases. There is plenty of voodoo involved as to how this really works, and is a subject for another article…but for now, just remember to keep things from getting stale – the competition may just be a little bit fresher!