SEO With Google – Content and Keywords 101
You probably keep hearing these three letters over and over again. SEO. They stand for Search Engine Optimisation and it’s something everyone who runs a website should be familiar with.
There’s no need to be an expert and there are tons of tools that will tell you how’s your website doing regarding SEO. I suggest you run an audit regularly to see how you perform – I use Ubersuggest as you get 3 daily searches available which is plenty for someone who is just starting out.
Ubersuggest can also help you find keywords and analyse your headline. But let’s see why are these things important in the first place!
SEO IS THE LANGUAGE OF GOOGLE
Google and all other search engines like Bing, Yahoo and others you may have never heard of or used before, use SEO as the main language to understand your content.
Let’s be honest, most people focus on Google as it’s the biggest search engine out there with over 3 billion searches conducted every single day!
Focusing on Google means that if you do your SEO job right, Google will expose you on the first page when people search for one of your keywords. It’s a hard job because competition is fierce! Everyone is trying to beat the Google’s algorithm. Including me – this blog post is one of the “easiest” ways to score some SEO points.
It’s not as easy as it used to be, however! Back in the day, when Google started out, the algorithm was quite simple. You could just scatter keywords across the text and you’ll rank for them.
The system is a lot more sophisticated now. Google literally crawls every website and determines whether the keyword placing makes sense. Even images have to contain a description with keywords. Search engines also look for any links you may have going to and from your website as this is an indication of relevance.
It makes sense, right? If a decent website links to you, it must mean that your content is relevant! Also, if you link your content together, it means it’s not just a pile of random words.
Let’s look at some easy tips to improve your SEO today!
#1 FIND KEYWORDS YOU WANT TO RANK FOR
Depending on the topic and length of your post, I suggest picking around 3 – 4 keywords for every article. It’s a good start and it’s not too overwhelming.
Just grab a post-it note or a piece of paper and put yourself into the searcher’s shoes. What would you type into the search if you were looking for your content? Try to stay away from any jargon or complicated words? What would you type in if you knew nothing about the subject and wanted to learn more?
#2 USE A KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL
I know it’s starting to sound like too much work now, but stay with me. The keyword research tools are easy and many are free!
After putting one of your keywords through, you will get a table which may look complicated at first, but there’s no need to worry. You don’t need all the details!
Let’s look at some of the columns you may be interested in:
- The number of searches the keyword has per month.
- Optimal number is between 1k and 10k.
- You want people to search for that particular keyword if you want to rank, but you don’t want to be lost in the noise. Usually, the more searches per month, the higher the difficulty is to rank for them in Google. That’s because there is usually a lot of content for popular keywords.
- The competition you’ll be facing if you choose this keyword.
- The higher the number, the more difficult it is to rank for it.
- Ubersuggest uses coloured traffic-system (red, orange, green) to display the difficulty as well as numbers.
- Obviously, aim for the green ones as you’d need your website to be of certain authority to rank for the red others first.
#3 CONSIDER KEYPHRASE INSTEAD OF KEYWORDS
People usually type more than one word in Google.
They don’t just type SEO.
They most likely type something like What’s SEO. Or SEO for beginners.
Focus on this keyphrase and build your content around it.
Include it in:
- Heading (keyword or keyphrase HAS to be in the heading!)
- Introduction (use the keyphrase or keyword in the first few sentences)
- Subheading (choose one subheading in your text and include the keyword and keyphrase there)
- First paragraph
- Body (the main part of the text where you elaborate on your ideas)
I know it may sound like you’re using the phrase or a word a lot, but that’s what you have to spend some time on. It’s possible to not make it sound too repetitive if you craft your content well.
You can play with it or give me a shout and I’ll do the job for you. Contact me for more information and personal quote.
#4 HAVE A BLOG ON YOUR WEBSITE
Or set one up if you don’t have one already. Blog will be the place where you’ll post your SEO content.
Use your expertise in your chosen field and educate or entertain people through that!
Do you run an Italian restaurant? Blog about Italian food, wine and culture!
Do you have a coffee shop? Blog about different types of coffee beans and ways how to prepare this delicious beverage!
If you offer a service instead of a product, you can write about how your product helps people. How does it make their life easier?
Did you notice my call to action at the end of the #3? I asked you to contact me if they need help with SEO. I’m giving you some tools to start with, but some of you may still find it too time-consuming and will decide to outsource it to me.
Read my blog post about why should you include blog on your website to learn more.
#5 HAVE INTERNAL LINKS
For Google to understand how your website ties in together, it needs to encounter internal links.
Let’s look at an example. I have used a link to my other blog post at the end of previous section to encourage you to read more about why is it important to include a blog on your website.
This is an internal link – I linked this content to another within the same website. This way, Google knows that the content I’ve written is relevant to a certain topic and that I’m providing more and more value as the time goes. I can’t cover all information in one blog post, it would otherwise turn into a book.
And that’s OK. In fact, that’s great!
Google knows that I’m gradually providing more information related to my other posts! In Google’s language, it’s called value!
#6 INCLUDE DESCRIPTIONS IN PICTURES AND METADATA
Whenever you include pictures in your text – and you should – include their description and alt tag. Google doesn’t see the image the same way you do. It doesn’t know there is a bottle of lovely red wine sitting next to a bowl of pasta. You need to tell Google that.
Even when uploading, make sure your pictures are not called 543902049.jpg, but something like Bottle of Italian wine next to a pasta bowl.
Ideally, the picture should reflect the content. If you are an Italian restaurant writing about which wine goes with which dishes, this description will do well.
This is the only way to let Google know that your content is relevant and that your pictures support what you’ve written.
Many people forget about this! Use it to your advantage!
My own SEO shot up by around 10 points when I started using this strategy. Your score can be 1 – 100. I have been frequently hitting 80 and 90 after including picture descriptions.
Metadata are a little more advanced but I thought I’d mention it anyway. If you run your own website through WordPress or any other provider, you should be able to fill them in manually.
I use MonsterInsight Plug-In for wordpress which allows me to alter metadata of every post. I just go onto the desired post in WordPress admin and scroll all the way down. There, you”d be able to find something that looks like this:
You can adjust how your post looks when it appears in Google search. The bottom section called Meta Description is the one you need to adjust Metadata.
Include your keyword or keyphrase and make it compelling! Promise the reader value. Will they learn something new after reading this article? Will you sort a problem for them? Make them click!
#7 MAKE SURE YOUR CONTENT IS WELL WRITTEN
There are so many blogs out there and many are full of errors. As much as we are willing to forgive an Italian restaurant to make a few mistakes in their posts as it’s probably run by Italians and not native speakers, it doesn’t look very professional if there are many grammatical errors.
It doesn’t matter how many times you re-read your content, a small mistake will always creep in and you probably won’t notice it until you publish the blog post.
Everyone is a great editor after they’ve hit the Publish button. Including me. And writing and editing is my job!
It happens, don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you read the same piece of writing all over again, your brain expects the next sentence – it makes less effort and this makes it a lot harder to spot mistakes.
Here are some quick tips that will help you with this brain-laziness:
- Read the text out loud – if you trip on something, your reader will too. Consider rewriting that section or sentence. Maybe it’s too long or it contains too many prepositions. Play around and rephrase it.
- Change the font or size – this is a great way to spot mistakes! Your brain will be tricked into thinking that the text is new. You’ll be amazed how well it works! I use it when I’m about to send my final draft to a client and it works every time!
If you are not very good at writing and you like numbers more than letters, give me a shout and I’ll give you a hand.
Make sure your text is clear and use words everyone understands. Stay away from jargon or complex words that general public may struggle with. It’s more difficult if you write blog posts about finance, banking, or technology.
Sometimes, you have to use more complex words and if that’s your case, make sure you briefly explain them.
For example, I’ve recently read a text about benefits at work and it mentioned salary sacrifice scheme. I know what it is, but I also know that many of my colleagues don’t. I work for a company which employs a lot of foreigners and they should adjust the text for everyone.
Consider writing something like:
We offer a salary sacrifice scheme which allows you to take on tax-free benefits.
You don’t have to explain exactly how it works, just highlight what is the main feature. If the reader is more interested, they’ll look it up later. Provide as much information in as few words, so that your reader can understand enough to continue reading.
#8 PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Just having your blog sitting online is not enough anymore. And linking it to social media accounts hoping that people will find it is useless.
Depending on the topic, enter groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and promote your content there. Don’t just spam though – you have to write a legit post and ideally explain why are you sharing this and maybe you can tag some people you know might enjoy it!
The first readers of my blog were friends and family. They occasionally share it around and it gets noticed – but it takes time!
Frequently promote your new post on social media and briefly explain what are you covering in said post.
Consider entering forums where people discuss problems you hold answers to. It’s a great way to share your content to an audience that’s looking for your it, but hasn’t found it yet.
Search engines will notice the buzz surrounding your content and reward you for it. Sitting and waiting for people to organically find your blog is an outdated strategy that doesn’t work anymore, as there’s so much stuff out there that everyone is flooded by information.
When you’re sharing links, make sure you tell people what you want them to do! This is call-to-action and it’s a basic rule in copywriting. If you don’t tell anyone what to do, they won’t. They’ll just leave your page or profile. Clearly tell them to “read new blog post”, “share it”, or “comment on it”. Ideally, you want people to comment on your blog, as it shows the search engines that there’s engagement going on and engagement means relevance!
Be consistent with posting. I post a new blog post on this site every Friday. And every Friday, I always share it around my social media accounts. I also sometimes pick a popular post and share it around again in a couple of months time to boost its juice.
Blogging requires strategy. It’s a lot more difficult to prove to the search engines you value because there are tons of other sites trying to do the same thing!
JUST TO SUM UP
So, what have we learned?
- Keywords and Keyphrases are KEY
- Use keyword research tool and look for Volume and Difficulty
- Include keywords and keyphrases in your Heading, Introduction, Subheading, First paragraph and in the main body of the text
- Don’t forget to add keywords and keyphrases to picture descriptions and metadata
- Build a network of internal links
- Proofread your content and make it easy to read
- Promote, promote, promote!
If you can’t be bothered doing all this yourself (and I don’t blame you), you can use many ways to contact me:
- Contact Me form here on my website
- DM me on Instagram @wordsbysilvie
- Send me a message on LinkedIn
- Social media icons are at the top of every page
This service doesn’t have to be expensive and I’m happy to make you a personal quote. Not every project is the same, that’s why I don’t have a price-list.