Yes! Keywords Matter for SEO

Why Keywords Matter for SEO

Search engines don’t actually speak human language. That’s probably something you already knew. But even knowing that, I doubt you’ve put much thought into your page keywords and metadata. The sad thing is, that’s what the search engine’s robots use to ‘read’ your website. It’s those words that determine your rank on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

That doesn’t mean you should pick one keyword and run with it. First off, your website plugins like Yoast SEO will flag you for days if you do that. Secondly, the crawlers will destroy your score for keyword stuffing or overuse. What you need to do is identify the keyword groups that are relevant to your page. Start with your main keyword and then use Google Keyword Planner to identify tangential keywords.

types of keywords

Different Types of Keywords

Short Tail – Less than three words, very basic and high traffic

Long Tail – More than three words, very specific and low traffic.

Why would you ever want low traffic keywords? Well, if you choose them right, they are high conversion words. If your site specialises in kids toys for toddlers, you don’t want to rank for all kids toys. You just want traffic for people interested in toddler toys. Longtail keywords can help you get the specific traffic you need. A keyword grouping of longtail keywords for this fake brand might be something like, “colourful toys for toddler boys” “girls playset toys for toddlers” “maths learning toys for toddlers” “cheap toy gifts for toddlers” and so on. Once again, using the keyword planner will help you, but you need to think about your customer. Think about what they are likely to buy from you.

keyword tools

Tools to Help You Improve Your Keyword Usage

First, it’s a great idea to scan your website and the websites of your competitors. You can use Ubersuggest to do this. This will tell you what they are ranking for versus what you are. If your website seems way off the mark, consider changing your keyword strategy. The tool will also tell you if any of your pages are broken and how fast it’s loading. It’s a pretty useful bookmark to have.

Next, if you’re going to run ads, check out WordStream. They show you the volumes and CPC for keywords related to your site or a competitors site. And they’re pretty localised. This is pretty useful if you serve a regional area. Another great tool for locally operating companies is this one. The bulk keyword generator is also excellent at local keywords if that’s your niche.

Lastly, check out Google Trends. We ran a search for kids toys to see what related topics and search terms are associated. And you get this info:

Related Searches: top kids toys for christmas 2019, top toys for kids this christmas, kindi kids toys, best kids toys christmas 2019, top kids toys 2019

Related Topics: Irrigation sprinkler, Backyard, Climbing – Sport, Trampoline – Topic, Playground slide – Topic

You can download these results to build into a workable list. Think about writing blogs on related topics and searches to encourage people to visit your page. Maybe they’ll shop around!

Need help with any of this? Talk to our amazing team today.

How Hosting Impacts on SEO

Bad hosting is killing your organic

Most people overlook search engine optimization (SEO) when thinking about web hosting providers. That’s because the metrics web hosts are responsible for often fly under the radar. But hosting impacts on SEO in ways you might not realise. Ever done an SEO scrape of your website? 

Well, run one now! It only takes a few minutes and you’ll see one of the first stats that matter.

page loading time matters

Load Speed

Now, website design has a huge impact on page load times, so you’ll want to make sure there are no rogue plug-ins or oversized images causing havoc. However, if you’ve done that and you’re still seeing poor load times across mobile and desktop, it’s time to talk to your host. Ask about their server load and cache system to see if performance can be improved. Not getting the response you want? Time to shop around!

Already on the market? Well, make sure you know where their servers are located.

server location impacts seo

Server Location

Where the host servers are located really impacts your data transfer speed and – just as importantly – suggested results from search engines. When you type something into Google, ever noticed that your device location is tracked? Don’t believe us? Scroll to the very bottom of the page of results and you’ll see where you’re located. Even if it’s general, it still impacts what page results you see and in what order. Search engines use many factors to determine what to display and one of those is a location match between you and the website that’s suggested.

And it goes without saying that the website has to be online more than it’s not.

uptime versus downtime

Uptime vs Downtime

You want to ensure as close to 100% uptime as possible. That’s because there are more than just visitors trying to reach your website. Search engines are too. They’re crawling your website daily, looking for updates, and checking it’s working. This is another way hosting impacts on SEO, if your web host is down due to technical issues, that’s a black mark against you. And it doesn’t take much for search engines to start de-ranking your page if it starts to look unstable to the web crawlers.

But it can be as stable as ever and still rank poorly if it’s unsecured.

ssl is standard

SSL

Rankings have been impacted by their HTTPS status for years already, so put quite simply… don’t go with a web hosting service that offers anything less. SSL is required by a lot of data protection standards as well, so you’re doing yourself a favour on multiple fronts by starting off with a secure site. We offer free 256-bit SSL certificates as standard, so it’s not an ask for your web host to do the same. Many firewalls will prevent access to unsecured sites automatically, so this is a really critical element of web hosting that we can’t emphasise enough!

As with any list, these factors aren’t exhaustive so it’s best to do your own research before committing to any long-term contracts. If you want to know what our packages include or have a question about one of these metrics, just reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members here.

Getting The Most Out Of Google My Business

Operated by Google, Google My Business is a way for business owners to take control over exactly

Operated by Google, Google My Business is a way for business owners to take control over exactly what their users and potential customers see in the search results listings. With a dedicated account that is solely used to influence Google search information, users can manipulate this data and supply information that their customers might need – including open hours, a contact number and photos of services or products.

Of course, another important feature of this is your location. By setting your location, you’re enabling potential customers in your area to search for what they need – and what you can provide – and be directed straight to your door.

So, how do you optimise this information to ensure that it is actually seen by the right users?

Get your foot off the starting block

The first step is, of course, to create your Google My Business listing, and fill in as much information as you possibly can. If your business doesn’t have a physical location or base, that doesn’t mean a Google Business account isn’t important – you can simply skip over the location and instead opt for a Service Area which allows users to see where you operate your services.

Pick the right Category

Picking the right category is how Google will narrow down searches towards or away from you. The categories already exist, so it is simply a case of selecting the one that most applies to you and your business – but don’t just pick the first one you see that seems relatively appropriate. The list of categories is large and quite specific, so make sure you pick the very best one for your business.

The importance of imagery

The world is shifting towards image-heavy social media platforms and videos, so ensuring you have some great visual content for potential customers is a sure-fire way to attract their attention. Using high-quality and professional photos where possible, your profile should show off your products or service results to any potential client who seeks more information. After all, first impressions are still the most important.

Double-check your information

If your business has a Google profile, an Instagram account and a Facebook page, it is imperative that you make sure the information aligns across them all. Consistency is key, not just for your customers who may be looking for vital information, but also for Google – who will penalise you for inconsistent detail; resulting in a negative impact on your SEO.

Encourage Reviews

Online reviews are a minefield. Businesses can shy away from reviews simply because they feel people will only comment on a negative experience. This is not the case since good reviews can seal the deal for one business over another in many cases. If a friend recommends a great restaurant, what are the chances you’ll visit that one over an unknown? Exactly.

Think about your area – and area code

If Google doesn’t think you’re a local business, they won’t recommend you to individuals searching in your local area. Using a local area code is one easy way to prove to Google that your location is correct. It will make Google more likely to recommend and suggest your business to users in the area searching for similar.

Make sure you know what Google does and doesn’t like, and stick to it

Google publishes guidelines for Business listings. Take the time to read it and familiarise yourself with what NOT to do. For example, adding keywords may be a good thing. And you may think you need them everywhere… but inserting them randomly into your business name can work against you. If it looks like you’re trying too hard, Google will suspect you’re not legitimate and you will be penalised. Another example is having a number of different listings all pointing towards the same business. You may think multiple listings means multiple chances of appearance, but all it means is that Google will punish you.

Don’t take your eye off the SEO-ball

SEO is still super important and ensuring your entire website works in line with your SEO strategy will go a long way towards giving both your website and your business listing the legitimacy that Google looks for. Make sure your keywords are relevant and present. Look to create content that focuses on your local area – as well as any wider offers.

Unpacking the value of SEO

Unfortunately for those new to the game, SEO isn’t just a quick fix. It is in fact a series of tricks that work together to give your website the best possible ranking it can get in the eyes of Google. You may be thinking that the customer matters to you, not Google. But if you’re not ranked, you won’t appear for customers. That’s the value of SEO.

Having said that, it’s not like the search engines offer a guide to good SEO. In fact, they tend to keep quiet about the best way to steer SEO in a favourable direction. This leaves us to figure out the algorithms and how to rank highly. So, without further ado, here are a few of our top tips on how you can improve your own SEO on your website without hiring in experts and content creators.

Get to grips with Google analytics

Before you can truly understand which avenue your SEO should be going down, first you need to get to grips with your website’s current performance. Analytics will give you some insight into how people are currently coming across your website and how they are interacting with it, so that you can understand your website traffic and determine which search terms are leading people to you.

In essence, why are people coming across your website and what are they searching for to bring them to you? What’s the current value of SEO for you?

Understand your keywords

The next step is to identify what keywords link your service to the people who are visiting your website. Write down all the words that you think are key to your business proposition and what you offer, and then use keyword tools to figure out how valuable those terms are.

Engaging tools such as Google’s free keyword planner are useful here as they give you some idea of how many searches each keyword has and how competitive the word is among other websites. It will also then provide you with some suggestions around keywords relevant to your site, to help you build out your list and bid on the words best suited in both yours and Google’s opinion.

Trust us, this will all help your website to rank better among its competitors, leading to increased website traffic and subsequently more business.

Optimise your website according to your SEO strategy

Once the keywords are established, your website needs to be brought up to speed. This involves implementing the chosen words into as many aspects as you can – NATURALLY. This is key. Making sure the sentences flow smoothly and that the keywords are well integrated is critical to ensuring a good ranking. If Google thinks it’s nonsense, you could be worse off than you were before you started.

Key areas to focus on include the web page URL, heading tags, image names and alt tags, title tags and your web page meta descriptions. A lot of this will be happening in the back end of your website and won’t even be something that is obvious from a visitor point of view. But Google is always watching…

Make sure you don’t lose sight of your content

Keeping the content relevant and up to date is vital for SEO. Not only do new news stories and blog posts give you increased opportunity to integrate those keywords to your site, but they signal to Google that your website is active and relevant in its field. Create high-quality content that will interest your audience, and they’ll stick around to read it. If you start letting the content drop, you’ll swiftly see a corresponding drop in your website traffic.

Out with the old

Likewise, old content is pointless. Update your old content where necessary, and if it’s no longer relevant then simply scrap it.

Internal links

Google is a big fan of internal linking and proof that every area of your website is relevant to the overall industry you’re providing a service in.

Optimisation

In a world where most browsing is done on the go, ensuring your website is optimised for mobile usage is absolutely crucial – not only for your users but for your Google ranking. Mobile matters and Google have recently revealed that the status of your website optimisation is a factor in ranking your site among its competitors. So, don’t let it fall by the wayside!

Site Speed

Much like the above, site speed is another thing that you think is out of your control but impacts SEO a lot. People care about how long it takes for a web page to load. Improving your site speed is something that can make a big difference in overall website satisfaction.

There are things you can do externally too. Promote your content in other places. Think social media, through guest posts on other related sites and even in directories. If you’re an expert, play on this and ensure that everything you do online links back to your own website.

This is a strategy known as backlinking and is another way of showing Google how relevant you are – by having other relevant websites link to your site. It’s like a recommendation without direct endorsement. But for Google, it is enough to show that your content is valuable. This means your website deserves to be up there with the other strong contenders.

Keen to learn about trends in SEO for 2020? Click here.

Unpicking SEO: How to boost your SEO rankings

SEO is one of those buzz-words that floats around the online world, without much understanding behind it. Individuals claiming to be SEO experts will constantly inundate your inbox with offers to optimise your SEO and perform SEO checks – but what does it all mean? They all want to boost your SEO rankings and often at great cost.

The purpose of SEO is to make sure your website stands out for the powers of a search engine. Often what the search engine is looking for doesn’t even make complete sense to us, but we do it because it leads to good “SEO”. This guide to unpicking SEO is designed to simply help your website rank a little higher and perform a little better, without the need for outsourced experts and lengthy reviews.

Pick your Keywords and stick to them

When using WordPress, there are special plugins and accessories that have been created just to make your SEO life easier – use them. Yoast SEO is one of the best; rating your posts according to how well they have been written in light of your SEO targets. Yoast is a content creaters dream, engaging one simple tool that will change the way you write. It allows you to pick a keyword and it makes sure you stick to it.

By telling Yoast what the focus of your post is, in one word, the plugin will make sure everything you create is working to your advantage – from the post heading to the content body and image captions. Good SEO means tying everything together to one common focus, and Yoast makes absolutely sure that is what you do.

Customise the web address

How many times have you clicked through to a blog and wanted to send it to someone else, only to see that the link is a random string of numbers and characters that takes up half a text message? It’s annoying, unprofessional and renders your article potentially unshareable for the likes of LinkedIn and other social media.

Editing the web address is easy in WordPress, and by making sure that focus keyword we discussed is also in the web URL, your SEO will be even better – not to mention it will look better and allow readers to understand exactly what the post is about before they start to read it.

Divide your content into different categories

The best bloggers out there know how to divide their work into sub-divisions and categories; not only to make navigation easier for their readers, but also to improve SEO for your site. Search engines trawl through your content to assign an SEO rating – why not make it easy for them by dividing the content up and doing half the work for them?

Get rid of the junk

Bin any old, poor or duplicate content right away. If you don’t want to permanently delete it, then at least set the page to ‘no-index’ so that they cannot be found by the search engines, as these pages are likely harming your SEO and making search engines think your website is full of junk.

Make the images smaller

Large pictures can completely dwarf a great website, no matter how spectacular the content is. They damage your load time. A slow load time means a badly ranked site in the eyes of a search engine. They will subsequently be unlikely to position your site high up in their options for visitors. By reducing the size of your images, you will see a drastic change in the load time for your site. This will translate into better SEO ranking and more website visitors.

These changes are quick and easy fixes to help your SEO perform better and boost your SEO rankings. Everything you create no longer simply needs to satisfy your end reader. Search engines are your biggest judge, and if you don’t cater to their requirements, your website won’t even be found. Give yourself the best possible start by engaging these tips from the word go. Then sit back and watch the visitors flock to your website.

Want more tips? Click here.