How to be found in Google - Part 2 of 3

May 1, 2013
SEO Strategy to get a good ranking in Google

In this article, we will look at improving your website's search engine ranking by creating quality, keyword-rich content that both your users and the search engines will love. If you didn't manage to read last month's article you can view it here. Before we begin let's have a quick look at what we covered last time...

A Quick Recap

  • Being found in Google is an integral part of having an online presence
  • Understanding your target audience and their intentions is key to being found in Google
  • Google's free keyword tool can help you understand what your audience is searching for

Let's Get Going

We should now have a list of keywords gleaned from Google's Keyword Tool. It helps to put your keywords into a spreadsheet, you can then sort them by number of searches or competition.

Good Search Engine Optimisation will focus on a small but high-value set of keywords for each section of the website to optimise their effect. During the course of keyword research you will end up with many combinations of different keywords, the skill comes in working out which ones are worth targeting and sticking to them.

There is a temptation at this point to try to optimise your website for all of the keywords you find with low competition and a high search rate. AVOID THIS TEMPTATION. Think of it like trying to spread a teaspoon of jam across 50 slices of toast, by the time you're through you won't even be able to taste the jam.

Choosing the Best Keywords

Begin to filter through your list by choosing appropriate keywords. These should accurately describe your business and be relevant to your target audience, ask yourself "are the people using these keywords likely to want our services?" and "does this make sense?", "is this what I would look for if I was searching for my business?" ask other people as well, the more information you get the better position you will be in to make an informed decision. Once you have your set of potential keywords look them up in Google, and see who else you will be competing against if you use this term.

We'll use our example from last time Jon's Guitars, for the website home page Google has given me the following keywords, so we'll look at the ones highlighted (search numbers correct at the time of writing).

KeywordCompetitionMonthly Searches (UK)
online guitar tunersLow33100
guitar luthierLow1,600
guitar chords chartLow12100
chord finderLow8100
all guitar chordsLow6600
guitar buildersLow4400
guitar wiringLow3600
make your own guitarMedium3600
personalized guitarsMedium1900
design your own guitarMedium1900
handmade guitarsMedium1300
hand made guitarsMedium1300
hand made guitarMedium1300
homemade guitarLow880
make your own custom guitarLow170
custom guitar necksMedium170
custom guitar makersMedium170
custom electric guitar buildersMedium12

The keywords highlighted in green are obvious choices, they sum up the core service that Jon's Guitars offers and they have a fairly low level of competition.

The blue keywords may seem like a strange choice as they don't focus on the primary offering of Jon's Guitars. Using our deducing skills we can see that users searching for these terms want a custom-built guitar, they just want to create it themselves. Rather than writing them off, Jon's Guitars could use this opportunity to showcase their knowledge by providing a guide to making your own guitar. This has 2 benefits, firstly it provides valuable content that users will be more likely to share. Secondly, it may well be that some of those users decide to let Jon's Guitars make their custom guitar for them.

Writing Good Content

In essence, this is about making sure that you have included your target keywords in the content of your website in a way that doesn't compromise the user experience. So for example the introductory paragraph for Jon's Guitars home page could be something like this...

"Welcome to Jon's Guitars - Luthiers of quality acoustic guitars

We are builders of handmade guitars for professional musicians and hobbyists. As professional guitar luthiers, we pride ourselves on the quality of our workmanship. We build guitars of all shapes and sizes for people of all sorts.

View our collection of handmade guitars >>"

Some points to have in mind when writing your masterpiece...

  • Don't keyword stuff - Instead focus on writing content that is centered around your keywords but makes sense when you read it out loud, if it sounds natural then you're probably on the right track
  • Write for web not print - Get to the point quickly. Studies show that people read very differently online than in print, users tend to skim content looking for useful nuggets and then move onto the next point
  • Write interesting content worth sharing - People will be far more inclined to share '10 Secrets of Rock Star Guitars' than 'We finally got new curtains in the staff room'

It's important to make sure that your web developer includes your chosen keywords in the appropriate areas of your website structural markup, this is beyond the scope of this article but if you would like any guidance in this area feel free to get in touch.

Writing good content or copy is a skill in itself and I highly recommend anyone wanting to further their abilities in this area check out for the know-how.

In Conclusion

  • Good Search Engine Optimisation focuses on a small high-value set of keywords for each section of the website to optimise their effect
  • Choose keywords which accurately describe your business and are relevant to your target audience
  • Use your chosen keywords to write content that is share-worthy and doesn't compromise the user's experience on your website

Next Time

In part three we'll look at the all-important art of backlink building to increase the authority of your website and gain a better search engine ranking. Read How to be found in Google - Part 3 of 3.

In the meantime, as always if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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