December 5, 2017
We’ve written before: SEO starts with content — and you could almost say it ends with content, too. Not quite, but almost. So, as you start writing content for your site, or as you take a fresh look at content that already exists on your site, ask yourself these questions:
OK, so we’re going to talk today about SEO “keywords” and “key phrases”.
I need pause a second to tell you I’m not a big fan of the term “SEO.” We actually try not to use the term very much. It always makes it seem to me that all this is some secret, mysterious thing that only “experts” understand. It’s not that complicated, but it does take work and time. It’s mostly about coming up with a smart plan to have good stuff on your site, to promote it as well as you can, and to keep at it.
So, back to those keywords: There are two steps here: first, research; then applying what you learned from the research.
Let’s just start making a list.
OK, now we are ready to start applying this list.
Let’s start by picking one of the topical groups of keywords you just created. You don’t need to tackle all of them at once. Creating better content and doing better in search is a process that takes time, not a switch you flip.
Remember: It won’t do you a lot good to just stuff the keywords onto existing pages if that content is not genuinely useful to someone who was searching on those terms. Don’t try to fool people. Don’t try to fool search engines. Don’t force it. Don’t overdo it. That will hurt you in the end.
Simply try to write well and clearly about the topic. You’re an expert on whatever it is you do, so show people you can help them. Why else would someone want to come to your site? And, hey, look! The keywords that are appropriate to the content find their way naturally onto the page, right? They naturally have a place in page headlines and accurately reflect what the page is about. Yes, see, this is not that complicated.
Here is the point: Taking the time to research and craft a keyword list will help you be intentional and strategic about what new content you write and how old content can be improved — with the goal of bringing more of the right kind of people to your website.
Take the example of the doctors that we mentioned earlier. In doing some initial keyword research, we noticed a “related search” that was: “pregnancy symptoms first weeks.” While the site we were working on had lots of great content about pregnancy, it didn’t have much of anything to help someone who entered that particular search.
But if we can assume this is a related search because it is a common search (and if we can assume many of those people are women interested in becoming pregnant), perhaps this is an opportunity to provide another bit of good, authoritative content that could bring new people to the website — people who just might be potential new patients.
Be sure the content is helpful, so that it makes a visitor happy if they click to your site. If it answers the question they had when they entered the search query, they may spend more time on the page. They may link to your page from some other site. They may share it on social media. They may return to it later. While we don’t understand all of the things Google measures in determining search rankings, any and all of those are probably going to help you.
Look, there are not tricks in all this. Nothing magic. Just some work, some thinking, some planning. And don’t think you’ll get all this done in a week. Good content takes time. SEO takes time. Make it part of your routine. Make it part of your marketing plan.
That’s a good sign you need to talk with us.