If you fail to ensure effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website and its pages, your competitors will enjoy the traffic that could’ve been yours.
And that traffic could’ve been tremendous sales opportunities.
In the above illustration, you can see that it is easy for Google to direct a user looking to buy pet food to the pet store (Store A). This is because it is clear to the search engine what the store is about.
For the same reason, if a user asks for directions to where to buy a car, Google will also be able to quickly show results from Store B.
In the case of Store C, we don’t know what it is – not even Google knows. So Google won’t be able to direct to Store C those who are looking for what Store C has.
Google will only direct users to stores that it knows about.
You don’t want your website to be like Store C.
You also don’t want to have a store that only says “Pets” because that term can mean many things. Pet adoption, pet grooming, pet supplies… anything, not necessarily just a place to buy pet food.
And the worst thing you don’t want to do is to label your store as a pet shop when your products are something else.
Google prefers to direct users to optimised websites that have clear messaging and clear content.
To make sure that you have your share of the market, you have to see to it that your pages perform well on search engines results pages (SERPs) displayed for users looking for information and products you have.
To do so, you need to implement practices that guarantee your content will serve its purpose when users are trying to find solutions through search engines.
Here’s a checklist of things you need to keep in mind when developing your pages’ content.
- Have a Sound Keyword Strategy
Making sure that your technical SEO is on point gets your pages crawled and indexed by search engines.
Having done so gets you into the race.
But if you’re going to win the race, you need to implement on-page SEO principles to make your pages more reliable and useful than your competitors.
Now, it is vital to remember that if you create your website in a way that your content and messaging are clear, users will naturally find you on SERPs by using keywords that are clearly relevant to your business.
But you have to consider the possibility that your competitors are doing the same.
For you to ensure that you are getting your share of the market, you need to make an effort to do SEO better than them.
There are a ton of details when it comes to keyword strategising.
For more details see Section 3 of the KAMG SEO Content Hub about Keyword Strategy & Research. But we will gloss over some essential things you need to consider.
Keyword Strategy in 5 Steps
- Identify your seed keywords or the top keywords that you want to rank for.
When brainstorming seed keywords it’s common to begin with your best estimates.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to aid in your brainstorming.
- What’s the point of my website?
- What exactly do I sell?
- Who do I sell to?
- What keywords do I want to rank for?
- What kind of keyword ads would I buy?
- What words would someone use if they were just starting to research the topic of my website?
When selecting seed keywords, it is often beneficial to be as specific as possible.
If you own a watch repair shop in your neighbourhood, you could perhaps assume “watches” would be an excellent keyword, but it’s so broad and competitive that it’s unlikely to help you.
Try being more precise instead.
Watches is a bad seed keyword.
Watch repair shop and used watch parts are good seed keywords.
- Identify what your competitors are ranking for.
If your site is new, it would be good to see what keywords your competitors are currently ranking for. Find a business that sells almost exactly what you sell and analyse their website.
You may use Moz’ Keyword Explorer to analyse competitor websites.
See what keywords come up and pick out which ones are applicable to your business.
- Check what keywords you are already ranking for.
If you already have a website, you have to constantly check what keywords you are naturally ranking for.
You can find out what keywords your website is already optimised for by using the same keyword analysis tool by Moz for checking your competitors.
Assess what you are ranking for differently than the competition and see which ones you can leverage.
Also see if you can compete using the same keywords that your competitors are using.
- Plan your content around your chosen keywords.
Analyse as much content as you can find that are in the SERPs for the keywords you have picked out.
Plan on what excellent content you may provide to satisfy those keywords and ensure that you consider their search intent.
- Satisfy Search Intent
Search intent is a qualitative metric for keywords. It defines the major user consensus for the reason or intention why users are using a keyword.
So for example, the keyword “buy shoes online” will be used by people whose search purpose is to find shoes for sale and shop. They intend to buy and naturally use that keyword to find a store where they can do what they want.
On the other hand, for example with the keyword “what is SEO” the intention of the user for the search is to learn the definition of SEO or to get more information about the topic.
We will dig deeper into this matter in the Search Intent Section of the KAMG SEO Content Hub. But for now, here are brief descriptions of the different types of search intent.
The 4 Most Common Types of Search Intent
This pertains to keywords used in search with the intent to find information. For example, “weather today” and “how to train an elephant” are informational keywords in terms of search intent.
People use navigational keywords to find a website. For example, you may use the search word “tabasco” to simply find the Tabasco® hot sauce website.
These keywords are used by people who have the intent to buy something at the moment. For example, the keyword “buy bananas online” is a commercial keyword used by people who simply want to purchase bananas.
Keywords like these are used by people who have transactional intent but are still evaluating what and from where to buy. So a person with commercial intent may search with keywords like “best SEO agency UK” or “restaurants near me.”
Knowing the search intent for your keywords can help you build your pages in ways that satisfy the reasons why people are searching for those keywords.
High ranking pages are those pages that people most often click on when they search.
The attention and traffic these pages get gives Google a quantitative impression that they have the best quality content to be resources for people searching with the keywords they match with.
Google thinks that these pages satisfy what users are looking for. And you want to appeal to those users by ensuring your pages have exactly what they are looking for.
You have to ensure that you give users what they are looking for, as precisely as you can, when they use a certain keyword.
You may use informational keywords for your learning resources, guideposts or blogs. And you may integrate transactional ones into your product, service or shopping pages.
The point is that people are searching for things using search engines to find a solution to a problem that they have. So ensure that you provide what they expect to find on your pages.
- Make your pages naturally useful.
Even if you use the best keywords on your pages, they will not rank if users don’t get what they want from them.
So focus less on ensuring that you use keywords word for word and rather. put more effort into making your pages engaging, helpful and conversion optimised.
Remember that search engines, most especially Google, are already highly intuitive. They know what keywords your pages are ranking for even if you don’t mention them word for word in your copy.
And don’t forget that your ranking on SERPs is also highly affected by how much traffic your page is currently getting. If Google sees that your pages are getting a lot of traffic and usage, it may assume that your page is useful and contains good answers to queries for particular keywords.
Here are tips on how to create SEO-friendly page content.
- Don’t be too dogmatic in using keywords.
Only use a keyword word for word if it grammatically makes sense and helps drive the point of your page. For grammatically incorrect keywords, don’t be afraid to rephrase them.
For example, shoes store UK is a keyword that will rarely fit any practical sentence.
You don’t want to say “We are the Best Shoes Store UK” as it is simply bad English. You could rephrase it as “The Top Shoes Store in the UK” and only if you want to emphasise that point to the user.
Also avoid keyword stuffing or deliberately repeating a keyword in your copy in an attempt to tell Google that your page is about that keyword. Google knows that people are doing this and will rank you lower if you do so.
- Focus on the purpose of your page.
Write with the intent of what your page is for.
For example, if you are building a product page for a Pet Store to promote a certain product such as a green medium-sized dog leash, you will want to write descriptions, uses and benefits of that product.
You may want to talk about why a user should buy this product in terms of its characteristics and qualities:
- Animal specific (Dog),
- Function (Leash)
- Colour (Green)
- Size (Medium-Sized)
- Standard (Good Quality)
- Characteristics (Simple to buy (and return)).
You may also want to include how a user may buy the product and other details including pricing, warranty and shipping – things that you would want to know if you were the customer.
When you focus on building your pages in a way that they are helpful to users, you will naturally be indexed and ranked for the correct keywords.
Knowing what your keywords are before building your pages is important. However, your goal has to be to satisfy customers, not to perfectly use keywords.
SEO-friendly content means that your pages serve their purpose as an effective solution for users.
But here’s the thing. You don’t usually create new pages often or update your existing ones regularly.
You may add a new page for a new product or update an existing one for added features but these instances seldom happen. And with SEO requiring that your website berich with related content, you can’t bank on your pages for content expansion as much as you can with blogs.
You need regular fresh content.
Hence, blogs are a significantly helpful part of your website in terms of SEO. And that’s what you will learn in the next section of the KAMG SEO Content Hub about How Blogging Improves Your SEO.