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  • Emma

A DIY Guide to SEO | Part 2: Keywords

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

5 things you need to know about keywords to help your web pages rank better

The most fundamental part of ranking on Google or any other search engine is keywords.

Emma searches on her phone overlaid with a Google style search bar
Google searches are the keywords you want

The words, expressions and phrases you put on a page are fundamental to how search engines know what your website is about. Search engines want to know if your page will give people the answer to the question or phrase they are searching for. So what is the best way to use key words?

Don't 'keyword stuff'

A popular SEO practice used to be to stuff a page with the same keyword over and over again. Website designers would hide the word by using white font on a white background so it didn't interfere with real people using the site. The idea was that Google would see the word repeated and think this meant the page was full of information about that topic.

Don't do it. Google's engineers quickly wised up to this poor practice so keyword stuffing will now work against you if you do it and your website ranking will go down.

Do use keyword synonyms

When we talk, we naturally use synonyms, pronouns, expressions and a whole host of wordy techniques to avoid repetition. This helps our listener understand us. Good writing does the same.

Once you have chosen your key words or phrases for a web page, think about other ways to say the same thing. Then make sure you have included them across the page. A simple way to find alternative expressions is to use a thesaurus, like Macmillan Thesaurus. Or simply put your keyword in google search bar and see what else appears.

A screenshot of a google search with drop down suggestions for meal delivery
Use google search for keyword ideas

Structure your page around keywords

When you plan your website, think about the title for each page first. Then think about what to fill the pages with based on your keywords.

Titles and headers are fundamental to getting your search engine optimisation right. If your headings are not well connected, it makes the search engine unsure about your subject. So you are less likely to rank well.

Using your keywords and their synonyms in your titles and headers will do two things. It will make you write the page about one clear topic (you'd be amazed how many pages don't have a clear topic). And it will send a strong signal to the search engine crawler bots that this page is definitely about that thing the search engine user wants to find.

After you have found your page title and section headers, try adding bullet points underneath each section heading using the keywords you have chosen for ideas. This will help your page feel organised. Then turn those bullets into short, snappy paragraphs packed full of useful details. A well-written paragraph will naturally include synonyms for the headers. This is one way of optimising a website to make a rapid improvement to its ranking.

Find the best words with free keyword tools

The secrets of Google's algorithm are under lock and key. No individual marketer, content writer or SEO strategist gets to sit at the table in Google HQ. But there are some fantastic FREE keyword tools you can use to pin down good contenders for your website.

  • Start with Google Keyword Planner Simply the best and so simple to use. Just set yourself up with a Google Ad account. It doesn't cost anything. Then get to work on the keyword planner: it is their free tool to help you decide which words to use in your Google adverts. The good news is that you don't have to make adverts on Google to use this facility. You only have to spend time finding strong words and phrases to use on your website, blog and social media. How helpful is that!

  • Use your website builder's own tools Wix has an excellent keyword tool offering lots of helpful suggestions as you try out your ideas. Even better it then alerts you if you don't use one of your 5 chosen phrases on a page. It is a little tricky to find after the initial set up so here is a screenshot from my own dashboard to show you where to click.

Internet marketing service tip: the Wix website dashboard has an excellent keyword tool to help me optimise my website
Wix keyword tool makes planning easy

Don't forget the pictures

Here is one last top tip to get your keywords working harder for you.

Ensure you add keywords in to your image alt-descriptions. Most people do not see these because they are the written text that appears if a picture fails to load. But search engines crawler bots DO look at them. The information is included in the search engine decision about how to rank your website. So don't leave your alt-descriptions blank. Those pictures might as well not be there as far as the search engine is concerned.

Here is an example using the alt-description for the screenshot about Wix's keyword tool.

Internet marketing service tip: the Wix website dashboard has an excellent keyword tool to help me optimise my website

Can you see how that helps? Someone might easily search for 'internet marketing service', 'Wix website dashboard', 'keyword tool', or even 'help me optimise my website'. And if they are searching for those things, this blog post will appear in the ranking.

The first thing people usually learn about when they decide to fix their search engine ranking is keywords. It is one thing to have them and quite another to use them well. And now you know how.

Hopefully these tips will help you write better website pages.

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