This is part one of a ten part serial on SEO for beginners. These posts aim to demystify SEO for the layman and casual blogger. I hope to make them as informative as possible and to spark discussion between digital creators on their views and tips for navigating in the world of search engines and algorithms.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the way that businesses adapt their websites in order to make them easier to find and more favourable in web search results.
How highly ranked your site is in terms of search engine results is largely determined by the keywords embedded in your content.
When you think of what your website displays or sells, categories may emerge. For example, the category types for PebblePen may be:
- Genres etc.
These are known as broad match keywords as they are likely to be searched for by many people and consequently can bring high volumes of visitors to your site.
The other type of search term you need to know about is long tail keywords. For example, under the categories of books you may find the following:
- Books like The Underground Railroad
- HarperCollins Teen Books UK
- Best Horror Books 2017
- Dual Language Children’s Books English Spanish
Using these kinds of longer keywords may not bring as many visitors to your site because as you can see, every search term has the word ‘books’ in it, so if you use the broad keyword ‘books’ you are likely to appear in all four searches.
However, every other book blog, publisher, author, Tom, Dick and Harry will also be using this keyword to attract readers, and if they match the long tail search better than your site, then your result will end up on the 398th page.
The other thing to mention is that these four different searches are looking for totally different things. For example, I can’t review children’s books in Spanish because my language skills are too poor, therefore any visitor that clicks Pebblepen hoping for a dual language children’s book is going to be disappointed, and not turn into subscribers, contributors or customers.
- For quantity pick broad match keywords
- For quality pick long tail keywords
The next most important thing is keyword research. Google has a brilliant tool for this here. You can determine whether the search trend is increasing or decreasing since 2014.
Google Analytics is also very good for discovering which keyword searches your website is already appearing in!