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Finding the Right Keywords for SEO

Keyword research is a little bit like a treasure hunt. You spend a long time looking until eventually you strike gold. But when you do, it is certainly worth it.

There are so many different methods and reasons to find keywords, and in this article I am going to show you a few of the most important ones.

Different Types of Keywords

One of the first things you have to realize when you are looking for keywords for your SEO, is that not all keywords are created equally.

What do I mean by that? Well some keywords are used by people when they are just surfing the web. And others are used when they are looking to buy. And those are the kinds of keywords that we are interested in. Keywords that are leading towards buyer intent.

If you want a great example of how this flow works in some interesting examples, check out this post.

Because when you are focusing on things that bring money to your business, it is these kinds of keywords that you need.

if instead you end up with only keywords that bring information seekers to your website, you might be in for a shock. That is, lots of traffic, but no one that is really interested in buying.

Brian Dean at Backlinko has an even more detailed article on this very topic. Or the following video will help you find buyer keywords as well.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKzioyWErxk

Using the Tools

Once you have understood what finding the right keywords for your SEO is all about, even if you are not after buyer keywords for a particular article, you also have to do the research. One of the best tools for this is Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

Goole Keyword Planner allows you to find keywords that are worth chasing. Because they show you things like:

  • keyword competition
  • keyword traffic
  • cost per click
  • related keywords
  • related keyword groups

and a bunch of other information that will help you make the right decisions when it comes to keywords.

When you are using the keyword planner, there are a few things you should be aware of. If you are looking for buyer keywords, or keywords with commercial intent as they sometimes say, then you want to find the words that have a high cost per click (CPC) for Adwords.

That is actually the intention of this tool, to run ads. But we are misusing it, like many others, to find out what is working for others. And the words that are getting high CPC bids are obviously worth something to other people, so we can use that information to find the words that we are interested in.

The related keywords also help us quite a bit too. You can just list them in a table and sort them by the CPC or traffic and find the best keywords for your content. Or you can use the groups, where Google shows you keywords grouped into ideas that might also give you helpful suggestions for other words or even blog posts.

Depending on what exactly I am doing with the tool and what the intention of my research is, I use both of these areas to discover some words I had not even thought of. It can be really useful to know what words people are searching for that you had not even thought of.

If you are interested in learning how to use this tool, the following video is great for beginners

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kFooXfo58M

Google Search

Another interesting place to find related keywords is to actually use Google Search. You can start typing and Google will give you suggestions as you do. These can be helpful for finding very similar keywords that they think are useful.

But what could perhaps be even more interesting is what appears at the bottom of the pages. Here they show you some keywords, often 6-8 of them, that others are using in this area. So like the Keyword Planner, it helps you know the kinds of words that people use, even if you had no idea beforehand.

These two parts of Google Search alone can be worth exploring even if you have no time to touch the keyword planner.

UberSuggest

The last tool that I wanted to touch on in this post is UberSuggest. This is a great way of leveraging what Google provides but in a more useful way.

This tool is really great for collecting all of the suggestions that Google offers in the search tool and providing them in on easy to use place.

I recommend to use just one word if you can to do the search, because they do all of the heavy lifting for you and find all of the combinations and ideas from there. If you use more than one, there are less chances they will find anything because you have already narrowed down the possibilities.

Of course with this tool you are not getting traffic or CPC data, but the ideas can be very useful.

Conclusion

Now you know what kinds of keywords you should be looking for and the kinds of tools you can use to research them.

If you have any other ideas feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Penguin and Panda – Google Updates

SEO is an ever changing world, and with the latest algorithm updates by Google rolling out in the last few months, we have noticed some big changes.

Some people were certainly upset as their rankings dropped and their sites dropped off the Google radar.

But this is normal business where SEO is concerned and you can only pick yourself up and dust yourself off in the end.

Panda Update

Panda 4.1 was the first update to roll out and was widely reported on sites such as Search Engine Land and Moz.

This kind of algorithm update is focused on quality of sites and covers such things as:

  • original content
  • content written by experts
  • content likely to be linked to by others
  • content that is of high quality (references, links, videos, images)

Of course such an analysis of quality can be quite difficult because it is often subjective but it is something Google is trying to get a handle on.

Sites that have too many ads are obviously being hit harder than others, because people do not stay around long on their sites.

And there are a load of other issues that are discussed by Matt Cutts below

Penguin Update

Google also rolled out a recent Penguin update in October which has also affected quite a few sites on the web.

If you want to see some of the reports on the this update you can read some articles from Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Round Table.

This was an extension of the previous updates to Penguin and look at more of the Black Hat world of link building to website.

So things like:

  • poor quality links
  • links on directories
  • link farms
  • blog networks
  • bad link profiles

There are so many things going on with regards to bad links and the things that Google considers bad that it is hard to keep up with it all.

Here are some tips on how to maintain a good link profile from the guys at Elite SEM

 

Signals you are hit

One of the best ways to know if you are hit by a Google update is to see if you traffic drops or your rankings drop on Google. You should be monitoring this on Google Analytics on a regular basis, so it should be obvious. But if you want a specific analysis taking into account your Analytics data and also the dates of the updates I recommend you use the following tool ironically called Panguin.

These kinds of tools are great because they know exactly when the updates rolled out and you can see them overlaid on top of your data and know that it was very likely you were hit by and update.

Recovery from a Penalty

Recovering from an update is quite hard and can take many months to a year, depending on when Google does a refresh of the algorithm next.

There is a generally good article from Kissmetrics that you might want to consult to see how you go about recovering from a Google Penalty.

Panda updates obviously need a different approach, as it applies to quality. So it is more difficult to do. You want to target very thin content and remove it. Or build up the content to be more informative and add images and videos.

Penguin is more about links, so you want to see what your lowest quality links are. This can be done through a site like Majestic to see which are the worst links affecting you. Then you need to reach out to the owners of these sites and ask them to remove the links. If that does not work, you can try using Google’s disavow tool.

Final Words

Whether or not you deserve to be penalized, there are ways to find out and recover from such things in the SEO and Google world.

Take the time to see if you have been hit by looking at you analytics and then take the appropriate action.

If you have any questions , feel free to leave a comment below.

All the best with your future SEO!

Is SEO Still a Big Part of Marketing Online?

SEO Today

A lot of online marketing gurus are kind of ignoring SEO today.

They say that it is too hard to rank for anything anymore, with all of these animals running around. You know? the ones created by Google.

The search algorithm updates: Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and friends.

Of course it is harder to cheat, and get to the top with a lot of simple spammy links. Like blog comments or directories, or using horrible tools like GSA or SEO Nuke (don’t do it, because you will suffer the consequences in the end, I have sen it all before).

A lot of the easy wins are gone, that is for sure. Now is a time where you have to work harder and smarter to get your customers and gain a hold in the rankings of Google.

What Works in SEO Today?

That is the big question, right? And the reason many have given up.

No one knows, or understands what is working with SEO in today’s marketing world.

Well I can tell you what is the basis for it all, and that is what you are reading right now: content.

You might have heard the famous quite from Bill Gates, even though it was said long before we realized what it meant

Content is King

And my friend, that is now more truer than ever.

Content is the Basis

If you want to get found in search engines, content is the basis of it all.

It is not enough simply to have a website today. You have to put quite a bit of content on their to help your site get indexed by the search engines as well.

That means you probably have to have a blog. Lots of pages with content is ok as well, but it is more difficult to maintain.

A blog is your best bet moving forward.

What to Put on Your Blog

Your blog should contain content that is relevant to your customers or your future customers. And you should be adding content to it quite regularly.

I understand that sometimes it is not easy to know what to write about on your blog.

That means you need to know the kinds of things that your customers would be looking for on search engines and what kinds of things they want to know from you.

So have a good think about

  • the questions that your customers regularly ask
  • the things you wish your customers asked or knew ahead of time
  • the problems your customers regularly have

And if you answer a lot of these on your website, then you will be ahead of the game before they even pop into your shop (or website) to buy anything.

You will be their saviour in terms of information and education. And they will be better able to make buying decisions.

It is best if you marry this kind of content with the on page SEO that you should already be aware of.

That is how you get found on Google today. Great content combined with solid on page SEO on your website.

Final Words

Doing this stuff is not rocket science, but it takes a bit of work to be sure. So start writing content that helps your customers today, and you will be found on Google in no time.

SEO Tools For Site Evaluation

SEO Tools

One of the biggest questions we face as SEO pros, is which tools to use to evaluate a website and the links that are pointing to it.

There are a tonne of tools out there on the internet that you can use for all sorts of purposes, and in the SEO game it is absolutely the same.

So many tools, so little time. Therefore, evaluating all of these tools for up and coming SEOs can be very time consuming or costly.

Costly might surprise you, but these tools are almost never free. So although in some cases you might get a free monthly trial, they are usually very expensive from there on out.

The Main SEO Tools

I believe it is widely accepted that there are three main SEO tools online that almost every SEO uses. They might not use them all (because of time or cost) but they will probably use at least one of them, and will have probably tried them all at one point or another..

These tools are great for evaluating the SEO basics of a website such as:

  • inbound links
  • outbound links
  • anchor text of links
  • ranking of the website
  • ranking of linking sites
  • other various metrics

Using all of these tools can help you get a very good picture of a website in a very short of time, especially if visualised in the right way.

MajesticSEO

One of the easiest of these tools to use is Majestic SEO.

This tools is relatively cheap, and yet very powerful with many of the features that are mentioned above.

They also present the data in a nice summary page that shows you about 75% of what you need to quickly check out a website.

The other pages are more table driven, but provide a lot of data on links, pages and anchor text.

Majesic also have their own ranking system which is widely trusted on the internet – Trust and Citation Flow.

Moz Tools

Moz is one of the most powerful and well known SEO websites on the internet.

They also have a huge suite of tools for checking out websites just like Majesetic.

But unlike Majsetic, their tools are very extensive and also very expensive. So unless you need all of the extra tools they provide, I would stick with Majestic.

They also have their own metric system which parallels Majestics. They call it Domain and Page Authority.

OpenSiteExplorer

The last tool that I want to mention is also quite good for checking websites, and that is open site explorer.
It is my least favourite, but has many of the same features as Majestic.

I will leave it up to you to see if it is useful to you.

Final words

Finding the right tool that suits your working needs for checking websites might take a little bit of experimentation.

I recommend that you give all three of the tools above a try, and see what words best for you.

If you need any help or advice, feel free to send me an email

SEO For Small Business

seo for small business

Many small business owners are a little intimidated with the whole website ownership and SEO that goes with it.

I can completely understand this, when I look back at what I have learnt and how much time it has taken me to get where I am today.

There is so much information, and so much disinformation, as well as conflicting information on SEO that it can be extremely confusing and annoying.

So I want to quickly show you what kinds of things you should look at to achieve simple SEO success.

Simple SEO

As a website owner there are quite a few things you can do to control the SEO on your website. In the SEO scene this is called on page SEO.

So what is on page SEO?

Basically it is adding words in the right places on your pages and posts to influence search engines to rank you for those words.

And where are these things that you can use to influence your rankings?

For many website systems like WordPress for example, you can enter these words into fields that should be available on every page.

Here is a quick list of the most important ones that I can think of:

  • Page Title
  • Page Description
  • Keywords within the text
  • Keywords in Headings
  • Keywords within image alt tags

These are in some cases quite technical, but if you have the right tools then it should be easy to add these SEO elements.

Keywords

Another thing that you need to be aware of is that you are trying to rank for what are called keywords.

These are the words or phrases that people will use to find you. The words that they will type into the search engines and find you in the results.

SO you need to be aware of who your customers are and what kinds of things they will be looking for in order to find you on the internet.

You can then use these words, or variants of them, within your content and in the key SEO places i mentioned above.

The result is that the search engines, or at least Google, will look at these words in those places and make rankings on their searches as a result.

That is the main two things you have to understand.

Final Words

It might seem intimidating to have to learn all of this crazy SEO stuff, and in such a short time to make your business successful. But if you keep grinding away at it, you will know it all in no time.

If you have any questions regarding anything above, feel free to let me know and I will help you as much as possible to solve your problems with SEO.

In the meantime all the best with your online endeavours

Have People Forgotten About SEO

One of the problems we see a lot of today is that people are always saying

SEO is Dead

It does not help us here at SEO Site Optimization. We do SEO, as you know.

And Google has not killed SEO, they have just made it a lot harder to cheat the system, and that is what we all want in the end.

But it has also made it a lot harder for us as SEO pros to rank a website in 5 minutes.

Ranking and SEO Take Time

This is something that has always been very true, but is even more true today than ever before.

Ranking a website highly on search engines, and Google specifically, takes a lot of time.

You need to earn their trust, and also earn your links. That takes a lot of time and great content.

Creating Great Content

One of the keys to modern SEO is great content, a quite a bit of it as well.

You can-t just slap up a 5 page website anymore and get rankings in Google. Well actually for low hanging fruit you can.

But it is rare and not something you should count on as a business owner.

\To earn your customers and your rankings you need to create useful information that you customers want to read.

And stuff that ultimately leads them to your products and services as well.
After all, that is the goal. It is nice to help people, but you are trying to make a living in the end.

So be nice and helpful first, but keep the endgame in mind at all times.

Links And Rankings Come in the End

Because once you start earning people’s trust and a lot of visitors to your site, you will get links in the end.

And it is the links that will help you to rank higher on Google.

So just keep consistently creating content and remember that SEO is not dead, it has just changed.

And we all need to change with it.