Diving into SEO: Search Engines, Keywords & Algorithms
The plan within this post is to cover some interesting yet unnerving information I have stumbled upon regarding SEO, Google’s algorithm and Keywords. I am fortunate enough to be completing a course for work regarding SEO and Digital Marketing. This is to help me oversee the company Social Media and Blog effectively! I have recently been filling my brain full of info related to Search Engine Optimization.
So, I figure to help embed / test my own knowledge … why not translate my learning into what I hope will be a helpful blog post.
By the way I do make use of the Yoast plugin at work which helps a lot. But I’ve never been one to blindly follow something without knowing the inner workings!
My brain already hurts…but we got this! GO TEAM!
What is SEO?
If you’ve started a blog no doubt you will have come across this term. It stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This process sets up your text, photos and videos so that they are easy to find when someone is searching for them using the various search engines online. The crux of the matter is for a website to be discovered online, it must come up in the search engine. Think of SEO kind of like your content waving and shouting:
“heeeeeey, look over here” to the almighty search engine!
Why Take SEO Seriously?
The more I discover about Google’s algorithm, the more I want to cry. Maybe even do a touch of rocking backwards and forwards alone in a dark room? The Google web spiders have become scrupulous when it comes to scouring and evaluating online content. I imagine them as those creepy metal spider things present in the Matrix franchise.
Not being one to keep “THE FEAR” to myself, I’m going to share this with you. You’re WELCOME! So, what are we up against?
Welcome to the DANGER ZONE!
One Optimized Webpage is NOT Enough
Yeh. You heard me. Google is silently judging our optimization efforts people!
“That hat with THOSE shoes.” *eye roll*
This is conducted using hypertext-matching analysis. The creepy Matrix web spiders analyse the content across other web pages within your site. This ensures that your content is relevant on all levels. To tackle this, you will need to optimize different pages of your website for different BUT related search terms.
For example, I naturally repeat words such as optimisation, SEO and search engine optimization. This is because my blog content is focused on blogging and social media tips.
But if you write about a whole bunch of subjects, it might be a good idea to mind map out some key terms to use within your posts to keep your SEO on track!
The Key Takeaway
The more that you optimize your web pages using keywords about a niche/specific subject, the more likely it is that you will rank highly when indexed against that niche.
Google does NOT take Kindly to “Spam”
Spam SUCKS! Am I right? Google agrees with us, in fact your website will be removed from Google’s index if you use spammy methods to promote your site.
But what does Google class as spam?
- automatically created low grade content
- automatically created backlinks – automated blog comments, automated forum accounts, etc.
- cloaking – the web server returns different pages for search engine spiders *shudders* and human web surfers
- doorway pages
- misleading redirections
- hidden text e.g. text that has a colour very similar to the background colour, text in very small font sizes, text that has been hidden with CSS tags etc.
The Key Takeaway
The above tactics might gain you short term results, but it is highly likely that multiple search engines (not just Google) will penalize your site. AVOID!
What are Keywords and Why Should you Care?
Keywords are the backbone of your SEO strategy! Optimization literally can’t exist without them.
Different Types of Keywords
Single Keywords – The little lonesome keyword! Chilling by itself. It’s great to scatter these within a post but don’t rely on them.
Longtail – These are longer more natural uses of key words that mirror what your audience is most likely to type in to the search engine
General – These are quite non-descript mainly used for general browsing. Although they have a high volume of traffic. They tend to be for information only.
More Specific – These tend to be used for comparisons between sources / products. In terms of “sales” this is the best area to focus on.
Extremely specific – These are used by people who are ready to “buy.” This could be in relation to a product or buying into an idea. They are just looking for the correct website.
To choose appropriate keywords, you should start by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. You are already extremely familiar with your own niche. You may know loads of fancy technical terms, but these aren’t necessarily search terms that your audience would use to find what they are looking for.
For example, if you blog about beauty you know more about specific beauty techniques than your readers. That’s why they’re coming to you in the first place!
So, you may want to include terms such as:
- easy eyebrow techniques
- practical eyebrow techniques
- get great eyebrows
As opposed to an extremely specific technical term that can be used to get your eyebrows on fleek! Don’t get me wrong, use these specific terms within your content, because that is what educates your readers, but don’t rely on these alone to gain organic traffic.
I know very little about beauty or eyebrows… Hence why I couldn’t come up with an exact technical term!! Please educate me beauty bloggers 😊
The Key Takeaway
- Make use multiple word keywords (longtail) as this makes site more relevant in terms of search engine indexing.
- Aim to use slightly more specific keywords that are more likely to be used for comparisons.
Keyword Research Tools
I have been making use of the free plan on Moz to do my keyword research and would highly recommend! I included a tutorial of how I use it in my previous post. This post includes some basic SEO tips that you can implement. I would encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already. I promise it’s a good one!
Anyway, back to the task at hand! KEYWORD research!
Here are a few more suggestions of sites to help with your keyword searches:
Final Keyword Advice
- If you use WordPress don’t overload your content with too many tags. They compete against each other and reduce overall effectiveness. Less is more 😊
- Avoid Keyword stuffing. When you use your longtail and single keywords within your content, do it in a natural way. Include them but only in ways that make sense. Keyword stuffing for the sake of it will get you penalized by search engines
- Avoid more general / the most popular keyword phrases. There is A LOT of competition. The big companies already have these on lock down
If you have any questions about how this Intel could be useful for your blogging niche, please leave a comment below and I will gladly brainstorm with you 😊 If you found this helpful or think I missed something drop a comment too! All feedback is welcome!
As mentioned earlier I have previously written a post including practical SEO tips and tricks. This includes a break down of how to effectively optimize your content! Enjoy!
P.s. If you appreciate the content I share here, why not buy me a coffee? 🙂
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