When you’re just beginning to set up your business website, the screen can gape as blank as your mind. How can you communicate your vision and mission, your products and services? What words will have the greatest impact?
If you’ve never written for the web, it can seem like a relatively straightforward – if baffling – question. To web insiders, however, there’s a secret tactic that will clue you in to the best words to describe your field of business, and ensure that those words bring you the best search engine rankings.
It’s called “organic search engine optimization” (OSEO for short) and it’s one of the best ways to give your site credibility with the search engines and draw in targeted traffic.
In using OSEO, you have two goals:
- To prove to the search engines that your site provides high-quality, relevant content on its stated topic, thus moving it closer to the top of the listings
- To include in your content the keywords that people are most likely to use when they search for products or services like yours – thus ensuring that your site shows up in those search results
So, for example, let’s say your site is OrganicPetFoods.com, and you want it to show up when people search for pet food, organic pet food, organic foods, pet supplies, pet health, etc. So logically, you need to include those words, and related words, in your content.
This is not to say that you should have a paragraph like this: When you shop for pet foods, you should only buy organic pet food because organic foods are among the highest-quality pet foods you can purchase for optimum pet health.
This is called “cramming” the keywords, a practice that will indeed catch the notice of rudimentary search engines, but will rapidly lose the interest of any intelligent person who clicks on that link. Google, like a savvy reader, picks up on this spamlike practice also, and rewards it with a low ranking.
Instead, you need to gather your keywords into logical groupings, and use one grouping per page in a natural flow:
Where your home page might start by discussing organic pet foods generally, you could have subsequent individual pages dealing with organic cat foods, organic dog foods, etc. You could have a page addressing the question “why organic?” and one providing “organic resources” for those seeking more information. And so forth…
Sounds fairly simple, right? In principle it’s not difficult at all…until you start looking at the best keywords to include. If 99% of organic pet food suppliers are focusing their sites on the words “organic pet food” and there are 1,000,000 competing sites using those three keywords, how quickly do you think your site will rise to the top?
Certainly, a large number of good incoming links and high-quality content will help, but it’s also important to choose your keywords strategically. Fortunately, Google comes to your aid with a package of free OSEO products:
- Google Analytics – when you install the snippet of code from this tool on your website, Google will analyze the number of visitors who come to your site, which site or search engine sent them to you, the keywords they used, and much, much more. This is the best tool you can add to your site to see how it is performing and how you can improve that performance.
- Google Trends – using this tool, you can evaluate the popularity of any keyword or keyphrase by year, country, city, and language.
- Google Adwords – while Google Adwords is designed for Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, it also offers a standalone Keyword Generator which is perfect for suggesting keywords and gauging their level of searches and competition.
Another service, Market Samurai, is not free, but if you’re going to do any serious OSEO or plan to use Google’s PPC options, it’s priceless…a small one-shot payment for a lifetime’s return on investment. This multi-faceted tool analyzes each keyword and gives searches versus competition, search engine traffic, Adwords traffic, Adwords value, and much, much more (this is the tool I use before I begin to write any client’s website content…and for a limited time I can offer it at a greatly discounted rate).
Now that you have all these tools…now what do you do with them? If your site is going to rank high, you want to reduce the number of sites you’re competing against. So you look for keywords that apply to various aspects of your business (for example, “organic pet food,” “organic cat food,” “organic dog food” and so forth) that show up in more than 100 searches per day, but have fewer than 100,000 competing sites using them.
Once you have identified relevant keywords with plenty of searches but few competitors, you’ll want to add these to the appropriate pages on your site. It’s important to do this for every page of your site, so Google can index every page, thus giving your visitors multiple points of entry.
Obviously, this is a very simple explanation of just one part of the OSEO process, but it will help you at least to get started. Of course, a professional copywriter can help you to find your best keywords and to place them effectively – and gracefully – in your site for the maximum impact.