Top SEO Tip: Keywords are...Key


So you're paying a web person to do SEO for you. Great! What are they doing? How are you checking their work? If they provided you with a report that says where they filled in keywords, that may be satisfactory to you, encouraging you to sit back and wait for Google and other search engines to start flinging traffic your way.

Bad idea. Here's why:

First of all, SEO (search engine optimization) is an ongoing process. Your competitors are constantly at your heals with new pages and better SEO methods. Checking your current SEO results usually inspires new and better ideas of how to better optimize your website. Which leads us to the #1 component to think about when doing or paying for SEO writing to be done to your website: the targeted keywords.

The targeted keywords that are used in your website content are just as, if not more-so, important than where they are placed in your website. Technically, your SEO person may know where to place the keywords, but what keywords is he or she using? Most likely they got guidance from you, as you know your industry. But did they take it to the next level? Are you having them provide you with ongoing reports of what position your website is for specific keywords, or are you at least tracking this yourself?

SEO implementers are (usually) not programmers. They are (usually) not designers. Writing copy for search engines is a very precise activity. It involves creative writing that is calculated writing, and clever placement of that copy in sweet spots. Not only does your SEO expert need to help you write your website copy for specific pages, but they need to help you brainstorm what types of words your potential customers are searching. How?

  • Use to find related words that people are actually searching for
  • Use what you know - your own site stats

The beauty of today's technology is that it's getting easier to find answers at our fingertips, whether we're on the road or at our desk. If we are on the road browsing search engines to find a local fabric store or ice cream parlor, local search is vital to increasing traffic to your website and physical location. And relevant traffic at that - traffic that may be a higher conversion (paying customer). How?

  • Include your zip code in the page title (and city and state of course)
  • Make sure this is on every one of your pages
  • Submit your website to Google Local

Optimizing your website for your name is very important, but is not enough. That assumes that your potential customers know who you are, or are doing a bit of Googling to check you out first before working with you - to make sure you're legit. You want to focus on the factors surrounding your business, like your location, industry questions (a blog is great for creating content around industry questions), etc.

Most importantly, check the work of your SEO writer. To do this, log into your website site stats and look at the report for Keywords. Run a comparative look from the most recent period to 30 days prior and see if anything changed. Or wait 60 or 90 days and check again. The number of searches from keywords should have gone up. If they did not, you should have your SEO expert investigate why and make further tweaks by doing further research. Or, even easier is to do a search in Google or another search engine. If you don't come up for "hair salon 12508", then there is most likely some work that could be done to get your website on the radar for that term. But remember - for that term. SEO is all about ranking for different keyword combinations, not just your company name (especially if no one knows about your company yet, or your trying to increase your client base).

Good SEO work involves a budget, so that ongoing checks, tweaks and research like this can be done over time, but if done correctly, can play a big roll in increasing relevant traffic to, and potential sales from your website.

We hold SEO Blitz Sessions from time to time, which is a private session with you at your desk (via GoToMeeting) analyzing your website for missed SEO and usability opportunities. Sometimes, these are available for free to Tin Shingle members (learn about this and other benefits). Check our workshops schedule to see when the next SEO Blitz Session is.


Brilliant Katie, I keep learning more and more...will you do a SEO writing class for us?