SEO is not just one thing, or even a few things, it is many things. This is why we often talk about having an ‘SEO strategy’ which is a list of things to do to help our website be more visible in search engines.
The list of things we can do and make changes to can be split into two parts – on page SEO and off page SEO.
What is the difference between on page and off page SEO?
On page SEO is making changes to your website so it looks better to both the spider bots who crawl the internet and also the people who use your website.
Off page SEO gets you more visitors to your website by getting links to your site from other websites. It also supports the website by creating more visibility for your business all over the internet.
What links on page and off page SEO?
Yes those mysterious things that everyone talks about. Keywords always seem a bit magical – so let’s understand why and help you to work out your own.
Trust me, this will be one of the best things you ever do for your business. When I go through this process with my clients it’s always the ‘A-ha’ moment.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words that people type into a search engine when looking for something.
So that could be ‘dog walker Brixton’ or ‘dog groomer York’ or ‘puppy classes Leeds’
Or it could be a few more words like ‘dog trainer for aggressive dog’ or ‘puppy training for cocker spaniel puppy’
Keywords are words that describe your business, your three things that we talked about yesterday.
1. What we do
2. Where we do it
3. Who we do it for
These are the basis for your keywords!
If we include these keywords in our SEO strategy and give the spider bots the best possible chance to read them, then the algorithm will start showing our website when a search user searches.
Before I start any website build I always ask my clients to fill in my very simple SEO document to establish their keywords.
So, for a local service area business – that’s you dog walkers, groomers and trainers. You’ll be wanting to include your services, your geographic areas, any words that can be used to describe your business that someone might search for.
*Top tip – write out a list of your keywords for the three things.
If you have never done this for your business then go and do it now! It’s a fabulous foundation to have going forward as these keywords can and should be used in your social media posts, your content and digital marketing, and for optimising your Google My Business profile.
Now let’s see how we can expand on this list to include a few more keywords. The more relevant keywords we can find the better chance we have of being visible in more searches.
The easiest way to do this is to put yourself in the mind of the searcher. Work backwards and rack your brains for every single word that someone might use that could apply to your business.
How would they Google for you? What would they be searching for? A word? A service? A product?
For example our basic keyword might be
Expanded keyword possibilities could be
Fun puppy workshops
Toilet training for puppy
Outside enclosed puppy classes
Puppy class for teenage dog
Also think about the words and language someone looking for your business might use
You know it’s a reactive dog, but your search user might not know the word reactive and would use aggressive dog instead, so include the keyword aggressive dog in your list and use it in your content.
It’s fun to call it a pawdicure, but people will be searching for dog pedicure, so make sure to include both.
It’s always fun to come up with names for your walks, and it’s great for marketing, but not so good for SEO. By all means call your dog walk an ‘adventure trail’ but people are unlikely to be searching for that so please make sure you also use the standard ‘dog walk’ on your website and in your content as well.
What we are aiming to do with our keywords is connect. Connect with our ideal clients and customers, so have a really good think about them, what their problems are, what might they be searching for that you can help them with?
Now, of course keywords can be more in depth that that. You may have heard of ‘keyword research before’ and tools that you can use. These are excellent for researching more in depth keywords when you want to blog, but for now that really is the basics of keywords and all you need to do.
*Keyword Top Tip
As I said above, keywords can and should be used in your social media posts, your content and digital marketing, and for optimising your Google My Business profile.
But, and this is very important…
Wherever and whenever you are using keywords they should always be used naturally.
Never spam your content with a list of words – Google can tell what you are up to and doesn’t like it!
Next in part 4 – actionable things you can do to help your on page SEO