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What is a Keyword?

If you have a website, sooner or later you are going to hear the term “keyword” bandied around – especially if the discussion is about getting more visitors onto your site. 

So what is a keyword? And why is it so important?

what is a keyword

For starters, you may be surprised to learn that a keyword is rarely just one word; usually, it is a phrase.

It is the phrase that a person might enter into a search engine like Google, when they are looking for something online. Often it will include the location. For example:

For those more familiar with social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, think of keywords as being the SEO version of hashtags.

Important Note: Keywords are also used in Google Ad campaigns (otherwise known as Search Engine Marketing or SEM, in contrast to Search Engine Optimisation or SEO). However the keywords used may be completely different to the ones you target for SEO. While both are chosen based on what search terms your customers are likely to use, that’s where the similarity ends.

It’s also worth remembering that in this day and age many people use voice search, so keywords might come in formats like questions, eg:

Another Name for a Keyword

You might also come across another piece of jargon called a “search term” – but don’t panic, it can be used interchangeably with “keyword”.

There are quite a few things to consider when selecting which keyword or keywords you should be using on your website, with the main one being: What keywords are your customers likely to use, when looking for a business like yours?

Choose Keywords that your Audience Will Use

It’s important to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, and think of what search terms THEY are likely to use. For example, most psychologists dislike the term “split personality”. It’s outdated and incorrect. Yet what keyword is a person from a non-psychology background likely to use? Yup, split personality. Which is why you will still find plenty of web content optimised for this search term.

There are a lot of other factors which come into play when doing keyword research, including:

In the video below, Front Page Founder Janet Camilleri covers all of these points and more, to help get you started with choosing the right keywords …

Of course there is a lot more to keyword research than what we’ve highlighted in this blog post.

While it’s something you can try to do yourself, the advantage of using an SEO professional is that we have access to highly specialised tools and software such as Keysearch and SEMRush to conduct in-depth keyword research. There are limited and/or free trial access available with both of these, if you’re interested in seeing more of what’s involved when you’re on the hunt for great keywords.

If you’ve come to this page because you had no idea what a keyword is, contact us to discuss optimising your website with the right keyword/s. Keywords are an integral part of any SEO Strategy!

Adding Keywords to a Webpage

Once people learn that we are  SEO Consultants and copywriters, they will often ask us for the insider secrets on adding keywords to a webpage.

There are a number of ways you can signal to Google (or Bing and all the other search engines), just what your webpage is about – and that’s through the strategic use of keywords.

adding keywords to a webpage is not exactly child's play!

Tips for Adding Keywords to a Webpage

Let us share the process with you, using this exact webpage as an example to show you the best places for adding keywords.

  • Is your keyword (remember, a keyword is usually more than one word!) in the page title? For instance, after careful research, we decided that the phrase we wanted to target in this post was “adding keywords to a webpage” – and that’s how we came up with the title.
  • Is it in the URL? Take a look in the address bar at the top of this page and you will see that the URL is: https://frontpageseo.com.au/adding-keywords-to-a-webpage.
  • Have you used your keyword in a heading on your webpage? Take a look at the heading above these dot points. See what we did there?!
  • Does your keyword appear at least once in the actual text? As a general rule, it’s best to make sure your keyword appears close to the start of your webpage, rather than burying it down the bottom. But – and here’s the catch – can you do it in a way that looks natural?! Oh, and don’t over-use your keyword either! That’s a technique called “keyword stuffing” which might have worked once upon a time, but not any more. (For those on WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin – don’t obsess over getting all those traffic lights to go green, as this strays into keyword stuffing territory!)
  • Would it make sense to bold your keyword? (Not essential, but worth considering – I’ve included my keyword in the first sentence, which is bolded in accordance to my style manual).
  • Is your keyword in the meta title?
  • Have you used the keyword in the alternative text section on any images you have used? (The alternative text is what comes up on the webpage if for some reason the actual image cannot be retrieved). If you right click on the image in this post, and then click “save as”, you should be able to see the alternative text we have used (but don’t save it – it’s copyright!).

However, adding keywords to your webpage is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to search engine optimisation.

There is a lot more that can be done to help boost your website in the search engine results. For example:

  • it’s a good idea to research your potential keyword, to find out how often people actually search for it – and how much competition there is (what other pages already ranking for it), or if another keyword would be a better choice.
  • improving the load speed of your website.
  • making sure it is easy to navigate.
  • getting backlinks from other sites.

If all this talk of keywords seems too much, then you are best off getting an SEO expert to take care of it for you. Of course, we’re hoping you’ll come to us for help 😉 – and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by our affordable SEO packages, that will bring you long term results.

Contact us today, to find out more or check out some of my SEO success stories!

Why SEO is Like Fishing

I’ve decided that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a lot like fishing.

Both require a lot of patience and perseverance, but it goes deeper than that (see what I did there?!).

Why SEO is a lot like fishing

How to Get Results

I’ve been known to go camping and fishing a time or two, and here’s the lowdown: if you are a serious fishing enthusiast you will know that there are a lot of factors to consider if you want to actually catch something. For example:

  • Where are you going fishing? Will you be casting your line into a pond or river, or maybe you prefer surf fishing or reef fishing?
  • What sort of fish do you want to catch? Are you happy with any nibbles? Does it matter if you’re reeling in a puffer fish or would you rather a bream or whiting?
  • What bait or lure are you going to use? Of course, that will probably depend on the sort of fish you want to catch.
  • What are the winds and tides doing? (I’m told that fishing on an incoming tide is best, not that I’m any authority!)

When it comes to catching fish – especially if you are after a particular fish – using the right bait in the right place at the right time is key.

Sure you can chuck a line in anywhere and hope for the best, but you’ll probably return home empty-handed.

Your SEO Strategy

It’s the same with SEO – for best results, you need to know what you’re doing. The following information will help you work out a suitable strategy:

  • Are you aiming to rank well in local SEO, or internationally?
  • What sort of people are you aiming to attract? (The great thing about SEO is that if done well, instead of just bringing any old nibble, it brings you qualified leads!)
  • What bait are you going to use? What keywords are your potential customers going to search for when they need your goods or services?
  • What’s the environment like – what are your competitors doing?

When it comes to fishing – if you love it, you’ll go often. If you don’t, you won’t – which if your family relies on fish for their dinner, means that they are going to suffer.

Can you see where I’m going with this? If you love it (like I do), you’ll constantly immerse yourself in it, even in your spare time – books, websites, workshops, experiments, talking to others.

And if you don’t? You’ll most likely neglect it, and your business will suffer as a result.

So if you are a business owner, annoyed that you haven’t gotten to grips with this SEO thing, that’s okay. I’m not much chop at fishing. But my team and I can definitely help you with SEO!

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch to book your free SEO consultation today!

SEO Horror Stories

SEO is scary.

The cat’s out of the bag!

Although we are SEO Consultants, we are the first to acknowledge that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be quite scary for your average business owner.

SEO horror stories are scary

The Mechanics of SEO

It’s a bit like taking your car to the mechanic. While some of us may not know how cars work, we can appreciate that for optimal results they need to be serviced regularly. (A funny story for the more mechanically minded: When the brakes on Front Page SEO Founder Janet’s car started squealing, she asked her husband if they needed oiling …  yes really …! )

As the customer, we are trusting the mechanic with a valuable asset (our cars), and hoping that they will do the right thing.

However:

  • They could literally do nothing, and we are often none the wiser.
  • They could use inferior or shoddy products.
  • They could charge pretty much whatever they wanted, and even with an itemised bill, we wouldn’t know enough to query it.

Just as there are some dodgy mechanics out there, unfortunately, not every SEO consultant or agency has your best interests at heart.

There is currently a lack of regulation in the Australian SEO industry, which means that fraudsters can flourish.

Working in the industry for the last seven years, we have come across some real SEO horror stories – from business owners paying a fortune for what essentially amounts to “nothing”; to others who are blissfully unaware of what is being done to their site AND their business’ reputation, all in the name of SEO.

Parasite Hosting

One practice that we’ve come across is called “parasite hosting”. It’s where extra pages are set up on the website, without the business owner’s knowledge. These extra pages have nothing to do with the actual business; they have been added by the SEO agency for their own nefarious purposes.

There was the women’s accessories website, where we have noticed their top ranking keyword was along the lines of “viagra and cialis in powdered form”.

Or the health clinic site which hosted several pages of content relating to gambling, and linked to various gaming sites.

Bogus Backlinks

If you are considering outsourcing your SEO, make sure that you are kept informed of the backlinks being built on your behalf. Do you really want your business linked to sites offering Russian mail order brides, or with explicit content or images like this one (which we have cropped but you get the gist!).

SEO horror stories where your site is linked to porn

There are also some agencies still using “black hat” SEO techniques. They might get your site ranking faster but it’s only a matter of time before Google finds out, and punishes you – by taking your site off their search engine results pages altogether!

Haunted by Dodgy SEO

Even if you terminate a contract with a dodgy SEO, the experience can haunt you for months or even years to come. We have heard of some disreputable companies which have:

  • locked a business owner out of their own website;
  • removed all the links they’d built for a client, when the business owner switched to a new SEO agency.

In the last couple of months we have witnessed a couple of new “SEO consultants” pop up in our area. The funny thing is that their previous businesses had little or no relation to SEO – so we’re not sure where or how they’ve learned enough to offer it to others. Needless to say their new websites perform poorly in an SEO audit!

The moral of all these SEO horror stories is clear: let the buyer beware.

Find a Decent SEO Consultant

Here are three tips to help you find a decent SEO consultant:

  1. Does your potential SEO consultant or agency share their expertise via workshops, newsletters, social media, blog posts, or e-books?
  2. Are you able to contact or talk with some of their current or former clients?
  3. Make sure their own website has a Domain Authority that is higher than 1!

The world of SEO can be dark and murky, but there’s no need to be frightened. Our free e-book “What Every Business Owner Should Know About SEO” will equip you with the knowledge you need: click here to order your copy now!

All Backlinks Are Not Equal

If you want to get found on Google and co – you’ve got to build backlinks to your website (ie get other sites to link back to yours).

all links are not equal

However, one thing most business and blog owners don’t realise is this: all backlinks are not equal.

Some are worth more “link juice” than others – and some can actually damage your own website’s authority and visibility in the search engines!

The Value of a Backlink

Here some things to consider, if you are want to build good quality backlinks:

  • Official websites: Links from government websites (with a URL ending in .gov.au here in Australia) and educational institutions (.edu.au) have a lot more credibility in the eyes of Google and co. They are also not easy to come by!
  • Domain Authority (DA): A backlink from a website with a higher DA (What is Domain Authority?) is worth more than one from a lower DA ranking. For example, a link from my Middle Aged Mama blog with a current DA of 34, is more valuable than one from Front Page SEO Founder’s Janet Camilleri website, with a DA of just 4 (can you tell we don’t do much with it!).
  • Do Follow: There are two types of link – “do follow” and “no follow”. If you know enough to place a link to another site on your website, it is probably set up as “do follow”. However it is worth knowing that a website owner can use code to stop the link they’ve created to another website, from actually passing on SEO value. Generally a “do follow” link is more valuable, but many SEO consultants (including myself) believe there is still value in “no follow” links (but that’s a topic for another time).
  • One of only a few links on the webpage: Have you ever seen a webpage that is lit up with links to external sites? Unfortunately each of those links is not as valuable, as they would be if it was one of only a handful on the webpage.
  • The other backlinks on that site: If the site has links to porn, viagra, poker or other spammy sites, it lowers the value of all the backlinks on that page.
  • Placement on the webpage: A link in the first paragraph on a webpage, is thought to be worth more than one in the last sentence. And, links from the (unique) content on a webpage, are worth more than links in sidebars or footers which tend to be on every page of a website.
  • Backlink text that uses your keywords: Whenever possible, use your keywords as the anchor text for your backlink – for example, this hyperlink to Executive Coaching Brisbane is worth more than https://peterdoylecoaching.com, even though they point to the same website. Text links are also worth more than linked images.
  • Comments: When you comment on a blog or forum, you are often able to post your website URL in the signature, which creates a backlink. In the vast majority of cases these are set to “no follow” – but as mentioned above, I still think they are worth including in your backlink building efforts.

This is a broad overview only, but it should help you to gain a better insight into the amazing world of SEO.

While you can certainly take on the (laborious!) task of building your own backlinks, here are just two benefits of working with an SEO consultants like us:

  1. We know what backlinks are valuable and worth chasing;
  2. We are continually researching and updating our lists of linkworthy sites; and
  3. We have developed relationships with a number of different websites, making it easier for us to place backlinks.

When it comes to generating quality backlinks for our retainer clients, a big part of our strategy centers on producing high-quality content (which includes a backlink), which we then place on other quality websites – and it’s proven to be very effective.

If you are a business owner with a website that is just not getting any traffic, please get in touch about a one-off SEO boost, or an ongoing, affordable SEO package.

PS. Want to find out more about backlinks? You might like to check out my previous posts: Why are Backlinks so Important, and 5 Ways to Build Backlinks.

What Jigsaw Puzzles & SEO have in Common

Front Page SEO Founder Janet Camilleri loves nothing more than to sit down with a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, in her spare time.

what SEO and jigsaw puzzles have in common

However we are well aware that to others, jigsaws are more like an instrument of torture!

It’s true, it does take a certain type of personality to enjoy putting a jigsaw puzzle together. And it turns out, that it’s the sort of personality that also thrives on the challenges of search engine optimisation – because jigsaw puzzles and SEO have a lot in common …

6 Things Jigsaw Puzzles & SEO have in Common

1 – The framework comes first.

When Janet is working on a jigsaw puzzle, she will pull out all the edge pieces and put the frame together first, as it acts as a guide for the rest of the puzzle.

When we are working on SEO for a client, we need to find the “edges” of their business – what they do, what they don’t do, what makes them different, etc. Knowing about their business helps to guide us and tailor an optimisation strategy for their needs.

2 – The right pieces are key.

Finding the right keyword, can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack – or the perfect puzzle piece out of a box of 1000!

Ideally, keywords should have a high search volume (lots of people searching for that term online), and low competition.

It can be an arduous task to track down the right keywords but just like when doing a puzzle, for the team at Front Page SEO, it’s a labour of love.

3 – It’s a long slow process.

Patience is required for both jigsaw puzzles and SEO, to put lots of little pieces in place – and results take time. SEO is a long term strategy – while initially you may not see much in the way of results, once it gains traction your business can continue to reap the rewards for years to come.

4 – Study the big picture.

Whether working on SEO or putting a puzzle together, it’s important to study the nitty gritty of the big picture carefully, to become familiar with the landscape as well as the details.

5 – Trial and error.

While Google does provide an SEO starter guide, the actual algorithms are kept a closely guarded secret.

So although any SEO consultant can stay up to date with the latest developments (to a point), a lot of it comes down to experimenting, to see what works and what doesn’t. By playing around with all the little pieces you can create a cohesive whole that has a massive impact!

6 – The end result.

When you see a completed jigsaw puzzle, it’s easy to glance at it admiringly for a few seconds and then dismiss it, forgetting all the hours of painstaking work it’s taken to achieve that result.

And it’s the same with SEO.

This is one of the reasons we like to be transparent with our clients about the steps we are taking to boost their presence online, such as building backlinks on their behalf. How can they know they’re receiving value for money otherwise?

The Main Difference between SEO & Jigsaw Puzzles

If you don’t like doing jigsaw puzzles, that’s fine, because you will probably never have to do one.

If you don’t like doing SEO however, it’s a completely different matter. Without it, your business is losing custom and revenue. You can’t afford to ignore it!

Ready to get the edge on your competitors? It’s worth investing in search engine optimisation – book a time with an SEO specialist for a free Zoom chat today!

is SEO copywriting dead?

Is SEO Copywriting Dead?

Back in 2017, we wrote about the value of an SEO copywriter – so it might seem a bit strange that we are now wondering: Is SEO copywriting dead?

is SEO copywriting dead?

The crux of that 2017 blog post was that all web content writers are not equal.

Any professional copywriter should be able to produce text that:

  • hooks the reader from the very first sentence;
  • is easy to understand;
  • is interesting / informative / entertaining;
  • is clear and concise; and
  • persuades.

When it comes to web content however, an extra skill set can make all the difference: SEO copywriting – the knowledge and ability to write in a way that attracts the attention of Google and other search engines.

Using a copywriter without SEO knowledge is expensive – very expensive – and I’m not talking about their fee. Without optimised web content, business owners are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to boost their brand recognition AND revenue.

Why then would we ask the question: is SEO copywriting dead? Clearly, it’s not!

The Future of SEO Copywriting

The worldwide web is still relatively new, although it has taken great strides since our Founder Janet hooked up her first computer to the internet, 20 years ago.

the day we got internet
Embarrassing old photo – can you tell Janet was just a bit excited the day she got the internet connected!

With the advent of the web, came the need for web content, which led to the development of SEO.

When Front Page Founder Janet started working as an SEO copywriter at the end of 2012, it was a very different playing field. Not many business owners knew about SEO, let alone actively made it part of their marketing strategy. Ah, the glory days – less competition meant it was a lot easier to achieve front page rankings for our clients!

Clearly, SEO copywriting isn’t dead – it has become mandatory.

The day is coming when you won’t hear the term SEO copywriting anymore, simply because it will be part and parcel of every web content writer’s skillset.

In the meantime however, it’s worth making sure your web content is written by a professional with SEO knowledge and experience, to give you the edge over your slower-to-catch-on competitors.

And yes, we can help you with that 😉 .

Ph: 0421 757 424
Email: admin@frontpageseo.com.au

voice search and SEO

Voice Search and SEO

If you are a Star Trek fan like Front Page Founder Janet is, the future is now.

Remember how Captain Kirk and the rest of the crew could ask the computer absolutely anything?  While not everybody today has Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, most of us have a mobile phone, a magical device which allows us to access information in just seconds.

voice search and SEO

And the easiest, most convenient way to do that is by speaking, rather than typing, our question/s:

  • We don’t need to stop and watch where we are going;
  • We don’t need to get our glasses out to peer at a tiny screen; and
  • It takes a fraction of the time!

No wonder the use of voice search is exploding! In 2016, 20% of mobile queries used voice search; with experts predicting that voice search will account for half of ALL searches in 2020.

So how does that impact the way that search engine optimisation is done?

It’s all about remembering that how we search when we are using our fingertips or thumbs, is very different to how we speak.

The Difference between Finger and Voice Search

If we are at work and organising a special meeting or event, we might type “office catering Brisbane“, to source what we need.

But if we are using voice search, we are more likely to say, “Hey Google / Siri / Alexa, is there office catering near me?”

Google is pretty smart (and getting cleverer all the time). So when it comes to voice search, Google can take the following speech:

“Mum is coming to stay, I need to find a hotel for her”,

 and return results like:

“hotels [your suburb]”.

Interestingly, you don’t have to deliberately target “hotels near me” as a keyword, because in most cases, Google knows where you are (scary but true) and will provide results based on that.

The Importance of Local Search

What this demonstrates is that optimising for local search is more important than ever.

And the best way to up your game in local search, is to claim your Google My Business listing (if you haven’t already).

You should also make sure you mention your location on your website, to help Google (and the other search engines) understand exactly where your business is.

It’s still early days for voice search, but the good news for website owners is that it doesn’t have to greatly change the way you approach your search engine optimisation.

At the end of the day, one of the keys to getting your website on the front page of Google is to make sure that it is compiled of helpful, quality content that answers people’s questions in a simple and understandable way.

Or if you really want to give your SEO a boost, you could always get in touch to book one of our affordable SEO packages.

(Go on, you know you want to!)

5 ways to build backlinks

5 Ways to Build Backlinks

They say that to get ahead in the world, it’s not “what” you know, it’s “who” you know (ie your connections) – and it’s the same if you want your website to rank more highly in search engine results.

all about who you know

It’s All About Who You Know

We all know somebody who got their job, because they knew somebody who was already working there … it’s all about who you know.

And if you’re on the hunt for a great accountant, mechanic, or house painter, the best way to find them is by asking your friends for recommendations … it’s all about who you know.

Forming Connections Online

It’s the same with your website. When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it’s not just about “what” you  know – it’s about “who” you know – and specifically, whose website is linking back to yours.

It’s called the world wide WEB after all!

5 ways to build backlinks

Online or in the real world, those connections are the secret to giving you a winning edge.

So how can you as a business owner, encourage those online connections? How can you build valuable backlinks to your website? (Find out why backlinks are important, here.)

Once you have a website, you can cross your fingers and hope that others will find and link to it. But it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation – how can they find it if nobody else has linked to it? And how can they link to it if they can’t find it?!

5 Ways to Build Backlinks

You can help the process along by consciously seeking out backlink opportunities. It does take time and effort, but it demonstrates to Google and the other search engines that your website is one worth promoting in search engine results.

Not sure where to start? Here are five relatively easy ways to build backlinks:

  1. Social media – Make sure you link to your website from your profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and any other social media/sites you are already active on.
  2. Link swaps – Do you know anybody with a website? Ask them if they want to do a link swap.
  3. Join organisations – If you join a business association, chamber of commerce, or the like, they often have online directories as part of your membership benefits – so make sure you take the time to list your business and URL there.
  4. Do a Google Search – Search for any existing mentions online of you and your business. Often you will find that these don’t link back to your site – so it’s simply a matter of shooting off an email, thanking them for the (hopefully positive!) mention, and asking politely if they would kindly link to your website.
  5. Guest Post – Write articles for other websites.

One of the advantages of hiring a professional to take care of your SEO, is that they will already have developed relationships with many other quality sites (it’s all about who you know!).

As a result, they are able to build a broader and deeper backlink profile, far more quickly than you ever could. For example, one of the affordable SEO packages I offer is focused on building your  website’s backlinks.

So if you just don’t have time to handle SEO, why not get in touch? We’d love to use our SEO super powers for the good of your business!

is your website seo friendly

Is Your Website SEO Friendly?

Has your website builder told you that your site is “SEO friendly”, “SEO ready” or even that it’s “been optimised”?

Many of them do. But what exactly do they mean when they say this?

It could be very different to what you think.

Over the past five years, we have lost count of the number of business owners we’ve met, who have been told exactly this by their website developer.

And yet … they’re not seeing results. There’s no traffic coming to them along the information super highway, except for the occasional tumbleweed.

is your website seo friendly

They may even have used an SEO copywriter!

Upon closer investigation, we have discovered that while the website builders may genuinely think they have “optimised” a site, in actual fact, they haven’t. We’ve even had one client whose website designer was so adamant that it had all been done, they become quite indignant that I had suggested otherwise.

Why the Confusion?

It could just be a simple mistake, such as forgetting to tick the box which allows search engines to crawl and index the site (sites are often set to “no index” during the development phase).

However we’ve also encountered cases where it is clear that the website builder doesn’t fully understand SEO and how it works. The cranky developer I mentioned above had installed Yoast (one of the common plugins which can help with search engine optimisation), but they hadn’t activated or configured it.

As a business owner, you *need* your potential customers to find you in search engine results. So how can you check what your website developer means, when they say they “do SEO”?

If they haven’t asked about or discussed keywords with you, it’s unlikely that your site has been optimised.

(If you’re wondering: What is a keyword?! Click to find out!)

For more tips on making sure your site is “SEO friendly”, sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive the FREE guide: What Every Business Owner Should Know About Search Engine Optimisation (regardless of whether your want to DIY or outsource).