MICHAEL  GREEN  –  graphic designer and all round creative

The goal of all search engine optimisation (SEO) work is to get pole position for your website on the first page of a search engine’s results and for the pages you want to appear in the results from it.

These days we tend to find that the phrase “search engine” is interchangeable with “Google” and when managing SEO campaigns for our clients we only actually report based on the results in Google!

Of course, achieving the number one spot might be unrealistic, but it should never the less be your goal to move up the pages and get as close to the first page as is possible. How you use keywords and phrases will go a long way towards to achieving this.


Patience is a virtue in the world of SEO as the work you do, or the professionals do on your behalf, can take a while to bear fruit. Months may go by in fact before you start seeing results, but it can certainly be worth the wait. Typically, within the first 3 to 6 months of a campaign you will get results, so in the grand scale of things its not that long if you understand that your SEO won’t change overnight.

On-going SEO work is a time consuming, but vital, part of running your site and your business. A core SEO element, which forms the basis of all SEO, is using and linking together the right keywords for your site and business.

Choosing the right SEO keywords is dependent on several factors and once you look beyond the elements which should already be present (knowing your product, your site’s objectives, your target market and competitors), there are several questions you must ask yourself when sorting out keywords:

  • How many pages does your site have? (ideally this will be more than the number of target keywords you choose)
  • Viability of each keyword (in other words, how realistic is it that a chosen keyword will you appear high up in search engine rankings for? Google Analytics will help you in this regard. If, for example, you sell shoes, choosing the word ‘shoes’ as a keyword probably isn’t going to be very helpful as there will be tens of thousands of competitors. However, ‘quality shoes in Glasgow’ might, assuming you are in Glasgow!)
  • Quality of your site’s content (is it updated regularly? Do you have a blog? Post up features? Product information and guides? Video etc)
  • What’s the volume of searches for each keyword you choose? (again, Google Analytics helps in this regard)


The keywords chosen for you site should relate directly to the content that’s on your site and your target customers.
The higher the quality of content on your site the better (this doesn’t have to mean detailed and intricate features and content of the type you might get on, say, the bbc.co.uk, but at least changing, relevant guides, features, video etc). Search engine algorithms are designed to grade your site on several factors, and this is a major one. Your keywords should closely relate to the content you create and be reflected on your site.

You control what appears in the organic listing of a search engine’s results page as the text is taken directly from the title tag you have given the page which you created. This is what the consumer will read before clicking on your link in the results page, so make sure the keywords and phrases you have used reflect what that consumer will see once they click through.

Be realistic about the keywords you are in competition for as this will help you be smarter in your keyword work. For example, if you’re up against some huge sites, with a lot of great content such as the newspapers and government sites, your efforts will be better focussed on finding other keywords that are less commonly used.

Get inside your customers heads – Sounds strange I know, but you must imagine you have never heard of your company or products before to successfully decide on the sorts of keywords and phrases people might use if there are looking for the type of goods and services your company offers.

It can be a good idea to get family and friends who perhaps aren’t particularly savvy with regards to the internet and/or what you do for a living (try asking my mum what I do, she just doesn’t get it!) and find out how they might search for them.


SEO is an on-going process and you should keep abreast of changes in your industry and sector. Keep alert for new organic search keywords that people are using and adapt and modify your site’s content accordingly.

If you are interested in finding out about SEO and how it can benefit your business please get in touch for an informal chat about how we can help you get your business online and working for you

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