Search engine results: how to target your keyword phrases

Search engine results: how to target your keyword phrases

Who'd like their site to rank higher for their chosen keywords? Thought so!

The first step in any SEO ranking mission is to define your aims, work out how to get to them and then implement your plan. So, before you take the time to read this article you need to have your keyword search terms defined.

Got your keyword phrases sorted? Great.

Got an idea of what success means and how you'll know when you've achieved it? Also great.

1. Get specific

One keyword phrase = one page, Each page should be ~250-500 words long.

That's the rule, if you break it then you are diluting your keyword phrases and your search engine optimisation is going to take a hit. If there isn't much competition in your market then you may get away with having 'multi-purpose' pages, but you'll be much more successful, and more difficult to dislodge from the #1 spot, if you stick to "one phrase = one page".

2. Don't spam, but be consistent

You need to repeat your keyword phrase a few times through your page. The key to this is often to put your keywords in your first draft as many times as you think they should be in there. Make sure that your exact phrase is in there at least 2-3 times.

Now read your entire page back to yourself. Out loud.

  • Did you say your keyword phrase a few times?
  • Did it sound natural to you?

When you can answer yes to both of those questions your work is done. Move on to your next page or take a break. It's can be a difficult balance to strike, but with practice, patience and persistence it gets significantly easier - contact us if you'd like help

3. Get your keyword phrase in there early and often

Search engines are quick readers, they will scan your page very quickly to find out what it's about, and then they're off to the next one. Get your keyword phrase in there a couple of times early on, use it in the title of the page and you can also use it on internal links around your site. For example, don't link using "read more about it here", instead use "see how to target your keyword phrases"

4. Relax

After you've launched your new, or edited, page you can go and work on something else - including another page.

The temptation is always there to check back in day and see if Google has listed it yet.

After a week you start to worry, after two weeks something is clearly wrong. Right?

Unfortunately not, it can take up to ~6 weeks for a page to climb up the rankings. Often you'll see it climb from a miserably low page up to the second page of results, then it may hover for a little bit, and then it'll move up again. If you got it right. The key is to not panic and start changing your keyword phrases or heavily modifying the page while it's doing its upward dance.

Leave it two months, and if you're not happy with it after that then restart the process. On the one hand, it's very unlikely that your early efforts will bring high search engine results, on the other hand if you keep chopping and changing you'll never know what's working - and you'll probably be destroying some very good pages in your rush for results.