‘If the search engine robots can’t tell from your site what you do, they can’t share it with the world,’ (Ryan and Graham, 2014, p. 146).
Jones (2013, p.20) stated that, ‘Search-engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of setting up your website so that it ranks well for particular keywords within the organic search results of major search engines’.
Fishkin (2017) further stated that keyword research is one of the of, ‘the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field’. In order to drive visitors to a website, that site must contain keywords customers are actively searching for in order for the website to rank well within search engines. A high search engine ranking will increase visibility and the likelihood of the site being visited. A website that does not implement SEO techniques will effectively render the website invisible. By conducting keyword research, a target market’s demand for specific keywords can be understood. Thus enabling more specific and relevant targeting of terms and phrases with SEO.
In order to find keywords relevant to the sector in which my business operates, I used Google adwords. This site is commonly ranked within the top 5 free keyword research sites and therefore produces quality results. The terms returned can be seen in the image below.
From the research conducted, it is evident that generic terms within the jewellery sector such as; jewellery, earrings and bracelet, all rank very highly in terms of keyword search popularity. Whilst it may seem the obvious choice to utilise these types of popular keywords, Fishkin (2017) points out the importance of long tail keywords. He discusses how customers searching for generic terms are further away from a purchase than those searching for long tail keywords such as ‘affordable luxury jewellery’. Whilst long tail keywords are less popular search terms, as these keywords are more defined, these customers are closer to making a purchase and subsequently long tail keywords have a higher conversion rate.
Optimising My Site
In order to optimise my site effectively, I used the popular Wordpress plug in, ‘Yoast’. Their traffic light system and simple prompts enables easy search engine optimisation of a website.
I started with optimising the ‘About Us’ page. As is evident from the images below, the page demonstrated a substantial lack of content, no identified keyword, and the meta description lacked focus.
Following my focus keyword research, I opted to use ‘affordable luxury jewellery’ as the focus keyword for my site. Due to the high volume of online jewellery retailers in the marketplace, use of a common term such as those already stated, is unlikely to provide a small start up business with any visibility in terms of ranking. Therefore utilising Fishkin’s assertions, I opted to choose a long tail keyword as this is likely to give my site more visibility on search engines due to the detailed nature of the search term.
After following the Yoast optimisation prompts and turning the page from red to green on the Yoast traffic light system, the benefits to my site were obvious. The ‘About Us’ page was now content rich, containing the focus keyword multiple times bringing consistency; as well as including a link to the business social media page and the brand logo image. The meta description now contained the keyword, was more concise and included a call to action, enticing customers to enter the website. The focus keyword was also added to the alt text of the brand logo image. Visually the page was much improved, but more importantly due to the use of SEO and consistent use of the focus keyword across various aspects of the page already discussed, customers were now more likely to be able to find the website which is the key aim of any online business.
Fishkin, R. (2017) SEO: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization from Moz, Moz. Available at: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research (Accessed: 3 March 2017).
Jones, K.B. (2013) Search engine optimization: Your visual blueprint for effective Internet marketing. 3rd edn. New York: Visual.
Ryan, K. and Graham, R. (2014) Taking down Goliath: Digital marketing strategies for beating competitors with 100 times your spending power: 2014. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.