Keyword Selection Tips for SEO, Google

Too often, keyword selection can be based on desire or a best guess. But choices should involve many variables and data.

I’m an advocate for focusing on your keyword “sweet spot.” Let me explain. You should assess how well you’re ranking now for keywords and their estimated search volume on Google. You can see Google search data when using Google Ads ( and with tools like SEMrush ( Look at how you’re ranking today for keywords in the top 10 positions on Google.

If you don’t have top 10 rankings, you should go for keywords with the lowest monthly search volume – like 10 searches a month. You can always revise your SEO efforts and pursue more competitive keyword phrases down the road.

Hopefully, you have some keywords that are ranking in the first 10 positions with some search volume even if it’s only 10, 20 or more searches per month.… Read more

Don’t Wing It with SEO and Keywords

Time and time again, I hear about website marketers shooting blind with keywords. Or, more specifically, they wing it with keyword selection.

Picking keywords that sound good and seem relevant is only part of the game. You can aspire to hit the mark along those lines. But what if you rank #31 at the end of the day? What good is that? So what if you chose relevant words?

I've long said that you need to know what your website brings to the table? Is it worthy? Does it rank for anything? Are you doing an overhaul? Will the new design hurt or help rankings? Who is creating the new content? Will it reinforce some themes so the website establishes or builds on its authority?

And that's just the start.

Keep the following in mind while you earnestly think about the choose your keywords:

Keyword selection is a tricky business.

I focus on relevancy and possibly searcher intent words like "firm" or "buy" or "service."

I suggest thinking about these factors and more...… Read more

When SEO Is a Waste of Money

Let's say you sell a consumer product and it bothers you to no end that you don't rank higher for some keyword phrases.

Ask yourself: how much SEO knowledge do you possess? How often do you use that knowledge? What are your successes?

Let's assume you read about SEO and don't practice it and don't have successes.

You could:

1. Lament that you lack expertise.
2. Complain that you don't rank higher.
3. Pay someone to do it.

My suggestion is that if you hire someone on staff (or a consultant), don't weigh in from your super obvious lack of experience. But ask some questions so you're more informed.

And when the strategies and tactics start rolling in, don't question all of them. If they collide with your messaging, then work out some compromises. Typically, I invent new content that allows me to have some freedom.

What I've found is that some company  marketers put on an SEO hat and fight everything.… Read more

SEO Website Audit: How to Prepare for an Effective Strategy

online marketing seo auditAn SEO audit is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. You want to your website to attract as many visitors from search engines as possible. But to improve, you need to know where your website stands today. What are its strengths? What are the weaknesses? The data provides the perspective that we need to help you use an effective strategy to:

  • Improve your search engine positions (top rankings)
  • Increase your website traffic
  • Generate more leads and sales
  • Support your brand with more visibility

At the end, you should come up with initial findings and highlight with something like:

Executive Summary

  • Refine the keywords; create a priority set you can track
  • Focus on one H1 per page (visible content headline with more keywords)
  • Add content to some specific pages
  • Create new content to support keywords
  • Improve internal cross-linking
  • Improve image naming and the image alternative text
  • Consider gated content for lead generation (more brief forms for unique how-to guides)
  • Add unique meta descriptions
  • Pursue more inbound links (blogs, other websites)
  • Review blog structure, categories
  • Update robots.txt file
  • Monitor website performance with Google’s Search Engine Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools).
Read more

5 SEO and Local Search Realities for Confused Marketers

google local search rankingsSure, you've been in business 10 years and you're good at what you do. You have tons of website pages about your range of services and specialties for kids and adults.

1. But sometimes it seems that no one is searching for your services.

Take this example: Google has some public data that suggests people search for "dentist columbus ohio" an average of 1,000 times a month.

But what about "columbus ohio veneers?" Nothing.

And if you're in a suburb like Worthington, Google claims there are 50 searches for "dentist worthington ohio."

2. People do search for words even when Google claims they're not.

The fact is, someone could search for "Columbus root canal prices." And if your website addresses that, you might want well and get a new patient. And while you collect your money, Google will show that no one is searching for that keyword phrase.

How can that be?… Read more