My Head is Bruised From All the Headdesking Over Your Keyword Strategies


I have been in the community/social/editing realm for the last couple of years. Recently I put my SEO cap back on and have been reviewing keyword strategies for various clients. It is 2015 and sadly I see that many of the basics are still not known.

I have found that I was wrong in thinking that in the last 3-4 years the basics of SEO were common knowledge and that websites had to have improved. I thought with talk of keywords and SEO on major news networks, schools, business classes, magazines, newspapers, music and even comedy shows that people would know the basics of what to do.

I WAS WRONG! (My husband loves when I say that)

FYI: This is a going back to the basic of basics, ranty article. This is an article for new folks that haven’t read SEO 101. It might not be helpful to you, but send it to your friends that know little about SEO.

Keyword Research – It Is a Thing!

If you are new to the web, websites and online marketing please, please, please pay someone qualified (an SEO) to do keyword research for you.

Anyone that does keyword research for you must ask these basic questions to start:

  • What do you do?
  • What do you offer?
  • Where are the services you offer located?
  • How do you make money?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What is common terminology in your field?

The answers to these questions will allow your consultant to discover the keywords you should be focusing on, the keywords you will have difficulty ranking for, and who your direct online competitors are. This research will give you a starting direction that you need.

What are people searching for?

Keyword research helps you understand the types of keywords and phrases people are searching for the most; this is really important! Sometimes business owners get stuck in their own terminology and don’t realize that people are searching for different broader terms or very specific words related to a field.

You only have so many website pages, so which keywords should you focus on within your website? A good consultant will tell you.

Which do you think people would search for, “Tampa personal injury attorney” or “Tampa herniated disc attorney”?

headdeskingI recently saw a legal website that discussed types of back injuries for multiple paragraphs on their “car accident injury” practice area page. Not once did the page say personal injury attorney, car accident attorney, a location or anything else. It focused only on back injuries.


I recommend that people new to optimizing or creating content for a website review these questions again:

  • What do you do?
  • What do you offer?
  • Where are the services you offer located?
  • How do you make money?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What is common terminology in your field?
  • What are people searching for?

I would also recommend that you look at competitor websites to see what keywords they are focusing on. Then pick some random large cities and look at other people in the same field, what keywords are they focusing on? With answers to all these questions you have a place to start.

If you see 20 personal injury attorney websites focusing on terms like “personal injury attorney”, “car accident injury attorney”, and/or “wrongful death attorney” then perhaps your number one focus shouldn’t be “back injuries”.

IMPORTANT: You Can’t Rank for Words You Don’t Bother to Use

If the only online marketing you have done is to create a website with content it is important for you to know that you cannot be found for keywords that are not used on your website, period. If you want people to find you while searching for specific keywords you must use those words.

Example: If someone wants to be found for “organic kitten blankets”, but the site only discusses all natural fabric for cats then the odds of being found for “organic kitten blankets” are slim to none. Side note – please watch this video on Interest-Based Searches and see how Google can show your website to those searching for related topics/keywords.

You have to tell search engines what your site is about through your website structure and your content. Your titles, URLs, on-page optimization, content, navigations, categories and resource/blog topics help search engines understand what your site is about.

Recommended Reading: The Beginners Guide to SEO

Blog Posts vs. Pages You Want to Rank

Another thing I have seen lately, that just makes me <headdesk> until the world is blurry, is main pages with no information or keywords and then blog posts that say everything that the pages should be saying!

<headdesk><headdesk><headdesk> WHY?????

WTF Headdesk

Did you know that there are many, many people that never bother to read a website’s blog?

Yep, it is true. The truth is there is a whole generation of people that think getting on a site and looking at the service pages is enough work. The last thing they are going to do is go to a blog and read through months of blog posts to figure out what your business does or offers.

When people can’t find what they need to know quickly they just move on to a different site.

Your home page and navigation is what initially tells everyone, humans and algorithms, what is important about your business and what you offer. The most important information about what you do/offer should be discussed in the main pages of your website. Focus on strong main pages before you ever consider blogging.

For a great example of extremely well done service pages look at

Then What Is a Blog For?

Your blog should support your main website pages and expand upon what it is that you do and offer. People have blogs for various reasons, but I like them to be used as additional educational and helpful information for potential clients and current clients.

Let’s go back to the personal injury attorney that discussed back injuries. It would be wise to have a main page for “personal injury attorney” that could break down the main injury practice areas they help with. Those injury practice areas, like dog bites and car accidents, could link to pages with more information about those specific services and common injuries.

A good idea would be to create resource pages or blog posts that expanded on specific practice areas and offer helpful information for common injuries. So, as people are reading about common car accident injuries they could click on a page or post that focused specifically on something like “common back injuries”.

Don’t Assume Search Engines or Humans Know What You Do

You have to spell things out for visitors and search engines. My recommendation is to make everything as idiot proof as possible – basically, can anyone that looks at your website understand who you are, where you are and exactly what you offer? How easy is it for someone to use and search your website? Your site has to be easy to use and easy to understand.

You also want it to be easy to find, which is why hiring a good SEO is important.

Hiring a Professional is Critical

When you are hoping to rank well on search engines you have to understand that humans are not making the call on where you rank, algorithms do this. For someone that has not spent years studying SEO and practicing it, to understand what search engines want is nearly impossible.

You absolutely have to hire a trusted SEO firm or consultant to help you create a good website, create a marketing strategy, create an SEO strategy and to create content that not only works for you, but also sells what you offer.


I have had many non-SEO people say to me “Keywords are so basic and 101”.  Well, I can see their point, but keywords are a huge part of SEO, of PPC and without them you won’t be found. So please, take some time to do the research and create a website that will help people find you and understand what exactly it is that you offer.

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