It’s surprising how few web design companies take the principles behind on-site SEO into account during the web design process. Sometimes they leave it until afterwards, not a brilliant idea since reverse-engineering a website so it gives search engines the information they need can be time consuming and expensive. Sometimes it never gets done, to the detriment of the client’s success.

That’s why we take SEO into consideration from the offset, using keywords on pages and behind the technical scenes to help inform website structure and content. It’s crucial because following Google’s on-site optimisation guidelines means we automatically put users first, which in turn is what the search engine wants. There’s a beautiful symmetry to it.

We thought a plain language explanation of the principle behind on-site SEO might strike a chord with our readers. Here’s our on-site SEO 101, revealing how what we do helps us create websites that our clients’ audiences can find quickly, and find unbeatably relevant, interesting, helpful and useful once they get there.

What does Google say about keywords?

The answer to this question also answers a second important query: What are keywords? Google says:

“Think about the words users would type to find your page, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.”

So, keywords – and also key phrases – are the words and phrases people who want to find stuff like yours use to find websites like yours.

Here’s an example. If you sell ice cream in Brighton, a key phrase might be Where do I buy homemade ice cream in Brighton? If someone types the query into Google or speaks it into their smartphone, and you’ve used and answered the question on a web page on your site, the user’s intention and your solution should match up.

Assuming you do a good enough job of answering the user’s query, your page might end up on page one of Google’s search results for that query.

The nasty bit – Avoid over-egging it

You can see how keywords can be manipulated. Luckily for fair play and a level playing field, search engines are on the ball. This isn’t the place for technical details – let’s just say Google and co are intelligent enough to notice when people try to play the system and put a stop to it.

Keyword stuffing is the culprit, where website owners pack keywords into their websites like sardines. The result is unreadable, no good for users or search engines.

The thing is, over the years Google’s search algorithms have become very sophisticated. Keywords are essential to any successful website. But the way they’re used, how often, where, when and in what context is in a state of flux, sometimes changing subtly and other times dramatically.

It’s vital to get the balance right. Google provides advice and guidance. They also give examples of keyword stuffing. Here they are.

  • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
  • Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
  • Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:
    We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.

You can trust us to get it right

We harness keywords creatively and intelligently following Google’s guidelines to design and populate websites that meet people’s and search engines’ needs. Our copywriters, who will write professional content for you if you need it, know exactly how to do an excellent job, and they keep up with the changing SEO landscape. The results speak for themselves.