Clever wordplay and SEO

Posted on March 30, 2010


Knowing the main keywords for your industry isn’t enough for SEO success. It’s important for the health of your search engine optimisation plan that you know what keywords are related to your main list, and also the variations of your main words.

Here are some examples of things you can do to improve your targeted keywords:

Reordering words: This is one of the more common things that Internet users do when performing searches. Very few searches are performed on single-word keywords these days, and when the results from the usual ordering are not satisfactory, the easiest thing to do is rework the order the words come in.

Adding words: Although very few searches are based on single keywords, adding more terms is one of the first things an Internet user will do when their search hasn’t produced the right results. Usually, the extra words are modifiers, such as colours, months, or locations. Adding in a few specifics to your keywords can be helpful if your site’s users frequently look for a specific thing.

Removing words: This is a less common technique, although still frequently used by Internet users. Sometimes, a keyword is too specific and nets too few results. Although Internet users are tending to use longer and longer searches, these shorter searches are one of the reasons to keep short-tail keywords on your pages.

Stripping back words: Internet users are aware that websites will use different extensions of keywords, and get creative when they’re looking for a specific thing. To this end, they will strip back ‘searching’ to ‘search’ and similar. Including the shorter versions of your keywords may mean you’re featured in more search engine results pages – increasing your chance of higher traffic levels.

Misspelling, slang and acronyms: All variations of your keywords are worth considering, and it’s important to remember that your site’s users are just as prone to bad spelling as anyone. While Google manages to catch many of the common misspellings, international variations and other versions of your words are still worth including – such as spelling ‘optimisation’ with a ‘z’.

The broader you can make your keywords, the more results your website will appear in.

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