Content is King
It seems obvious but having quality content on your website is crucial.
Regardless of how far you want to go with search engine optimisation, just focusing on quality content will serve you well.
Google is smart and it's in their best interest to return fresh & unique content to users. If you're publishing this content and your website is built properly then people will find your site.
What are People Searching For?
Consider the words and phrases your target audience would search for. Along with your own intuition, you can use the following tools:
- Google AdWords Tool shows you keyword variations and search traffic.
- Google Insights for Search lets you compare searches across regions, time frames and other properties.
- Type it: Google's autocomplete feature hints at some of the most popular searches.
Target Those Keywords
After that research, you should have a list of keywords and phrases to target. You may have more than one list, for different sections of your site.
For example, a pet clothing store might target the following key phrases:
- Homepage: 'pet clothes', 'animal clothing'
- Dresses Section: 'dog dress', 'cat skirt' and 'pig tutu'
You write first and foremost for people, not search engines but integrating these words into your content (where appropriate) will help you capture relevant traffic.
Keep it Simple
Remember that people don't read the same way on the web: they scan. Visitors will not necessarily progress through your website in a linear or logical manner.
Think twice before putting the entire history of your company on the About page. Distill it down, make it scannable and easily digestible.
You don't need to be spammy with your keywords. Simply keeping them in mind when writing or reviewing content should help you stay on track.