Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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SEO Should Start with a List of Keywords

SEO should start with a list of keywords, because if SEO (Search Engine Optimization) doesn’t start with a list of keywords, you may have to restart any efforts that you already made to try and improve your site’s SEO.

Much SEO work can be undertaken yourself, even if you’re a beginner, but to get you off to a good start, read through the information below:

The Basics of on-site SEO, Introduction, and Glossary

SEO should start with a list of keywords or phrases, and not just any list of keywords or phrases, but a list of keywords or phrases that have search volume, and that are related to your domain name, business, or target market – or related to all three.

We ourselves work mostly with on-site SEO, and don’t use PPC (Pay Per Click) (Google Adwords paid advertising) methods at all.

Even if using PPC, on-site SEO should be good (and done first) to help your PPC ads get a good Adwords (PPC) quality score and ultimately to help your ads to feature more prominently in the paid search results of Google, or to cost you less.

On-site SEO, also known as on-page SEO is all about providing text on the pages of your site that match search phrases that people use when looking for information on Google or on other Search Engines. What’s important here is to have phrases (and related phrases) within the text of your site that do have search volume. The placing or positioning, and repetition of these important keywords and key phrases on your site is also important.

Organic Search Results
Organic search results are also known as natural search results or free search results. Just about everyone who uses Internet Marketing SEO techniques hopes to get a Google page 1 organic search result for the specific phrase or phrases on their site that they are targeting, or people even want a number one position organic search result on top of page 1 of Google search results.

Organic search results are not the PPC Adwords ads search results that you sometimes see at the very top of a page of the Google Search Engine, or off to the right hand side – but are the 10 natural search results running down the main part of any search results page on Google.

Wake up if you think simply getting a website means that you will now make lots of money because thousands of people are going to visit your website and order or buy your products, or hire you for your services, or click the ads you have monetized your site with, or want to pay you to advertise on your site. You have COMPETITION.

You have competition, and all your competitors are targeting the same keywords that you are. There is room on page one of Google search results for only a few search results. Not everybody’s website will get a page one Google search result.

If you want a page one Google search result for various search phrases or keywords that you are targeting, you have to work really hard to get that page one Google search results, or have to hire somebody to work really hard to get it, and even then, you don’t know if all your competitors are working harder at SEO and Internet Marketing than you are, or are spending more money on SEO and Internet Marketing than you are. Search Engine Optimization – and trying to beat your competition – is tough.

All that good Search Engine Optimization really does is increase your chances of beating your competitors who are targeting the same keywords that you are. You may beat many of your competitors, or you may not, but doing nothing about trying the beat them, when you want to or need to, is worse than not even trying to.

On-site SEO includes adding good meta title, meta description, and meta keywords. These meta titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords should match words and phrases in the text content of the page on the site, for achieving good meta-to-content percentage relevancy.

Note than getting 100% meta-to-content relevancy for all 3 meta tags to 100% relevancy, is of no importance or of any use unless the content on a page first contains phrases that some people do actually use when searching Google for information (called search volume.)

What’s the point of having 100% meta-to-content relevancy percentages if the words on your page are never used when anybody searches for information on the Internet?
No point.

What’s the point of having page 1 organic (natural or free) search results, even if those search results contain words matching your page’s content, but nobody ever uses those phrases when looking for information on the Internet?
No point?

Start with a list of keywords that have search volume. Get those keywords onto your site.

These important words and phrases can also be included in other areas of your site for extra SEO “oomph” – like in the file names of your site’s images, and in the image alt tags, image title tags, image captions, in the title tags of your navigation bar tabs, and in the title tags of your internal links (links from one page of your site, within main text areas when anchoring keywords with a link) to another page of your site.

Search volume is: how many people on average each month, for the past 12 months, use a particular search phrase when they search for information on the Internet.

There is broad search volume and there is exact search volume. Broad search volume is when a phrase you are targeting in the content of your site is part of a phrase people use when they search the Internet,

and exact search volume – the more important one – is when people use that exact same phrase.

Content is king: Google, in particular, likes content – unique content, not published elsewhere online, and lots of it. Google also likes a site’s content to be fresh – often adding new blog posts or news posts takes care of this.

Blog posts or website pages should consist of text content that is at least 400 words long – better yet, at least 700 words long.

Improving a site’s on-site SEO is never a guarantee that your site’s pages will get their search result found on page one of Google.co.za (or Bing or any other Search Engine) – especially when there are many competitors in your niche who may have already spent a lot of time or money on SEO, but improving your site’s SEO gives you a much better chance of beating many of your competitors in the natural/organic/free search results.

Why we prefer on-site SEO over PPC:

A good natural search result, when clicked, sends visitors to your site for free. Also, other than writing and adding some new content to your site from time to time, the time and money spent to get your good natural search results is a once-off expense.

A good PPC ad position (if you get a good position and if your ad shows frequently), when clicked, sends visitors to your site at a cost to you, even if visitors are just browsing and are not really interested in your services or products. Also, once your PPC ads are clicked a few times, your allocated budget runs out, meaning that for as long as you want your PPC ads to appear on Google so that people can click them and visit your site, you need to keep allocating a budget every month.


If you have the monthly advertising budget to use PPC, by all means do, but even PPC campaigns need a list of keywords to work from, and the ads should be linking to a site that has a good keyword density of the same keywords in the ad.

Start with on-site SEO, and before that, start with a list of keywords.

© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2013

TANT © 2015 AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you click on a link and then view, join, purchase, or perform other actions, I will receive an affiliate commission.
AMAZON ASSOCIATE Teresa Schultz is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
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