You have a great website. It has beautiful images, a compelling theme and intuitive navigation, all designed to take eager visitors to complete descriptions of your proprietary products and services, “The only problem is your website shows up somewhere after page 10 on search-engine results.

To rectify the problem—and optimize your content for search engines—we would suggest that you look at the following

Before making any changes, clearly establish what you want to achieve. Don’t be distracted by the glittering allure of top rankings for each and every page at your site. “Rather aim for the goal of incorporating search-engine-friendly content that performs well on the most important ‘money phrases.’

These are areas that you’ve identified that typically lead to additional action by visitors and prospects.”

Carefully select your keywords—and remember they’re likely to be keyword phrases. If you sell doors, you’ll get nowhere with a generic term like doors. “A better keyword phrase would be aluminum exterior house doors or solid core wood doors.”

Organise your chosen keywords into thematic silos. “[These] may be interior doors, exterior doors and garage doors, with the specific types of each category being grouped together.”

When writing copy, err on the side of making sense to humans. Don’t forget customers—not search-engine spiders—are the ones making a purchase. “Search engines may love you but if your content isn’t attractive to your visitors and they choose to leave your site, all your work is for nothing.”

The Po!nt: Think clearly, and state it clearly. Implementing a common-sense SEO strategy is the best route over time from page 10 to page one of search results.

How do you find the best keywords for your audience?

There are several online tools for novice and expert search marketers alike that can help simplify the process of researching keyword phrases.

Here are four ways to use them in developing a content strategy:

Use social media to monitor conversations—and get keyword ideas. Monitor social-media tools and communities for immediate insights into trending topics related to your business. Refer to or to identify how your intended customers phrase search requests.

Use the latest tools for SEO keyword research. Enhance your content strategy with the following free or low-cost tools, designed to help develop and promote content on your website.

  • The Google Wonder Wheel shows search terms that Google thinks are related to your original search query.
  • The AdWords Keywords Tool shows which keyword terms have the highest search volume, with the most specific or long-tail wording, related to your topic.

Brainstorm a list of keywords. Look at each search request as a question. If you can provide useful answers, you’re more likely to convert your visitors to customers or clients.

Organize your keyword research. Create a new spreadsheet each time you create a new project, and identify one primary keyword for each page of content to be placed online.

The ideal keyword phrase considers local search volume, global search volume, and keyword difficulty.

The Po!nt: Don’t get stuck inside your industry’s jargon. Use the latest social-media research tools to target keywords that reflect how your intended audience actually searches.