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Use real keywords

Keywords are used to help search engines relate your web pages to terms people use in the search engines.

So if you sell books, you want search engines to find you when people look for a book shop they can access so you could use keywords like books, reading, store, fiction and non-fiction. Keywords like bike, engineer, beautician and plumber would be less useful (unless you specialised in books about those things!)

I think it’s really important to use real keywords, too. By that I mean words that real people will use to find your goods or services, not jargon or unusual alternatives of words.

Terms like motor insurance, pertusiss and downhaul are actually accurate but used by professionals – most people refer to car insurance, whooping cough and (sail) rope so they are the real keywords.

Worse are words used in a different context, such as benefit. Most of us think of benefit as an advantage whereas the insurance and super industries use benefit as the money you may be entitled to; would you ever type ‘super benefit’ in a search engine to find out about superannuation?

So when preparing your website copy and metadata (meaning the text you can add to a webpage for search engines to use), make sure you focus on words your customers will use rather than words people in your industry use. Sometimes, your customers do know the jargon, but don’t just assume it.

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