Why You Need More Than Just Keywords For Successful SEO

Yes, keywords play a significant part in helping your business get found online by your target market, but there’s more to successful SEO than just keywords.

Don’t get me wrong, doing comprehensive keyword research and knowing how and where to use them in your online content is huge in terms of your digital visibility, but there are lots of other elements to consider and learn about SEO if you want your website to feature at the top of the search engine rankings.

Key Elements of Successful SEO

By focusing your efforts on the following factors, you’ll improve your online visibility and put your business in a great position for customers and potential customers to find you.

Website Structure

Your website structure basically refers to how information is organised on your site.  In other words, it refers to how the pages are grouped, how the content links to your other content and how your visitors experience the content.  Good website structure makes it easy for users to navigate your site and it makes it easy for Google to rank all of your pages. One piece of advice is link to your key product/service pages where you can do.

Page Loading Speed

Page speed is a direct ranking factor and also important part of improving user experience.

Ideally, you’ll want your website to load within two or three seconds.

Data from Nvisage Digital shows that:

  • a one-second delay in page loading makes page views drop by 11%.
  • a one-second delay makes conversion rates drop by 7%
  • If the website loading time is 1-3 seconds, the bounce rate probability is only 32%
  • an additional second of loading time causes bounce rates to soar up to 90%

You can learn how to speed up your page loading in this article which covers what businesses can do to improve on the user experience.

Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

Google doesn’t reveal all its secrets when it comes to its algorithm, but we do know that E-A-T plays a key role in the way the search engine giant evaluates the quality of online content.  

If your content positions you and your business as a leader and expert in your industry and demonstrates that your website is trustworthy and authoritative, the greater your chances of ranking success.

These are some of the E-A-T factors:

  • The number of quality backlinks
  • The website’s longevity
  • How much content links to the topic
  • How long the website has been publishing content relevant to the topic 
  • User intent – ie. whether the content meets the user’s expectations and answers their search query satisfactorily
  • Dwell time
  • Third-partyty links that provide context for the business (eg business directories like Yellow Pages)


I’ve often talked about the importance of backlinks in an SEO strategy.   

A link from a reputable external site back to your website is great for many reasons.  It boosts organic traffic and it signals to Google and other search engines that they trust your website enough to link to it.

This goes back to why it’s so important to consider E-A-T when you’re creating new content for your website.

And remember, backlinks are all about quality over quantity.  Google can quickly tell if your backlinks are dubious or if you haven’t acquired them appropriately and they will punish your website if you’ve crossed the line.  But good ones are worth their weight in gold, so you do need to pursue backlinks as part of your SEO strategy.

Directory Listings

As mentioned earlier, listings on websites that provide context for your business are important for E-A-T and they’re also important in local searches.  

Look for opportunities for listings or citations on online directories such as Google Business Profile, Yellow Pages, Yelp etc which will help customers and potential customers find you when they enter search phrases related to your business and your service areas eg ‘{plumber} near me’ or ‘{Italian restaurant} in {your suburb}’.

Customer Reviews

You may be surprised to learn that online reviews affect your SEO.

Google’s aim is perfectly clear.  It wants to organise online content in such a way that it is universally accessible, useful and relevant to searchers.  And the quality and quantity of customer reviews are one of the things that helps Google determine the position of a website in its search results.

Just as we trust word-of-mouth marketing when we’re making a purchasing decision, Google does too.  That’s why you need to make customer reviews an ongoing aspect of your SEO strategy and make sure you respond to all reviews – good, bad and ugly!


Metadata is information on your webpage which enables both the search engine bots and real people understand what your web content is all about.

Common types of metadata are:

  • Meta title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Heading tags
  • Image Alt tags

Schema Mark-up

Schema markup (also known as structured data) is the code or language on the HTML of web pages that search engines use to read and understand content.

Adding schema mark-up to your webpages makes them more engaging, more attractive and more compelling to users which means they’re more likely to click through to your site.  

A Last Word on Why Great SEO is More Than Just Keywords

There’s no doubt that keywords are the foundation for a strong SEO strategy, but sustainable online visibility involves so much more than just choosing the right keywords, with the right search intent.  Taking the time to develop a comprehensive strategy aimed at getting your content to the top of an internet search will bring more traffic to your website and help you grow your business.  

Karen Dauncey

Karen Dauncey has been working in SEO since 2003. She specialises in helping businesses get found online through Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Karen's wealth of SEO knowledge and practical digital marketing experience comes from running her own SEO and Google Ads agency, Blue Cherry Online Marketing since 2008. Karen has optimised over 1000 websites, managed millions of dollars' worth of spend on Google Ads and has a solid understanding of the constantly shifting industry of digital marketing and SEO. This gives her a unique advantage when it comes to being able to recommend the right online marketing strategies for your business.

She is the founder and creator of The SEO School an online SEO Course to help teach business owners how to do their own SEO. She regularly delivers educational programs for both Local, State and Federal Government and was an advisor for the ASBAS Digital Solutions Program. Karen’s passion and commitment to help small business owners get found online is the driving force behind her online school, making SEO advice accessible to all with free resources and online courses.

Karen has attended search engine conferences in London, Stockholm, Adelaide and Sydney, and was also invited to attend a pilot Business Coaching Course at Google’s Head Office. She has a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK.

She is also the co-owner of the Digital Experts Directory, an online directory for female serviced-based businesses to promote their business (with a great backlink for SEO).

To keep up to date with the latest in SEO, join her Facebook group The SEO School Community or follow her on Facebook
or LinkedIn.

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