Understanding SEO for Beginners

Understanding SEO for Beginners

What is SEO?


Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of optimising your website so that it can be easily found by the search engines.

In this blog post I am going to address some basic questions about SEO, how it works and why it’s important for your website.

How does the Google search engine work?

When a searcher enters a keyword or phrase into the search box on Google.com, Google searches their indexes for those keywords or phrases.

Google then presents the searcher with what it deems to be the most relevant results.
How does Google do this?
Google does this by:
Crawling: Crawling is the process by which ‘Googlebot’ discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index. Your website must have a robots.txt file that indicates your permission to Google and other search engines to crawl and index your site.
From the desk of Google:
“Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive list of all the words it sees and their location on each page. In addition, we process information in key content tags and attributes, such as titles tags and alt attributes. Googlebot can process many, but not all, content types. For example, we cannot process the content of some rich media files or dynamic pages”
Serving up the Results: When a searcher enters a keyword or phrase in the search bar, Google searches the existing index of matching pages and returns them in what they deem to be the most relevant order.
How can I encourage Google to show my website in the search results?
There are a number of ways in which you can organically improve your rankings:
  • Use keywords and key phrases in the main body of your content/blog posts/articles.
  • Use keywords and key phrases in all headings and titles.
  • Tag all blog posts with keywords.
  • Use categories that contain keywords.
  • Use ALT tags and descriptions for all images (include keywords).
  • Use keywords and phrases in page descriptions and titles.

Is it possible to over-optimise?

Yes, Google is very clear about the conditions for optimisation. They require well-written content that is informative and relevant. Over optimisation may be seen as spamming and this could result in your website being penalised and dropped from the Google index entirely.

Avoid the following:

  • Keyword stuffing - keep your keywords below 3% of the total content.
  • Duplicate content - publish only original content on your website.
  • Cloaking - hiding information from the user that is not hidden from the search engines.
  • Link farms - never purchase links.

Should you have any questions about SEO or how it can work for your business, please get in touch by filling out the contact form below and I’ll be in touch as soon as I receive your message.



    Writing for the Web

    Writing for the Web

    In this blog post, I am going to share some useful information that should help you to create informative, engaging content for your online reader. For those of you who write content for both online and offline publication, it’s important to remember that the two mediums are very different. When we search for information online, we normally do so when on the move. This means the most engaging content is provided by websites that understand the importance of accessible, informative content.

    Engage your Audience Immediately:

    Give the reader the information they’re searching for immediately. There’s no need for extensive intro paragraphs, background information or procrastination. If you have promised your reader an answer to a question, provide that information immediately. You can be assured that your reader will appreciate this approach and will return to your site when they next need expert advice or guidance.

    Keep your Articles Short:

    In general, we can assume that the reader is either on the move, searching for quick information or has a short amount of time to spend reading online. When we sit down to read offline, whether that’s a book, newspaper or magazine, we have already committed to dedicating some considerable time to the task. Online readers tend to hop from site to site, building upon their original search by clicking links for further information. Keep non-topical, non-political and non-opinion pieces under 500 words and build your audience by providing quick, easy to understand information.

    Easy to Scan Information:

    Use bullet points, short paragraphs and infographics to lead your reader through from the beginning to the end of your article. Articles that are easier to scan for information tend to get shared more on social media and reach a larger audience.

    Identify the Reader and use their Voice:

    Identify the demographic of your reader and tailor your articles to suit their voice. It’s vitally important that you never speak down to your reader, preach to them or alienate them in any way. Use a conversational tone that sets you on the same level as your reader and simply converse and provide them with the information they require.

    Use Bullet Points and Lists:

    By using bullet points and lists, we can provide easy to read information in a way that is accessible for people on the move. Articles that contain lists, tips, advice and answers will attract more traffic. Consider articles that focus on ‘Top Ten Ways to….’, ‘5 Steps to a Perfect…’, ‘How too…’.

    Author Note: Joanne is a Digital Media lecturer at Griffith College and specialises in blogging, SEO and writing for the web. As a freelance writer and SEO consultant, she provides a range of copywriting and online marketing services that will greatly improve your online presence. You can contact Joanne by filling out the form below or by emailing joanne@jbwritingservices.com.

      Simple SEO Tips for your Website

      Simple SEO Tips for your Website

      In this blog post we are going to look at some simple SEO tips that you can implement on your website. By adhering to these basic rules, you will begin to see your website go from strength to strength in the search engine rankings.

      Keyword Research Audits, Cork, Ireland

      1. Conduct in-depth keyword research

      Keyword research is vitally important to ensure your website is targeting the correct keywords. Audit those competitors who are outranking you and discover the keywords that are driving traffic to their site. Combine your keyword research with the use of Google’s keyword planning tool for the perfect SEO strategy.

      2. Place keywords in headings

      Use headings throughout your blog post or page content and take care to mark them as headings in your CMS. Within these headings you should place your most important keywords.

      Optimised website content, Cork, Ireland

      3. Place longtail keywords in subheadings

      Using longtail keywords in your subheadings will let the search engines know that you are serious about providing important information. Long tail keywords will be very specific to your niche and will generally be three or four word phrases or questions.

      4. Place keywords in ALT tags

      Every image on your website should have an ALT tag and an image description. When the ALT tags contain your keywords, these will show up in Google image search, providing more kudos to your website.

      SEO Writer, Cork, Ireland

      5. Place keywords in the meta title

      Every page and post on your website will contain a meta title. It is important that you create a title that includes your most important keywords and phrases.

      6. Place keywords in the page description

      The page description is displayed to readers on the Google search results page, directly below the meta title. If you do not manually enter a page description, Google will generate one based on your home page content. This is the perfect place to insert your keywords and will ensure Google recognises your website as relevant when a user makes that all-important search.

      To learn more about keyword audits, meta data, search engine optimisation and ways to improve your online presence, please feel free to email me at: joanne@jbwritingservices.com.

      Joanne offers comprehensive SEO packages, optimised website content and consultancy services for clients right across Ireland.


        Social Media & SEO Tips for Small Business

        Social Media & SEO Tips for Small Business

        Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts about using social media and ethical SEO to improve your online presence.

        In this blog post we are going to talk about the relationship between the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and social media and how an active and regularly used social media account can improve the rankings of your website.

        The relationship between the search engines and social media can often be overlooked or underestimated by those practicing online or offline SEO, however, SMM (Social Media Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) all work together to build your web presence in a positive, rewarding way.

        Linking your Website to Social Media

        For those hoping to boost their website in the search engine rankings, the very first thing I would recommend is to link each and every account to your domain name. You can do this in a number of ways: plugins, social share buttons, blog posts, social media buttons that link directly from your site via hyperlink, social proof plugins, live feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads etc.

        Use your Social Media Accounts Regularly & Link to your Website

        It’s all very well having dozens of social media accounts, but if you’re not updating them on a regular basis it can prove to be a worthless operation. I would recommend posting at least twice a week on all accounts and linking back to your website with each post. You can do this by simply typing the URL of any page of your website into the status bar on Facebook or Twitter and the platform will automatically direct viewers there when they click the link. Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube all provide similar features. Remember, this should work both ways! You want to build up a network of links between your website, social media and fans of your product/service.

        Offer something of Value

        When I say offer something of value, I’m talking about providing an incentive for your followers or fans to share these posts and links. Whether it’s an informative article, a competition or a well designed infographic, providing value to your readers will encourage sharing, interaction and more links back to your website. The more credible links you have (from ethical sources), the more Google will recognise your site and brand.

        Get Blogging

        Every website should have an integrated blog page to assist with onsite SEO, these blog posts should contain the keywords you would most like to be found with on Google and are perfect for sharing on social media. To get the most from your blog posts, I would recommend writing a minimum of 400 words and incorporating headings and meta data that include your chosen keywords.

        Tag all Images

        Make sure to tag all the images on your website with keywords, descriptions and captions (include your keywords) and go about sharing those images and their respective links on your social media accounts.

        Check back for my next blog post where I will be recommending a number of free plugins, widgets and resources to help you integrate your social media accounts.

        Author Note: Joanne at JB Writing Services offers a range of ethical onsite SEO and Social Media Management packages for those who need some assistance with marketing their brand online. Brand creation, website design and content marketing are all available at affordable prices for small businesses, bloggers and trainers.



        Getting your Business Online with JB Writing Services

        Getting your Business Online with JB Writing Services

        Here at JB Writing Services I concentrate on providing a service that encompasses all aspects of branding, from the written content on your website or brochure, right down to a colour scheme, logo design, website and social media management campaign. All of these items are integral to a successful brand, without which your image may be severely lacking.

        Branding Service Cork, Ireland

        The branding process should begin right at the conception stage of your business or blog and should always be foremost in your mind when developing a business plan. What is your business? Where do you provide value? What sets your brand apart from the competition?

        Once you have developed a business plan and mission statement, it’s now time to get working on your offline and online presence. This is where JB Writing Services steps in….

        Domain Choice & Hosting

        Choosing your domain name should be something that should be done in conjunction with JB Writing Services where possible, I will assist you with keyword research and competitor analysis prior to choosing a domain name, this will give your business the headstart it deserves with the search engines.I will also advise on the right hosting choice for your website.

        Website and Logo Design Cobh, Co. Cork

        The next stage in your branding journey should include visual branding, by this i mean logo and website design. Prior to developing your website, I can provide you with a number of logo design options that best represent your brand, making your brand stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. JB Writing Services includes a 1 hour consultation with all logo projects in order to fully understand what it is that makes your product or service special. I will then deliver 3-4 different logo drafts for you to choose from, you may like one logo straight off the bat, or you may like certain elements of different designs. Remember this is an exploration stage and it’s during the second stage that I develop your final ready to use logo. All logo files are delivered ready for print or online publication, in high resolution or vector format.

        Website Design Cobh, Co. Cork

        Once your logo and colour scheme has been decided and designed, I then get on with building your website and writing content that will have the search engines ranking you within 3 weeks from launch. I will deliver a fully responsive website that adjusts according to screen size, so your website will be user friendly for all device users whether they are browsing using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It’s worth keeping in mind that over 70% of searches are now done using a smart device, so you need to make sure your website is as responsive as possible.

        Onsite SEO

        I will optimise your completed site with the appropriate meta data, this will include all page titles, alt tags for images, page descriptions, tags, categories, headings and of course the overall site description that Google serves up to users.

        To learn more about the end-to-end service JB Writing Services offers, please feel free to get in touch with me any time by visiting the contact page and filling out the form or by calling me on (087) 9547420.


        Optimised Website Content

        Optimised Website Content, Cork, Ireland

        Here at JB Writing Services I research, write and optimise website content for business blogs and company websites across Ireland and the UK. The importance of well optimised website content should not be underestimated and can add significant benefits to both your brand and your online presence.

        Why is content optimisation so important?

        In today’s online world, competition is fierce and it’s a constant battle to keep your website ranking highly with the search engines. One of the most recognised methods for ethical (white hat) SEO is to constantly update or add to your website with freshly written website content in the form of blog posts, articles or new product pages. Google recognises this behaviour and rewards it handsomely by showing your website above the competition when the optimisation has been completed correctly.

        Before undertaking any web content project I spend some time consulting with the client about their target market and the keywords they would like to target. Sometimes the client is unsure of the keywords needed, and that is absolutely fine, I can offer a keyword research service that can make this project flow smoothly for you. I may also, upon request of the client, undertake an SEO audit of your competitors websites, this allows us to put in place a strategy for future use and assists when deciding on the best keywords for your website content.

        Optimised website content, Cork, Ireland

        Web Content Writer, Cork, Ireland

        How does content optimisation work?

        A short question with a very long answer! Basically, when a web user goes to Google for example and they are looking for something like a restaurant in Cork or a hotel in Dublin they will most likely type in a search query something like this ‘Restaurant in Cork’ or ‘Hotel in Dublin’. These would be considered keywords. Now, over the years search terms have developed to become more specific and we refer to these as long tail keywords ‘ Best vegetarian restaurant in Cork’ or ‘ Cheapest city centre hotel in Dublin’. As you can see, the latter long tail keywords are more specific in their requests and therefore Google needs to search a bit harder to serve up the correct answers. By incorporating both short keywords and long tail keywords in your website content you are letting Google know that you have the information it is looking for, thus enhancing your chances of appearing higher in the search results.

        A word of warning though! Google frowns massively on what we call ‘keyword stuffing’ so a certain ratio of text to keywords should be adhered to at all times to ensure Google doesn’t recognise your website or it’s content as spam.

        JB Writing Services uses optimised H1’s, H2’s, H3’s, optimised meta data such as page description, title tags, alt tags and page titles to further compliment the written content on your site This gives you the best chance of getting recognised by Google for your chosen keywords.

        Optimised website content is the ONLY way to practice SEO without living in fear of being penalised by the search engines and possibly having your site removed from the results page altogether. Dodgy backlinks and link building should be discouraged as these more often than not will hurt your site in the long run. Natural backlinks will happen in conjunction with well-written content as users start to share on social media and on their own blog pages.

        For further information about optimised website content or blog posts, please feel free to get in touch with Joanne by emailing joanne@jbwritingservices.com or fill out the contact form on this website.

        Cyber Monday Specials 2015

        Cyber Monday Specials: JB Writing Services

        Blog Posts - Order 2 get 1 free (normally €60 each, get 3 optimised posts for €120)

        Website Audits 1/2 price at €75 (normally €150)

        Press Releases - 30% off list price of €180 - order today for just €126

        Logo Design - 30% off list price of €650 - order today for just €455

        Web Content - 30% off list prices

        Call Joanne on 087 9547420 or email joanne@jbwritingservices.com to avail of these offers.

        Offers Valid until Friday 4th of December 2015


        Thinking of writing a book?

        They say that every person has one good book in them, and why shouldn’t they??

        Here at JB Writing Services I actively encourage those wishing to put pen to paper, what a wonderful way to express yourself and bring joy to those around you. I see authors who write about local history, tell far-flung stories, dream up the most amazing poetry and share their knowledge through books of all shapes and sizes. The biggest problem for them was getting published!

        Over the past decade, traditional publishing has taken a twist. Publishing a book has always been a dream for many of us, but unfortunately, sometimes feels out of reach. Endless phone calls, chasing agents (if you can get one), sending synopsis (let alone writing them), only to be rejected, left feeling like no one will ever get to read your words. But now that needn’t be the case!

        Self Publishing

        With self publishing now readily available throughout Ireland, there is absolutely no reason why your book can’t take centre stage, no agents fees, no publishers cut, sure a little bit of legwork is involved in promoting your book, but think of the fun you can have with that & it’s all on your terms!

        I work with a self publishing company here in County Cork called selfpublishbooks.ie. The guys here really know their stuff and go out of their way to make sure your book gets all the attention it deserves. Pop over to their website & have a look at some of their work, incredibly impressive and without doubt affordable to those who wish to go down the self publishing route.


        If you don’t currently have the means to fund a ‘physical’ book, why not boost your savings pot by selling your book in a downloadable format first. Platforms like Amazon, iBooks and other online book portals can now make your dream of being a published author a reality. You can use the proceeds to fund a self published, ready to sell ‘physical’ book!

        Where I come in…..

        So you have a book idea, you’ve written some of it, maybe even completed it. Your family thinks it’s good, your friends think it’s good, heck….you think it’s the best thing ever written. But have you looked carefully?

        I bring a fresh set of eyes to your book, I don’t just read it, I audit it. Are your commas, colons and full stops all in the right place? Is your spelling correct? Are your sentences structured in a readable way? Are you ready to push the ‘publish’ button?

        I provide:

        • Proofreading
        • Editing
        • Typing services
        • Picture formatting
        • Cover design
        • Copyright info
        • A print ready pdf ready to give to your publisher
        • An eBook ready to upload to your online store of choice

        So if you’re ready to take the plunge and need someone to give your book the attention it deserves, give me a call or pop me an email. Don’t leave it to chance, there’s nothing worse than picking up a book that just isn’t ‘quite there yet’!

        For more information on self publishing please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me any time using the contact form.


        Blog writer, Cork, Ireland.


        Why every website needs a blog!

        So you’ve got a fancy website, a great range of products or services & a real drive to succeed….but, your website just isn’t getting any traffic! Having a website with no traffic is akin to a shop in the middle of nowhere, unless people can find you and sample your wares, you may as well just shut up shop!

        One of the best & most natural ways to drive traffic to your website is to regularly update your blog. An active blog on your site really is the key to all your SEO efforts!

        Here at JB Writing Services I write blog pieces that truly capture the nature of your business. Not only do I write well, I also understand ethical SEO techniques. By ordering an article for your blog from JB Writing Services, you are ensuring that your site is being recognised by the relevant search engines and therefore by those searching for your products or services.

        Every blog piece I provide is 100% unique and written just for you, each article is optimised with your chosen keywords and I work hand in hand with any online marketing strategies you may already have in place.

        For a blog writer that offers affordable rates and impeccable copy look no further than JB Writing Services!