Our of our proofreading course students asked us some of the basics of SEO, as she wanted to optimise her website.

She had finished her online proofreading course, and wanted to use some techniques to get her site as high as possible up the Google rankings.

We told her to work on key phrases.

Each page should have one primary phrase, and one or two secondary phrases.

It’s OK to use the primary phrase two or three times. Google doesn’t penalise repetition – only ‘stuffing’, ie over-using the same phrase on one page, without grammatical context or attention to writing style.

See this example:

Compare this with this article on our blog. The primary search phrase was ‘copywriting course’ – we’ve used it three times. And the secondary phrase was ‘online copywriting course’, which we’ve used twice.

You’ll see other we used a couple of other Google-friendly features, too:

  1. We’ve use the primary search phrase in the page title (top left), and the URL slug.
  2. It’s a how-to article – Google likes articles that genuinely help people.

So you can see that the primary and secondary key phrases are repeated, but not ‘stuffed’. They appear in context, in an helpful article, not an promotional one.

Also, we have used the search phrase in the image’s invisible ‘alt text’. Google likes this, too.

So overall, the page achieved three goals:

  • it genuinely helps students – and they are likely to share it (Google rewards shares).
  • if meets all of Google’s criteria.
  • it helps us – if you search for: ‘copywriting course’ on Google, we appear 1st on page one

See our proofreading courses