SEO tools

How to determine the best keywords

Use Google AdWords to uncover and understand the best keywords for your site.

  1. Log in to Google AdWords.
  2. Go to 'Tools and analysis' > 'Keyword tool'.
  3. Enter your web address into the website box.
  4. Choose a category. This will depend on what is relevant – it may be 'Colleges, Universities & Post-Secondary Education'.
  5. Use advanced search options to limit by location, language and device.
  6. Search using these parameters. A list of keywords will be generated. From these, figures for respective global and local months searches are listed.
  7. Determine the keywords relevant to your content. Consider the amount of searches, so you can see whether the searcher is specific enough to find your content.
  8. Note that while single keywords looks inviting, long tail searches make up 70 per cent of all searches. A combination of long tail keywords is ideal.

How to perform a competitor analysis

Find out who are your top ranking competitors are, why they're successful, and what you can do to match them.

Using keywords

  1. Go to Google. Ensure you are not logged in.
  2. Enter the keywords you've previously identified and note the results.
  3. Do this consistently over a period of days – you'll soon see who your top three to five competitors are.
  4. Review their sites and find out how they are using keywords in their title tags, meta descriptions, body copy and naming conventions.
  5. Match your top competitors in these metrics for your chosen keywords.
  6. But note that adding more keywords than your competitors will result in negative search results – Google has an algorithm that determines a standard deviation of keywords for related sites. It will class results outside this deviation as keyword stuffing or spamming.

On backlinks

Backlinks are links on other websites to your website.

Backlinks improve your SEO, and are often the difference between the top rank and a lesser rank. They're particularly useful if the other websites in question rank well in Google themselves. Unfortunately, they're out of your control – acquiring them relies on other website owners linking to your site.

So how can you acquire more backlinks? First, ask your media team. When a media release is released, it should ask for a backlink and/or contain a link. (Follow up to ensure the link is included.) These releases are particularly beneficial for the SEO of the University, given they are often featured on news sites with high PR.

Also, add share buttons to all/specific content. Or forward  content suitable for sharing on our Facebook page.

Here's how to compare your backlink count to your competitors.

  1. Go to Alexa.
  2. Enter your website in the search box and click 'search'. Your backlink results will appear next to 'sites linking in: #'.
  3. Enter your competitors website in to the search box and click 'search' again.
  4. Compare the results.

How to measure if your SEO is working

Analyse, compare and improve. These steps help you check your SEO results against non SEO metrics and assess your progression.

Begin with goals and conversions
Conversions are goals that you achieve.

For example, a goal for an online shoe shop may be to have a user reach a 'thank you for purchasing' page. This directly relates to revenue for the shoe shop. Monash might use a 'thank you for contacting us' page as a goal or 'thank you for registering your interest' page. Ultimately this is the most important metric as it is usually the reason your content exists.


  1. Track your Google rank for a certain term over time to see how well your SEO has worked. Google Analytics can can also determine our SEO improvements.


  1. Log in to Google Analytics.
  2. Navigate to the relevant page.
  3. Click on 'Audience overview' and set the date range to the month previous to your SEO. Note the unique visitors and compare this to the same metric for the first month of your SEO.
  4. Continue to compare over time to determine the improvements your SEO has made.