Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain.
Choose the right keywords, and you'll see your traffic skyrocket.
Therefore, think long and hard on what keywords people are likely to use
to find you.
you ever heard from someone who attained a top 10 position in a major search
engine and the person was elated at how much new traffic flooded into his or her
Web site. Sure - you'd expect them
to be happy with such an outcome, right? But
sometimes you hear from someone else who also achieved a top 10 ranking but they
become disappointed when just a handful of visitors show up.
How can two people achieve high rankings and have such markedly different
The person in the first example selected a keyword or phrase that many
people are searching on, and the second did not!
question to ask yourself is how do you really know if you're optimizing your
pages for keywords that Web surfers are looking for?
There are several good techniques you can apply to determine what people
might be searching for:
a) Put yourself in their shoes and
b) See what keywords your
competitors are targeting to spur new ideas.
c) Organize and focus your
keywords into short phrases, etc.
However, the best way is to stop guessing and actually SEE what people
are searching for. That's why we've
set up a new, free service called the Keyword Generator.
Using our new Keyword Generator, you can enter the word
"travel" and find the top 20 or more phrases that were queried in the
Goto.com search engine last month that include the word "travel."
Better yet, the service will rank the phrases by the number of times the
keyword/phrase was queried!
Here's the strategy we recommend:
1. Brainstorm on what general
words apply to your industry and list them
all out in a word
processor or on paper.
2. Next, conduct a search for a
few of them on a major search engine and then travel to the sites you find in
3. View the HTML source code for
the page and write down the keywords used in the Meta tags and any you see on
the visible page. You'll quickly
find a variety of keywords you hadn't considered before. This does not mean these are the best keywords to target, but
it can help you in your brainstorming process.
sure you only write down words and phrases that specifically apply to YOUR
business! You don't want to waste time targeting keywords that will not
bring you high quality leads.
4. At this stage, most people
would start GUESSING what keywords and phrases people are most likely to search
on. Don't guess. Learn the most
popular combinations by taking the individual words and submitting them to the
keyword generator. Click on the logo below for a free download of the
WordTracker program to help you choose the correct key words.
If you use the keyword generator, you'll soon have a list of dozens, if
not hundreds of keyword phrases you could target on all of the search engines.
The service illustrates what we've told customers for years: not everyone
is competing for the exact same keywords! There
are literally 1000's of opportunities available for any business.
Find YOUR niche, make sure it's one that people are looking for, then
Bonus Tip: Some of the keywords are going to be much more
competitive than others. For
example, ranking well on the single word "travel" will be much more
difficult than ranking in the top 10 for "Caribbean cruises." Remember
that single keywords usually return the least targeted leads.
If someone is searching on just plain old "travel" are they:
a. Helping their child with a
paper on some aspect of "travel"
b. Looking for the "travel
c. Looking to plan a vacation
d. Day dreaming about time travel?
e. Looking for driving directions
for their travel across the country?
f. Looking for a travel club such
g. Looking for the perfect
backpack or hiking supplies for a travel expedition?
If you own a travel agency that specialized in vacation cruises and
optimized your site for the single keyword "travel," only a limited
number of the people identified in the example above would be qualified
prospects. You'd find a great
number of search engine referrals to your site if you attained a good ranking on
the keyword, but many of them would select the "back" button in their
browsers, turn around and effectively walk out of your store!
That's not the outcome you'd be looking for. When you target longer keyword phrases there is a much higher
likelihood that you have focused in on exactly the right prospects.
It's the difference between attracting actual buyers versus tire kickers.
best thing to do is to target multi-word keyword phrases that give you the
highest quality leads. For example,
we sell software, but we don't waste our efforts trying to rank #1 on the word
software. That's just too general,
not to mention too competitive.
Ideally, you will want to target keyword phrases that are queried with
some frequency, that are specific to your Website, but less competitive. How can you tell if a keyword/phrase is highly competitive?
One approach would be to prepare a WebPosition Gold Reporter (rank
checking) mission. Add your list of
keyword phrase "suspects" and start the rank checking mission.
View WebPosition Gold's "Detail Report" - a report shows the
actual search matches to a keyword query. Are
the Web sites that appear near the top of the search results your biggest
competitors or just random junk without any clear focus?
The keyword phrase queries where the search matches appear to be
"random Web junk," may be the ones that are not yet being fought over
(i.e., maybe it will be easier to achieve high rankings on these).
easiest road to success is to target popular keywords that your competitors have
overlooked. You can click on the
"Actual Results" link on the WebPosition Gold Detail Report and view
the total quantity of matching Web sites reported for that keyword phrase.
If you are considering two phrases, each one appears to be queried with
roughly the same frequency, but one returns 10,000 matches and another that
returns 100,000 matches, which one should you target first?
The one with the fewer matches of course!
That's because you'll be competing against fewer Web sites for the top
just because a phrase returns 10,000 matches does NOT mean you have only a 1 in
10,000 chance of ranking number one. If
you simply submitted your page and did nothing else, then yes, your odds of
ranking near the top are low. Discovering
the "magic" quantity of keywords and tags to rank in the top 10 is
also next to impossible to do by hand. That's
why we created WebPosition Gold. To
simplify search engine positioning and to give you a competitive advantage.
When you use WebPosition's
"Page Critic" feature to analyze the keyword concentrations on your
Web pages (and by the way, less than 1% of all Webmasters currently own a copy)
you have GREATLY improved your odds of success!
In fact, we are so confident that WebPosition Gold will work for you -
for your Web site - on your search phrases, that we GUARANTEE your success in
the first 45 days or we'll refund 100% of your money.
We know that the majority of Web site owners are targeting the WRONG
keywords. How did we reach this
A recent study showed that only 34% of Web site owners knew enough to
include a simple keyword meta tag on their Web page! Therefore, just by adding a keyword meta tag AND properly
optimizing the rest of the page for your keywords, you'll be doing far more than
the 66% of Web site owners have ever done! If you take the time to target the RIGHT keywords, we're
guessing you'll be ahead of 99% of the world and you'll be generating more
traffic with less effort. Work
smarter, not harder is what we always say!
Picking the best
Location, Location, Location!!
The Art And Skill of Being Regional.
the WebPosition keyword box in Reporter, type in the keywords or keyword phrases
EXACTLY like you think the user would enter it in one of the search engines to
find a site like yours. If you wish
to simulate the user doing an exact phrase search, surround the phrase with a
double quote (") character. Place
each search on a separate line.
Therefore, 10 lines will perform 10 different searches
across each search engine you select on the Engine tab.
Doing this by hand would be next to impossible, but WebPosition makes it
very easy. (Note: In the
Page Generator, you will type each keyword or phrase into a separate box).
example, you could tell WebPosition to search on both: Boston real estate and
"Boston real estate"
find that you'll likely rank differently on each depending on the design of your
page and the engine. Most search
engines will find the exact phrase search on your page ONLY if the words
"Boston real estate" appear on your page with those three words all
together and the case of the words are the same.
Therefore when designing pages, it's important to integrate the most
likely phrases people would use to find a site like yours into your page's text.
Without the quotes, most engines will simply look for a page that happens
to contain all of the above words and put the so-called best matching or most
"relevant" pages at the top of the list.
Which will the user type? The
more experienced Web users will try to do an exact phrase search first, then
they will try an inexact search if that doesn't yield any good results.
Novice users may not know to use the exact phrase option unless the
search engine defaults to that. Advice:
Monitor your positions for both.
Picking the best keywords/phrases
are several things to consider when choosing keywords and phrases.
The most important is to put yourself in the shoes of the type of visitor
you want to attract. Make a list of what kind of keywords or phrases they are
likely to search on. This requires
you to separate yourself from your product, service or web site and think like
the average Joe who might want to find you, but knows nothing about your site.
It's a good idea to ask friends or
co-workers what they might type in to find your site, or even have them go to a
search engine and tell them to try and find information on the topic your site
happens to cover. Watch what words
and phrases they use.
things you want to remember when picking keywords to target:
Include concept keywords such as "accounting software" if
that's what you sell, but also try and be specific enough so that it's not too
Include more specific brand names such as Quicken.
If you offer services, then try to use service brand names when possible.
Legally, you should put the ® reserved symbol or ™ trademark symbol
after the names when mentioning them on the page.
3. COMPANY NAMES:
If you offer products from a well-known company, include that company's
name in your keywords.
4. YOUR NAME:
Unless you are a well known company/organization such as Microsoft or
Hewlett Packard, it's generally less important to emphasize your name as a
keyword. You should, however, setup
an "About My Company/Organization" page that does repeat your name
many times so that someone searching for you will find that page.
5. COMMON WORDS: There are now so
many pages and words indexed on the Web, that a search on many common words such
as "software" or "Internet" are going to be completely
ignored for that search by the engine! Therefore,
most people have to search on two or three word phrases to find what they're
looking for. Trying to be listed
well on every phrase/keyword combination they might search for is next to
impossible. However, WebPosition
lets you target and monitor many more keywords than could be managed by hand.
6. TEST KEYWORDS:
Ideally, before you even start a new Internet Web site (or even after),
you should see how many other pages match the keywords people would likely
search on to find you. The fewer
matches found for your search, the easier it will be to get your name up near
the top. Also important
are the quality of the matches that appear.
Your keywords may only bring up a lot of garbage that your potential
audience would have no interest in anyway.
Therefore, with the proper strategy, you could be the only site of your
type that appears near the top of that search.
WebPosition's detail report will let you see what competing pages/sites
you are up against. There may be
phrases that people are likely to search for which are much easier to achieve
good rankings on than more common words and phrases. This strategy can gain you unexpected traffic.
As mentioned, many people will likely use multiple-word phrases to find
you--particularly when single words do not provide adequate scope for the
search. The syntax for this varies
by engine, but phrases are generally searched for surrounded by quotes.
Therefore, make a list of 2-3 word phrases people are likely to search
for. When placing keywords on your
page, make sure you always include them in a phrase that the visitor might use.
Keep the important words chained
together in sentences on the page. If
the user searches on "KEYWORD1" AND "KEYWORD2" then you only
have to have the words in the same proximity on the page.
If, however, they search on "KEYWORD1 KEYWORD2" along with the
surrounding quotes, then the words MUST be together on your page, preferably
multiple times to find a match. Therefore,
it's a good idea to create a Mission to monitor your position for both
"baseball cards" and just baseball cards as an example.
Optimizing your page for phrase
searches can do wonders in helping people find you. However, because of the many combinations it's traditionally
been an impossible task without a tool like WebPosition to help you monitor your
results. It's often difficult to
rank well for popular keywords. However,
few sites make serious efforts to optimize for common phrases leaving you with
great opportunities to increase your traffic!
Sidenote: Several Web site log programs will now tell you
which keyword/phrase a user typed in a search engine to find you.
This is often helpful in understanding which positions are pulling the
If the user types the word Baseball then most engines will search for
"Baseball" with an uppercase "B" ONLY.
If your page has only "baseball" in it, you'll not be found! On the other hand, if they search for "baseball"
and your page has "Baseball" on it, most engines default to finding
words of any case when the keyword used was in all lower case.
Therefore, it pays to make sure you have at least some of the keywords in
uppercase or starting with an uppercase letter if the user might search that
way. The easiest place to do this
is in the title of the page, in meta tags, and at the beginning of sentences.
9. BAD SPELLING CAN BE GOOD:
Search engines don't have spell checkers.
Also, product names can have slight variations.
For example, MicroLogic has a product called Info Select.
However, people could easily search on MicroLogic, Micro Logic,
Infoselect, or Info Select. Look
for obvious mistakes people are likely to make and then incorporate some of them
into one of your pages in some way to pick up traffic you'd otherwise miss.
ANALYZER counts how many people found you on each search engine and what
keyword(s) they used to find you! This
can be very helpful in determining what keywords people are definitely using to
find your site. Unfortunately, it
won't tell you what keywords people are searching on and NOT finding you, but
it's a start and you'll be able to see certain words you hadn't realized people
would use to look for you. You can
then optimize for those keywords on other search engines.
In addition, you can add them to the Reporter to make sure you maintain
good rankings on those words.
Location, Location!! The Art and Skill of Being Regional
people visit a search engine when they are looking for a product or service of
some sort and conduct a search on a rather broad topic. Someone looking to buy a house in their own town might type
the keywords, "real estate" into the search engine.
When they are returned a list of Web sites starting in Alaska showing all
the real estate in the world, over 300,000 sites from Alaska to Wyoming, they
quickly see the value of narrowing their query.
The next search they conduct will be something like, "Virginia Real
Estate." This will give them
something more manageable.
this should tell any Web marketer promoting any product of regional significance
is to "regionalize" their site description and keywords where
appropriate. A Realtor client of
mine learned that by keeping his site title and description stuffed with
"VA" and "Virginia" he ranked well above other similar sites
who didn't pay attention to this technique.