Discover The Number 1 Rule In SEO Or You Are Doomed
Posted on June 14, 2006
By Noel BautistaThe main entry point in our websites are the search engines. If people can't find you from the search engines, then you'll only receive very few visitors. In order for visitors to reach your website you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords.
The whole on-page and off-page optimization is based on the keyword that you will use. Imagine this, you wanted your site to rank high using "hi-tech widgets". You've done on-page optimization, put tons of backlinks with the anchor text "hi-tech widget" and end up #1 in that keyword. However, you noticed that despite this, you are only getting about 10-20 visitors per day. What seems to be wrong?
Rule #1 - Choose the right keywords
The big question is, what are the exact words people use to find information about your high tech widgets? Is it "red widgets", is it "cheap read widgets", or is it "discount red widgets"? Not knowing this would certainly be a disaster and lots of wasted energy in optimizing for the wrong keywords.
Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame! of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site - or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive - decreases dramatically.
You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven't followed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG. It's hard to be objective when you are right in the center of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.
Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many potential customers as you can.
You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers' understanding is significantly different. The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered.
The next step is evaluation. The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list
to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of
quality visitors to your website. By "quality visitors" I mean those consumers
who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just cruise around your site
and take off for greener pastures. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords,
bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation.
Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up your URL. You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real search engine activity. Software such as KeywordDiscovery will even suggest variations of your words and phrases. The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect to be directed to your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the search engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you.
Popularity isn't enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.
Let's look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword "insurance companies." However, you company specializes in health insurance only. The keyword "cheap health insurance" would rank lower on the popularity scale than "insurance companies," but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Moreover, if you only operate in one state, you can further to "cheap health insurance california". The greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.
Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across a variety of search engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase. Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual search engines. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.
This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product. This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better profits.
Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for search engine success.
This may sound like a lot of work -and it is! But the amount of informed effort
you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your
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