Sunday, 4 April 2010

Pick Your SEO Fights Carefully

As SEO specialists we are often approached by companies who want to be number 1 in Google for a specific search term. Sometimes the search term is random and meaningless or should I say nobody actually uses the phrase when searching on Google, other times the phrase is very much used.

In the first example my advice would be to revisit or actually do some research to establish phrases worth ranking for. To the uninitiated this is known as keyword research and its objective is to figure out what people who might buy from you actually search for.

In the second example my advice would also be to carry out some keyword research. "How come Dave?" I hear you say. As previously stated the purpose of keyword research is to establish a list of phrases potential customers use when searching. You then use these phrases in your web pages in the hope of attracting visitors. There's a bit more to it but that's it in essence. However, finding a phrase doesn't automatically mean you should optimise a page on your website for it. Let me explain.

Let's say you start a business selling car insurance. The phrase car insurance attracts over 4 million searches a month, according to Google, and being on page 1 in the search results would guarantee your business boomed. Unfortunately the chances of your new site appearing in the first 100 results let alone the first 10 is zero. Your site has no chance of ranking for the search car insurance.

You might find a snake oil SEO company who will happily take your money and guarantee results but you'd be as well using the money to place a bet on Aberdeen lifting the league cup, it's not going to happen.

What you need to do is more keyword research in the hope of finding a phrase you can rank for. Admittedly the phrase will attract less searches but if you work at it you at least stand a chance of securing some of that search traffic.

When it comes to SEO you should pick your fights carefully. SEO is time consuming and spending time and or budget chasing the impossible dream should be left to song lyrics and dreamers, in the real world be realistic about your website's potential to rank for competitive search phrases.

TTFN

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