My inbox this week provided glaring examples of three all too common rookie search engine marketing mistakes. What you could call three deadly search engine marketing sins. Starting with
Inadequate Keyword Research:
Hey! If you re going to spend hours developing a web site, isn't it smart to invest some time to insure you re focusing on the most traffic laden keywords?
Especially when typically the plural form of a keyword phrase generates way more traffic than the singular form. For example "dog dishes" rather than "dog dish".
Yet just this week I was asked to look at a site that had focused on the singular form. Evidently the owner hadn't bothered to do any digging to make sure that was their best keyword move.
Look, you'll never know for sure unless you research it. Besides, you can access Wordtracker, the tool of choice for what? a measly $7 a day.
Even better here s a quick and dirty way to get the most out of that day.
Search for your target keyword in Google.
Visit the top ranking sites. Use the "View Source" feature of Internet Explorer to check out the keyword meta tag of each site. You're looking for a site listing lots of keywords there. Do this with each of the top listings or until you find one stuffed to the gills with keywords. Ah-ha! There s your starting point for your list of likely keyword phrases.
Repeat with a couple of other sites and you ll soon have a long list of candidates to check out in Wordtracker.
Enhance your list further using this tool:
It will give you more keyword ideas from Google and Overture.
Now you are ready for Wordtracker.
Once you've compiled your Wordtracker results, you could simply sort by KEI and then by searches per day.
That gives you the strongest keywords with the most searches. (And yes, I realize KEI assumes all search engine listings are of equal value. But I did say this was "quick and dirty" didn't I? However if you want another approach that improves on KEI there s a spreadsheet available at http://www.seo-works.com/seo-resources/keyword-effectiveness-rank.html)
Anyway, once you're sorted your keywords in some way to highlight the most profitable, simply take the top 25 on the list and create content for those first. No, not every one will be a natural born traffic magnet. But enough of them will be to get the ball rolling.
Repeat with the next 25. Don t stop until you have at least 100 pages of hot content.
Remember, two or three word keyword phrases are usually your best bets. And I really like keyword phrases that are actually several keyword phrases in one. For example "irish setter dog dishes" gives "irish setter", "irish setter dog", "dog", "dog dishes", "setter dog dishes".
Twice this week I was asked to look at sites that would have let me read War and Peace while waiting for them to come up. And no visitor is going to have a copy of that handy.
To avoid losing any precious visitors lose the huge graphics. One of the sites had a graphic 501K in size! No wonder it took nearly two minutes to load up on a 56K modem.
Then too lose the Flash - unless you have a very good reason for using it. Even then lose the Flash.
If you re wondering how your site's download time measures up test it here: http://www.netmechanic.com/toolbox/html-code.htm
It wont cost anything to find out. But a slow loading site can cost you plenty. Because as the Net Mechanics follow up reports says, it's a good idea to keep your page load times under about 12 seconds on a 28.8 modem. Otherwise your visitors will be wearing out the back button trying to escape.
Too Few Links:
Did you know links can account for up to 80% of your success with Google? Yet someone else complained to me about how much work it took to get them.
Well doh! Ever think that maybe that s why (in part) Google assigns so much value to links? Because you can t quite as easily game links as you can on page content? Meaning you actually have to work to get links. Both by having link worthy content and by actively seeking them out on a regular basis.
It s a given that most niches require you have a healthy collection of links to be competitive. Yet if you re lucky enough to be in a niche that doesn't, but you do, then you can easily dominate those rankings.
Anyway in a nutshell you can easily avoid these three search engine sins. Do your keyword homework. Keep your pages on a strict diet. And don't forget link up with as many other quality sites as you can.
Do all that and you re well on your way to search engine success. Ignore this advice and you re, well you know, your Google goose is probably cooked. Leaving you perpetually stuck in Google purgatory.
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