- Register a new website with nonsense keywords (e.g. ishkabibbell.com)
- Create multiple pages on that website, all targeting a similarly ludicrous term (e.g. yoogewgally)
- Test the use of different placement of text, formatting, use of keywords, link structures, etc by making the pages as uniform as possible with only a singular difference
- Point links at the domain from indexed, well-spidered pages on other domains
- Record the search engines’ activities and the rankings of the pages
- Make small alterations to the identically targeting pages to determine what factors might push a result up or down against its peers
- Record any results that appear to be effective and re-test on other domains or with other terms – if several tests consistently return the same results, chances are you’ve discovered a pattern that is used by the search engines.
One of the most important elements to building an online marketing strategy around SEO and search rankings is feeling empathy for your audience. Once you grasp how the average searcher, and more specifically, your target market, uses search, you can more effectively reach and keep those users.
Great content is created. Popularity is generated.
Search engines already do a great job of promoting high quality content on popular websites or on individual web pages that have become popular, but they cannot generate this popularity - this is a task that demands talented Internet marketers.
That said, keyword usage and targeting are only a small part of the search engines' ranking algorithms, and we can still leverage some effective "best
practices" for keyword usage to help make pages that are very close to "optimized." Here at SEOmoz, we engage in a lot of testing and get to see a huge number of search results and shifts based on keyword usage tactics. When working with one of your own sites, this is the process we recommend:
* Use the keyword in the title tag at least once, and possibly twice (or as a variation) if it makes sense and sounds good (this is subjective, but necessary). Try to keep the keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible. More detail on title tags follows later in this section. * Once in the H1 header tag of the page. * At least 3X in the body copy on the page (sometimes a few more times if there's a lot of text content). You may find additional value in adding the keyword more than 3X, but in our experience, adding more instances of a term or phrase tends to have little to no impact on rankings. * At least once in bold. You can use either the <strong> or <b> tag, as search engines consider them equivalent. *At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page. This not only helps with web search, but also image search, which can occasionally bring valuable traffic. * Once in the URL. Additional rules for URLs and keywords are discussed later on in this section. * At least once (sometimes 2X when it makes sense) in the meta description tag. Note that the meta description tag does NOT get used by the engines for rankings, but rather helps to attract clicks by searchers from the results page (as it is the "snippet" of text used by the search engines). * Generally not in link anchor text on the page itself that points to other pages on your site or different domains .
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Through the detective work of puzzling out your market's keyword demand, you not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated - with keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that web searchers are already actively seeking. In the history of marketing, there has never been such a low barrier to entry in understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually every niche - not taking advantage is practically criminal. if, in the past 24 hours, your search ad has generated 5,000 impressions, of which 100 visitors have come to your site and 3 have converted for total profit (not revenue!) of $300, then a single visitor for that keyword is worth approx. $3 to your business. Those 5,000 impressions in 24 hours could probably generate a click-through rate of between 30-40% with a #1 ranking (see the leaked AOL data mining for more on potential click-through-rates), which would mean 1500-2000 visits per day, at $3 each, or ~$1.75 million dollars per year. No wonder businesses love search marketing!
Developing "great content" may be the most repeated suggestion in the SEO world. Yet, despite its clichéd status, appealing, useful content is critical to search engine optimization. Every search performed at the engines comes with an intent - to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand. Search engines place web pages in their results in order to satisfy that intent in the best possible way, and crafting the most fulfilling, thorough content that addresses a searcher's needs provides an excellent chance to earn top rankings.
Want to concentrate the keyboard juice to one page.
What should you do if you've already got a case of keyword cannibalization? Employ 301's liberally. When working with clients, I like to ID all the pages in the architecture with this issue and determine the best page to point them to, then use a 301 on every cannibalizing page to a single version. This not only ensures that visitors all arrive at the right page, but that the link equity and relevance built up over time is directing the engines to the most relevant and highest-ranking-potential page for the query
Keywords should come first.
Some people recommends putting branding first. But unless you have a well known brand, put keywords first would help more.
If it is a well known brand, and it can make a difference in click-through rates in search results, the brand name should be first. If this is not the case, the keyword should be first.