Our expert this month is Chris Steingart and this column is an excerpt from his QT Weblog.
SETTING SEO GOALS
The difference between attainable and “pie in the sky”
I had a client ask me a few months back why they weren’t ranked higher in google. They are a small garage focused on quick Oil Changes that are also environmentally responsible. They were not sure why they couldn’t find themselves when they searched “Oil Change”. Notwithstanding the fact that their website had only been active for about 3 months, they were baffled why they didn’t rank higher.
What I explained to them in the infancy of their website is that before we get into the content on your website, SEO success is relative to the sample size. What that means that if you are searching for a target like “Oil Change” which returns 340 million possibilities on google, your chances of being in the top 10 are fairly slim.
What the client was doing was deciding that in year one of operation, they wanted to be considered for the main search terms that had the biggest sample size. What if they considered focusing their search more (which many people are inclined to do these days anyways) to something like:
• “oil change Guelph” 319,000 hits
• “environmentally safe oil change Guelph” 90,000 hits
Adding a geographic term (guelph) or a specific feature (environmentally safe) you offer to your search target shortens the sample size dramatically and also is more intuitive to a way that people search these days anyways. Now that you’ve sized up your competition it’s time to further identify how you can place these key terms into your content. But deciding to set a realistic goal when your site is in its infancy is a good idea. That’s not to say that one day you might be the number 1 choice on google for “oil change” but why not start with a more attainable goal.
What are your goal search terms?
Start today by jotting down a couple keywords or search terms that defines your company. Put yourself in the head of the consumer, what would they type in to find you? These goal search terms are an important first step to building your company’s website search-ability. Keep these on hand, on a post it note, share them with colleges or co-workers. Having your goal search terms is the essential first building block of good SEO.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
A great way to find out how much action is taking place around a particular keyword or relative keywords is to test out the Google Adwords Keyword tool. This tool was created to allow folks using adwords to bid on key search terms to validate the traffic, but it’s also a great way to see how many global searches are conducted on a particular terms in a month’s time. This is a great way to check your search’s relevance.
CLICK HERE to learn more about QT Web Designs!