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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Guaranteed #1 . . .?

Should you believe a guarantee of top placement?
If you hear that phrase remember what people say about something that is too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

A client came to me last week and said, "Can you guarantee #1 listings? The other company we spoke to said they could, what do you guarantee?"

I could guarantee anyone page one listings for virtually any one phrase a company selects but what good would that be? Let's say you are in the insurance business and your premium product is automobile insurance. If you are listed on the first page for the phrase "automobile insurance Kansas" will that really increase your traffic? It depends on the number of people who search that specific phrase and since common terminology is "car insurance" you'll probably be missing the boat.

The goal instead is to have multiple high ranking terms for a variety of phrases related to your business. Some people will use the term "car insurance," some will say "auto insurance" and still others will just look for an "insurance agent." One of my clients is found through over 900 different key phrases, that explains why she gets a healthy number of visits (and conversions) each month.

Another important thing to remember when it comes to keywords is the "long-tail" search. The long tail refers to those phrases that more specifically define your product or service. This is important because 82% of search engine users will start the same search over using the same initial phrase but adding more keywords to refine the search. This long tail search not only results in a more specific listing of companies, it also leads to a greater chance of conversions because the searcher is more qualified.

Long-tail search terms on their own produce very little in the way of traffic but are a good investment due to the high quality of leads they produce.

The best bet for increased traffic and higher rankings is to have a well rounded keyword list and content written in a natural language using the keyterms.

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