Getting on page one is more vital than ever. Make sure you’re targeting keywords that will get you there.
By now you probably know that one of the best ways to attract website traffic is through SEO. But how good do your rankings have to be, really?
That question is answered in part by an iProspect Search Engine Behavior Study, which you can download here. The study is from April 2006, but its lessons are just as valid in August 2007.
What is the main lesson? Get on page one at all costs!
Well over half (62 percent) of searchers click on a result from the first page. By the third page, 90 percent of searchers have already clicked. The first few results are clicked on by almost a quarter of searchers (23 percent), according to the study.
If you’re listed on page four or lower in Google’s results for most of your keywords, then alarms should be blaring in your head. Only 10 percent of searchers are even seeing your link.
If your ranks are low, the only way to raise them is through discipline. There is no quick fix to win a page one ranking.
Start by finding the keyword clusters that users are typing in but also have limited competition. Try tools like Google Suggest to gauge the competition and WordTracker to see the keywords’ search frequency. The point is to find keywords to target that you’ll eventually be able to get on the first page for.
Once you pick good keywords, start creating loads of content around them. Use the relevant keyword in the content copy and metapages. Organize the content on pages according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This is going to take time to show results, but keep at it.
Lastly, start digging for inbound links. Write press releases with links to a free report or article and send them to the free distribution services. Call your partners and start a link trading deal, occasionally linking to one-another’s content. (note: this will only work if you publish on related topics).
There is no quick fix for SEO. Even if you hire an SEO firm, it can’t immediately give you a number one ranking after processing your credit card. It takes time.
Another interesting statistic from the study is that 82 percent of respondents said they “enter a few more words to better target [their] search” in the same search engine if their first attempt did not reveal good results. That is a huge percentage.
Therefore, even if targeting a keyword like “cooking” is hopeless (150 million Google results), targeting “cooking shrimp gumbo” (294,000 Google results), or other longer keyword phrases, could be beneficial.
Take a look at your target keyword clusters and see how your SEO campaign is doing. If it needs a boost, you may need to change your target keywords to something you can compete for.