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High Rankings Advisor - Issue No. 003

March 20, 2002
_______________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->  Conference Updates

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->  Does the Order of Words Make a Difference?

*This Week's Sponsor:
---->  Jaws PDF Creator

*Other SEO News:
---->  Nobscot Case Study a Success!
---->  MarketingSherpa Looking for Recommendations
---->  Nothing Like a Little Publicity to Make Your Day!

*Advisor Wrap-Up:
---->  Great feedback!
_______________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey all!  I've got loads of stuff to tell you about today, so let's
get right to it!

The first is for anyone who's in or near the Harrisburg/Camp Hill, PA
area.  On April 4th, I'll be giving a 45-minute overview on search
engine optimization strategies and techniques at the "Globalizing Your
Web Site" conference being hosted by the Southcentral Pennsylvania
International Network (SPIN).  It's a bargain at $60 for non-members -
and you even get lunch!  I'd love to meet you there if you can make
it.  Get all the details here:
<http://www.spinworld.org/globalizing_your_web_site.htm>.

Also, if you're not too far from London (or just feel like visiting
there), don't forget to sign up for the "Search Engine Strategies"
conference scheduled for April 23rd and 24th.  Heather and I will be
doing our four-star-rated "Writing for the Search Engines" session
there.  I'm looking forward to meeting all of the European Advisor
subscribers!  More info can be found here:
<http://seminars.internet.com/sew/london02/>.

Oops...running out of space.  Check for more tidbits below in the
"Other SEO News" spot.  On to the good stuff! - J

~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

From: Meghan Deal [mailto:mdeal@abfs.com]
Subject: Keyword/phrase order

Jill,

I recently attended the Search Engine Strategies Conference, and
really enjoyed your session.  The problem I am running up against is
word order.  Say my keyword phrase was "truck rental."  Someone could
also search for "rental truck" or the plural.  Then we also get
"moving truck," "moving truck rental," "rental moving truck," "moving
rental truck," etc., all the plurals, etc., and they are all searched
on.  Where does the madness end?

I have done my research and I know which are the best ones, but if I
have a page that I could switch around the order, should I?

Do I have to optimize all the phrases, or will optimizing for truck
rental do it for rental truck, and will moving truck rental do it for
all of the combos?

I planned on optimizing the most popular, but will word order just get
me bonus searches?  And also, how are plurals handled?

Do I need to optimize for plurals or just stick them in when I can?

Also, how important is it for them to be all together as a phrase or
within a phrase or sentence.  Say moving and truck rental are in the
same sentence, but not all together (it is quite a mouthful).  I hope
you see what my questions are.  I know it is confusing, but I
appreciate any and all help you can send my way.

Thank you!

Meghan Deal


~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Meghan,

These are very important questions, and ones that I get asked a lot at
conferences.

Generally, you want to be sure to use any keyword phrase in the exact
order and form in which you want it to show up in the search engine
results pages (SERPs).  If you want the plural version to show up,
you've gotta use the plural form in your copy.  If it's a very
competitive phrase, using it just once or twice will NOT be enough to
get you high rankings.  For best results, be sure to use the exact
phrase a number of times within the copy on that page.

Yes, the search engines can put together different words within your
copy and create a phrase out of them; however, if another site is
using that exact phrase on one of their pages, and your page is not
using it, chances are that the other page will outrank yours (assuming
all else is equal).  The search engines rightly assume that an exact
phrase match is more relevant than a non-exact match.

If all the various forms of a particular phrase are important to you,
you'll want to use them all within your copy.  You *don't* need to
place them all on the same page, however.  Remember, you have a whole
site to work with.  Don't even think about trying to use ten different
forms of a phrase on one single page of your site; that would just be
silly.  What will happen is you'll end up diluting all of the phrases,
and you'll also make the page unreadable to your human visitors.

It's important to choose just a few variations to work with for each
page of the site.  You should be able to easily work with both the
singular and plural versions of a phrase on one page of the site
without it sounding dumb.  You can also throw in some "ing" endings on
that same page if it makes sense to do so.  Just don't try to do
everything all on one page.  On your main page, use the keyword
phrases that get searched on the most.  On inner pages, feel free to
create new phrases by experimenting with the keywords in a different
order.  Usually I say to focus on two or three keyword phrases per
page; however, when you're dealing with related phrases like plurals
and "ings," you can sometimes use four or five phrases on the same
page.  For example, "phrase 1 singular," "phrase 1 plural," "phrase 2
singular" and "phrase 2 plural" could possibly all be used on one page
without it sounding weird.  Alternatively, it might be easier to write
the copy if you stick with all singulars on one page, and plurals on
another.  You'll have to try it out and see what works best for your
particular keywords and your writing style.

When you have a shorter phrase as part of your longer phrase, e.g.,
"moving truck" and "moving truck rental," you've got the phrase
"moving truck" covered in both of these phrases.  In fact, using
longer keyword phrases that also contain shorter phrases within them
is a great search engine optimization technique.  By doing this you
can shoot for a more competitive, shorter phrase such as "moving
truck," but also have your butt covered with the longer, less
competitive "moving truck rental."  Nothing like getting two keyword
phrases for the price of one, if you ask me!

Hope this helps!

Jill

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~~~Other SEO News~~~

++Case Study a Success!++

Remember the Rank Write case study we did at the end of last year for
Nobscot Corporation?  Looks like it was a success!  The main keyword
phrases we made recommendations for are now ranking very well.  In
Google, the site is currently number four for the main phrase and
number six for the plural of that phrase.  (If anyone wants to see the
latest ranking report, just let me know and I'll send you the URL. I
just don't want to post it publicly at this time.)

For those who are new subscribers and missed the case study, you can
read about it in the following back issues of Rank Write:
<http://www.rankwrite.com/archives/issue067.htm#seo>
<http://www.rankwrite.com/archives/issue068.htm#writing>
<http://www.rankwrite.com/archives/issue069.htm#writing>
<http://www.rankwrite.com/archives/issue070.htm#writing>
<http://www.rankwrite.com/archives/issue072.htm#guest>

++MarketingSherpa Looking for Recommendations++

Anne Holland from MarketingSherpa wanted me to let you know that
they're looking for comments and recommendations from clients of SEO
firms to add to their new and improved Buyer's Guide to Search Engine
Optimization Firms <http://sherpastore.com/page.cfm/1759?a=jw>.  So if
you've used a search engine optimization company in the past and have
some feedback about them (be it good or bad), please go here:
<http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=491998785> and fill out their
short feedback form.  (It has to be feedback on an SEO firm that will
be featured in their 2nd edition.)  The list of these companies is on
their feedback form.  If the company you used is not listed, you can
nominate them to be interviewed for future editions of the Guide here:
<http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=9836396565>.  If any of my past
or present clients reading this would like to give their feedback on
my work, please feel free to do so!

++Thanks for the Publicity Help!++

Just wanted to give a quick thanks to Dan Janal of PR Leads
<http://www.prleads.com/> for sending me some great publicity leads!
I recently had an interview with a staff writer at Marketing News
Magazine for an upcoming cover story on "Marketing Bright Spots in a
Slow Economy."  I'll let you know when it's out in print!  Also,
thanks go to my friend Bill Stoller of the Publicity Insider
<http://www.publicityinsider.com> for his advice on how to best
respond to Dan's PR Leads, and for his other great public relations
advice!

~~~Advisor Wrap-Up~~~

That wraps up another fun-filled issue of the High Rankings' Advisor.
Your feedback on the past two issues has been wonderful!  Keep it up,
as that's what keeps me going each week.  As you can imagine, it takes
a lot of work to put together a quality newsletter.  Knowing that it's
well read and well liked is what makes it all worthwhile.  There's
nothing better than hearing from those of you who tell me you always
read it as soon as it arrives!  On the other hand, I'm also looking
for ways of improving it, so don't be afraid to send in your
suggestions, questions and comments.

Catch you next week! - Jill
 
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