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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Advisor: Keywords in the Copy - Issue No. 066

August 6, 2003

________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Last Day for $100 SES Discount

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   Keywords in the Copy

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   The Karcher Group
---->   DIY Web Marketing and SEO for Small Business

*Guest Article:
---->   Keying in on Your Target Market

*Other SEO News:
---->   High Rankings Forum Off to Great Start

*Stuff You Might Like:
---->   Recap of Past Stuff

* This Week's Sound Advice:
---->   SEO for Local Companies

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Bye Jamie
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey all!  If you're reading this on Wednesday, you're in luck! You
still have a chance to get the special discount rate for the San Jose
Search Engine Strategies Conference taking place the week of Aug.
18th.  If you are one of the few who don't open this as soon as it
hits your inbox, and you haven't already registered for the event, I'm
sorry to say that you will have to pay the full price.  But don't
despair; it's worth the full price, plus a whole lot more.  This is
going to be the best conference yet.  Four days of fun and
drinking...um...I mean four days of search engine marketing talk...

Hope they have enough room for all 21,539 of you.  Sign up quickly,
just in case they run out of space!  I think once they add up all the
friends of mine who are attending, there may only be a few spots left.
Don't forget to track me down and say hi!

Okay, on to the good stuff. - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++Keywords in the Copy++

From: Carol

Hi Jill,

I emailed you before and you made me understand what was going on. I
have another question if you don't mind.

In one of your recent newsletters, you talked about keywords.  If I
understand correctly, your keywords should be used within your text,
on the main page, right?

Here is my situation: I am selling microfiber towels, I want to be in
the top-10 for car accessories, car care products, but nothing is in
text on my main page. So, I noticed the search engines have not picked
it up yet. I need more keywords for more exposure for my website, but
with microfiber towels, there isn't too much to deal with.

Am I wrong in thinking that in placing these keywords for my website
without them being in a paragraph on my site, they will never show up?

Thank you so much.

Carol

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Carol,

Glad I was able to help you understand SEO a little.  It can
definitely be confusing to people who are new to it.  Especially with
so much conflicting information out there.

You are absolutely correct that it will be extremely difficult for
your site to rank highly for keywords that are not used within the
copy on your pages.  If you think about this for a moment, why would
it?  If the words aren't being used visibly on your pages, then your
pages really can't be relevant for those words.  That's common sense,
and it's very much how the search engines decide what's relevant and
what's not.

Certainly, there are sites that rank highly for some keyword phrases
even though they're nowhere to be seen within the copy.  These are the
exception to the rule, and they generally are there because there are
many outside pages that use the keyword phrase in the links that point
to that page.

For example, if there were 100 pages somewhere on the Net that pointed
to your page through a hyperlink that said "car accessories" in the
clickable link, it's very possible that your page could show up in the
results pages when someone searches for that phrase -- even if the
phrase was nowhere to be seen on your page.  But again, this is the
exception to the rule.  You'll often see this with extremely popular
brand sites.  A product like "Tide" may not have to say that they are
a laundry detergent anywhere on their site, because everyone and their
brother knows this, and may link to the Tide site accordingly.

However, this is not a good strategy for unknown sites and brands, for
a variety of reasons.  For one, if your towels make great car
accessories, how will anyone know that or realize it, unless you point
this out to them on your site?  For another, the phrase "car
accessories" encompasses hundreds, if not thousands, of things.  What
makes you think that the bulk of people looking for car accessories
would be interested in your towels?  I daresay that 99% of them won't
be.

Search engine optimization is not about bringing in traffic that
*might* be interested in your product.  It's about bringing in people
and traffic who want *exactly* what you sell.  Note the word
"exactly."  If you sell microfiber towels, you will sell a ton of them
to the people who search for "microfiber towels" in the search
engines, assuming that your site is up to par, your prices are in line
with other sites, and your customer service is impeccable.

Okay, so let's say that most people don't even know that there's such
as thing as a microfiber towel and that these are great for washing
your car with (or whatever they're used for).  This is where your
keyword research is key.  Wordtracker
</wordtracker> has the ability to give you
suggestions for related keyword phrases.  Simply plug in the ones
you're thinking about and go through their lists, checking off the
ones that truly relate to your products.  Check out phrases like "car
washing accessories" and see where those lead you.

The bottom line is that you *must only* optimize your pages for
keyword phrases that are truly relevant to your products and services,
and you must find ways to write about these phrases within your site.
You need to speak to your visitors *and* the search engines every
chance you get.

In addition to what I've just discussed, sometimes there are unique
ways to fit the phrases to the site's products.  Please read the
related guest article below for more info on this interesting topic!

Jill

__________________________________________________adv.

Trouble getting your dynamic Website or shopping cart ranked?
__________________________________________________

Programming that comes from a box might make parts of your site
invisible.  It's full of tangled coding that search engines can't
read.

Customized, search-engine-friendly programming is simple and clean.
More pages indexed means more traffic.  More traffic means more sales.

Visit <http://www.thekarchergroup.com?hra> or call 330-493-6141.
San Jose Search Engine Strategies Booth 225 (right next to Google).
__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Keying in on Your Target Market++

Today's guest article was written by Mark Munroe, who is the cofounder
and principal of SF Web Marketing <http://www.SFWebMarketing.com>, a
firm which specializes in helping companies use the Internet to
improve their bottom line.  Mark fell into search engine marketing
after the telecom crash.  He originally focused on Web development,
but after being exposed to SEO, like many of us, he quickly became
obsessed.  Mark's technical skills and marketing background provide
him with a unique perspective, as you will see from his article.

Let's give a nice warm Advisor welcome to Mark. - Jill

Keying in on Your Target Market
By Mark Munroe

I come to SEO from a product management and product development
background. In a way, SEO is almost the exact opposite of product
management.  When building a product, you are trying to build a
solution to someone's problem.  On the Internet, when someone is doing
a search, they are looking for a solution to a problem they already
have.  SEO is simply a matchmaking process; match the sites with the
solutions to the people with the problems.

I have therefore started taking a problem/solution approach to keyword
research.  This helps alleviate 'keyword block' (that phase where you
bang your head against the wall trying to come up with keyword ideas).
I start with the following 2 rather standard approaches:

1. Make sure the site can be found when surfers are looking
specifically for the site in question.  This is, of course, the most
targeted traffic you can get and you better not lose it.

2. Make sure the site is found when searchers are looking for the
site's products and services.  If the site sells treadmills, then you
certainly want to be found when people search for treadmills (ideally
by finding a 2-3 word phrase).

"Keyword block" is when you have trouble going beyond those first two
steps. In fact many sites stop optimizing at this point and are quite
satisfied if they get some rankings for their specific products.
While of course you want to be found when people are looking for your
products, it would be a severe mistake to stop at this point.

Your target market includes surfers who are not looking for your
products and services and might not even know they exist.  By
expanding your keyword research to target those surfers, you greatly
increase your opportunity for traffic.  It is also great PR as it
expands awareness among your target market.

My methodology to expand my keyword research is quite simple.  This is
where I pull in my problem/solution orientation from my product
management days.

3. First I identify the problems that the product solves.  I then use
Wordtracker to determine how people search the Internet to get
information related to the problems.

With this line of thought, you can expand your market considerably
beyond where you were in step 2.  Sticking with the treadmill example,
you ask yourself, what problems does a treadmill solve?

* How to lose weight?
* How to improve cholesterol level?
* How to exercise in inclement weather?
* Many more....

The next step is to dig into Wordtracker to find the best keyword
phrases people use when researching those problems.  As an added
bonus, these terms typically have less competition than the
product-/service-specific phrases.

The great thing about this type of research is it gives you ideas
about how to expand your site with relevant content that can attract
many more customer prospects.  But I am not done; I expand my
problem/solution criteria into 2 more directions:

4. Are there problems that the products or services cause?

Often there are.  Think of all the problems a computer causes (if you
didn't have a computer, you wouldn't have to worry about computer
viruses).  In the case of a treadmill, running can cause knee pain and
other injuries.  People are surely searching for solutions to the
injuries associated with running.  It makes sense and is certainly
relevant to your site to publish an article on how to prevent knee
pain.  There is one more direction we can expand to with our keyword
research.

5. Are there ancillary problems associated with your product that your
product does not solve but is thematically related to your site?

In this case, there are.  For instance, runners who are planning to
run a marathon are concerned with how to train.  This is a problem to
the runner and the product doesn't solve it.  However, it is very
closely related to the product.  Therefore the site can provide
information on how to train for the marathon (assuming keyword
research identifies a good term). Once again, you are on your way to
building a high-content, high-value site for your customer.

You will find that you can take this approach to almost any product.
For radically new products that solve problems people are not
necessarily aware they have, it may be a bit difficult. It is still
possible to succeed with this strategy by focusing on the indirect and
related problems.  Simply make sure the content is relevant to your
site, your products and your target market.

Remember, nearly every time someone searches on the Internet, it is to
solve a problem.  Sometimes the problem is solved with a product
purchase, but other times information is needed to solve it.  When
that problem and information are related to your product, find the
keywords, create the content and optimize your site.

Mark Munroe
SF Web Marketing
www.sfwebmarketing.com
markm@sfwebmarketing.com

____________________________________________adv.

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Learn more: <http://www.searchlux.com/itworkswell.htm>
_____________________________________________


~~~Other SEO News~~~

++High Rankings Forum Off to Great Start++

Wow! You guys really came through last week after I announced my new
search engine optimization forum </forum>.
We had over 150 new registrations the very next day, and are currently
sporting 321 registered members as I write this.  Not bad considering
the whole forum is only two weeks old!  Thanks to all my friends who
announced the forum in their newsletters and blogs.  I'm such a proud
momma that I've put up a "Forum Press" section to spotlight all the
mentions!  (You can see who's talking about us here:
</forum/index.php?showforum=36>.)

If you haven't stopped by, why haven't you?  You're missing out on the
opportunity for some great search engine marketing chat and comradery.
There have been some really interesting SEO conversations going on
such as "Are Site Maps Always Necessary" and "How Does Google
Determine Image Relevance."  There are many business issues being
addressed also, such as the "I Hate My Job -- So What Are You Going to
Do About It" thread, and many more!

Plus, each week I will post a link to the latest newsletter, and you
are welcome to ask questions about anything you didn't understand, or
anything you'd like more information about.  I'm hoping to entice my
guest writers to also stop by so that they can answer questions that
may crop up regarding their articles.

So come on over!

Warning: This forum is highly addictive.  If you have tons of work to
do, you may want to wait until you're all caught up, or at home and
bored.  Visit at your own risk, and don't blame me if you don't get
your work done on time! <grin>

Oh yeah, and one more time...a big thanks to Scottie Clairborne, my
"right hand" co-administrator!  (Did you get your surprise yet? <g>)


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Recap of Past Stuff++

No time to review any new stuff this week, so here's some past stuff
for you to check out if you're so inclined.

* Google AdWords Phone-in Clinic (Aug. 13th):
</issue065.htm#stuff>

* Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines:
</issue043.htm#stuff>

* ConversionRuler:
</issue061.htm#stuff>

* Step-By-Step Copywriting Course (revised and updated):
</issue049.htm#stuff>

* SEO Research Labs:
</issue056.htm#stuff>

* 21 Techniques to Maximize your Profits on Google AdWords Select:
</issue006.htm#seonews2>

* Sound Advice for Search Engine Optimization CD (US & CAN only):
</issue048.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Marketing (all new 2nd edition) - The Essential Best
Practices Guide:
</issue018.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Visibility:
</issue041.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Optimization Fast Start:
</issue014.htm#stuff>

* CloudMark's SpamNet:
</issue053.htm#stuff>

* Search Engine Yearbook 2003:
</issue038.htm#stuff>

* Ergonomic Computer Chair:
</issue058.htm#stuff>


~~~This Week's Sound Advice~~~

++SEO for Local Companies++

</soundadvice>


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

Monday night, I stayed over at the Boston Airport Hilton with my
14-year-old daughter, Jamie.  She was leaving for a solo trip to
Honolulu early in the morning.  We had to get up at 4:30 in order to
catch her 6:00 AM flight.  I was a nervous wreck and slept only a few
hours.  She was fine, if not a bit annoyed at me.  Yes, I was
constantly telling her what she had to do in order to be safe and
sound until she was picked up at the other end by my parents.  Hey,
better safe than sorry, right?

Turns out that tons of kids travel alone these days.  There were 3
other parents with me at the gate as we sadly watched the plane take
off with our babies.  Thank goodness for cell phones.  She called me
when the plane landed at its first stop in Chicago, and I told her to
call me again when she was safely on the next plane bound towards
Honolulu.  We paid extra so that the flight attendants would take good
care of her, and it was definitely worth the peace of mind.  Luckily,
Jamie tends to sit and watch TV or play games for long periods of time
anyway, so the very long flight wasn't as hard for her to endure as it
might have been for some other, more "hyper" kids.

She called again once she was safe in the arms of her grandparents,
and told me that all went well.  Apparently, she fell asleep fairly
early last night and was up bright and early this morning (Honolulu
time) watching TV when my parents awoke at 7:00 AM.  They've got lots
planned for her, and she'll be splitting her time between them and her
aunt and uncle (my sister and brother-in-law).  Lucky kid, eh?  This
will be a good break for her before she starts her new high school
next year.  We've finally found one that we think will fit with her
particular learning style.  We're keeping our fingers crossed on that
one.

For her return trip, she'll be flying into San Jose after the
conference is over. I'll meet her at the airport and we'll spend the
weekend together.  Then we get to fly back home together.  So that
trip should be less nerve-wracking...for me at least!

Catch you next week! - Jill
 
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