Marketing SE Optimization

Simply Silly SEO Tips

SEO Targeting
Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

High level SEO arguments usually include the best way to build a linking strategy, the most important rules for developing and sharing content online, and the eternal argument between white- and black-hat SEO. However, in my experience, I still see some individuals that manage to miss some of the most basic of the basic when it comes to SEO and online marketing. I do not know if they are not paying attention or they do not know about some of these features, but it nearly reaches a comical level at times. This list of steps is by no means for an experienced content writer or search engine marketer — it may insult your intelligence. This list is for those who may have been stumbling at the starting point of SEO and need a few basic pointers about interpreting search results. Here are some SEO steps so simple it is silly!

Choosing the wrong keywords

It is great to see your website rank at the top of Google, but online success hinges on how potential customers can find you. If someone is willing to get creative enough with their keyword queries, it is possible to make any website come up first on Google. A bakery that specializes in bacon flavored chocolate covered vegan donuts may be able to come up first for the search query “bacon flavored chocolate covered vegan donuts” but that does not mean it is getting search traffic. Getting overly specific with long tailed keywords can lead to overly inflated search “rankings” that gives a company a false sense of where it stands. Just because you find yourself on Google doesn’t mean anybody else is.

Only using a single engine

I am partial to Google myself, but the different search engines use various algorithms to rank content. Even though Google is the undisputed king of online traffic for now, it would be a mistake to neglect Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines that could bring traffic to a website. I have found that different businesses will show up very differently when using different search engines. What may be a first page term for Google could be a third page one for Bing, and vice-versa. I like to see where webpages are ranking for all of the search engines, not just the largest. This allows me to get a full picture of how I am doing on the Internet as a whole, not just on Google.

Know thine own self

This issue makes me sad because I have to pop some very overblown SEO bubbles. I talk with business owners who claim to be at the top of the search rankings for incredibly competitive and broad search terms. A small local shoe store allegedly ranks first for “running shoes” right above Footlocker and Zappos. Here is the issue. The owner was looking at his own personal search results instead of filtering out his private browsing session results! He was coming up first for that search term, but it was only taking place on his computer because he had visited his own site 20 times. Disable personal search results when searching for true SEO rankings. Of course this issue can also be remedied by checking search query ranking in Webmaster Tools, but less tech-savvy individuals may want to rely on what they see in front of them on Google. Make sure you are not seeing a smoke screen of personal results when checking your rankings.

Location, location, location!

Certain websites are greatly affected by the local aspect of Google’s search results. A well placed Google Places page and a website that is locally optimized can lead to great ranking results in a local market. However, for a business that sells in multiple cities, states, or countries, it is sometimes a good practice to change your location settings in Google search just to see how you truly rank in different markets. A restaurant selling in New York who opens another location in Philadelphia may find it is back at the bottom of the pile for search rankings, even though it was top dog in its original market. It is important to see how different locations can have different rankings, different competition, and different results for your business!

I know that some of these issues are real head-slappers. Although I will admit that I have felt my heart leap at seeing a website I manage displayed at the tops of the SERPs, only to turn off my personal search results and see the listing disappear into search oblivion. If this article has given you a revelation and a single click took your search rankings from page 1 to page 50, don’t shoot the messenger, but make sure that you have updated all settings to give a true picture of your online marketing efforts. Good luck and thanks for reading!

About the author

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Evan Wright

Evan Wright is the digital content manager at DigitalParc, a Minneapolis Web design and SEO company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the author of The Art of Saving: How to Create Your Money Masterpiece, a consumer advice book. Evan specializes in content strategy, SEO, and online marketing.

5 Comments

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  • Choose wrong keyword is bad mistake for SEO, it’ll make SEO plan is useless.

    • Yes. We must be very careful in picking keywords for a site, since choosing the right keyword by understanding the business is a very important task. It is the first and foremost step in SEO for a site. If we focus on the keywords that are not related to the business, then it is totally a waste of time in optimizing the website. We need to spend more time doing keyword research.

      There are many online tools for doing keyword research. The Google Adwords keyword tool is one such. Also, you can pick keywords by analyzing competitor websites. It is best to get keywords from the client end, as they will be the person with a 100% knowledge of the business.

  • Excellent information i like it thanks for this article about SEO.
    You have done really great job. I really enjoyed reading it.
    Thanks

  • Any SEO plan requires definitive research, ensure your keywords are well targeted!