Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making Keyphrases Work for Search Engines?

Does your site rank highly for keyphrases that no one searches on? If no one is searching on your keyphrases, it won't matter how highly your site is ranked on the search engines. Here's a technique for securing just the right keywords.

When a Web site needs to be optimized for high rankings, usually the first step is to find the keyphrases most relevant to the site. But what happens when the keyphrases that are most relevant are not the ones that people are actually searching out?

A high ranking for "Civil Engineering" or "Civil Engineering Products" but if no one is looking for that type of site, your high rankings will not bring your site any traffic. We recently optimized a portal site for local businesses that had this very problem.

Here's how we overcame our keyphrase dilemma.

A civil engineering instruments manufacturers, , for the purposes of this article, let's say it was based in the Boston area. The site had been optimized to rank highly for phrases such as "Civil engineering instruments in India". However, a quick Word Tracker report revealed that people weren't using that phrase when searching the engines.

The report showed that the most searched-on phrases relating to Boston included "Civil engineering India". It also showed that people were searching for "Engineering Tools Manufacturers in India", "Civil Engineering Products dealers of India,."

At first, it seemed that it would be a daunting, if not impossible, task to optimize for keyphrases that would bring targeted traffic to this site. However, the site owner was prepared to alter the focus of his site in any way he could to get more traffic.

Together, we brainstormed an optimization plan. We thought long and hard about how we could integrate some of the keyphrases mentioned above into this business portal without tricking the engines and the visitors. Finally, a plan began to gel.

The Transformation

First, the client found a script that showed the up-to-date Stock report and added that to the main page of the site. He also hired a programmer to create a script that would integrate state trade and business leads results into his main page. He already had a listing of local business clients, as well as a section for free trade news. All that was left to do was create a page of links to the most sought-after local sites, such as the civil engineering consultancy. The next step was to rewrite the main page, focusing on the fact that this site now offered information on the 'Engineering Career News' and 'Engineering Instruments updates'. We also heavily emphasized the most important keyphrases on the links page.

The business directory itself was still prominently featured, however, it didn't get the same focus on the page as it previously had. Once everything was in place, we optimized the tags and other HTML code accordingly, and began the submission process. Luckily this site had not yet been submitted to the major directories such as Yahoo! and Looksmart. Using those engineering directories', 'civil engineering services', we were able to get the keyphrases 'civil engineering', "civil engineering India" into the descriptions, since these were now a major focus of the main page of the site. Yahoo! did give us a bit of a problem at first by severely editing the description, however, a simple e-mail appeal worked wonders. Yahoo! added our important keyphrases back in.

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