f you look at web design companies sites they often promise to improve your search engine ranking so you are first, but then if no one will search for that term then there is no point being first. Consider your site as a potential customer would and ask yourself what you think they would want to search for to find your site. Once you have your target search terms, try searching for them yourself and see what other sites appear. You can get ideas from other search results as to what type of page titles and descriptions would make you click on to them. Try not to copy other sites, as you want your site to be unique and stand out.
Search results, or search engine algorithms, change quite frequently so just because you have a good ranking one week it does not ensure you will always have a good ranking for that term. To ensure you have a consistent supply of traffic you need a good spread of keywords to target so that if your ranking drops for that search term, the visits don't decrease too much.
Branded keywords are the terms you need to ensure you are top of the rankings for. When picking a company or website name you need to ensure that there is not too much competition or other related search terms that will provide a lot of competition. Part of establishing your brand online is to be easily identifiable so visitors are not confused which site they really want to look at. Sometimes you cannot avoid the competition, but try and make your page titles clear as to what products or services you provide so that users know for sure which search result they need to click on to get to your site.
Another thing to consider with branded keywords is what misspellings people may make when searching for your site. Search engines try and predict what you meant to search for so if your brand is well known and established online your site may appear in the listings for a misspelling. Don't be tempted to try and deliberately target the misspellings as this can dilute your brand name as you want potential visitors to have your brand name suggested by the search engine.
Another part of search engine optimisation is to target the right type of visitors to your site. If you have a high ranking for a term but it is not related to your site content then people may enter your site and leave straight away. This is called a bounce and the ultimate aim is to have as low a bounce rate as possible. That is, keeping visitors on your site so they view more than one page. You want to target the correct pages with the correct terms so that people land on the most informative page for their search, but you need to provide a clear path so they know where they can go next.
A good SEO strategy will provide you with a flexible solution that relies on many different keywords and sources of traffic but targets the terms that will provide you with good, consistent levels of traffic. Don't be afraid of tweaking and experimenting with your keywords as it will help you learn what works and what doesn't.
Author: Chris De Burg / Posted: 27-05-2011