Everyone wants a top 10 Google rank on a high volume keyword, but just because companies and their internet marketing strategy people all want the same thing doesn’t mean that they should all use the same methods. Keyword phrases aren’t just about the numbers – they have factors that create qualitative as well as quantitative differences.
One key indicator is the first page of results – the very place you want to be. Virtually every SERP (search engine results page) is unique, and not just because they have different links. Let’s look at five factors that end up on SERPs and how you can use them to guide your campaign.
Big Brands: If several of your target keywords drive to big brands you have a special challenge to overcome, especially since Google has given conflicting signals over brand weight. This is doubly true if your client sells these big brands – no Ford dealership is going to beat Ford.com. This is a signal to try long tail variations that capture users wanting something distinct from or within the big brand. You want visitors looking for an alternative to widgets from Widgetsoft, Ford vehicles in Peoria, or either of the above combined with a special service only you provide.
Images: Image results inline with standard results tell you that customers are very interested in the look of what you have to sell. Remember that people do click through images to the main site, so these results mean you need to add new images to your site and craft informative, keyword targeted alt image tags. Make your images unique, too, because Google can now group similar images – unless you can legitimately use images similar to the leader. . . .
Shopping Sites: The bane of the small retailer, shopping sites can fill search results with a competing product and service combined with ranking factors you’d be hard-pressed to beat. Like the big brands result, it’s time for you to examine what a smaller, more agile business can do that a big shopping site can’t – and add those benefits if you can’t find them. Unlike big brands, leading shopping sites like eBay and Amazon present another option: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Think about opening up new storefronts through eBay, Amazon, Google Product Search and similar venues.
Wikipedia: Google likes even bad Wikipedia results, so not only are they hard to dethrone, but they create aversion to the search result. This problem is actually an opportunity in disguise, however, as you can add value to the original entry while promoting your site by linking to a relevant web page or blog article. You won’t get link juice but you may get traffic. The important thing here is to add real value, both to the Wikipedia entry and the linked resource. Don’t spam; improve Wikipedia where it would pass strict editorial muster.
Youtube: Inline Youtube results are very common for some products and services. Like images, this is a sign that searchers want to explore the keyword in a particular way. Unlike images, you’ll need to host videos on Youtube and then customize descriptions and meta data to point to your site. Include a relevant link in every video description.