Understanding SEO and Andy Murray
I had been trying to write a post about understanding SEO when the radio news reporter announced the headline – Andy Murray had moved to position number three in the tennis rankings after several successful tournaments in Asia.
Listening to the accompanying piece, it transpired that, without actually playing and beating Roger Federer, the man who had previously held posiiton number three, Andy has managed to leapfrog over the top of him… and that got me to thinking about keywords. And, in particular, long tail keywords.
Many people, including some who offer search engine optimisation, automatically go for the obvious – and rather generic – keyword for a particular niche. This is all very fine and dandy but it’s what most people do and, therefore, it makes those search terms a lot more competitive.
So, how can you get your business onto the front page of Google for that term? Well, the search engines are looking for relevance. So, a great way to prove that your site is more relevant than another is to have lots of front page listings for search terms which relate to the primary keywords.
Sit down and think about what you would type into Google to find a particular product or service. Now, do the same process and try to work out what your customer might be typing in. They might make the search term geo-specific by putting in their location or add a word or two on either end to make the search more specific to what they require. This can give a three, four or even longer tail to the original keyword.
If you can identify those longer search terms that have a high volume of people typing them into Google and then optimise your site for those, there will be less competition for the ten organic places on the first page of the SERPs and so the search engines are more likely to place your website there. Get enough front page rankings for enough relevant long tail keyword search terms and Google will start to notice your website. Trust will begin to grow that you can offer something relevant to the shorter and more competitive term. You start to build authority.
The next time Google is asked to provide relevant results for that bigger search term, if your site and page have enough authority, it will be positioned higher than it might otherwise have done if you had tried to focus solely on the most obvious and popular search term.
The Tennis World Rankings and Understanding SEO
Like Andy Murray, if you can dominate the slightly less prestigious tournaments where not all of the major competition may be playing, it allows you to rank more highly in the grander scheme of things. Of course, you will still have to overcome some of the big boys, but they won’t all be represented, forcing you to have to overcome them one after another. You will still have to make a good showing in the majors (by ensuring that your site is optimised well for those big keywords), but you can overtake some of your competition if you work a less obvious strategy.
Not to make light of Andy’s great run of form but thanks for helping me to get a great analogy for understanding SEO.
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