Getting to Zero Competition

How can the Search Engine Report, help you find unknown keywords?

Well.. it can't. At least not exactly. But it can certainly help!

Internet Marketing Plan

The custom reports can help you find keywords associated with the keywords you already know about, and so help build a core strategy for your web site. But what you really need is not keywords, you need to find topics that are missing from your text, from your whole approach to designing your web site and internet marketing plan, not just your META tags.

Forget Hit Counts

It is said that commodities are the hardest kind of product to compete over. But in the age of mass production, what isn't a commodity? Say you are selling a commodity like a motel room, and you are getting a miserable number of hits on your web page. What STRATEGY can we figure out from the stats to improve hits?

First, what good are hit counts? They don't matter as much as sales numbers. Do you go into a motel room because it has "sex" on the sign? Or do you stay away from sleazy places like that?

Web pages with too many hot keywords are search engine poison! Our experience has been that search engines will not crawl from the top page of se_report because it has too many unrelated hot keywords. But when we feed one of the bottom pages, pages focused on one topic, like search engines crawl the bottom quarter of our site. Why? The top 75 keywords are just too hot, too full of words and phrases that are in too many web pages, and so appear too unrelated to anything specific. That strongly suggests that YOU need to be as specific as you can get on each of your web pages. Search engines penalize for extraneous hot keywords, both for having them, and for your having too much competition. Get specific, and you will not only get better placement, you will also get more qualified buyers.

Seek Sales Counts

You want to improve the QUALITY of your hits. You do that by being on the "street" your customers are on. What is the name of that street? A search engine phrase. A "street" in cyberspace is a search engine page. You get on that street with a search engine phrase. On that cyber-street, your store front is your TITLE and META description tags. Are you on a busy cyber-street? Does it matter? Only if YOU have what THEY want! A good placement in the search engines, obtained by using the right key words and key phrases lets you get more done with a smaller, cheaper site. That is what the Search Engine Report is all about -- Finding Motivated Buyers

What Cyber-Street is Your Customer On?

"Why are people using your product?" If your product is a commodity, it isn't the qualities of your product that are important, as everyone carries the same thing. Once you are on that cyber-street, you need to know the "psychological association distance" between your prospective customer and your product -- where you are in the "thematic landscape", the landscape of themes that the minds of your customers travel in. (What some people call psychographics.) Where in your customer's thematic landscape are you? What are the hills and river valleys in the thematic landscape near you that attract web traffic?

If you are marketing that motel room, do you want to be at the top of the list of 900,000 motel related pages? What is in that thematic landscape? Mostly random cities. The chances of one of those people contemplating a visit to your area are practically nil. Lots of hits, zero sales, and heavy bandwidth charges. Why bother wasting your time competing in that random thematic landscape? Fight the battles that you can win a worth while reward for!

Do you want to be at the top of the list when they pick "motel" and the name of your city? That is better, at least they want to come here. Yes, you do want to be there. But what does your prospect see when he clicks on his "back" button? Isn't it your competition? Is that what you want?

Do you want to be on a search engine list where you have NO competitors? Strategic keyword and site planning can get you there -- Zero Competition!

Marketing Convenience, Not Commodity

What is on their mind when they start looking for you and your competition? What is unique about what you offer them? Nothing! Face it, you are marketing a commodity. You can't sell a commodity just by selling what you are selling. To get Zero Competition, You have to sell your prospect before he starts looking for your commodity.

Sell the Neighborhood

How can you sell someone before he even knows he needs you? By putting yourself in the middle of his thematic landscape. Ask your customers what they were thinking of when they decided they needed the services you sell. Not why they chose you; why they were in your area long enough to need a motel. Search for your city name (or what they use your product for) in the search engines. What do you find on those web pages? Do some leg work, look for plaques and other historical markers, as well as other points of interest. Whether you are renting motel rooms, or selling drills, look at what is in your physical neighborhood too -- encourage your prospects to make one shopping trip for two or three purposes -- team up with your allies in your geographic and thematic neighborhoods.

Web Keywords Define Position

With those answers, you can come up with a list of fundamental keywords, keywords related to why people use your product or service; why they want to be in your spot on the thematic landscape. Whether you have too many, or too few keywords to fit the roughly 1,000 character limit of the Meta tags, you probably have not picked all of the keywords and phrases people actually use, and maybe not even the best ones. That is where we come in.

It isn't just the meta tags, either. Header lines and text are important too! Very Important! Make sure your header lines contain search phrases.

Finding Search Phrases

Two important search phrase sources are your web logs and our web reports.

Check your web logs for the HTTP_REFERER field. In it, you will find the keywords people use to find your site, as well as others who link to you. Of course, your web logs will not have hits you lost because of unknown keywords; but they will have words you have not suspected as important.

To find more unknown or unsuspected keywords, check our web site. Are any of your keywords in the top 100 keyword or associated lists? Subscribe to our top 200 freebee report, and see if any of them are on that list. Or better yet, subscribe to a Custom Top 500 or Top 1000 list, and in the process of setting it up, we'll help you determine which of your keywords and phrases are more common, and likely to be worth tracking. We can even discuss site strategies and architectures, which is our main service.

Strategic Marketing Allies

The next strategic move would be to develop a directory page and perhaps a series of pages for groups of keywords commonly used together. Involve your allies in the thematic landscape.

Hub and Spoke Architecture

The extended form is called a wheel and hub, or spoke and hub architecture. The circumference is made of pages peripheral to your services, but designed to satisfy common search engine queries -- the themes that interest your potential clients and make them happy by providing useful information. Use those pages to draw prospects into your hub -- the core business service or product pages of your site.

You do not need to own the peripheral pages, but you DO have to swap links with them. It can be better if you do own those pages and provide them as a service to the clients the pages are about, and to your customers.

Make a Web Directory

The simplest way is to simply swap links with the pages of others in your immediate thematic landscape, and to become a directory to these other pages. That lets you legitimately add the keywords and common query phrases that reflect the interests of your clients. You need to exchange traffic that seeks both your services and the services of other allies in your prospect's thematic landscape.

With that, you come closer to the top on your primary keywords and something else type queries. (E.G. "Blacksmith and Motel", "Cape Cod and Motel", "Cape code and Wellfleet" etc. Even though the last two are mis-formed in that they are equivalent to "cape OR cod AND "...) But that is often not where the most productive hits can come from.

Use Popular but Specific Search Phrases

With multiple keywords, you also show up at the top for queries naming two or more of those attractions. (e.g. "blacksmith and Cape Cod", "blacksmith and beach") Now you are getting hits from qualified prospects who will need your services, and you are showing them what else your area has to offer. By finding out where their thematic landscape is, by hitting the right search phrases, you can become a hub for their web exploration, and act as a genuine hub in their exploration of the real world around you.

And by the way, did you see any other motels on those search engine pages that brought them to you? Didn't think so! ZERO COMPETITION!

Who is your Web Competitor?

Now, Before you put up those lovely pictures of your motel rooms, ask yourself again, what pages does that page compete against? Why did you get that hit? Because your prospective customer wanted something else. Who is your primary competitor of the moment? Your primary competitor of the moment is the search engine's list of what the customer wants. What do you have to give him to keep him? Either give him a more focused list of things he wants, or the specific information he wants. And don't forget to ask him to bookmark your page.

How do you insure your are in the right part of his thematic landscape, on the right "cyber-street"? Don't try to be on "the right" cyber-street, be on many of them! Using a circle of pages, each on a specific area of interest in your area, which also mentions the other areas of interest. For "blacksmith and cape cod", you are talking about blacksmith shops in Cape Cod first, and then other attractions in that area. Your motel info is off on another page, probably linked by a 1/8th page or _smaller_ picture or logo of a cozy motel room on the upper right of each information page. He looks at the blacksmith info, checks out other things of interest in your area, and decides YOU are the handy place to stay. And he NEVER looked for your competition!

Sell Yourself as a Convenience

If you find out where your prospect is in thematic space, what cyber-street he is walking on, and put good information in the center of it, you are no longer a commodity, but a convenience. Using psychographics, you have qualified them, psych'ed them, and converted them into customers before they ever started searching for the commodity you and your competitors are selling. (That is why Pep Boys sponsor auto racing TV shows, and Ace Hardware sponsors home workshop type shows.)

And we helped you find the magic words to do so.

Marketing This Page

Did we use our reports for marketing this page? Of course!

Because the term "marketing" scored much higher in the search engine stats that selling, we replaced many of the sales words with marketing words, particularly in the titles. We also removed the word "m a r k e t", because of the high correlation of "m a r k e t" with "s t o c k - m a r k e t". (Which is why we spaced it out here. We don't want their empty hits.)

Next, we used the report to decide what to use for subtitles. Subtitles should have key search phrases and search terms whenever possible.

We reduced the number of meta keywords to those close to the top of the list, keywords clearly relevant to the pages. Our initial guess contained more counterproductive terms used for non-web marketing queries, than for web marketing queries. Don't guess, be sure!

Then we created a meta description tag that incorporated the five top web marketing related search phrases, covering 95 percent of the queries on the topic.

Finally, we submitted the page to the top search engines by hand. Many of the submission services will submit a page where it should not be. This has nothing to do with the top S words; whether that be two people in a room, or a bunch of men throwing various spherical objects around on a flat area outdoors or indoors. We don't want their hits, we want YOUR hits.

Keep Up with Change

Is that it? Hardly. What people look for changes with the seasons and the moods of the nation. You need to keep up, to watch what is happening in your thematic landscape. You need to keep asking your customers what they are thinking about. We can help with our weekly lists.