Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the keywords Category

Online Commercial Intention

Microsoft AdCenter Labs

In evaluating keywords to optimize your page for, frequency of search is clearly critical. You don’t want to optimize your site for keywords that no one ever searches for. Focus and competability are two other factors we use in evaluating keywords.

Microsoft has a new tool in their AdCenter Labs section that has potential to further improve keyword selection: Microsoft OCI — Online Commercial Intention. Here’s how Microsoft describes it:

Web page searches display two levels of commercial intent: informational and transactional. This tool can detect customer intent to acquire information or to purchase products based on their search queries or recently visited URLs. For example, if a customer searches for “canon digital camera”, it is likely that they want to purchase a canon digital camera; therefore, the online commercial intent is strong, with a confidence level larger than 0.5.

Informational intent has to do with searching for (duh!) information. Commercial intent means the searcher is looking to buy a product or service. For most of our clients, we’d want keywords with a high commercial intent score. For web sites providing mostly information (like Wikipedia) they’d want a high informational intent score.

We’re looking into whether the new Microsoft tool is robust enough and convenient enough to build into our client keyword evaluations. Why not try it out for yourself?

Top 10 Positive Rankings Factors

Top 10 positive search engine ranking factorsHere’s a quick list from SEOMoz.org of the top 10 things that help your rankings. Out of a list of several dozen factors rated by 37 SEO experts, these ten got the most consistent thumbs up. Each item ion the list below links to a description and discussion of it at SEOMoz.

SEO Tip: Keywords In Your Domain Name

The question often arises about whether to choose a domain name that has one of your keywords in it. Back several years ago, that seemed to be an important rankings consideration. If you were searching for a waffle maker,www.waffle-makers.com always seemed to show up at the top of the list, whether it really deserved it or not.

Google search result for waffle makers.

Well, it’s not that easy anymore, but it IS fair to say that since the keywords searched for are bolded in the search engine results, having a keyword in your URL provides one more opportunity to catch the eye of a potential customer. Is it likely to raise your rankings significantly? Probably not, as Bill Harttzer explains.

The Small Business Guide to Choosing Keywords

In her article for Search Engine Watch, Carrie Hill explains well the use of KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) in evaluating keywords. Basically, the KEI compares the frequency with which a keyword phrase is searched for with the number of competing web sites that show up in the results. If the frequency of search is high compared to the level of competition, that results in a high KEI, and indicates a “niche” keyword that may be easier to get great rankings for.

An earlier article in ClickZ also does a good job of explaining KEI, which is always a factor in our own keyword recommendations to clients. She also discusses the two keyword evaluation databases we like: Keyword Discovery andWordtracker.

Bill Hartzer’s Search Engine Tip #4 – The Meta Keywords Tag

The keywords meta tagHere’s another in our series looking at Bill Hartzer’s search engine tips. The meta keywords tag is one of the less important places for keywords in terms of impact on your rankings in the search engines. Back in the 1990s, “meta tags” were all the rage. But they were so easy to abuse that they count for very little today, and Google states that they explicitly ignore the meta keywords tag.

Why bother? Well, first it’s very little bother at all. Second, some search engines do factor in your meta keywords tag content. And third, it may be the only place you should list common misspellings of your keywords. Put those misspellings almost anywhere else and they’ll be visible in one form or another, making it look like you don’t know how to spell.

The meta keyword tag resides in the code for your web page, and  using this page as an example, it might look like this:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”search engine optimization tips, search engine spider, web pages that suck, seo, keywords, search engine optimization tips”>

Check out Bill’s article here.