Optimizing for Hits You Already Get Part 2

Optimizing for Hits You Already Get Part 2

Yesterday I said it is much more worthwhile to optimize your web site for the key phrases that show up in your statistics software. Today we will go over some ways to make this happen. All cms or ecommerce software is a little bit different, so knowing how your software works helps a lot in this step. And although I am putting this in the ecommerce series, it will actually benefit anyone with a site who wants more hits.

Again, to drive home why we are going to start at the top and work are way down the list. The jump from number #2 position in the search engine results to #1 is the biggest jump you can make in regards to traffic. If you are getting 100 hits a month for a key phrase and you are in #2 position, odds are that the jump to #1 with give you 400 hits per month. This of course depends on who is in #1. If they are covering a totally different subject but just happen to have the same keyphrase, chances are that people are already dropping thier eyes down to your listing when they are looking for the subject you are covering. And of course, if you can make the jump from #10 to #1, lookout traffic. You could possibly get 40 times more hits for that keyphrase.

Okay, search for the word in Google. You can choose other search engines also, but you might as well focus on the one that will bring you the most hits. Which pages on your site gets the hits for that keyword? Is it a category listing page, a product listing page, an article on the site? Observe where the keywords show on your page.

In my experience with cms and ecommerce type software, the most important parts of the page you can optimize are:

  • The anchor's from other pages on your site.
  • The title of the page.
  • The first major heading of the page.

Once you have checked these sections for optimal keyword placement, you can start working in the content of the page itself, but a lot can be done with the elements above.

Check the keywords in the anchor text of links to the page you are optimizing. A lot of software allow you to use a different title for the anchor links on your site than you will use for the title of the page. If you are investigating a product page, most likely the links to this page come from a product category listing on your site. Is the keyword you are investigating in this anchor text? If not, bingo. Make sure it is. Is there other words in the anchor text between the words you are getting hits for? For example, are you getting hits for Anderson Sliding Door Handle and the hits you are getting are for Andersen Door Handle. You must make a decision. Are you getting any hits for Anderson Sliding Door Handle? Do people actually search for it?

Here is where I use keyword tools like the Adwords keyword tool just to get a handle on what people actually search for. If more people search for Andersen Door Handle, you may want to change the anchor to somthing like Anderson Door Handle, Sliding. But remember always, that your site is for your visitors. If you make the titles confusing, this is defeating the purpose. Instead move onto to another element to optimize.

You can also increase the anchor links to the page in question in order to bunk up it's ranking. Can you add the product to more than one category in your site? Are there addons to your site where you can add articles describing the product with links back to it? Is there a related product plugin for the software you are using? Can you link directly to the product from another related products listing? This will not only increase links to the product page in question, but also may give you more sales when people are searching for a product, but do not know what else they may need with it.

Another area of investigation is the position of the products listing in the product category page. The closer it is to page number one of the category, the more oomph the link to the product page will give the product page.
And changing this order depends on how your web site software sorts your products. Some are alphabetical and changing the sort order is as easy as changing the title.

With the title of the page, you use basically the same process. Try to fit the same keyphrase in the title in the same order after you have investigated alternate keyphrases. Also keywords at the beginning of the title may get more weight than those at the end. Shotening the title so that the keyphrase is a bigger percentage of the title of the whole also helps. But remember in all changes not to make anything confusing for visitors to the site and that you have other phrases that you get hits for.

 There is usually three places your products name will show. In anchors, in the title of the product page, and in the heading of the product page. For the heading we do the same basic things I covered on the other two sections. But a note here. We don't want each of the phrases to necessarily be the same. Consider the differences wildcards. You never know what people will be searching for. The differences give you more possibilities for future hits.

And when this is done, you can go through the page itself. Can you use parts of the keyphrase more effectively? Are you consisting calling something an mp3 player when you know the model or brand name? Well, change it. And remember, we are still looking to create readable text, so don't go overboard.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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