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Your search traffic is much more diverse than you think
2010-02-20: I've never met a new client that has a real idea of the breadth of the keyphrases that will be, or are being, used to find their website.
Usually if I ask what keyphrases they'd like to be on the first page of Google for, they say "Bosch power tools" or similar. Which is fine, but many of my clients are startups or are struggling for their first main search engine position. On page one for "Bosch power tools" are established businesses.
To give you an idea, for "taxi insurance", I know others are spending £6,000 a month on search engine marketing (SEO (Optimisation)).
Locally, a chain of plush hotels are employing a full time SEO person. So even if they only pay them £15k that's probably £25k of costs or £2k a month .. and is that level of salary going to give them great SEO?
For a client of mine who gets 1,000 website visitors per month, 81% of those are from natural search and there were 11,379 different search phrases used to successfully find their site. So there are probably many more keyphrases they could get traffic from but where they don't have a good search engine position. That's more than twenty completely different keyphrases every day for a year. That client doesn't even blog and isn't on any social media sites ("too busy, don't believe in it"), so that's just from the content I created for their website.
So, as a startup business, how do you get a foothold?
You could pick a longer keyphrase to target: "mobile phone GPS tracking software" seems long enough to give you a chance at the first page, if that's what you sell.
But the problem is, with those longer keyphrases there are almost infinite combinations. For mobile, try cellular or Nokia. For phone try PDA. For GPS try satellite. For tracking try location. For software try download. That's 48 combinations before we start. How can you manage all that?
The best way might be to start blogging. Or at least Tweeting. Or at least changing your Facebook Page status every now and then.
Because if you blog about what you do with half a mind towards your keyphrases, you'll naturally write about the things people are searching for and long search phrases will exist naturally in your writing. That's true because those long phrases aren't particularly competitive, so even just one mention could get you onto page one of Google.
It means you can just write, not worry about keyphrases at all, and it'll all fall beautifully into place (given time).
Perhaps someone will find this blog who has £6k a month to spend on SEO for their taxi insurance business. Particularly now I've mentioned it twice.

By John Allsopp
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