We like to play make believe. We also like metaphors. We're hoping you do too, as that's the best way to explain the value of the SEO Competitor Analysis and Keyword Research Report.

Pretend like you own a music store. Furthermore, your favorite band is the Eagles, and through your dogged persistence you've worked out a distribution agreement that lets you sell Eagles products for less than the competition while at a higher profit. Furthermore, pretend like you've decided to pursue an SEO strategy. Let's see how your program goes.

Phase 1

After almost a year, you get the number one spot for the word Eagles, a very high traffic term. Hooray! But there's a problem. This high traffic term is a "research" term, which means people searching for that term aren't looking to buy. First off, how many people who type the word Eagles into the browser are looking for the band rather than the bird? For people who are searching for the band, how many of them are looking for news, pictures, and videos rather than to buy music. Ranking for research terms and ambiguous terms is a common mistake, and it results in very low click through rates1 and conversions. Unfortunately, that was a very expensive lesson.

Phase 2

Realizing the error of your ways, you've decided to change your strategy. Since you have a competitive price advantage you decide to rank for the term Cheap Eagles Music. It makes sense to you that people who search for that phrase will be interested in what you have to offer. You are excited when you reach the number 1 spot after only 7 months. But you are disappointed that your ranking doesn't bring any increased traffic. As it turns out, no one searches for the phrase Cheap Eagles Music, so you're ranking is meaningless. You've burned another pile of money.

Phase 3

You are determined not to make the same mistakes again. You find out that Eagles CDs is a word that is searched for by many people, and you are confident that people who search for that term will be interested in what you sell. Armed with that knowledge you begin anew. Unfortunately, it's been 2 years and you're still not on even on the first page, much less at the top. What happened? Well it turns out that to get to the top of the charts for that term you'd have to beat Amazon, Billboard, Wikipedia, the Eagles own website, and several other very strong competitors. Unfortunately, your pockets just weren't deep enough. To the degree that they were deep, you may as well have flushed that money down the toilet.

Phase 4

Finally you hire Sure Spark Internet marketing. Sure Spark does some research and finds out that almost 400 people search for the phrase Eagles Sheet Music every month.2 Furthermore, the competition is much weaker: not one of the top 10 spots is taken by one of the power brands you were competing against for the phrase Eagles CDs. It took a full year, but you now rank number one in Google for the phrase Eagles Sheet Music, and you get 100s of qualified visitors to your site each month because of it.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to do SEO wrong. Doing it right involves a little up front expense to do some research to make sure that you don't waste time and money pursuing a losing strategy. To find out how much a well executed SEO strategy would mean to your bottom line, just get started on your SEO Competitor Analysis and Keyword Research Report! All you have to do is fill out the form to the right!

  • [1.] The click through rate, or CTR, is the number of people who click to your site after seeing your link in a search engine.
  • [2.] As of June 1, 2010, according to Google the keyword phrase Eagles gets 823,000 searches per month, Cheap Eagles Music gets none, Eagles CDs gets 2,400, and Eagles Sheet Music gets 390.
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Joe Shurtz
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