Carrying out search engine optimisation should have three clear goals for any given keyword:
Even within the results of a search engine like Google you want to be at the top for clients that matter to you and more important you don't want to be there for clients that don't.
Eh? Let's take the example of one of our clients - howtoreallybuyaproperty.co.uk. This is a site which sells an ebook on how to buy property in the United Kingdom so we don't want it showing up in the results for users in America, Australia, and so on. So in the table at the bottom of the page where we mention the site's performance following our optimisation we mean it ranks highly on google.co.uk, not google.com; on uk.yahoo.com, not yahoo.com.
Now we are going deeper into a particular search engine. Google, for example, has searches for:
So if you have made a website for mobile phones you don't want it showing up in the search results for the web. Why? Because mobile sites contain fewer graphics and a simpler layout to help page loading times. This means what works well on a mobile can look like schoolboy work on a desktop, and that will affect they way clients see you.
Alternatively a photographer that has taken an exceptional picture of Big Ben in London doesn't want to be number one for the web search 'Big Ben' but they do want to be number one on the image search.
You might think it isn't a disaster showing up top in the wrong places. After all if only a tiny fraction of that traffic converts into a customer (or whatever else your aim is) then great!
Untrue. Being in the wrong place can actually hurt your site in the long run in two ways:
For more complex sites it isn't about getting your homepage up the rankings, it is about getting a specific page on your site to the top.
Let's take an example. If you have a bicycle shop in Shrewsbury you want to be number one for, among others, 'bicycle shop Sshrewsbury'. But if you have a shop in shrewsbury that sells leisure items you want the pages about bicycles to be number one for 'bicycles for sale shrewsbury' while the pages about camping stoves are number one for 'camping stoves shrewsbury'.
This will protect your bounce rate and CTR as described above. OK, let's have look at that in real life. Go to google.com and search "land for sale poland". The number one site is mamdom.com (one of our clients) but it is not Mamdom's home page, it is their specific page for land for sale in that country.
What you actually want is to be high up in the search results:
We do it every day for clients around the globe. Here are a few examples
|"real estate poland"|
|"apartments for rent Warsaw"|
|"houses for sale poland"|
|"apartments for sale poland"|
|"land for sale poland"|
|"does aloe vera really work"|
|"how does aloe vera work"|
|"good quality aloe vera"|
|"aloe vera and arthritis"|
|"aloe vera side effects"|
|"what does under offer mean"|
|"sold subject to contract"|
|"bad estate agents"|
|"shell fit out poland"|
|"furniture solutions poland"|
|"interior design poland"|
|"poland news in English"|
|"polish news in English"|
|"poland regional news"|
In reality many of the sites listed above are number one but only in selected geographical areas. Mamdom.com, for example, is number one for the keywords "land for sale poland" in most of the world but no SEO company can proclaim you are number one everywhere.
Why not? Because search results depend on the geographical location of the searcher. A person sitting in the United Kingdon and searching for Polish land will get Mamdom. However a person sitting in Poland, Ohio may not because the search engines assume the person in Poland, Ohio wants land there, not halfway round the world.
So beware of "Number One" claims - they rarely are!