The SEO Golden Rule!

I have often been asked ‘what is the golden rule of SEO?’ I have thought long and hard about this, and what the answer could be. I think if I had to choose one golden rule for SEO it would be ‘Do not be greedy!’ I am sure some of you are thinking right now – what does he mean ‘do not be greedy’? I have chosen this as the golden rule because the choices made at the very beginning of a search engine optimization campaign will – to a large degree – determine how the campaign unfolds. Do not be greedy with your keyword selection – this is my golden rule. Choose a few keywords you wish to optimize for, and then stick with them for the long haul. The main page of your site only has 65 characters in the title tag to optimize – and the temptation could be to stuff those 65 characters with as many keywords as possible. This is greedy, and it will not work.

Search Engine Optimization In Action.

Let’s imagine you have a website that sells models of cars. You sell models of Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Roll Royce, Bentley, and Maserati cars. The temptation would be to create a title tag that reads like this ‘We sell the best model Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porches, Roll Royce, Bentley, and Maserati cars online’ – this is a terrible title tag and is greedy. The first issue with this title tag is it is 109 characters long (including spaces). As mentioned earlier – only 65 will be indexed by search engine like Google. To the search engines this title tag will look like this; ‘We sell the best model Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, R’. A far better, and more controlled way to create this title tag would be to introduce the fact that you sell model luxury cars, using a title tag similar to this; ‘The Best Model Luxury & Marquee Cars Available For Sale Online’ – this only uses 62 of the available 65 characters, but it provides a much clearer message for the search engines to interpret. Now, instead of the page being about a number of different things (Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.) it is about two very similar things – luxury model cars and marquee model cars – that available online and for sale. The next step of not being greedy is to create a new page for each brand of model car, and then optimizing the page accordingly. So, you would have a page dedicated just to the Maserati brand – where you would introduce the visitor to this category. Within that Maserati category you then have a dedicated page for each model of Maerati you sell; such as a page for the Maserati Biturbo, another page for the Maserati Quattroporte, and another page for the Maserati Grand Tourismo. The beauty of this kind of approach is it picks up search engine traffic for all different types of queries. If I am looking for ‘model cars’ the site will be relevant, just as it will be for ‘luxury model cars online’, or ‘model Maserati cars’ or ‘model Maserati biturbo’.

Less is Waaaaaaay more!

The less ‘things’ you have in the title tag of your page, the more that page is about that those ‘things’. If you have 5 ‘things’ in your title tag (dogs, cats, sheep, cows, and chickens) then the focus of that page is divided between each of them. That page can only be 20% relevant to each ‘thing’ in the title tag. If you only have one ‘thing’ (dogs) in the title tag, then the page is 100% relevant to that one thing. Remember – do not be greedy and try to optimize for everything. Choose one or two ‘things’ to optimize for, and then build new pages for additional keywords.

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