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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Search Marketing Q&A: Client Changes and Keywords

Let me apologize for last weeks Q&A session. I just simply wasn’t funny and I feel terrible about that. The problem is, these Q&As don’t leave much room for humor. Unless I make fun of someone and, well, I’m trying to get people to ask questions, not run away from me.

Which begs the question… where are all you question askers? I mean really, I know you’re out there, I can feel you lurking. Are you shy? Do you feel silly asking a question to someone that you’re just not sure is “real”. Hey, how do you think I feel? I have to deal with that every morning. Being in doubt of your own existence is quite frightening. But luckily I have myself to convince me that I am, in fact, real. I blog, therefore I am.

So fire away with the questions folks. And if you don’t know what to ask, go tell your friends that I’m here for them. I feel their pain. And here are this weeks answers to prove it:

Looking at the “big picture” is something I strive to do but my biggest obstacle right now is getting people on board with changes. I was wondering if you’ve ever had a client who refused to make the changes you recommended. Were you able to persuade them? How?

Thanks for rubbing salt in my wounds with that one! We have clients do this all the time, so don’t think you’re alone. For the most part, since we usually have access to our client’s websites we go in and make any optimization edits that we feel are necessary. Major changes go through the client for approval, but small stuff can just be done on the fly. No waiting for approval. We just let them know what we have done.

But many times we need to have some significant design and development changes made which we can’t do ourselves and therefore must pass to the client. These are the most likely to be shot down, put on hold or sent to the DMV to grab a number. Usually it’s because for budget reasons, other times changes can’t be made due to limitations with the CMS. But still, occasionally we get the client just not wanting to do what we ask for whatever reason. And we can do nothing but grin and bear it!

Just recently we had a client in the medical community create a page for a new keyword they wanted to target. They asked us to jump on this new page right away so they can start getting some rankings. We went through the process of optimizing the content for search engines and visitors, carefully integrating keywords, but being sure to tweak the content to speak to the website visitors. All said and done the end result was leaps and bounds better than the original.

We submitted it to the client for approval and they rejected the changes. My contact had told me that the doctor who wrote it wanted his version. Now there was really nothing wrong with his version, other than it wasn’t optimized and it wasn’t put into the language that would speak to their patients. So all that work flushed away for reasons unknown.

Yeah, it happens and in those cases you just have to let the client know that short of our work being implemented, that will effect overall performance of that page and the keywords it was targeting. At that point, since you really can’t do anything else, you move on to the next task for the client.

How many keywords can you target per page?

That’s a good question and one where there really is no right or wrong answer. Many in the SEO community will tell you not to target more than three to five keywords per page, but I think that’s shortsighted. I say optimized for as many as the single page can bear.

Think of it this way, if the page can support only a small bit of content, then you won’t be able to target more than one or two keywords while keeping the content focused on selling to the visitors. On the other hand, if you have a page that’ll support several hundred words of text, then your keyword targeting options for that page grows considerably.

In actuality, it all depends on the keywords you are trying to target. Our method is to target a single core term per page and then fit as many relevant search phrases onto the page as possible while still keeping rich, dynamic text for the visitor. Here is an example:

If a core term is ‘motorcycle battery‘ then we’ll target the main motorcycle battery page for this term. But we can also throw in additional terms such as:

* gel motorcycle battery
* discount motorcycle battery
* agm motorcycle battery
* gel cell motorcycle battery
* 12v motorcycle battery
* best motorcycle battery
* sealed motorcycle battery
* honda motorcycle battery
* suzuki motorcycle battery
* yamaha motorcycle battery

I’m simplifying a great deal here, but you can see how easy it would be two write a few hundred words of text that covers all of these ‘motorcycle battery’ keywords without looking dopey. But if the page couldn’t bear a few hundred words of text, then some of those keywords might be moved off to informational pages and allows to gain traction on their own.

If you’re headed to PubCon then you should catch Stoney’s presentation in the Keyword research session. He’ll be explaining the patent-pending secret formula (shhhhh!) for keyword research success.

That’s enough words for one day. But be sure to email your questions to bobloblaw@polepositionmarketing.com or just comment on this post. You do that and I swear I’ll try and make these things funnier.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

5 Responses to Search Marketing Q&A: Client Changes and Keywords

  1. Diana Adams says:

    Wow Bob has a really good question!!

    I hope your head doesn’t explode. Again, I’m concerned over my freedom to roam the office barefoot.

  2. Hi,

    Question about 404’s.
    A site has been moved, twice really and is now a WordPress blog.
    30% of the HTTP status codes are 404’s, about 2,500 hits in November.

    Some are for pages that existed on the old site that do not exist on the new blog, in any way.

    Some are for “old” directory structures that have since changed on the new blog and were never on the original site. We simplified the directory structure.

    domain.com/blog/resources/page.html is now domain.com/resources/page.html, for example.

    The old structure only existed for a few weeks as the site was being built in WP

    Others are page coding mistakes that are being fixed.

    Others are related to feeds, archives and so on.

    Google web master tools shows that they have indexed all but a handful of the new correct URL’s, a couple of old ones are still in their index.

    The mast majority of 404’s are bots, robots, search engines and so on. Very few are people.

    I am using the WP plugin that emails me for every 404.

    Should I care about and try to fix every single 404?
    Will the search engines eventually stop looking for old file/path names?
    Since they see my current content, does not finding old content effect me in the search engines in any way that I should care about?
    What would you recommend be done about the 404’s?

    Many thanks for the opportunity to ask the questions.

  3. Bob Loblaw says:

    Oh, see now I’ve been caught. So you actually want me to read the question before I attempt to answer it? OK. Sigh. Here goes…

    all right, well the q’s are pretty straight forward. I think I know what your getting at. Of course, once I answer you’re free to ask any followups!

  4. Bob Loblaw says:

    Jim, thanks for the question. I’ll get this answered with the next Q&A Installment so, uh, you know… keep checking back! Oh, and I think you win the prize for longest question ever!

  5. Bob,

    Does that mean that it really is perfectly clear and you have no questions of clarification?

    Feel free to contact me directly and thanks again for the valuable offer to answer questions. You are in my NewsFox reader, so I will be checking as suggested.

    Many thanks.