SEO consultants will tell you that you need to be in the Top 30 or you can pretty much give up any hope of getting a visitor to your web site.
Yes, there is truth in that Top 30 goal. Occasionally, a potential customer will make his or her way to the #30 position in search of a particular product or service. The odds just aren't that high.
Yet, industry research and ongoing search engine user behavior analysis shows that most people will focus on the first few results. Who can blame them? It takes a great deal of patience to wade through the rest of the options.
It's going to mean a great deal more if you can get that prized search term in the Top 10 (first screen) or even the Top 3 or Top 5 with the right SEO marketing strategies.
With so much competition, is that even possible? Yes - if you're realistic. Here's the key: don't spend an inordinate amount of time in the single keyword "cars" if you offer something more specific, such as "automotive accessories." You stand a much better chance of getting that coveted top spot with a more reasonable search phrase.
Don't ignore those single words if they really represent what you do. Generally, single words have a fighting chance if other SEO factors are rooting for you along the way, including pages with lots of content, options to include content up high, other pages featuring the same keyword, a domain name with the keyword, a page name with the keyword and plenty of link popularity built around the keyword. You just have to tie it all together.
Obviously, fewer people search for "automotive accessories" than "cars." But you'll be able to reach more search engine users - and prospective customers - if you frame most of your SEO strategy around specific search engine phrases that adequately reflect what you do. Join the Top 10 Club and reap the benefits.
About the Author
Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, an Ohio-based <a target="_new"href="http://www.fathomseo.com">search engine optimization firm. He authored the "U.S. Manufacturers Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization and Online Sales Leads" study and a white paper, "Search Engine Marketing: Get in the Game." <a target="_new"href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org