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Aidan, post: 50264 wrote:
With the folk I’ve worked with on SEO projects they have generally already decided on the search terms they want to rank for, often because they have seen which ones are the best lead producers using PPC traffic.

Its hard then to argue with them that they are better off with the long tail!

Hi Aiden,

Coincidentally, I came across this article today.

“Are Search Queries Becoming Even More Unique? Statistics from Google”

It includes these little gems from Google spokespeople:

“70% of queries have no exact-matched keywords”

“54.5% of user queries are greater than 3 words”

That first one may help with specific keyword fixated clients. 1 billion searches per day on Google and they want to fish in the pool where only 30% of them live?

I’m lucky to have the OK from my railway sleeper client to use his site’s stats.

I usually set the scene with a comment like, “This company only has one product to sell – old, beat up railway sleepers. What on earth can you possible say about them. How many ways can people possibly search for them online? I’ts only a dinky little 6 page website.”

I’m invariably saying/showing this to a website owner whose site is many times larger and with a fraction of the SE referrals.

I can then simply jump online, show them the site ranks #1 on Google for the most used search phrase then show them the site’s traffic reports where that phrase generates less than 5% of visitors. I can quickly tell them which individual words were targeted and show them how they keep recurring in every search phrase in the keyword report.

I don’t think it has failed to convince a client yet and it takes less than 10 minutes to show.

The other tactic I use is to provide pre and post benchmark analyses using traffic reports and a ranking audit of relevant search phrases – usually 100 different search phrases. For a national marketer I would develop a list of 25 relevant search phrases then rotate the addition of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane with each of them – viola, 100 different search phrases. Now ask your client which ones they don’t want to target.

Most clients don’t have a clue about the marketing information available to them from a program like Google Analytics.

I try to take clients beyond playing useless ranking games and it is rare when you don’t find some little high impact gem in the pre-SEO traffic report analysis. The last one I did was for an Aust. shopfitting company. The pre-SEO benchmark was for June and in that month I found the site’s largest group of country visitors were from China. I can’t wait to hear what the Marketing Manager has to say about that one.

Of course, we also need to show him the growth figure of 250% in his Aust visitors one month after SEO.

I find using the keyword filter to create a specific search word report in the pre and post traffic analysis handy.

In the shopfitting example I created pre and post SE referrals for all phrases that contained:

1. “fit outs”, “fittings”, “fitters”
2. “retail”, “shop”, “store”
3. “supplies”, “suppiers”, “company”, “services”
4. “shelves”, “shelving”, “racks”, “stands”, “checkouts” “gondolas”
5. Type of retailer
6. Location words
7. Company name

When you have only SEOed 4 pages of a 50 page site, doubled its traffic via 200+ additional search phrases and more importantly can show huge improvements in targeting prospective customers in one month, I find a comparison table like this is another useful way to unfix the mind fixated on a handful of keywords.