It is fairly common knowledge that the words that appear on Web pages are one factor in the way that those pages are ranked in search engines. This means, of course, that a page that contains a search term one or more times has a better chance of ranking highly than a page that does not include the search term.

However, while more and more sites begin to include search terms in their Web page copy in order to rank higher in Web searches, high search engine rankings are really only a part of the equation. Another large part is whether each of your pages is directly addressing the searcher's topic of interest (deduced from the search term).

The Shoehorn Approach

When a site is already built and established, many search engine optimization experts or individuals trying their luck at SEO will employ a “shoehorn” approach. This can be less costly and usually involves fewer alterations to an existing site than a comprehensive approach, but it has a primary drawback. It is perhaps easiest to explain by giving a fictional example.

Drawing from the RoadRunner cartoons, let's talk about a fictional company called Acme Widgets. Our company is a widget manufacturer, and we currently have a small brochureware site.

Working in a Keyphrase

One of the keyphrases we want to target is “custom widget manufacturing,” since we have looked at Wordtracker and discovered that a large number of our potential prospects are typing this phrase (it's doubtful anyone searches for this fictitious example, but let's pretend that many do).

Since we want to make minimal changes to the site, we are taking the shoehorn approach, which means that we are going to try to work this search term into an existing page. We take a look at the “About Acme” page of our site (a page that describes our company and our philosophy) and realize that we could probably work the phrase “custom widget manufacturing” into the copy a few times without too many changes.

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image of Scott Buresh

Scott Buresh is founder and CEO of Medium Blue, an award-winning search engine optimization company.

LinkedIn: Scott Buresh