Market Ideas #2
Use free, online services to find out where you rate with the competition and what your website really says to the public.
When writing the copy for your website, you need to keep in mind what you're saying to the search engines and have a set method to evaluate your performance. To do this you need to see what they are seeing. Marketing companies can charge thousands of dollars to analyze a site and commercial software can cost hundreds. But when you're starting out on the web, you just need basic information. There are a number of free websites to use, if you know what you're looking for.
Case Study: Jose's Mexican Restaurant.
They're a Mexican restaurant, right? The words appear in the title of their home page, right? So why are they at the bottom of page 3 on a Google search for - Mexican restaurant - while The Rio Grande is #2? Keyword density plays a big part in where websites appear on the engines. Let's use keyworddensity.com to look at how the pages measure up.
On the Keyword Density home page we enter the URLs of Jose's (http://www.josesmex.com/) & The Rio Grande (http://riograndemexican.com) and the keywords - mexican restaurant - then press Analyze Keyword Density. The result shows a total density for Rio Grande of 11.11% and one of 0.63% for Jose's. That's a big difference! Jose's uses the keywords in its title, but waters them down with the phrase - 'The best Mexican food this side of the Charles river'. This brings their keyword weight down to 22.22% for the title compared to Rio Grande's 50% using 'Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant'. Also, Jose's neglects to use the word at all the visible text and Rio Grande's one time mention brings up their score.
While keyword density won't guarantee you a top spot, it does give you tangible numbers you can use to start moving your pages up the rankings. Remember not to overdo it. A keyword density of 99% will more than likely get your page bumped down. The key is to look at who's winning and how they did it.