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80/20 Rule - Does It Apply to Search Engine Optimization?

May 21, 2008
I believe that you have come across the 80/20 rule before. So does it apply to search engine optimization? 80/20 rule does apply to search engine optimization too. In most cases, it is only that few keywords that bring you 80 percent of the traffic from search engines. So how does this affect your search engine optimization campaign?

When it comes to SEO, the quality of the keywords that you optimize is very important. SEO is very different from pay-per-click advertising, where you can target so many keywords within a single campaign. In a SEO campaign, you need to choose your keywords carefully as there are limitation to the number of keywords that can be optimized effectively.

So when you are performing SEO to your website, you can start off with 5 main keywords that are closely related to your business. Try not to choose very general keywords like "cars". This kind of keyword is nearly impossible to optimize as it is way too competitive. Also, it is not targeted enough to bring quality traffic to your website. When we look at SEO traffic, we want potential buyers who are interested in what you are offering. For the above example, people typing in "cars" may not want to buy cars. So if you are a car distributor, you will not want to optimize this keyword. It is simply not worth your effort and time.

If you have an Adwords account, you can start a campaign and bid for a set of keywords that are related to what you are offering on your website. The reason for doing this is to find out what are the keywords that consumers are typing to find your website. With this information, you can then choose the 5 most important keywords and optimize them to get free clicks from the organic result listings.

Once you know the 5 keywords that you are going to optimize, you should place them strategically in all the important pages of your site. Keywords must be in the Title, META, Header, and ALT tags of your web pages. You should also write content and place keywords within it.

Offsite optimization such as getting back links is also important if you want to achieve good ranking on search engines. One of the best ways to get back links is to write articles and submit them to popular article directories. Place your site's URL in the by-line of your article, along with your name and company information. Remember to use keyword-rich anchor text and point your article to the relevant pages of your website.

Effective search engine optimization can really give your business a boost. Remember, only 20 percent of the keywords that you optimize really matters. They are the ones which bring you 80 percent of the traffic. So, choose your keywords carefully!
About the Author
Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of OOM, an online marketing agency which specializes in search engine optimization.

Check out more about Search Engine Optimization at http://www.optimalonlinemarketing.com
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