Friday, May 9, 2008

How People Search

You may not use search the way the people that find you use search.

Here are some examples of different ways to search. For this example I am going to be looking for useful information on buying Workers Compensation insurance in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I type in the word insurance to Google search. On the day I did this, here is my result.

I got 449,000,000 results. This is not really very useful to me. Why? Because now that I look at these it is really impossible to find workers compensation insurance in Raleigh, North Carolina out of this result.

So I change my search criteria. I type in insurance + Raleigh. In case you have never used the “+” sign, it will give you narrower results than just typing in insurance Raleigh. I am not able to explain this, but anyone who uses search effectively has learned this.

Here are my results for the 2nd search.

I still have 247,000 results –way too many – but at least they are about insurance in Raleigh, NC.

On my third try I narrow it down even more. By the way, this is where experienced searchers will have started.

This time my search criteria is workers comp insurance + Raleigh. Now I am getting what I want.

I got 80,100 results but they start with pages about what I am really after. This is how people will find you online. This is why you need to create web pages that are just about one thing and one thing you can be #1 in.

Think for a moment about how many other ways you could have been searched for:

Workers compensation insurance + Raleigh
Workermens compensation insurance + Raleigh
Work comp insurance + Raleigh
Workman compensation insurance + Raleigh
Work comp insurance + Raleigh

Then change the insurance to ins in each. Then change Raleigh to Wake County or Holly Springs or Apex or Cary.

This list can be staggering, but you need to create a #1 page for as many of these variations as you have the patience for. This is what will set you apart form others who are not as thorough.

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