Answer: I completely understand. It’s a very competitive game, SEO, and like most competitive sports half the battle is to choose your event wisely. There is no simple answer, as ‘realistic’ expectations vary by industry.
The Long Tail. There is, however, a general relationship. The broader the search (the more to the left of the search phrase, the more difficult; the more specific, the easier. So the trick is to identify the long tail searches that best match your business proposition. For example:
Medical = very difficult to be No. 1. (Hardest)
Medical Malpractice = very difficult to be No. 1
Medical Malpractice Attorney = difficult to be No. 1
Medical Malpractice Attorney San Francisco = doable to be No. 1. (Easiest)
SEO Competition. How do you gauge your competition? One easy rule of thumb is to do your target Google search, the count how many of the top ten results have the keyword INSIDE the TITLE tag. If you see 10/10, or 8/10 that do this – this is a very very competitive word. If you see 5/10 or 3/10, you are getting to a much easier phrase to dominate. Generally speaking, everyone knows about the TITLE tag, so its use will predict how much everyone else is trying to get into a particular search term.
I often say to a client if I see only 3/10 for their search term using the TITLE tag correctly, it will be pretty easy to get to page one for that search.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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