I did a post on personalised search on David Naylor’s blog some time ago, but sadly it didn’t seem to get much of a reception (I think thats because when the title is a bit confusing “search david naylor online”). I still think it is something many SEO’s are probably neglecting, so I thought it was worth brainstorming a few more ideas on how to take advantage of it. I’ve not test or tried all of these, but I have had people thinking I’m ranking better than I am in the past.
1. Build your brand – by building a brand your visitors are more likely to remember you and re-visit your website by typing in the brand name. This is one of the reasons why generic keyword domains are probably going to lose some of their competitiveness over the coming years.
2. Make sure you rank number one for your brand name.
3. If you do rank number one for your brand name, don’t put your web address on business stationery – let people find it through Google.
4. If you do a TV/radio advertisement/display ad/print ad encourage people to search a key phrase online to track the campaign, but make sure you rank number 1 (and number 2 if possible) for it and you have a few anchor text links going into it before hand.
5. If you successfully identify your demographic try targeting high volume keywords they might type in. A good example of this is Becky Naylor, who is getting thousands of visits per day for when do the clocks go back 2010 (probably of every demographic)!
6. Try and rank for related keywords that may preceed the buying process for your potential customer, so with SEO instead of perhaps pushing for UK SEO, for example, instead you go for keywords such as What is SEO? or promoting a website.
7. Use business cards with a special keyword to search with a password to a page created just for those people you meet personally – perhaps provide something free. Don’t put your web address (or even any contact details?) – this creates intrigue and ensures that they are opted in to seeing your results more in the SERPs.
8. A method used by Aim Clear was to create ebooks/guides including links to search engine results on Google that they ranked #1 for.
9. Obviously you want to encourage people to bookmark your website, you can do so by using the following Google Bookmark.
10. If you are a local business, it is worth talking about local landmarks and events, if people happen to click on your listing and read about it they are more likely to use you in future. My friend Rory at work has a few of these type of posts, including Ripon Train Station
11. Don’t PPC your brand name – if you do this people are likely to click on the paid ads, this means you don’t get to personalise their search results. Besides, if you don’t PPC your brand name you will save money – sure you may have the competitors PPCing it, but you’re competitors are always a click away anyway.