Are they getting where they need to go?
Find the top 10 phrases entered by users of
your internal search engine. Then, take each of them for a spin. What results came up?
Were they your preferred landing pages or some crusty press releases? Depending on
the technology behind your search function, you may be able to improve the results by
adding your own metadata (usually in the form of keyword tags) to your website’s
pages. (Before you try to go extra-extra credit, take note: These tags are not recognized
by the search engines.)
For example, for your Sale Products page, you can assign keywords like “discount” or
“clearance”—even if these words don’t appear on the page—and your internal search
will then be able to show your Sale Products page to anyone searching for those terms.
Of course, you should never manipulate your internal search results to be irrelevant;
you don’t want to display your Sale page when someone is searching for “returns,” for
example. But it’s your site, and assigning reasonable synonyms and related concepts to
your search function’s metadata may be helpful to both your visitors and your conver-
If you do this kind of extra-credit analysis, your internal search will be much
more than a helpful feature for your visitors…it will also be a marketing tool for
Prep Month, Week 3, Friday: Checking Competitors’ Directory Presence
In Chapter 6, you researched whether your competitors were sponsoring PPC cam-
paigns. It may also be helpful to know whether your competitors have taken the time
to create directory listings. Finding a directory listing, whether paid or unpaid, is an
indication of how well your competitors are covering all their SEO bases.
Start by searching Yahoo!’s directory:
• Open your web browser and go to
. This page allows you to
exclude search results other than Yahoo! Directory listings.
• Moving one by one through your Big Five competitors list, search for each com-
• Since this is such a specific search, there will probably be very few listings. Look
for one belonging to your competitor.
• If you don’t find your competitor’s listing, search for a product or service that
they offer. If this search turns up no listings, broaden your search to a general
term related to what they offer. If you still don’t find your competitor, you can
feel comfortable that they probably don’t have a directory listing.
You can do the same with the Open Directory or niche directories that you think
are appropriate for your own site. Whether the directory listing is fee based or free is
actually not important here. What’s important is knowing whether a competitor is
aggressive and savvy enough to find a directory and get their site listed.
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