Online Shops, Shops Online – Same Thing? No! Why & How You Need to Think Like a Search Engine!

If you own a website, you all love (or loathe) looking at your results on the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo & MSN. After all – that is where the majority of your business comes from (generally speaking – before you build up your customer numbers that is!!).

So…. what do you do – You make your pages look all pretty, then you submit them to your search engines… and then… when doing a search you notice that the different arrangement of words can give completely different results. Or have you not noticed that yet??? If you haven’t let me point it out.

For example – if you take the words Online Shopping NZ, and NZ Online Shopping and plug them into the search engines you’ll notice that for my grizzlynut website I get the following placements (and this is for today – the results will no doubt be completely different tomorrow (hopefully better so I get more visitors):

Online Shopping NZ first, NZ Online Shopping second

Google – 10, 11

Google NZ – 9, 13

MSN – Nothing, 24

MSN NZ – 8, 25

Yahoo – Nothing, Nothing

Yahoo NZ – Nothing, Nothing

Surely it’s just the one – you are thinking? Well no. Let me give you another example:

NZ online shops first, online shops NZ second

Google – 7, 7

Google NZ – 13, 8

MSN – 24

MSN NZ – 7, 4

Yahoo – Nothing, 22

Yahoo NZ – 11, 8

So… interesting?? Yes it is – and hopefully makes you think about what you are writing & how you are writing it next time you update your pages. If you are looking to make your pages the best they can be – to both people & search engines, is to ensure that the arrangement of the keywords is consistent (where it can be – don’t make a whole new language for the sake of the search engine – you will lose readers – and what’s important? Readers!!)

If we take NZ online shops for example – try and use this term on the page wherever it is appropriate. So if you are saying the following: We have several online shops for nz, you would say – we have several nz online shops.

It still makes sense, and you are giving you “words” a better chance at getting read – because the higher up the search engines they are – the more likely people are going to click on your page.

Also remember this if you have had someone offer to link to you. Be sure you are consistent about what you ask them to write – choose a word – eg. nz online shopping – and stick with it (unless of course, you have loads of websites offering to link to you – then you would use both keywords). The other thing which I haven’t pointed out – because I thought it was obvious – abbreviations are not taken as the whole word. For example – if you are using NZ stick with it. If you are using New Zealand stick with it – NZ and New Zealand are two different words – and will be taken as such!

But… anyway – enough from me – I just wanted to point out, that if you’re a small player (and 99.9% of us are), you really need to make sure that the words on your page are consistent. After all – it’s better to get 1 good listing, than 2 mediocre (or even worse – bad) listings.

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