Internet-Based Corporate Branding: Measuring Performance

So you've decided to give internet-based corporate branding a try, and are considering getting the services of search engine optimization (SEO) companies. Now what?

Measure their performance. See if you're able to meet your web site's objectives. Here's how...

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Is your site attracting the right kind of visitors?

Search engine optimization companies will help you rank your web pages highly in search engines. This means that when someone searches for a keyword phrase like "blue cars" at Google, for example, your web page will appear (hopefully) in the first few search results pages.

So the key question here is: What keyword phrases should you target?

Is it a list of keywords presented to you by the search engine optimization company? Or can you get a second opinion, so to speak?

Here are some tools you can use:
Overture (Click on the Term Suggestion Tool link)

[Added: 25 July 2003]
AlltheWeb Recent Queries

Those sites will give you an idea about how many searches are made for a particular keyword or keyphrase, or what people are have been looking for recently online.

For example, if you try the tool at Overture and type in "corporate branding" you'll see the number of searches made at Overture during a fairly recent month. That should give you an idea regarding the demand for the phrases "corporate branding" and "corporate internet branding", for example.

A good target is a keyword phrase that got around 1,500 searches (or higher). Nope, that figure was not arrived at scientifically. Just a gut feel.

Afterall, would you rather have a highly-ranked web page for a phrase that was searched for 2,000+ times in the past? Or for a phrase that was searched for less than a 100 times in a past month?

Will your site drown in a sea of competing web pages?

So you have a better idea about the demand for a keyword phrase. But what about supply? What happens if hundreds of thousands of other pages out there offer the information needed by your target visitor? How do you stand out from the e-crowd?

Try the free trial at WordTracker -- One thing I like about WordTracker is the report on the supply.

If you see that there are few web pages offering information on a particular keyword or phrase, that means you'll have an easier time getting ranked high for that phrase.

If you see that there are tons of competing pages for a most-likely popular phrase, you'll have a harder time getting noticed in the search engines.

>>>>> A Couple of Tips <<<<<

Not-so-popular keyword phrase, few sites?
Make the web page yourself.

Popular keyword phrase, lots of competing sites?
Try a search engine optimization company.

Know your market. Know the demand. Know the supply. Target the right keywords and phrases.

Bottomline: Trust the the target keyword lists presented to you by search engine optimization (SEO) companies. But VERIFY. Try WordTracker and Overture. And let those SEO companies help you with the more challenging popular keywords.

Good luck and happy measuring!

(In a future post, I'll explain how you can track whether you're getting the results you're after. True, some SEO companies will give you Performance Reports. As usual, trust but VERIFY.)
[ First posted on 12/11/2002 by Manuel Viloria ]

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