Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Wonder Wheel of Google's relations‏

We all know that keywords are the focus of any SEO effort. Keywords
are searched for by people looking to make purchases online. When
your site comes up in Google, they become your customers! This is a
simple process to understand, but how do you get your site listed
on Google (besides using the best sitemaps around)?

Google uses many criteria to rank pages and one major area of
factors they use deals with your keywords. Are they used in links
to your site? Do you use them on your pages? Are they in your
domain name, URLs, H1 tags, and page titles?

Of course they are! Right? You've heard all of this before
throughout the SEO world, but which keywords do you focus on? If
you sell 'blue bonnets', then your choice is simple... say blue
bonnet a lot, buy, and have people link to your
bluebonnet.html page so that their users click on the words blue
bonnet. Correct?

Simple. But since everyone is doing this, you may have to dig a bit
deeper to get past your competition. What are you looking for in
order to gain an edge over your competition? You want "Related
Terms". Google has an understanding of which terms belong together.
You may want to mention Easter Bonnets or Fancy Hats... but which
terms does Google think are related?

Enter the Wonder Wheel tool from Google! Using this tool while
searching for "blue bonnets" shows a look inside of Google's
mind... Some related terms include things for flowers, musical
bands, pictures and paintings of blue bonnets, and 'facts' about
blue bonnets. Cool! After a short journey through the wonderwheel,
it becomes clear that Google sees blue bonnets as flowers, not
hats. so...

We search for the single word 'bonnets' and see a whole group of
hat-related terms. It seems that focusing on the blue bonnets as a
search term was putting us in the wrong neighborhood and Google
misunderstood the site.

From this term, 'bonnet', we see that Google identifies this with
the hats (not flowers) and that there are a number of directions to
go in... baby bonnets, sun bonnets, rain bonnets, Easter bonnets,
Victorian bonnets. Let's pick the 'Sun Bonnets' and see where that
leads us...

One thing that strikes me is that for the 'parent term' of bonnet,
I see 'bonnet patterns' and for the 'child term' of "sun bonnets",
I can see "sun bonnet patterns".

It seems that having a webpage called "bonnetpatterns.html" would
be a very good way to rock the search engines and to promote the
'blue' pattern on this page!

This example took me about 5 minutes to review using the Google
tool and when I create the bonnetpatterns.html page, I know that
Google will come to understand that our site has to do with the
blue bonnets you wear on your head, not the ones you plant in the

Let me repeat this important point... Google will come to
understand that our site has to do with the blue bonnets you wear
on your head, not the ones you plant in the ground.

Our site will finally begin ranking for the right kinds of terms,
bounce rate will drop off to almost nothing, conversion rate goes
up, and the site becomes the leading sales producer for bonnets!

How do you use the Wonder Wheel? Run any search on Google. To the
left of where they say "Results 1 - 10 of about 1,000,000" is a
link that says "Show Options". Click this link and a sidebar will
appear on the left of your screen. Look down the list and click on
"Wonder Wheel".

The rest is simple... click on the related terms that match what it
is you do on your site, then maybe click on another term related to
your site. Within a few clicks, you should have a collection of
terms that help to shape your website in the eyes of Google. Their
mind comes to understand that your site is related to these terms
and that is where they will begin to rank your site.

If you are curious as to which terms are the most used on your
website, log into your AutoMapIt Pro account and check the SEO
Report. This tool lists every page on your site and which keywords
are most prominent on each page of your site. AutoMapIt Pro goes
even further and gives you a set of keywords that reflect your
ENTIRE website.

The keywords used on ALL pages of your site is called your websites
'keyword theme' and has more to do with reinforcing what you have
on each page. If your particular page is heavy on the "scented
soaps" keyword and your site theme is leaning towards "brick
laying", then you will have a hard time ranking for the soaps. The
page mentioning the soaps is considered a fluke and may not be
'properly represented' on a masonry website.

Keyword usage always requires a bit of common sense, but with the
right tools, you can get a solid feel for what the search engines
want to see and what you are actually telling them your website is

If your Google ranking is not where you want it to be, then
reviewing your keywords using the AutoMapIt Pro System may be a
very good place to start!

-Shawn Snarski