It’s a small business owner’s dream to be the first result in Google when someone types in a word like "shoes." The resulting traffic stats and sales numbers would be incredible. However, it seems that small businesses might do much better by optimizing for queries involving more than one word.
Cost and feasibility need to be considered, of course – it’s a rare small business that can pay for a site capable of competing with those owned by big corporations. But there’s more to the situation than that.
As Matt McGee reports, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer revealed at a recent conference that the percentage of searches involving just one word has slipped from 24.5 to 21.1 to 20.4 percent between 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. Approximately 23.6 percent of 2009 queries involved two words, but that number has also been shrinking.
It’s in the land of three-, four-, and five-word searches that more and more people are spending their time, and together, 45.4 percent of the searches Hitwise has tracked so far this year fall into these categories.
Focusing your search engine optimization efforts on longer queries is something to think about instead of straining to create interesting one-word product names, then. Heck, attain a high ranking now, and maybe you’ll even have a hold on it when the Reeboks of the world branch out.