We always tell our clients that they can’t rank #1 for every keyword or keyword combination they want. The opposite is true as well. You can’t not rank for every keyword you don’t want either.
For example, here are some of the rankings my firm has that stump me at first until I start looking at the details:
www.mwi.com ranks #2 in Google for “how to design a lake” – Since we’re a web development/marketing firm, it’s difficult to understand why we rank so well for such a keyword combination. Just think of all the people who actually do build lakes who would love to have that ranking. The reasons why MWI ranks so well for that particular phrase are as follows:
1. MWI’s site ranks well in general due to a multitude of factors.
2. Our homepage includes the words “design” and “lake” in the title tag because we do design and we are located in Salt Lake City.
3. Our homepage also includes the word “design” at least two more times on the homepage as well as “lake” one more time.
Here are some more interesting words for which MWI ranks high:
1. “workers compensation fund of utah” #1 on MSN – Why? Because they’re on our client list. We’ve received 101 visitors so far this year from people who didn’t look closely at the description before clicking through to our site. We receive a surprisingly large number of phone calls from people who, even after visiting our site, still think we are in fact WCF. We tend to rank high for a lot of our client’s name simply because we have them listed on our client list.
2. “company newsletter” #7 on MSN – We happen to have our own company newsletter at the url http://www.mwi.com/about/newsletter/newsletter_march06.html. We’ve got “company” and “newsletter” in the url, “newsletter” in the title tag, and those words in other places throughout our website.
3. “mwi and partners” #5 on Google – Apparently there is some private equity firm in Canada called MWI Partners. Their website that is supposed to be at www.mwipartners.com doesn’t work, which is probably why we get a lot of their traffic.
4. “mwi connections” #2 on MSN – Ugh, this one used to be pretty annoying. There was a credit card scam operation going on a few years back by a company that called itself many names, includes MWI Essentials and MWI Connections, but most of them started with MWI, even if they never called themselves just MWI. We used to get 5-10 calls per week from people who were yelling at us about the $89 we charged on their credit card, and that was after we disconnected our 1-800 number. We even had one lady who didn’t believe us when we told her it wasn’t us, and she started searching out the clients listed on our client list and telling them we were a scam operation and were ripping people off. Luckily a client thought this sounded a bit strange and called us up to tell us about it and we were able to get the lady to stop.
Other notable mentions go to “request for proposal,” “local news,” “as400 mwi,” “851 realtors email,” “replacement knees,” “top entrepreneur,” and “ski resort venture capital.” Some of these I’m not even sure about myself.