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"Cheap" SEO tricks and how to use them

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"Cheap" is not a dirty word

Old school best practices for writing brand marketing copy have included the omission of terms that may reflect poorly on a company, including the term "cheap" to describe a product or service.

But is this practical in the world of SEO? In these seemingly dire economic times, search volume for phrases that include the term "cheap" has spiked. In an iMedia article published last May, Craig Macdonald at Covario cited comScore research (from December 2007) indicating the search phrase "cheap airfare" alone is worth about $8 million.

According to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the average monthly search volume for the phrase "cheap insurance" typically amounts to 673,000 queries. Last month, the number of queries for this term rocketed to 2.7 million. Likewise, the average monthly search volume for the phrase "cheap car" is traditionally about 1 million queries. Last month, the volume exceeded 3.3 million.

So, as you consider incorporating adjectives such as "affordable," "budget," "inexpensive," "low-cost," and "thrifty" into your SEO strategies, consider this: There is a growing number of brands weaving the keyword "cheap" into their on-page SEO elements. (Many are even incorporating this term into their marketing copy!)

Let's take a look at some of the brands that are capitalizing on the word "cheap" in their SEO strategies. Could your organization benefit from giving this previously taboo word some renewed consideration?

 

Comments

dinesh janigd
dinesh janigd September 19, 2010 at 11:39 AM

hi i am dinesh.this site is very very nice. i like it
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dinesh
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Cheap Hotels Bedford-Cheap Hotels Bedford

dinesh janigd
dinesh janigd September 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM

i am dines,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Good stuff...How does one get away with using cheap in the real estate market? We don't want to make a property seem less desirable. My word has always been less expensive. Your thougths.
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dinesh
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Cheap Hotels Bedford-Cheap Hotels Bedford

dinesh janigd
dinesh janigd September 19, 2010 at 11:32 AM

hi i am dinesh.this site is very very nice. i like it
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dinesh
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Cheap Hotels Bedford-Cheap Hotels Bedford

Daniel B
Daniel B February 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

I've noticed something about "cheap" on google webmaster tools. It simply doesn't appear as one of my keywords for my site. I'm wondering if that doesn't indicate that somehow "cheap" is being ignored by google.

It could explain why I've been having exceptional trouble getting my site targetting "cheap" to climb the ratings.

cheap domain
cheap domain August 29, 2009 at 3:35 PM

i think google start to ignore keywords like cheap and inexpensive. read more about google seo in my blog at http://www.cheapdomainnamesdot.com/domain-blog/

Mike Carpino
Mike Carpino March 29, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Good stuff...How does one get away with using cheap in the real estate market? We don't want to make a property seem less desirable. My word has always been less expensive. Your thougths.

Tom Crandall
Tom Crandall March 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Eddy, you are correct--Google can and does index dynamic pages. I didn't articulate otherwise. I stated that dynamic URL's prevent the AA.com web page from ranking in Google for desired keyword sets such as "cheap flights" (included in the title tag and header of the web page identified in my screenshot).

I would discourage brand managers/leadership from using the number of dynamic pages indexed in Google as a KPI to measure success. A better approach is to monitor visibility for branded and non-branded searches, assess click-through success, and ultimately the conversion rates of desired actions.

There are additional benefits to rewriting URL's as well. Take a look at these two URL's:

http://www.kay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryProductsViewAllView?storeId=10101&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&categoryId=15057&topCatId=15051&bcCatIds=15051.15057&Ne=1&N=0&Ntk=Category&Ntt=15057

And

http://www.kay.com/engagement-rings.html

Which URL looks more relevant for the search "engagement rings?” Which URL looks more trustworthy? Which will get a higher CTR? Which URL's keywords will be emboldened in the SERP snippet?

Another argument for URL rewrites is to avoid duplicate content. Another is to ensure the flow of PageRank (link juice) throughout all levels of your website (from pages to sub-pages).

The dynamic URL Kay Jewelers currently publishes for their Engagement Ring category page (the first URL above) is never going to rank at the top of Google for the search "engagement rings.” URL's are that important to SEO, especially when optimizing for competitive, non-branded keyword sets.

Eddy Gonzalez
Eddy Gonzalez March 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Useful and interesting article.

On the point about AA.com though, Google can and does index dynamic pages if, as in the case of AA.com there are direct links to that dynamic content.
A quick search on Google shows that GoogleBot has indexed hundreds of dynamic pages on the AA site, and interestingly through static URLs like this one, www.aa.com/hotspots.

Jose Amoros
Jose Amoros March 23, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Fantastic insight and better post.
Specially dued to this economic downturn the number of searches have been multiplied by far.

As the number ot chained words when making a seach has been increased to at least 5 ,theese two word searches are getting so much competitive.

As a SEO consultant myself, I will add that organic results are a long term investment compared to the high cost that a competitive PPC word can get.

Susan Kuchinskas
Susan Kuchinskas March 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM

In addition to this smart re-thinking of how we're viewing the word "cheap" these days, this article makes two important points:

First, especially in the travel category, scammy aggregators have tainted natural search results (which only makes the ppc results more valuable -- and more expensive). Second, brands can and should use SEO to take back their place in the organic results.

Michael Hong
Michael Hong March 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM

This is a great insight on digital customer. We need to address what customer wants hear rather than what we want customer to hear. This is a good strategy even for premium brands. At times when economy is soft, even the premium brand have a price driven products and they need to make sure they get the fare share of traffic to their messages.

Anil Kumar Singh
Anil Kumar Singh March 23, 2009 at 8:04 AM

Excellent post.