Monday

SEO for Traffic with Content vs. Ranking with Links



How do you grow your search engine traffic without adding
a single new link or making any changes to your existing
webpages?

It's simple. Just add content.

Simply having keyword-optimized pages of content on your site
won't rank you high for competitive search engine keywords –
that's a fact of life. But keyword-optimized content can really
bring in the traffic for low-competition and unique keywords.
The low-competition and unique keywords are typically longer
multi-word variants of the keyword. For instance, instead
of "search engine ranking," "ranking for search engine traffic
niche keywords."

If you have lots of pages of optimized content–and you optimize
well – all the search engine traffic from these low-competition
keywords will really add up. Plus, you'll usually get more
repeat visitors and type-in traffic, too.

Just picture this realistic example of traffic-building with
content vs. ranking-building with links. Company A invests
$5,000 for link-building in order to rank for a competitive
keyword. Company B invests the same amount, only in content.
Company A and Company B: each start out on equal SEO footing:
equally old websites with the same amount and quality of
content, same content management systems, the same PageRank
and quantity, quality, and relevance of inbound links.

Company A's research reveals that $5000 is just the amount
needed to get on the first page of Google for a target keyword
that should deliver 100 unique visitors per day if the site ends
up in the first position. They dutifully get inbound links
optimized for that keyword, following all SEO best practices.
Three months and $5,000 later, the site is stuck somewhere
toward the bottom of the second page of Google search results
for the target keyword. Six months later, they've actually sunk
a bit lower in the SERPs. The good news is that the site is
getting some traffic from the links built and from the lowly
search engine position, but nowhere near the 100 visitors/day
they were hoping for from search results.

Company B, meanwhile, had content written around a long list of
keywords with little or no competition in the search engines,
using up-to-date search engine copywriting techniques. They've
been enjoying a growing stream of visitors to their site almost
since the first page of content was added. Three months later,
the site's search engine traffic has grown by a hundred unique
visitors per day, or 3,000 per month. Moreover, Company B's
repeat visitor traffic has also jumped. Type-in traffic has
increased, presumably as visitors forward the URLs of useful
pages to their friends. Page views are up, too, not only from
more repeat visitors and type-in visitors, but also from
first-time search visitors staying longer and browsing more
pages. Six months later, the website's content has built a loyal
following on the net, generating even more repeat visitors. The
search engine traffic is as good as it ever was.

What happened?

Pitfalls of Link-Building
for Search Engine Ranking


Company A thought it had a fairly sure thing: build enough
optimized links for the keyword, taking care not to trigger
search engine penalties. Yet as they've discovered, there is
no sure thing when it comes to search engine rankings:

* Over-optimization penalty minefield. The search engines,
particularly Google and Yahoo!, are very risk-averse when
it comes to ranking sites well for competitive keywords. On
the whole, they are perfectly willing to risk dropping
several good sites from top rankings in order to try to
keep one bad site out. They are constantly tweaking their
algorithms to identify sites whose link structures are not
indicative of a quality site. In the process, plenty of
good sites with good SEO also get swept up. This risk of
failure is the inherent risk of SEO. True, most of the
time, a good site with good SEO does move to the top. But
in a large minority of cases, quality goes unrewarded.

* Competition and the moving target. As Site A was moving
up the search engine results for its competitive target
keyword, so were the other sites. There is no rest for the
victorious when it comes for SEO. The top sites for highly
competitive keywords are constantly building new optimized
links. That's why any SEO effort has to aim to do at least
ten percent better than the site currently in the position
it's targeting.

* Lack of keyword diversity. Too often, websites with modest
SEO budgets (and $5,000 is modest when it comes to a
competitive keyword) aim for just a few keywords. Given all
the potential pitfalls of an SEO campaign, you need to be
going after ten or more target competitive keywords, and at
least another ten related but less competitive keywords.
That way, failure for a few keywords won't scuttle the
whole project. Meanwhile, search engines look for diversity
in targeted keywords, so you get much more out of targeting
a larger group of keywords. If you can't afford to do this,
you're really better off not going after competitive
keywords. Sure, you might get those rankings. But what
happens if you've spent your budget and still have little
to show for it?

Meanwhile, the fundamental advantage of pursuing low-competition
keywords is that, by definition, it's much closer to being a
sure thing.

Advantages of Web Content SEO


* Greater certainty. Not only is a page of content extremely
likely to bring in search engine traffic—unlike the similar
investment in links — it won't suddenly disappear. The sites
linking to you might stop anytime, or do something to stop
links' passing search engine value (such as adding the
"nofollow" tag or switching to a search-engine-unfriendly
content management system).

* Cost. Traditionally, copywriting has been more expensive
than link-building. But that's changed. As "nofollow"
link-Scrooge-ry becomes more and more common, and as paid
and reciprocal links get downgraded, the real cost of
obtaining quality links increases. Meanwhile, the
copywriting market has increasingly adapted to the needs
of search engine marketing. To get a search engine visitor,
you don't need a Pulitzer-prize winning essay or a killer
sales letter. You simply need highly focused, readable,
keyword-optimized, information-packed pages of around 250
words each — and more and more copywriting and SEO firms
are delivering this service cost-effectively. Blogs,
meanwhile, let you and your employees add content easily.
Bulletin boards (modified to be search-engine-friendly) let
site visitors add content, too. In fact, "natural content"
from blogs and bulletin boards is now much more viable than
natural link building.

In conclusion, when you look at SEO, don't forget that your
number-one goal is not to rank high for a certain keyword, but
to get more search engine traffic. In some less competitive
sectors, high rankings may still be a realistic and effective
proposition. But increasingly, ranking high for competitive
keywords is no longer the best way to get traffic.
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1 Comments:

At 6:03 PM, Blogger fallos said...

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