|or the veterans know the secret but nobody shares? |
There are plenty of experienced veterans here who are more than willing to share. And they do. There aren't any secrets.
[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 7:34 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2007]
The veterans know how, but most people on here do not listen. Instead they complain because suggestions actually mean work.
Face it, look at most of the sites that complain html coding! 200 plus errors. Come on, if you can not get your coding right or your site to display properly on every browser you have no business being a webmaster.
For people who listen, I share but most choose to just complain on here and eventually they go away over time because their site fails..
I try to share within reason. The rules of engagement here make it almost impossible to knowingly step on ones own toes, or the toes of others, for that matter.
Getting #1 is passe. ;)
Now the mantra is getting above the fold (ATF) for 5,000+ medium and long tail terms. No longer are we focused on those one or two terms.
Now we focus on SERP Penetration.
The real secret is to bring in traffic on lots of diverse searches, and not going for a specific #1 trophy. If search traffic is a fish, then:
1. the "head" is the #1 trophy word (only one winner here),
2. the "long tail" is all those highly targeted long search phrases (high conversion, but low traffic)
3. the "fat belly" is a solid variety of 2 or 3 word phrases
The fat belly is what you need the most - and 2 or 3 words is what most searches are made of. Different fat belly phrases may rank anywhere on the first or second page and still be valuable.
Once you're in the index, you're almost bound to see some long tail traffic. Then work your site with regards to what traffic is already showing up, and you can develop some fat belly traffic. It tastes very good, but it does take work. The key is working with real world results, not abstractions and desires. The idea of "instant website success" is mostly the stuff of infomercials, not the real world.
The funny thing about trophy word traffic - when you get some, you may discover that it's not all that good for sales.
Diversity of keyphrase is the key to stability. That's what people have learned - and some the hard way.
"Take my site to the top" isn't all that specific. Homepage to the top for the brand name? You'd probably expect Harley-Davidson to want their homepage to be #1 on a search for "Harley-Davidson". More likely for many websites would be top 5 for a range of on-topic and popular searches on a page by page basis. There's still a regular discussion focus on that.
The veterans are speaking. I hope you're listening. They often do speak the truth here, but many are so busy looking for what they expect that they can not hear it.
The message P1R and Tedster are sharing has been whispered loudly here for at least 5 years and has only become more useful over that time.
It also works as a lullaby allowing peaceful sleep on nights when Google is dancing wildly in the room next door.
okay, just one question , is page one of a 10 results/page SERPS worth gunning for, or would you settle for a number of page 2s and 3s
I came close to page one with one of my sites, alas it didn't take long for the competition to push me to the bottom of page
It depends very much on the market niche and the specific keyword phrase. Sometimes #11 is better than being below the fold in the top ten, and sometimes anything except page #1 is like the outer darkness.
Study the top 5 on that SERP and decide if you can realistically summon the resources needed to compete. You may decide that you can, or you may decide to focus your resources more directly on your existing traffic -- by providing more and better content for your most popular search terms, getting more repeat sales, improving conversion and so on.
Sometimes Google bestows the most amazing rewards on sites that are all-out focused on being awesome for their visitors,
Being on the first page makes a huge difference. I forget the numbers from the studies, but IIRC something like 80% of searchers stop after the first page.
"Diversity of keyphrase is the key to stability. That's what people have learned - and some the hard way."
I'll second that opinion. Last month, people found my site using 37,000+ different keyphrases.
I just lost a SEO client today. Another SEO outfit convinced her that I was focusing on too many keywords, and that they would concentrate their efforts on just a small number of phrases within her niche.
Now that I've gotten her site on the first page for a wide variety of terms, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.
I've found that a side effect of focusing on the long tail is picking up the trophy words.
Its a nice side effect but i'll take the security provided by the long tail any day over trophy words. I'd rather have 2 visitors a day from 1000 different search terms than 2000 visitors per day from one search term.
|Being on the first page makes a huge difference. |
That's true, IF you're on page 1 for the terms your target audience actually uses.
But far too often webmasters focus on terms they think are important, but that their target audience seldom uses.
Try to think more like your target audience and less like a webmaster.
would you believe that I've seen sites in our sector actually bragging that they are number one for google searches for "Blue Widgets"
And they are... but why.... What good could this possibly do?
the second in the list is a freaking blogspot running google ads and of course it mentions the one that ranks number one! .. grrr.
I'm far from a veteran, still a lot to learn, but I second the view that it all depends on your market. Here's the things I've learnt so far.
The difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc(all results being relevant) is usually doubled/halved traffic even in small to medium demand terms.
I manage around 50 sites, 2 in competitive markets. One has had traffic all the way up because there are many long tail terms. The really competitive ones are still two/three words and there's lots of them. Sometimes you get clicks from page 3 or 4. The other has very few long tail terms that produce very little traffic comparatively. It contains a lot of technical content written by the client, not me, and if there were long tail terms they should be popping up, so I'm guessing here therefore that the main term I'm getting within reach of is the 'holy grail' - it, and only it will really do.
Repress the urge to get to the top with one or two word key phrases.
Instead cover the topic, eventually you'll get a very large part of the distribution.
I know of a site that ranks page 1 for 180,000+ key phrases composed of 20,000+ key words, that equates to better than 20,000 uniques/day.
The game isn't lost it has just changed.
I like positions 3 and 4. But it also depends what your focus is. For one specific site that I work with, the top three sites suck! Ours simply delivers a better user experience and better and more compelling content. So when visitors get there, they know what they are not looking for, they're happy to find what they want, they actually bookmark, they come back and traffic grows steadily. The advertisers like that and revenue grows. We don't want to move from those positions for our most important key phrases.
Position 1 may have prestige, but I prefer the position that makes the most money. :-)
A lot of the first page results click through rates depends on the meta description. If its wrote well you will have a good audience clicking on you.
|Last month, people found my site using 37,000+ different keyphrases. |
It's mind boggling isn't it. Anyone who hasn't done it should look at their site stats to see how many words are used to find pages on their sites. I used to just pay attention to the top search terms in my stats, no more.
I love the fat belly concept. That's what I mostly concentrate and I find the long tail comes along as the fat belly gets fatter.
I love being in the top 5 for my number one single key word. It's an ego thing. But the truth of it is that the word only brings only 2% of my traffic.
55759 different keyphrases although the main ones we get best conversion from where we are top 5.
We see more traffic now for long tail organic than we did six months ago for T1 positions in Google using adwords on the prime phrases. Conversion rates are a little lower though. For the ellusive phrases we only rank top 10 in g.com and top 30 in g.co.uk and don't see much traffic from them at all, but the site that is #1 only does 30% of what we do now in terms of actual conversions.
Searchers have gotton much smarter in what they are looking for and tend to use far more specific search terms than 'widgets' or 'blue widgets'
pageoneresults is so right. Now its like "spamming" google, only with lots of unique content. More pages you have, more positions you get, its as simple as that.
Just obey all the t&cs and you should never have a problem.
Also a lot of people these days are just happy to get sites out of the sandbox, as oppossed to getting #1.
Having said that though, I did just achieve a #1 position for my main keyterm last month.
But I think I also read some where that 50% of all searches are unique.
|Paul Roberts UK|
this is a fantastic discussion :)
with reference to the percentage of users who click where, there was a study done april last year which shows the importance of 1st page, and within first 3 pages...
|WATERTOWN, MA, April 11, 2006 — According to new research conducted by Jupiter Research and sponsored by iProspect, “The iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study” reveals that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. |
I'm interested in getting #1 (or maybe #2 or #3) - but across 300 different terms that are completely off my radar....
I do get a bunch of traffic on my "big" terms - but the "inexpensive sprockets of good quality" type terms bring in over 50% of all traffic
what's been working for me lately:
- 200-400 words of new on-topic real content each day
- on each page link out to 1 or 2 other on-topic sites of good quality (don't worry about pagerank so much - just don't link to junk) - I think this is a big deal now.
- "drop" 2-4 keywords in each article - link them back to other "focus" pages on your site
I think the trick is to create new content of decent quality - while -mostly- forgetting about SEO (but not entirely forgetting about SEO)
|pageoneresults is so right. Now its like "spamming" google, only with lots of unique content. More pages you have, more positions you get, its as simple as that. |
Just obey all the t&cs and you should never have a problem.
Ouch! I'm guessing pageoneresults and spamming in the same paragraph might not be what POR intended! :)
I concede that millions of pages of unique content might increase visitors - but that's not it. That won't make you rich in itself. Chances are nobody will link to it, nodody will read it and even when they do... and here's the slam dunk... nobody does anything with it. If nobody does anything with the content you create, it wasn't worth the e-paper that it wasn't written on.
The magic - for me - is understanding that SEO is not a marketing channel in its own right, so much as a measure of the strength of your other marketing channels to influence SEO.
There is little "hidden" but even less is "understood". That doesn't mean it isn't transparent.
I'll never forget something Shak once said... and he never pretended to be an SEO guru... He said "It seems to me, the best way to get to the top of a search result is to get all the other guys on the front page to link to you".
There. That's the secret sauce. If anyone thinks that's achieved through emailing everyone in the serps, they perhaps misunderstood the meaning of "link". I tried to say it was about the user from the outset. Maybe Shak should have been clearer:
"It seems to me, the best way to get to the top of a search result is to get all the other guys on the front page to recommend you. On the site, in the pub, on the street".
Now we are getting towards a sustainable business model.
I agree with everyone on the mass diversifying of keywords.
Sites with a broad range of topics can accomplish this easier.
|Now the mantra is getting above the fold (ATF) for 5,000+ medium and long tail terms. No longer are we focused on those one or two terms. |
Now we focus on SERP Penetration.
For several reasons the areas we used to promote where single word money terms would bring in rain...theya re all but gone. Now we need to focus on getting more, and yes longer searches. It's never been about losing or winning - it's about MONEY :)
Don't get me wrong, there are still some monster money terms, that #1 is the goal for, but I dont recall ever actually talking about it, I asssumed it was implied that we all strive for the top?
Lastly, people have changed the way they search as every study suggests. 3-4 word queries are for more common than before and one would be foolish not to adapt to this,
|"It seems to me, the best way to get to the top of a search result is to get all the other guys on the front page to recommend you. On the site, in the pub, on the street". |
Hmmm...it might be tough for the people on the street to remember - buy-this-miracle-diet-pill-fast-online-today-but-wait-theres-more.info
Maybe i need to get thousands to help me announce my love for beer during superbowl somehow.
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