In the quest for optimizing a series of holistic keywords for your niche, two essential ingredients are (1) creating appealing content (for search engines and humans) while (2) overcoming countless bouts with competitors that are constantly vying for your position.
Aside from vision and resolve, you will need a plan that is search engine savvy to succeed. Organic rankings require extensive amounts of time, maintenance and SEO technique to flourish as they must overcome adversity in search engines to reach the top 10. Since the competition has deep pockets, vast media resources and they are determined to create a keyword-monopoly for their niche, you will need to carve your traffic from an entire series of competitive keywords in order to get a foothold in your industry.
The objective of your ultimate keyword quest is to rule silently through properly managing a collective series of keywords that comprise your keyword empire. Not one or two, but hundreds of traffic bearing phrases should drive visitors to your pages, that is, if you understand the core of what fuels this phenomenon and which steps are involved.
It cannot be overemphasized that, it’s not about one top 10 ranking, it’s about managing multiple top ten positions. If I had a nickel for every top 10 result I ever created, I would be rich. But the fact of the matter is, one top 10 search engine result is hardly enough write home and tell mom about. In fact, unless the keyword is a competitive one, it is just another piece of the puzzle when you are unlocking all of the possible scenarios of varying your anchor text and securing enough unique three word combinations until you can coin the competitive two word or one word term (your Optimal keyword).
STEP 1: Keyword Research | Grasping the big picture of search suggests that;
1. You should research the keywords with the highest possible traffic potential and relevance for your site (in it’s existing state and it’s anticipated strength / demand/ popularity in 3-4 months). Forecasting trends and getting in before they are hot is how many ranking wars are won on a daily basis as the early optimizer acquires the ranking.
2. After the research is conducted, you should create new & unique content using the main keywords in (a) the titles (b) the tags and (c) integrated throughout the page (main keywords at least once in the title, once in the h1 tag and 3-5 times in exact match form on the page). Also note that websites with less than 10-20 pages will have a harder time establishing authority (due to the limited quantity of information) so think rich in your content development strategy and the rewards will be evident over time.
3. After completing the on page SEO, you start building an average of 10-20 links per page for every page you are optimizing (consider this stage 1). Use 10 of your main keywords varied in keyword chronology, acronyms, and key phrase qualifiers (company, services, professional, etc) to blanket the variations for the term and create relevance. For more in depth information for building links, you can refer to other articles we have created.
4. Manage all of the keywords (make sure you maintain a high allinanchor rating for each keyword) use this tool from Nichewatch. Build relevance more than links, but at least 20 links per week from on topic sites. Your not trying to make a killing in the first stage, just get the attention of the spiders and establish positive link velocity.
5. (2 weeks into the project) start conducting searches for the keywords you used in your anchor text to see if the link has been established between your pages, the spiders and the search engine index. This is one method to evaluate the progress, however each search engine has a different time frame on how they index content and assign rankings.
My suggestion is to make sure you socially bookmark all of your posts or build links to your links through augmentation before moving on to stage 2.
STEP 2: Link Acquisition and Looking for link opportunities.
1. Use authority sites as opposed to going for link volume. One way to find relevant topical links is through sifting through the top 10 websites that rank for that keyword (after conducting a search) by using a link discovery tool. Without going to far off topic the basic method of using Yahoo will work just fine using the search command link:www.competitordomainname.com (obviously replace the competitordomainname.com with the domain name you wish to evaluate) look through the pages and see if any of those would allow you to post or get a link as well.
From one standpoint it’s link poaching, from another you are already using a tried and true source for providing a relevant back link that is already augmenting the top 10 websites for the search term.
2. Add quality directories to the mix slowly. You can use Addurl.nu for example to add your pages to directories that have a known ability to produce quality one way links. The key is not too many to fast, otherwise you could invoke a penalty and get sand boxed (have your pages pushed deep in the hundreds vs. the top 10) until the engines decide to lift the offense. So, it’s better to avoid it from the start that shoot yourself in the foot so to speak.
3. Add editorial content to other sites and have them link back to you. Article marketing is a great tool for this. The bottom line is the back link from the authors box, this is something you have control over so if you combine the sheer volume of websites, the back links and the RSS feeds, this alone can be your link building method until you add more relevant links to your pages.
STEP 3: Conquest and Extension of the Empire:
Having narrow SEO vision and obsessing over one top 10 ranking (with keyword blinders on) is not a viable solution for extending your keyword empire. With the same energy you invest pursuing the wrong keywords, you could have simultaneously developed multiple top 10 rankings with the same effort. Think of each key phrase like a unique piece of the marketing puzzle and carefully nurture them all as a collective component to your holistic goal (relevant traffic). Why have a handful of moderately competitive keywords driving organic traffic to your website when you can have dozens of high ranking keywords, producing consistent, pre-qualified traffic from major search engines.
In conclusion, evaluate your search engine key phrase saturation using SEO tools, then continue to build links and add variety to your anchor text to acquire new keywords and key phrases and rinse and repeat STEPS 1 & 2
By now, you should have hit the top 30 with some degree of ease, from there it’s all about fine tuning. If you have predominantly used a narrow range of keywords to build links, now would be the time to reduce the repetition and focus on other semantically related variations using one overlapping word from the previous link building efforts.
If you started with a 4 word combination of keywords, now only use 3 words (mixed up a bit chronologically or semantically) or if you started with 3 word keyword / anchor text, only use the two word root, etc. This will help the word stemming process begin to identify related content in your other pages and reach out to them to slingshot your site into the upper echelon of search queries, by now you will probably notice double listings on your search results as well. These are all good signs that your on topic/ link building efforts are paying off.
The next thing is to add more related content using one keyword from the previous exercises to ensure that search engine spiders have a reason to return.
This should get you well on your way and the final ingredient is timing and the aging process for the pages. Oftentimes link age and the age of the site all come into play and how trusted your domain is. If you want more trust, then have industry leaders condone your pages with links to expedite the process, don’t link out to questionable sources, build relevant topical links and by all means keep producing content. I have seen sites gain authority in 3-4 months (our was one of them) using techniques such as this, but the content is the main ingredient augmented by links from the right sources.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that SEO is difficult, the basics are all that are needed for the majority of the sites we work on. The nature of the industry and the competition are what determine how many tactics you will have to use in concert, but the main thing is, that SEO is extremely time consuming. So if you have better things to do like running your business, then you are better off outsourcing your SEO to the professionals and using a PPC campaign for your most competitive keywords to test the waters for your organic campaign.
Stay tuned for more SEO tactics, tips and techniques from Seo Design Solutions.