Websites that are adept in SEO have inherent self defense in search engines. Call it the grandfather effect, topical relevance, term frequency, link popularity, authority or whatever you like, but challenging a contender for a competitive keyword is not to be taken lightly.
After hearing “how long will it take to rank in the top 10 for – THE BIG KEYWORD” enough times from prospects, we could not resist the need to address the conditional aspects of SERP positioning and domain authority.
Those interested in acquiring a page one position for competitive keywords justifiably have a valid point (regarding investment and ROI), however, the answer boils down to how vested your approach, budget and relevance for a given keyword are quantified.
Don’t think just because you started a new website that search engines are going to bow down, stop the press and allow you to cut in line like a VIP. You’ve got to earn your spot through citation and peer review like those before you, however, there are ways to expedite the authority process.
At the end of the day, those who are creative, consistent and methodical can reap the rewards of applying just enough pressure to advance in search engines, but not too much to get a penalty. Search engines are delicate; there is a unique balance that must be acknowledged from the onset, depending on the markets, the competition and you.
Keeping things natural is more than just a catchy phrase, it becomes imperative that enough optimization is applied to “stay ahead of the pack”, but not too much SEO to go “over the top” into the penalty box.
Snatching the Pebble
At the risk of dating myself; for those of you who were around for the Kung Fu series on TV back in 70’s when David Caradine was just a new actor. To paraphrase the grand master from the reminiscent scene of the Kung Fu master proclaiming, “Grasshopper” that being the new website, “when you can snatch the pebble from my hand, then you are ready”.
Much in the same way (aside from the analogy), that is how domain authority works. Those websites in front of you did something at some time or acquired a link from someone who did that impressed the search engine algorithms enough pass the seal of approval an elevate them from the gauntlet and put them in front of you.
Like it or not, the fact is, you could attempt to dissect the reason why by fumbling through backlinks, studying links or meta tags, or trying to calculate when, why and how. Or, you can simply give in to the fact that just like Pepsi and Coca Cola, the secret ingredients that mitigate relevance belong to search engines alone that control the relevance thresholds required to advance in their index.
Diversifying your Keyword Portfolio
The takeaway here is, sure, you could target that one super competitive keyword and toil away in an attempt to finally capture the flag after months of pursuit (with zero ROI during the interim) or, you could target keywords within your reach and rank above the fold for hundreds of intentional and unintentional keywords as a result of structured SEO.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
The choice is yours, just like the stock market, you can focus on a few picks or diversify your approach towards keyword continuity and market share and hedge your keywords performance by applying a distinct type of optimization. This type of optimization allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labors along the way while chipping away at THE BIG KEYWORD a.k.a. root phrase that is the target of hundreds if not thousands of competitors who are vying for the #1 spot.
For those spiteful enough to breeze through the preface to extract the gist, the real takeaway is this:
- Understand the competitive landscape of your industry
- Look for modifiers to target less competitive phrases
- Multiple top 10 rankings can drive more conversion than one competitive keyword
- Use an adequate content development, link acquisition and internal linking strategy
- Be patient and observe your analytics for keywords rising on the relevance horizon
- track conversions then dig into synonymous keywords to capture multiple top rankings positions
Naturally, the generalizations seem nebulous in their scope, but if you can appreciate the strategy behind the tactics, then surplus is the result not deficit. You just have to be honest enough to know where your website is, what it is capable of (in its current stature) and what keywords would yield the most revenue and return on optimization time or investment, everything else is merely systematic.