Third part of this series went up on Search Engine Guide Blog
Secrets of a Professional Link Builder Part 3: Content, Content, Content
Posted by Lisa Stewart November 2, 2006
We hear this over and over again from SEO experts. Content is king. Never has it been more important. Content not only give visitors a reason to come- and stay on your site and gives others a legitimate reason to link to you but it also will increase you chances in appearing high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
It used to be called niche searches but it in the last couple of years the more formulaic “long tail search” term has emerged. The basic principle is that you have bulk of businesses that all are competing over the same phrases. Let’s say 80 percent of related sites are all going after the terms “widgets” and “buy widgets” and maybe 20 other similar keyword phrases. In a market where you may have hundreds or thousands competitors being able to rank for handful of top keywords will take a lot of money and a lot of time.
Why spend all your money and time on 20 terms you may NEVER rank for when you can cast a wide net and go after HUNDREDS of terms you most certainly will rank for with success. Think of it as promoting more of lots of things (in this case keyword phrases) and less of a handful of things. “Sell” lots and lots of combinations of words rather than trying to sell the same 20 words everyone else is selling.
It’s why page rank (as in Google Toolbar page rank) really means very little. With right terms you can make any site rank in search results. You may not rank for highly competitive terms, like “widgets” but most certainly will with combinations of words using “widgets” like “buy widgets in Wichita” or “widgets made of wool”
The easiest way to “sell” or promote lots of phrases is to cast a wide net. Do this with content- lots of content. Pages and pages of well optimized content. I recommend to all my clients that the first thing should do is start a blog. Not only will it brand themselves as an expert on “widgets” but it will create pages of content with all kinds of keyword phrases. A blog the easiest way to publish SEO friendly pages onto your site. No ongoing ftp-ing and no extensive html knowledge required. If you can write an email you can publish a blog.
If you have ever looked at your web starts or analytics you may have been surprised at the way some one found your site. I have an AdSense blog and a while ago I noticed that one word popped up a couple times in my stats- was a craft project I was working on. I experimented a little and worked this word into a series of posts . Within a few DAYS , not only was there a permanent spike in traffic but my AdSense income went up. Using that information on a small hobby site and applying it to other blogs took my earnings from a cheque every couple of months and enough for a night out at the movies with the kids to a cheque each month that pays for a new minivan. ( Yes, I admit it- I drive a minivan! Gulp.)
Write about what you know. Write about your passion. If your work or business is not something you know about or even feel passionate about then work at becoming an expert or find a business venture you do feel passionate about.
When writing content or writing for your blog write about your passion or your business or service. Write about how daily events affect your business. Write about anything new or in the news that can relate to your product or service. Offer advice and tips that can’t be found elsewhere or in one place.
If you are a real estate agent, this time of year you can write about how the winter weather forecast affects housing prices, is Christmas a bad time of year to sell? Why do mortgage rates go down in an election year? Curb appeal and Christmas decorations, etc. Tips for moving in Winter, etc.
Are you making and selling your own bath and body products? Write about the ingredients and where they come from, what their properties are. Offer a free recipe for a home made “something” that kids can do for Christmas gifts, creative ideas for wrapping presents, ways (and products) that help cope with holiday stress.
All of these pages of content will contain potential keywords. Keeping it topical will increase your chances of people finding you (will also be easier to write) and coming back.
I will often see sites with outbound links to other sites that offer information that relate to their products. For example- an online florist that links to a wedding planners site for advice on planning a wedding. This is a missed opportunity. Provide this information yourself. With my own blogs I use MyBlogLog to see where people are clicking OFF the site. I can look for patterns and provide that information myself. If people are looking for it- provide it. Why send them somewhere else?
If creating original and valuable content on your site will increase your ability to be found in search engines, give people a reason to link to you, brand yourself as an expert and drive more targeted traffic to your site. What are you waiting for?
Recommended Blog Software: WordPress
More information on long tail search and its marketing applications: Wired.com
Other Parts in this Series
Secrets of a Professional Link Builder Part 1: It’s the Keywords, stupid
Secrets of a Professional Link Builder, Part 2: Anchor Text Away!