Help! I Beseech you! - Page 2

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Re: Help! I Beseech you!

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The issue is not how often, or if you are warned.  If your business is built
around organic (i.e. "free") listings in the SE's, then a major change in
rankings can ruin you!

You will know if a big change comes along.  Imagine your traffic going from
12k page views a day to 12.  During the infamous "Florida" update at Google
this was experienced by many.

Ranking across a wide range of terms will help to moderate the impact.  For
example, my main site was found via 1795 different search queries last
month.  Granted, a number of these queries were used 10 times or less, but
many of those were quite specific, resulting in highly qualified traffic.
The other advantage is that no single search term accounted for more than
10% of my SE referrals.  So, if I lost rankings on one search term I would
maintain 90% of my traffic.  If I lost rankings on my top ten search terms I
would still maintain almost 67% of my traffic.

From what I can tell, far too many people make the mistake of trying for one
or two big money terms.  I, obviously, see this approach as a disaster
waiting to happen.

The other advantage is that those niche terms are easier to rank for.  And,
in some cases, a niche term can produce more income than the "big money"
terms. Those searchers may well be looking for a specific item that they
want right now, where the more competitive terms may only bring in people
looking for general information on a subject.

There generally is not a lot of discussion of these deeper strategies in
this NG, as we tend to be dominated by "experts" looking for rankings in the
most competitive terms - terms that require massive backlink campaigns,
targeted anchor text, and often times, huge sites of thousands of pages.
Great for the ego, but not necessarily the best approach for the pocketbook.

The other thing that we see in this NG a lot is people that build a site,
and then go looking for rankings.  That is putting the cart before the
horse.  I know, because I have done the same thing.  The site needs to be
designed around the terms that rankings are being sought for.

Use that Overture tool.  Enter "sleep apnea", "cpcp", "sleep disorder",
"sleep disorders", "snoring", etc. Make a page optimized for each of the
results.  That will keep you busy for a few months, and your site will
quickly become THE authority in the field.  Remember, you only need 500
words or so on each subject.  Becoming an authority site will make it easier
to get links, and in fact will result in many links coming your way without
even asking for them.  Authoritative sites can usually get coveted links
from .gov and .edu domains, always a good thing!  (Although .edu links can
tend to be pretty labile).

  Now start looking at your logs.  You will be surprised by the kinds of
search queries people are using to find your site. check your rankings on
those terms, and where necessary start developing pages to increase your
rankings on those terms.

While you are doing this, start developing pages aimed at local markets.  A
directory of sleep disorder therapists, for instance, could generate
significant traffic.  One of the wonders of the Internet is that a person
looking for local information may well be moved to make a purchase from a
distant location.

That should be enough to keep you busy for a while...

John Merrell
Gateway Farm Alpacas

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