There has been very much of a “black magic” aura around the whole SEO world since its inception, which as a Search Marketeer sort of bothers me. I would be perfectly happy with being labeled a “crazy-scientist”, but magician just doesn’t work for me.
Being a scientist, even with the ‘crazy’ label, implies taking a scientific approach and this is exactly what the SEO world needs the most at this very moment. Let me then put a bit of science into this witches’ cauldron and make all of the superstitions (6 SEO Superstitions) scientifically evaporate from the Search Marketing Mix.
No one would disagree with the fact that Search Marketing is about driving quality traffic. The question is how this can be achieved, and what sort of strategies and techniques one shall apply to do so. Search Marketing, unfortunately, as the new kid on the block, doesn’t have much of an academic background to it. Yet as the offspring of Marketing, whose heritage is indisputably richer, should, in my opinion, take from this heritage by the handful. What is surprising is that it hasn’t done so as yet.
Let’s get to the point then, and turn these words into reality. What if we took the old-school Ansoff’s Product-Market Martix and converted it into Traffic Growth Matrix? All would one need to do is replace ‘Product’ and ‘Market’ with ‘URL’ and ‘Content’. Too simple? All good ideas appear simple once invented. Let’s take a look at the strategies taking shape within the matrix after the swap (see the graph below):
I. URL Penetration (existing urls, existing content) which replaces the original Market Development.
There are basically two ways of increasing traffic to your website without changing neither content nor urls:
NOTE! There is every likelihood that Search Engines will increase the importance of user behaviour data in search algorithms. Therefore, optimising pages for higher CTRs might increase the rankings themselves.
II. Content Development (existing urls, new content) which replaces the original Product Development
The key to this strategy is an analysis of the existing traffic drivers (keywords and landing pages) followed by a gap analysis, and finally the content development itself. The main objective is to make the pages richer in content to hit more on-page long tail phrases.
The 4 key points to make this strategy work are as follows:
It is worth pointing out that the new content for this strategy does not mean that you cannot partly reuse existing content from other pages on your website.
III. URL Development (new urls, existing content) which replaces the original Market Development
The key to this strategy is a taxonomy, very often in conjunction with location-based searches. The beauty of url development lies in rehashing existing content, be it products, articles, news, properties etc. and creating new pages by categorising them into dimensions and segments. The steps one should take to make the most of URL Development are listed below:
IV. Diversification (new url, new content)
This strategy is about expanding your business beyond what is currently known as its core function or core market. This can be achieved by:
To briefly recapitulate, what I wanted to emphasize in this post was that Search Marketing is not about rankings. It is about quality traffic and ultimately about driving business to your site, whatever your business might be. The key message here is that improving the rankings is just one of many techniques which can drive more visits to your site, but the most difficult one at that.
Conclusion: Before you spend months trying to get your website to position one for a limited number of target phrases, try to broaden your horizons and exploit easier opportunities first. Use the Traffic Growth Matrix to find the natural path where your business could grow, but where your competitors are still few and far between.