Competing For Organic Search Hits

Posted by By at 23 December, at 18 : 45 PM Print

Competing For Organic Search Hits

Search - OrganicallyIf you ask any consultant how to rank on the first page in google, they’re going to probably tell you its a combination of effort, luck, some google “magic sauce,” relevance, patience and targeting a niche market.

No matter how great your writing is, no matter how awesome your site looks, you may still have issues gaining traffic to your site because you’re on page 99 of google’s search results. Let’s face it, if you’re on page-3 of the google search results you might as well be on page 300. I’ve had plenty of pages arrive on page six and seven and I’ve had some clicks… but it’s never relevant. If they’ve not found a site to service their needs in the first five pages… you’re probably way off from what they are looking for, or a re-hash of something they already don’t care about.

Problem One: Effort

You’ll have to put in a lot of effort to receive page-1 or even page-2 results in google. It doesn’t happen over night, so be patient. In a highly competitive keyword space it also won’t happen on a single blog post.

Here are two scenarios, you are considering a site to write about “video games” because you know a lot about them, or “baby carriages” because you’ve recently had a kid and you feel you know enough about them to write articles involving baby transportation in the way of a carriage. Which one will be more profitable?

The average cost-per-click for a video game keyword ad is:

Video Games - CPC

The average cost-per-click for a baby carriage ad is:

Baby Carriage - CPC

So, technically you’ll make more money on the keyword baby carriage as long as you realize the total searches are going to be much less (almost half says adwords traffic estimator). I don’t think it’s any surprise that more people are interested in search for video games than they are for baby carriages.

So, video games is the place to apply all our efforts, right? Maybe not. Do a quick search for video games and you’ll see something like this:

Video Games Search Results

If you do a search for baby carriage you’ll see something like this:

Baby Carriage Seach

You may discover, as I did, there are many less competitive pages for baby carriages, 323,000 compared to 799,000,000 for video games. Judging your competitive marketplace you’ll see it will be far easier to rank on page-1 on google for baby carriages and they’re going to give you better ad pricing (in general) using adsense.

What does this mean to you, the blogger? The market space is less competitive for baby carriages and thus you’ll have an easier time ranking on the first page of google’s organic search results. Less people are searching for baby carriages, however, you’re more likely to be the one getting clicks if you try hard enough because ranking for video games on any of the initial google page results is going to be a rough road. In the end, you’re effort will pay off much higher for something with less search results.

Problem Two: Luck

There is some luck involved with organic search. Some days people won’t do that many searches for your content, or, if it’s season dependent, some seasons may receive less organic search results. The next nature of luck… are the competitive sites trying to rank for your keywords any good at it?

To change your luck, you can do some deeper research and check the top ranked sites to see if they use the meta-keywords field or have content that’s really relevant to the search keywords. You can take what could be random luck and focus it into a well thought out plan and avoid having to rely on a lucky roll of the keyword.

Luck also plays into the niche field you’re getting into when writing content. You can start writing about a topic that’s rarely talked about on the Internet and then, one day, it becomes a huge hot button topic and you find yourself getting traffic you never though you’d get. Luck can be awesome at times.

Problem Three: Google Magic Sauce

How organic searching works is a mystery, a well-understood mystery, but it’s still a mystery none-the-less. SEO experts have found ways to “game the system” by making your content more relevant to google; crafting your text in a specific manner…using good keyword density but not overdoing it, is a good example of some basic SEO practices. You can take their advice and follow it like the SEO bible and google can change their sauce at any time and all your effort goes to the gutter.

Luckily for you, google tries to make subtle changes to their system and not revamp their organic search system from the ground up. Some subtle changes may indeed change how you rank in search results but those are the issues a Search Engine Optimizer deals with on a quarterly basis (usually google updates their ranks and such every three months, “big changes” will probably come at this time).

Problem Four: Relevance

Your content will have a specific relevance when it comes to how google views your site since an automated system is scanning your words, not a human. When writing content focus on what your site is about and less about other random stories. If you’re making a blog about baby carriages you probably want to shy away from talking too much about products outside the space or writing articles about other industries.

If you start changing your topics you may start arriving on page results not truly pertaining to your overall content. It will be hard to keep subscribers coming back if they think you’re about one thing but you’re really a site about something entirely different. And, adsense will start giving you ads that aren’t related to the keywords you originally did research on. You don’t want ad’s that are low pay CPC when your research ads that are high CPC.

Problem Five: Patience

Don’t expect to rank the day your site opens up. It may take a few weeks or a month before you see a single organic search arrive on your site. Using google analytics or 103bees to monitor your organic searches will allow you to see what’s going on in terms of search traffic. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, patience is key to so many areas of a good blog or website.

Google likes sites that grow slowly, over time, they also give higher weight (or so people say) to sites that are well aged, so your competitors whom have been around for six years or more will usually show higher than you for the same keywords. That’s okay, people don’t always click on the first result in google, they’ll read the meta-description that google presents before clicking (usually) or at least the title of the result. They also may click on many of the first page results while doing research.

Keep at it for six months or so and see what you can do with your site. Watch the search results to see how people are finding your site and focus on what’s working. It’s important to realize this may not be what you want to work in all cases, but making money sometimes requires you to do things you may not want to do (in moderation anyway).

Problem Six: Niche Market

This is, by far, the most lectured topic in search engine optimization and web marketing in general. Selling a product someone else already has market dominance over is going to be frustrating and if you’re a low-budget shop (or have little time) try sticking to something that’s not so overdone…baby carriages for instance. If you’re not passionate about the topic you can look around for something else or do some research and learn the topic anyway, perhaps you’ll grow fond of it.

If you really want to do video games or something like that, pick a specific genre of video games (Role Playing Games, Racing Games) or a single video game fan site and dedicate your time to it. Just remember, if you grow bored of that video game you’re still going to have to maintain the site if you want to bring in ad revenue. As a blogger who writes about video games I’ll tell you up front: it’s a long frustrating road before you gain any type of search hits that net you revenue.

If you want to write about “news” on your topic make sure their is a lot of news going around because you don’t want it to dry up and go stale. News sites also require much more effort and consistently daily blogging (hourly is best) to keep people interested. News, on the Net, doesn’t last long so you’ll always be searching for the next hot story.

You can pay USD $5,000 in consulting fees to learn this, or take my word for it… targeting a niche market is going to be the difference between making some money and making nothing. Affiliating with a niche market is also a great idea if you don’t plan on selling products yourself and play to rely on ad-revenue to make a dime (more dimes with affiliating + ad’s than doing only one). Provide niche market content to help your readers make an intelligent decision about a product and continue to update it to keep those fans coming back for more.

Have Fun!

If you want to write daily content you must enjoy it or it will grow more like a “real job” that you hate to commute to each day. Enjoy yourself, have fun writing content and be smart about what you’re doing.

Good Luck!

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One Comment

  1. Competing For Organic Search Hits…

    If you ask any consultant how to rank on the first page in google, they’re going to probably tell you its a combination of effort, luck, some google “magic sauce,” relevance, patience and targeting a niche market….

    PlugIM.com, 10 years ago


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