This isn’t the first time I preached about how important quality content is for your website. In my opinion, if search traffic is important to you, then need to be adding large amounts of quality content to your website. Is it possible to build content light sites and still rank well for certain keywords? Sure, but you would be missing out on another gold mine – long tail searches. Not only that, but you run the risk of Google “catching up with you”. Meaning that Google’s is always changing its algorithm; sites that play tricks, or are content light typically reap negative repercussions in the end.
Content Should Be Your Number One Priority!
When you think about SEO, the first thing you think about these days is building links. The problem is many SEOers get hung up on this and forget about what is really important – content content content. The reality is that link building is actually the least important part in the process, or at the very least should be the last part of process. I daresay that with great content you can forget about link building entirely, because it will happen naturally. If you have great content on your sites, people will link to it.
A great example of this is a project I started when I was still in the online poker affiliate industry called Poker News Daily. This site was all about content from the very start. It never once purchased a single link, asked for a single link, used any link bait ploys, or had a link building campaign. So, what’s the point? Well, today, according to SEOMoz, Poker News Daily has 559,626 links from 1,484 domains. The point is focus on content and the rest will come naturally.
Here is a great visual representation of how I feel SEOers should approach their projects. Thank you to www.fuzzone.com for the image.
The Importance Of Long Tail Searches:
I mentioned above that long tail searches can be a gold mine. What exactly did I mean by that? Well, most of us are familiar with Google’s keyword tool. It allows you to input a key phrase and then see how many times it gets searched. For instance, “WordPress themes” get searched about 800,000 times per month. It’s certainly a key focus of mine to rank as high as possible for that term on wordpressthemes.com. However, consider this – only 22% of Google searches are for what is known as head terms. This means long tail searches account for the other 78% of searches, or another 3,000,000+ searches.
The great thing about long tail search terms is that they are significantly less competitive than head terms. Even better, they also have been proven to convert significantly better. Let’s use an example from my WordPress themes project. Somebody searching for “WordPress themes” is much less likely to convert than somebody searching for “WordPress themes for corporate sites that are blue with two columns”. This is because when somebody lands on a page with exactly what they’re looking for there is a much better chance of turning them into a customer.
Writing great content, and lots of it, allows you to target these wonderful long tail searches. There are definitely long tail search terms that are worth researching and then targeting articles for. However, Google says that over 20% of their searches have never been searched before. This means that one in five searches today had never been searched before. It’s almost hard to believe, but it’s true. So, with every article you post, you are probably targeting long tail search terms without even knowing it.
Here is a great representation of how the search landscape lays out. Thank you to www.elliance.com for the image.
Case Study With WordPress Themes
I wanted to give you a real world example of how writing lots of great content can help bolster your search rankings and capture a significant amount of long tail search traffic. I purchased a site called wordpressthemes.com a couple of months ago and since then I’ve been posting content on their like a maniac. I’ve averaged 5 to 10 new content pieces per day (although I’ve stepped that back to 3 -5 now). Most of these content pieces are reviews for WordPress themes that I’m an affiliate for. My goal is for people to land on these pages, like the theme that they see, and then go buy it.
So, how has this helped me exactly? Well, if you look at the image below (which was taken directly from my Google analytics account) you’ll see that people found my site by using 1846 different search terms. That was just for the month of January. To be clear, each term only gets counted once. So, if 85 different people found my site by searching the exact same thing, that’s still only counts as one search term.
Of course, I’m trying to rank for terms like “WordPress themes”, “premium WordPress themes”, “themes for WordPress”, and a couple more. This leaves about 1840 different terms used to find my site that I never even thought of. Keep in mind – this is a new site that I’ve only been working on for about 10 weeks. That is the importance of long tale searches.