So you’ve bought your Dreamweaver, an eternity later worked out how it works, started to build your site which is targeting your chosen niche or promoting your affiliate product and after what seems like forever you have added quality content. You’ve bust a gut to get this far but this is where the real work begins. You need to get your site seen by as many people as possible. You need to drive as much traffic as you can whether it be through a pay per click campaign or via organic traffic.
Let’s say you decide to target organic traffic. You need to get a high ranking in the search engines. During your website construction you have already been using a keyword research tool and a SEO Tool and spending the midnight hours mulling over the chosen keyword phrases your research has indicated you should be targeting on your pages and using in your URL. Your whole site from headings to meta-tags, to meta-descriptions and anchor text are all optimised taking account of semantically related words, keyword density and the long tail.
Next you begin your back link campaign spending hours trying to get quality back links to your site. Social bookmarking takes over your life for days on end, you post on relevant blogs and all relevant forums, you set up your own blog, submit articles to article directories and then submit your entire site to SEO friendly website directories.
Yet more analysis follows, as you now study your competitors websites. You investigate what keywords they are targeting and study the links that they have developed and you develop strategies to be better than they are. Slowly but surely your site climbs the rankings. You constantly update your site adding quality content and before you know it your site is fast approaching the first page. A steady trickle of traffic flows on a daily basis. At this rate you should soon be top of the rankings and then…. the sky’s the limit!
Unfortunately it doesn’t usually quite work like this. Yes it is true that if you have picked some long tail keywords to target you may be able to get somewhere near the top of the rankings or indeed even to the number one spot. In most instances however the traffic won’t be great and you would need to get each page of your website targeting a different long tail phrase and getting to the top of the rankings for that phrase each time for the total traffic to be lucrative. It’s certainly possible but does require a lot more graft.
For very popular keyword phrases it proves incredibly difficult to dislodge the top sites from their positions, even though in theory you may know that you have better back links and better content. Without the top positions the mass traffic will never be yours. It is just so frustrating as you probably know, I certainly do. So you go away and you research again and you analyze again and you spend days poring over the detail and you work and you work and you know what, it makes not one jot of difference. You just cannot crack the top spots. Why not? How many times have I asked this of myself?
Now perhaps your tactics aren’t quite right. Perhaps the phrases you are targeting are the wrong ones or perhaps you’re back links are not quality back links. Do you have the quality of content on your site that you think you do? Yes, yes, yes, I hear you say. So what is going on? Well it could be something as simple as the age of your domain.
Google places a lot of trust in back links, especially quality back links to your site, but it also places significant trust in sites which have been around for a significant period of time. This is especially true if they are frequently updated. In many cases the top ranked sites are trusted sites as far as Google is concerned, because they have an authority status due to their back links but also due to the length of time they have been operating. If your site is an equal to a competitor’s site in terms of content and back links, but it is a far newer domain, there will be little chance of you dislodging your competitor from the top slot. The sites that have been there for five years serving the web community carries a lot of trust with Google.
To dislodge these sites requires tremendous effort to create quality back links and sometimes you may never achieve it. It can be done however, you just need to be aware of what is going on and keep persevering. Some internet marketers have resorted to buying old domains in an attempt to overcome this challenge and then build the website around the domain. I’m not entirely sure how Google reacts to this, especially if you are adding new content on a continual basis. Does the domain itself carry an inherent trust because of its age or is it the content that carried the trust from the old website?
Either way it’s worth exploring as one of the tactics along with keyword analysis and building back links that you could adopt in an attempt to get higher rankings and hence higher rates of traffic.