Predicting the unpredictable

Even if you sell blue widgets, you should not try to be top of the Google results for searches on “blue widgets”. There, I’ve said it.

I don’t mean you shouldn’t want to be top for searches on “blue widgets”. It’s just that you shouldn’t try. You can get a better return on investment elsewhere.

And how is this so, I hear you ask? Well, let’s just assume that if you had the know-how and put in the investment, you could get that coveted top spot in Google. I would suggest that for considerably less investment, you could get the top spot in Google for ten search terms which each have just one-tenth of the traffic. Or a hundred search terms which each have just one-hundredth of the traffic. The result is the same, but the investment required is far less.

The downside is that you’ll have to do some explaining when the MD says: “I wanted us to be top for searches on ‘blue widgets’, not ‘buy small blue widgets in Melchester'”. But your strategy is nothing that a good Google Analytics trend report can’t back up.

And what are these hundred search terms which each have just one-hundredth of the traffic? The answer is that you just don’t know in advance. A couple of years ago, Google said that of over 6 billion searches made each day, 1 billion hadn’t been seen before. Think about that. It’s an incredible statistic.

What we have to do, as marketers, is to anticipate what those searches might be, and ensure we’re there waiting for them when they come. Almost by definition, it would be an impossible prediction to make. If we can think of a term, it’ll probably have been made before, and quite frequently.

The secret, as many companies are realising, is to have the content ready and waiting. The more words that you have on the site, the higher the chances that you’ll match that search. If a single article gives you a 1% chance of that specific phrase being on your site, then 10 times as many words gives you a nearly 10% chance, and 100 gives you more than a 75% chance (I do the arithmetic so you don’t have to – all part of the service).

In addition, Google favours longer articles. So is commissioning a 1000-word article every month a strategy which will get you significant SEO impact? You bet it is. And measuring the website visitor traffic cleverly will prove it is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.