With two parts under our belt, let’s do a little review.
You’ve found some keywords with some decent traffic and sites that are “reachable” because of a lack of on-page optimization. You then began to build your own site, optimizing for your keywords. You’re using <h1>, <h2> and so on, tags, you’ve got a site map (also uses <h1>, <h2> and such), you’ve got an OPML file for your pages, and you’ve got a keyword density somewhere around 2.5 percent.
You then went out and obtained text links (probably using a text link broker) to your site, and those links use your keywords. On top of that, you’ve followed other bits of advice in other articles I’ve written here on SEO Chat, and your site has an RSS feed, and it has a blog (with an RSS feed of its own).
Finally, you are regularly and consistently adding new content to your site so that Google and Yahoo feel the need to come back and respider your site often.
Doing all of the above will allow you to absolutely crush the competition for your “lower level” keyword such as “dog training.”
At this point however, what if you want to be at the top for a major “base” keyword like “dog” that garners massive amounts of traffic? Getting there is much easier than you might think, and it all starts with this first website that we built.
You see, by following my advice, and funnelling some money into text links, you could (and should) have a page rank sitting around a 5.
All you need to do then is create another website in another similar market, but in a slightly higher category (dog trick perhaps). You follow the same model, but build another site. You get it up to a page rank 5 as well.
Now you have two page rank 5 sites in similar markets, both hitting the top or very near the top of Google’s listings. Both are getting some fantastic traffic, and both are generating even more fantastic sales for you.
Now, at this point you need to know that Google and Yahoo are both very content sensitive. By that I mean that both of them place a very high value on a site that has lots of content (words) … and lots of pages as well.
Both of these engines truly like sites that are “authoritative” for a given keyword and will place such a site higher than a corporate, store, or “mall” type website.
If you want to get to the top of the big keywords, the easiest way to do it, without busting the bank buying multiple thousands of dollars worth of text links, is to build an authoritative website.
So your next step is to build a website that will grow to become the authority on all things dog.
Now you may be thinking that such a site exists already. So what? You aren’t going to exactly go head to head with them. Instead, you are going to “sneak” by them … stealing their secrets even … and rocket right by them before your competition even knows what hit them.
You see, this authority website will start by being an authority only for your already chosen keywords, which in our example are Dog Training and Dog Trick.
You’ll add content regarding those items first. You’ll link to this new website from your other two sites (thus giving it good rankings thanks to two other PR 5 sites linking to it).
This authority site will begin to obtain traffic of its own, and of course it will be recommending your products. Remember though, the idea here is for this site to be an authority, not simply a “salesperson.”
You’ll set your site up similar to the others, giving it an RSS feed of its own.
Finally, you’ll pull up the tools mentioned in the previous two parts of the series and begin to steal from the top two or three players in the market. Here are two important questions you need to ask as you go about your work:
Who’s linking to them and what link text is being used?
What can you do to improve on that?
Keep in mind that by optimizing what is now three sites, one specific to dog training, another specific to dog trick, and an authority website that hits both keywords, you’ll actually be driving traffic, page rank, and rankings, up for all three because of the cross linking that you can do.
Now, for content, you’ll certainly want to begin finding other authors who will simply give you content. Often (especially for a keyword like “dog”), you can easily find people who will do this in the newsgroups and discussion forums related to your keyword. You may even find the content you need in the postings themselves.
In other words, your strategy here is to utilize your “authority” status (and again, Google will automatically rank you higher for being such a site) to get other “experts” in the field to give you articles simply to be associated with you.
In fact, one of the top ranked sites for “dog” in Google is http://www.dog-play.com. By all means, take a look at everything they are doing.
Even better is the operation being run by http://www.dogbreedinfo.com.
Both are little more than authority sites. The thing is, as authority sites go, they are weak. The sites aren’t updated very often, and what little is there isn’t very detailed, or simply links off to some other site.
Further, both are missing several on-page optimization secrets I’ve taught you, and are relying very heavily on their backlinks to keep them ranking high. In short, these sites are absolutely ripe for the picking, and they garner top rankings for one of the planet’s most searched for keywords!
In other words, if you want to get to the top, you get there by finding a niche you can go after and win. Then you build another site in a slightly higher market, and win in that one too.
Then you build an authority site … and you completely clean up. It should be noted that you can quite easily build the authority site immediately following, or better yet in tandem with, the creation of the initial site. This will give you a much longer amount of time to get content added and truly build the site up.
Your competition simply will not be able to compete against that.
By being #1, you’ll be getting tons of traffic, and that traffic will be hitting your authority site. That means that you will be thought of as the authority in the eyes of the customer. When you, as an authority, make a product recommendation, it’ll be listened to.
You see, becoming #1 on Google isn’t that hard. Use the right optimization factors and you too can be like dogbreedinfo.com and sit at the top.
However, if you want to truly build business, then you’ve got to think of Google, Yahoo, and MSN in a whole new light. You’ve got to be thinking search engine marketing instead of just search engine optimization. You see, any idiot can optimize a site and buy some links to drive a site to #1. A smart business, however will be as concerned with how a potential customer views the business, as they are with how it is found.
Let me ask you something. Do you think traffic that arrives at your site thanks to a beneficial “review” in … oh, lets say the New York Times … would be better, and more likely to result in sales, than someone simply “showing up” at your site from a search engine?
The reason that authority websites are so powerful, and so directly translate into improved sales, has to do with that previous paragraph. The New York Times is viewed as an objective authority.
That means that, if you build an authority website yourself, you too can drive traffic to your “product” sites. You too can drive hungry traffic just itching to give you their wallet. You too can be the authority, letting people know which products to buy (yours of course) and which sites are the best to buy from (yours of course).
Now before this article generates a ton of flame responses, let me say now that you do not want to misrepresent yourself. Your authority website should say that it is being run by you and that you own the other sites. You don’t need to hide that fact. After all, you had to become an authority somehow, didn’t you?
Further, by being upfront with the fact that you own those sites, people that do view you as an authority will buy from your sites over others simply because they’re your sites. You’ll actually get more sales by letting people know that “you” the authority and “you” the owner of the web business are one and the same.
You’ll be tying your good name and reputation, built and made stronger by the authority site, into the other businesses.
In part four we’re going to talk about how to actually get listed above the number 1 spot in Google … and no, I’m not talking about Google Adwords either. What I’m talking about is better than that.