‘Tell me where I am going to die so I won’t go there.’ That’s good philosophical advice from billionaire Charlie Munger. This is especially true it comes to digital marketing courses and services.
No Do Not Publish 200 Pages
I once attended an SEO course whose trainer preached that a great strategy to launch an SEO campaign is to publish 200 pages (not blog posts) targeting long tailed commercial keywords, that other businesses aren’t targeting or are ‘weaker’ based on his method of determining keyword competition: the number of post or articles already targeting that keyword.
Here’s the strategy. It isn’t complicated:
- Find a niche with 200 commercial keywords
- Outsource content around these keywords
- Publish them and get initial traffic that way
- Use off page SEO strategies such as paying a blogger to publish an article pointing links back to your site
- Try to rank for the short tail keywords after all of these is done.
For the SEO educated, I know, mental face palms.
This method didn’t work for me, so I put on my scientist’s hat and went to research how to actually do SEO, with high quality on page SEO and link building strategies.
Keyword Rankings or ‘Profitability’?
So one of the argument this trainer asserted is that keyword rankings should not be a key performance indicator and that the whole point of SEO is to drive sales. Profitability is a business key performance indicator, whilst rankings is an SEO key performance indicator.
However, since when should keyword rankings should NOT be a KPI when it comes to SEO? I didn’t say it should be the ONLY KPI, however, it definitely IS a KPI.
SEO authority of MOZ has something to say about this:
What if Your Niche Doesn’t Have 200 Commercial Keywords?
Okay, secondly, I questioned him: what if your niche doesn’t have 200 commercial keywords? His answer: then don’t attempt to go into that niche.
So do SEO consultants or freelancers have the luxury to pick our clients? Of course not. How can SEO only work when your niche is huge enough for ‘200 commercial keywords’?
Furthermore, the determinant of a keyword that is going to rank isn’t by it’s length of it’s tail or the number of post or pages already published on that keyword.
It is determined by 1) quality of content 2) quality of backlinks. Simple as that. Companies like MOZ uses metrics such as domain authority and page authority to measure such metrics.
It’s Not the Quantity – It’s the Quality of a Post or Page
Lastly, it’s 2017. heard of Google hummingbird?
Google doesn’t only display results with word for word keywords to users. If you’re determining keyword competiton using those metrics, you’re never going to rank for your keywords.
I refuted his ways and thought. Why should I be going for long tailed commercially keywords with low search volume? Even if I was attempting to rank for these keywords, just because they are long tail, does NOT mean that I was going to rank for these keywords.
Okay, I don’t want to turn this into just a rant post. Brian Dean from Backlinko ranked for the more competitive keywords (and profitable) with just a website 36 pages.
If you’re going to splash 200 pages with zero focus on the QUALITY of a page, you’re not going to rank for a good portion of them. I can guarantee that.
What about on page SEO strategies such as 1900 words of useful content, measuring metrics such as time spent on page, bounce rate, internal links, your images and other metrics?
Secondly, you’re not paying attention to site structure and page authority. Yoast (another well respected global SEO) wrote a good article on this.
Huge Missing Puzzle: Your Informational Keywords
When you publish 200 pages on commercially valuable long tailed keywords, even if you do not track your keyword rankings, you may get a drizzle of traffic.
If you’re going to build a site only targeting commericial keywords, you’re missing out on potential social media shares, articles and informational keywords that can get you both traffic and backlinks.
When you publish high quality guides targeting informational keywords such as: ‘how to do on page SEO‘, and assuming you promote it right way, it’s a great way to get social shares and do follow links from other blogs and authorities in your niche.
You’re definitely not going to get links if you target only 200 pages of commercial keywords.
Lastly, he asserted is that one of the reasons he goes with the 200 keywords was that you don’t really have control over your rankings.
I actually find it cool for an ‘SEO guru’ to actually say: Google ‘gives you your rankings’.
Okay, I see more face palms.