Ok, I’ve left this blog alone for quite long enough, so its time to post something useful. The last post Hacked!, said it all about what can happen when you let your guard drop. The consequences were bad enough for me in that it cost me a lot of valuable time cleaning out all the malware and dodgy links that whoever got into my sites inserted all over the place. They could have been a lot worse had they infiltrated some of my sites that actually make me some money by costing me a lot of traffic.
Which brings me onto a point I just posted about in one of my other blogs about how the unaware marketer can be fooled into thinking they are sitting high in Google’s SERPs and still not be getting any traffic. The post can be found at: Make Money Fast.
What it highlights is that most Internet Marketers, when doing their keyword research to find good, well searched long tail keywords with low competition, then put their site together and work hard with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and after a while they see it appear on page one of the SERPs.
That’s great and they then check their stats to see all the traffic flooding in – and… wait a minute… a mere trickle
How can this be?
Its a phenomenon I recently noticed on a couple of my own fairly new niche sites as well as the make money site I mentioned above. When I search on the keyword term “Fast Make Money”, which the site ranks well for, it actually sits in the top spot on Google. The keyword search program, Keyword Elite, shows that search term gets over 11k monthly searches, so I should be seeing a ton of traffic to that site.
But I’m only seeing a trickle. Why?
Because I, like most Internet Marketers use quotes around my keyword search terms in the search engines search box. Then it dawned on me that most people (who are not Internet Marketers) do NOT use quotes. The keyword search tools do not discriminate between searches done with or without quotes, they just report traffic stats for the keywords searched.
They can be in any order, by the way!
So when I do the search on the same keywords without the quotes, a very different picture appears. The first thing you’ll notice is where your keyword search tool has told you there are X amount of monthly searches and Y number of competing sites on Google, its telling it the way it sees it for the keywords in the order it displays them.
So for Make Money Fast, I see 11.5k monthly searches for only 106k competing sites. That, one would naturally believe, is an extremely good keyword competitor to get into the ring with.
Except its not the whole picture. In reality, take away the quotes and you get 11.8 million competing pages – not such a great bet after all. My own site actually manages to scrape in at the bottom of page two without the quotes, so that’s why it only sees a trickle of that search traffic.
But even that’s not the end of the story.
The keywords themselves are not necessarily in the order that the ordinary organic search traffic surfer keys in, so you then have to look again at different word orders for your keyword. Of course most people won’t search on Fast Make Money, because it doesn’t make sense. They’ll naturally search on Make Money Fast, or even Make Fast Money, as these terms are simply better English!
So you do another Google search on Make Money Fast, and whoa! The number of competing pages changes (9.8 million) and the sites displayed also change with different sites occupying the top places.
This phenomenon occurs with all keyword searches. Change the order of the words, use quotes or don’t use quotes, you get a different result every time.
So what does that mean for all the hard work you just put into trying to dominate your chosen keyword?
It means that you have more work to do. You not only have to rank for that great, high traffic, low competition long tail keyword you thought you’d found, but you also have to rank for different configurations of those keywords and without the quotes too. Makes it all a little more difficult, doesn’t it?
Another point here, which I’m sure will be obvious to you and you probably already thought about it and that is:
The fewer individual “words” that make up your long tail keyword, the better, because it means fewer combinations of the keyword phrase, so more chances for you to rank for the assorted word order alternative for your keyword term.
Of course, single word keywords are best, as in that case, all of the above does not apply – quotes or no quotes it won’t matter, as you’re only dealing with one word to be searched, like Money. Except you’d be going up against 933 million competing pages for that term.
Do you fancy your chances?
Most people, unless they have a very highly rated site simply cannot compete with that much competition, which is why we all work more with long tail keywords instead. It at least gives us a fighting chance. Of course, in niches other than money, politics, health and finance, there is less competition and fewer highly SEO’d sites making up that competition, so you have a much better chance of getting your site onto the front page of the SERPs and attracting that valuable organic search traffic, which will convert into dollars if you’re site is properly SEO’d and monetized. Take something simple, like Asia’h Epperson, for example. Much easier to compete when there are not so many pages to go up against!
Lastly, you might be thinking, “Who cares about the search engines when I get 1000 visits a day to my blog from social networking sites, like Stumbleupon, Digg, Del.icio.us etc.”
Well, if you like having a lot of readers, that’s fine.
But if you want to make money, you need targeted, organic search engine traffic, because they are the people who will click your PPC ads and affiliate banners.
Social traffic visitors to your site tend not to click ads or buy affiliate products. That’s simply because they are Internet Marketers themselves and for one, don’t click people’s PPC ads and two won’t buy your affiliate products. That’s because they most likely already have a Clickbank account themselves and will use their own affiliate id to buy any ebooks or software and have the discount themselves.
If you don’t believe me, and you’re relying solely on social traffic to fill your daily site stats, just have a look at your bank statement and see all the zeros where the Clickbank and Adsense cheques should be…
Ouch! Reality can be painful, can’t it?