seo lottery tickets

Earlier this week a woman at an event I participated in asked a great question: How do you optimize your site for all the queries that are relevant to your business?

Typical search engine optimization focuses on high-traffic, high-relevance keywords . This is important, but as the woman's question hints, it can't be the only thing your business is focused on.

In addition to high-traffic, high-relevance keywords, most businesses have a long tail of relevant searches that get less traffic.

For example, if you're a Boston-based web design agency, you might focus on a high-traffic keyword phrase like "Boston Web Design." But there are hundreds of other lower-traffic queries that you also want to rank for: "Boston area web design", "Boston area web site design", "Massachusetts web site design" and on and on.

Few of a business' hundreds of variant queries get much traffic on their own, yet in aggregate, they account for an enormous amount of potential search traffic.

How much? At HubSpot, over 95% of our search traffic in the last month came from keywords that are not one of our top-10 referring keywords. In other words, without the long-tail search results, we would be receiving a fraction of the search traffic we're currently getting.

So, back to the woman's question: How do you optimize for low-frequency queries? Even the smallest businesses have thousands of relevant low-traffic search queries, so how can you possibly optimize for them all?

The answer is simple: Create lots of keyword-rich content.

Why? Think of search as a lottery with lots of drawings. If you buy one ticket, you have one chance to win. If you buy lots of tickets, you have lots of chances to win.

In the SEO lottery, content is your ticket .

If you have a site with five pages and no blog , you have five chances to rank in search engines. If you have a site with 100 and pages and a blog with hundreds of posts, you have hundreds of chances to rank. Many of the keywords you'll rank for will get you one or two visits a month, but in the aggregate -- as we've seen at HubSpot -- those long tail search querries will account for far more traffic than the high-traffic queries .

What do you think? How much of your search traffic comes from long-tail keywords? Could you increase this number with more content?

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Originally published Mar 27, 2009 6:48:00 AM, updated July 28 2017