My Long Tail Content Strategy is Still Delivering Results

I’ve been in the SEO business for a total of 10 years now. I took a break from the year 2000 through 2003 while completing my BS degree at Purdue University. The changes that occurred in the SEO space during those three years were the most profound in my opinion. Google had come out with the PageRank algorithm and the Florida update was all the rage in 2003. I had a lot to learn, but it wasn’t as complicated as some may think. Page titles, meta tags and keyword use in content were still part of the game, but I had to learn how links played a roll in search. More importantly I began to intuitively understand what modern search engines were going to pay attention to. Google basically wants to perform a background check on your website. They want to review references and poll the market about the content on your website.

Recent “news” about the social signals that Google and Bing are now incorporating into search wasn’t actually news to me at all. I’ve been working on systems to “game” social signals with my team at Slingshot SEO for over a year now. Any information or data that Google and Bing can use to determine how popular the content on your website is, they will use. Does someone “Like” your website or post? Did they share it on Facebook or retweet it? All of these factors can and will be weighted differently, but if the data is available for your market modern search engines will use it. Any one of these signals may not tell search engines how relevant your content is, but when they’re combined they paint a picture that is very relevant to these search engines determining what content to rank highly for specific queries.

Now, to finally get to the title of my post. My hobby website is still experiencing amazing search traffic growth. I barely have the time to pay attention to it while growing and managing Slingshot SEO. I haven’t been able to create an effective Twitter or Facebook strategy. I don’t do any link building for the website. Why is it growing so aggressively? My forum members continue to produce relevant content on a daily basis. Just check out the organic search traffic growth in this Google Analytics screen shot.

organic search traffic

To some this may not seem like anything spectacular, but the Buell motorcycle market is VERY niche. When Harley Davidson was still producing these sport bikes it only made up less than 5% of their total revenue. Look closely at the stats and you’ll see how many different keyword phrases have led searchers to visit this website. Although this website has a few basic SEO factors covered, it will never score an A+ on any SEO grading tool. I just haven’t had the time to take care of everything. I’m lucky to get to spend 5 hours or so each month replying to emails and checking in on the forum. What I’m saying is that the core of your SEO strategy should be focused around producing volumes of quality, engaging content. Your users and visitors will find a way to link to it, share it, tweet it and “Like” it.  I plan on trying to spend a little time enabling my visitors to do those very things by adding features and buttons to the forum. For now, my content strategy is allowing my website to experience amazing growth for such a small market.

Content is still King.

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