So I’ve been beavering away on the Web challenge. I picked a nice easy one for myself to do! This marketing stuff is great craic and fascinating.
I do have to say that I love to learn and I’ve learned a heck of a lot from a lot of smart marketers recently. I’ve also bought some stuff that has been of excellent quality and some that has been not-so-great. I’ve loved the webinars particularly – Kudos in particular to Matt Levenhagen & James Jones who always give great value and insight. Not your average clickbank ‘instant millionare’ bull here!
Anyway I wanted primarily to talk about some sites that I have been building recently. In the past month I’m sure that I’ve built 20 sites of one sort or another, some I have built a couple of times. The process is just so fast with WordPress and some excellent add-on software. I’ve not built a Joomla site in months although WordPress would not be feasible for larger more content-driven sites such as drumdojo and bodojo sites.
Anyway, I wanted to update you on my progress with the challenge to build a site and take it into the top 10 in google and to 100 pages a day. I’ll save the detailed writeup about how for another website that I’ve not yet announced but here’s the outline and probably more detail than I should share
I tend to work in Search Engine niches. Areas of information based around keyword phrases that people are searching for. I try to find areas with high search volume and low competition from other sites. I sometimes build sites in clusters that support each other but only where there is enough differentiation between them and where the keywords bring will different traffic rather than split it.
The site that I have built for the challenge is the third in a set of three based around Formula one. I’m a huge armchair F1 fan and soon to be Coffee table F1 simulator fan (Steering wheel arrived today – all I can do is go brum brum, but hey…)
Given that I’m a domain-truffle-finder and search junkie, it’s natural that I’d be poking around in F1 to see what people are looking for. I was amazed at the domains that I was able to pick up. I got a couple of .coms that match major type-in search terms exactly. The very best kind for what I’m at.
One thing that I should stress about the sites I build is about the standards I set myself for the information they contain. I mostly build sites in an niche into which I have searched only to find a lack of provision. Either that or I see patterns and an opportunity to tie several areas together under a great keyphrase. In my favourite hobby niches if I can’t easily find something, I’ll research it and then create a site on it for those that follow. Not rocket science, honestly.
Any visitors that come to my site should leave with the information they came for or with a better idea of what they are looking for. I can’t please everybody all the time but I’ll put up good a quality effort….
The challenge site is www.FlCircuits.com and deals specifically with … Formula One Circuits, no surprise. It is a very common search term. ‘Ttrack’ is the driving surface and circuit is the place where the race is held. People can’t be bothered to type ‘Formula one’ so it gets F1. The trick is to know what the people actually type in the search box; it is often different from what you imagine is popular – Now information on these Formula 1 circuits is all over the web, so there is an lot of apparent on-page competition in the search rankings. However I have three things in my advantage that I feel should make this easy.
First is that I’m huge F1 fan. I watch most practise & quali sessions, the race itself is a Sunday afternoon no-0ne-come-near-me event. I know some of these circuits like the back of my hand. Monaco particularly having lived a few miles away in the 80s and lucky enough to visit again briefly summer before last. I could talk you that track through bend by bend. Basically I have a nerd-level interest in this so I know the kinds of info that Petrol Heads (and racing simulator players!) want.
The second advantage is the domain name. Hands down it’s the big traffic kahuna & memorable. It matches a major type-in keyphrase and with latent semantic indexing by google, that on its own it should pull in authority for some of other closely related keyphrases scattered liberally throughout the site.
The final advantage is the on-page optimisation of the site – (see keyphrases above). If there was ever a site that is very, very explicitly about the 2011 Formula One Championship Circuits, then this is it. www.f1circuits.com went online late Saturday night, I submitted the sitemap too and the little Gbots have indexed it already. It was on the 2nd page earlier! … let me check again…
WOW it’s #8 on Google.co.uk (507,000 results) and #11 on Google.com (out of 272,000 results) . That’s about 48 hrs and I’ve met part 1 of the challenge for the main google for this term. I’m amazed! Way to go Keyword Research. Although I do expect it to fall back before settling. I had 161 page impressions yesterday but that was a exceptional spike following one post – not on facebook or twitter !
Today I had a much more anticipated but respectable 13 pageloads. That’s organic, free traffic brought by good old fashioned SEO. Add into that the fact that the sport is off-season until March, that’s pretty respectable for a 2 day old bare bones site, built in 12 hrs and with many plans for additions awaiting. Google loves it, I hope the searchers will too. I build a lot of sites like this I reckon the natural place for this site will be a PR3 and probably #4 or 5 in serps looking at the competition (F1 , Wikipedia & BBC) we’ll see . I have a 3yo domain in a less popular sport and I get up to 3000 impressions on game days.
When you look at the F1 site you can see exactly what I have done and from where I have sourced the information, none of this is rocket science at all but it gives a lot of value by bringing together freely-available information in one place and presenting it in a useful format for my target audience demographic. The trick is putting the site in the right place at the right time.
So what next? well as you know, this is all part of my Online Pension Building Activities so I am intending to monetise the site. Not now, but over a few months as the site grows in popularity and people start to link back to it. Now monetisation is not about plastering the site in ads, but calls for more subtle approach. There are a couple of adsense units there now but there are many other ways. For now I just want to provide a useful and informative site that people will want to visit and return to. Where would you remember to go next time you want to know the length of Monza? it cannot be any more easy or memorable than www.f1circuits.com now can it?
- I started to build the two other sites in the Formula One series about 6 weeks ago.
- www.F1rules.com - the basic rules of Formula One Motorsport
- F1Rules took a lot of effort and I’ll have to do it again when the new rulebook comes out for 2011
- It’s only once per year & I’m hoping the update will be more tweak than re-write.
- www.F1Live.net - an F1 News site
- Constantly updated by the main broadcasters, F1 sites, FIA, news & sports agencies.
- Yes, it’s automatic!
- www.F1rules.com - the basic rules of Formula One Motorsport
With all of these sites, my aim is to simply build reputation and traffic organically over a period. These sites will attract people who are interested in this sport and I will be there to greet them (virtually!) and hopefully welcome them back again because they had a great time previously.
I am often reminded of the phrase “if you don’t look after your customer, someone else will”. It’s like real life, always treat your customer well, give them what they want, solve their quests and you have a customer for life. They aren’t the ones paying for clicking on my ads or for purchasing through my affiliate or store links, it usually makes no difference to them where they go for the product but they will come for the info and I’m happy to make their day brighter as well as mine.
Anyway, I think I picked a niche that was too easy and already on my radar, a bit of a cheat probably, but it does prove the point of optimisation & keyword research to find out where you should stand to catch the traffic. These techniques work for any business online that needs people to see their webpages. It’s not taught formally in a college or school and people really aren’t that clued-in yet. Wakey…
If you sell anything online you just need to catch the surf. There’ll be one along in a minute, but somewhere other than where you’re standing. You should be there not here.