Before I get into this, understand that I am not an SEO expert. I know what works for me and hopefully this article will introduce to you things that will help you with your marketing and make money endeavors. About 3 years ago, the concept of keyword sniping was introduced. Basically, this marketing strategy relies on a couple things….
- The keyword is long tail with very little competition…
- A properly formatted internal link strategy….
For a niche marketer, this strategy is perfect. And even for bigger websites with thousands of pages, properly done, keyword sniping can move a page up quickly for whatever you are hoping to rank for.
It is all about relevancy and tapping into a website’s ability to establish relevancy.
You see, Google and the other search engines are simply trying to figure out what your site is about. It does this by several ways:
- The domain is a clue. If for instance, you are trying to rank for organic diets for beginners and your domain happens to be organicdietsforbeginners, then chances are good Google will think that your site is about (need I even say?)
- The title of the page– The title tag aka headlline of your page is another clue….
- The content of the page– I know that is a no brainer but what you write about will give an indication. Semantic keywords and what it expects to be common words based on other websites that are like yours is helpful.
- What links are on your page– If you are linking out to similar web pages, then it will have a better idea of what your site is about.
- How the search engines got there– This is important. The anchor tag on the link in will strongly help establish relevancy. Extra points if the link is coming from a thematically similar website.
Okay, so now if you can agree that all of the above helps identify your page as relevant to whatever keyword you are going after, you are 3/4’s of the way there. Now, let’s get you the other 1/4 of the way home……
Internal link structure is very important if you snipe keywords
Remember how I talked about external links pointing to your site having a profound effect on your rankings? This is because the site is « citing » you as being relevant to whatever it is you are talking about.
What keyword snipers figured out was that what can be done externally (getting one-way backlinks for your site), can also be done internally….
Stick with me here….
SEO Michael Martinez once said that you could rank for almost anything if you were able to say the same thing differently enough on your site. In other words, if you were wanting to rank for something like SEO for hubpages, if you had enough pages about hubpages SEO, eventually you would rank for it.
His theory was that if you built 1,000 pages on how to create an irresistible offer, that your home page would eventually rank for it. There are problems to this strategy which we will discuss shortly, but you have to agree that 1,000 pages on a website targeting one keyword should make that site the most relevant, especially if the keyword is a long tail variety, right?
The trick for the niche marketer is not to build 1,000 pages though. For one, that would take a lot of time. Instead, a niche marketer can rank quickly for the long tail keyword by simply stacking pages.
Home Page– Optimized for keyword
Page 1– Keyword derivative with link pointing to home page w/ keyword
Page 2– Keyword derivative with link pointing to home page w/keyword
…and so on and so forth….
So, basically all you are really doing is pointing most of your internal links to your home page to express to the search engines what your website is about.
Problems with Keyword Sniping
There are some issues that aren’t really discussed in regards to keyword sniping. For one, you have to be very careful of something known as keyword cannibalization. This is when you have one or two pages on your site competing for the same keyword which will throw off the search engines.
You don’t want the search engines to have to figure out which page on your site is most likely to be the most relevant keyword. You want to be able to control this factor.
Another issue is that sometimes, depending on the niche, relying solely on internal links may not be enough to rank for your keyword. In this instance, you are left with two possibilities:
- Build more pages
- Build more external links coming from other sites to your site
Personally, it is easier to build external links and probably more effective.