The Library Strategy
A mini tutorial
by John Alexander
A themed mini-library, optimized for an appropriate "hot
topic" can easily increase traffic from 400% to 800% and
even more within just 6 weeks. I am going to show you how to
skyrocket your traffic using the Library Technique....but I am
also going to "THINK OUT LOUD" so you can follow
exactly along with my thoughts as I do the job.
We will assume that everyone has membership to Wordtracker.com or
some other means of conducting search phrase research. In my
previous article, we talked about ways to find a
high-performance phrase. This initial research is extremely
important in SEO work. As you know if we target the wrong phrase(s) we might
even come up number 1 on in a search, but with the wrong phrase,
it will all be in vain. We need high performance phrases that we
"know" will pull the right traffic in. For this strategy however, we are looking for more than one phrase. Actually we are looking for several phrases that all fit under a single umbrella of one theme. We are after 1 phrase per page so that if we are building our mini-library with 10 pages, we need 10
How to Build The Library:
This part is easy. What you do, is create a series of
"high-performance" information rich, gateway pages
(must be content rich) and optimize each one for a different
phrase which are all related to one overall topic. Think of it as building a little "cluster" of high-performance pages, which involve one "hot topic" that is relevant to your website.
Build a little sitemap for your library pages and it can also act as an
index of the articles (assuming you are using an article
The topic of your library should be:
a) Relevant to the overall site content
b) Researched and found as a really high-in-demand topic.
Each page within your library is optimized for a different phrase but
RESULTS: As targeted traffic is funneled into your little
"Mini-Library", visitors are given lots of useful
content on the subject they wanted BUT you also give them a
variety of links within each library page so that at their
choice, they can enter your main web site or any specific page
you need them to see, to make a buying decision.
Let's give you an example so you can follow along.
Promoting a Pet Store
Perhaps we are promoting a pet store. The business owner says they want
more traffic but obviously to get the best results at the pet
store, we need a hot topic of interest to people who own a pet.
Someone who owns a pet or is thinking of buying a pet would be
our target audience. Begin by asking, what would a pet owner do on
the internet. What specific topic of interest might they have? You might guess at it, but then lets explain how to extract loads of high-demand phrases that ALL relate to the same topic but without the need for any guesswork.
Wordtracker is worth it's weight in gold for helping us out here.
Think of your objective as a search for a "topic" and you may
move along a little easier.
Step 1. Go to Comprehensive Search and I enter a single word "pet" and
Remember we are not just looking for a phrase this time. We are looking
for a topic. You see, I discovered that Wordtracker is an SEO
tool of many uses. Not only can I use it to determine keywords
and phrases, I often use it to determine actual trends of
behavior. Watch and see what I mean...
Here Is How I Think When I View The Results: Results from our search, include terms like pets, pet supplies, pet stores, pet names, virtual
pets etc. Now our temptation might be to grab a phrase like
"pet stores" or hey...what about "pet
supplies". Actually, this is a good time to remember that
all important principle we talked about in another article.
Important Note: I'll ask you out
loud..."For what purpose do people use the
Internet?" Remember, the number one thing people use
the internet for, is to conduct research, not to shop.
Therefore, I am going to stay away from all shopping phrases or
the ones that look so enticing. I am going to stay away from the
phrase "pet stores" and I am going to stay away from
the phrase "Pet Supplies". Why? Listen to this
now...we are not building a web site, we are building a "Library".
The phrase I am going to choose right near the top of the list
is "pet names".
Step 2. I scroll down to the bottom of the page after selecting the check box beside the
phrase "pet names", and click "perform a
Step 3: From the choice of search engines, I select AOL and MSN. Scroll down and press
RESULTS: for AOL
Examine the (Keyword Effectiveness Index) or KEI Values. Remember that a good phrase has a KEI of at least 400. Here in AOL we see the KEI has a value over triple that.
Conclusion:Using a phrase like "pet names" has the potential of
pulling in 176 visitors every 24 hours with a Top 10 placement. Capitalized, it could pull in 64!
RESULTS: for MSN
Conclusion: Using a phrase like "pet names" has the potential of
pulling in 433 visitors every 24 hours with a Top 10 placement
in MSN and capitalized, it could pull in 158!
about now, a light comes on in our brain! You realize that
behavioral trend that I was talking about. People are using the
Internet as a research tool to help find a name for their brand
SOLUTION: Suppose we choose pet names as our "hot Topic"!
Adding up the potential visitor traffic by repeating this process for
Altavista, Google Webcrawler, Hotbot, Yahoo, and the other
majors, I come to a potential for drawing over 2000 visitors
per day!!! This is assuming that I can place within the Top 10
results for that phrase.
What I would do in this example is build an index page optimized for
"pet names". This would be my main Library page with
links to each of the other topics I might use.
At completion, our topic might include several other library pages
and themed content such as follows:
- Index - Would be the main library page optimized for "pet
- dog_names.htm: Could have all of the boy dog names.
- dog_names2.htm: Could have all of the girl dog names.
- cat_names.htm: Could have all of the boy cat names.
- cat_names.htm: Could have all of the girl cat names.
- history_names.htm: perhaps a load of interesting facts about the past
- Tip_names: Tips on how to choose the best name for your pet
- Bird_names: Could have a list of bird names.
- pet_humour: you get the idea, etc,etc...
Here are the main ground rules:
- each page should be loaded with useful content (don't build old
fashioned empty doorways)
- each page should differ mildly in layout (avoid penalization with
- each page should differ in content (obviously - build
original content rich pages)
- each page should have several creative text links, to funnel
traffic through to different parts of the pet store pages.
(do not just send them all to home page)
- each page page is useful to the visitor and genuinely serves a
- each page MUST be well "linked to" so that incoming
spiders will find each page
- Don't be afraid to use images on your high performance pages
- Each page should ideally have a little different byte length
Warning: do not be tempted to use auto redirects (people need to feel
like they are in control of what they are viewing. Someone out there may be
thinking of this doing this but I do not recommend it. (also
keep in mind temperance of SE Robots - they don't like redirects
The only other caution is that you don't want to clutter your
library pages up with ads or banners. Keep it totally focused on
delivering quality content.
Instead of tricky things, rely on writing good compelling copy that
creates the desire in the visitor to explore and click through.
Rule of thumb is never do anything that takes away the
"feeling of control" from the visitor.
One key to finding powerful trends is to use Wordtracker's Top 1000 Reports
Tool and don't forget the comprehensive search tool. Always keep
in mind that you are searching for either a topic or a trend. An
excellent question to ask ourselves is: What is the information
people are really searching for?
Once you find out, simply give them what they want and reap the great
TIP: Try using Inktomi paid inclusion with each of your "Library
pages" and if you've done your research right, just watch the
impact that can take place sometimes within just a few days.
Benefits of the Library Strategy:
1. The Library strategy fits perfectly with the understanding that
online visitors do not start out to shop, they start out
accessing information. Before the internet, people actually
would make a physical trip to visit the local Library, right?
What we're doing is building a little mini-library right into
our client's site. It may not be perfect for every type of
website but it is certainly inline with what many customers are
2. The Library strategy is built around a common "theme"
or topic. This in itself, lends importance to visibility in
future search engine trends. We have all heard about the
importance of using themes.
3. It's extremely easy to build. The hardest part of the Library
Strategy is the research itself. Other than this, it does not
require any special scripts or functionality just good SEO
skills of course.
4. Like the the other pages in your client's site, it is totally
flexible. This means you can ad more library pages around topics
that apply to your theme. Once customers start making money as
their Library starts pulling in traffic, it often happens that
they'll want you to research more related topics and go after an
even bigger piece of the market.
5. It's a strategy that is easily be applied in phases.
About John Alexander
John has taught onsite search engine marketing sessions to people from over 80 different countries, and he's worked as a professional in the search engine industry for
years. John Alexander and Robin Nobles teamed up together in 2002 to create the Ultimate SEO Mastery Workshop. For more information about their live, personal, hands-on workshop, please visit Search Engine Workshops.
John is also author of the e-book Wordtracker
and Co-author of the TNT
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