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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 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 different phrases.

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 format).

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 same topic.

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 press enter.

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 competition search".

Step 3: From the choice of search engines, I select AOL and MSN. Scroll down and press proceed.









pet names






Pet Names





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!









pet names






Pet Names





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!

Behavioral Trend:
Right 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 new pet!

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 names"
  • 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 spam filters)
  • 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 purpose.
  • 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 (differing lengths)

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 either)

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 rewards!

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 currently doing.

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 Magic 
and Co-author of the TNT Guide 

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