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Is my SEO agency recommended strategy correct?

Posted on 2015-02-03
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Last Modified: 2015-02-05
This is a question I asked my hired SEO guys but up to today, I have yet to hear a good response from them.

My SEO account guy suggested to build my first phase of SEO on 20 keywords. We selected 20 keywords,

E.g. academic enrichment centre
e.g. sports enrichment centre
e.g. arts and crafts enrichment centre

All 20 keywords they suggested have zero search volume on adwords. I asked them if this is wise, they explained
1. Adword search volume is not a good gauge at all so I was told to ignore adwords volume
2. It is better to hit on such unpopular keywords (Long tail strategy?) instead of competing with others

I was convinced. Now, we have 7/20 keywords on page 1. But no spike on traffic.

My questions to my SEO guys, and what I need to seek advice on from experts here:
1. So I am concerned, even with all 20 keywords on page 1, will it translate to any traffic? are they simply too obscure?
2. they said with this strategy (the keyword enrichment centre peppered across many pages), it will result in some form of accumulated effect on the key word "enrichment centre" for us.

Any opinions from the experts?
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Question by:sgmh
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by:Justin Smith
ID: 40587863
Stuffing articles used to be the "norm" a few years ago. With all the changes in Google's updates, this has changed drastically. The key to success with SEO articles these days is to write articles that are 700 words or greater and keep them professional. Don't stuff them with keywords either.
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Lucas Bishop earned 500 total points
ID: 40587993
1, will it translate to any traffic? are they simply too obscure?

If there are people searching for 'academic enrichment centers' then you will be positioning yourself to target this traffic. How many people search for these terms though, is unknown. Adwords Keyword Tool doesn't show data for low search volume terms, but this doesn't mean there are zero searches.

Here is my take on this phrase:

Based on the 5.4M results for this phrase, there is likely a decent amount of search volume for this phrase:
academic enrichment center serp
The majority of results in the top 10 are .edu domains. These domains have tremendous natural 'authority' and will be very difficult (ie. david vs goliath) to compete against for ranking.

There are no Adwords ads showing for this phrase.

I would not classify this phrase as long-tail. A long-tail variant of this phrase would be more along the lines of "academic enrichment center in san mateo california". You can see with Google's predictive results that there are common searches along this line:
predictive results
To see the amount of long-tail examples, go to Google and type:
Academic enrichment center a
Academic enrichment center b
Academic enrichment center c
...you'll see there are many long tail versions of this phrase.

2. they said with this strategy (the keyword enrichment centre peppered across many pages), it will result in some form of accumulated effect on the key word "enrichment centre" for us.

A common strategy with long-tail keywords is to set up an optimized page for each long-tail keyword. Let's say you have 20 long-tail keyword focused pages and each one attracts 100 searches a month.  For example:
academic enrichment center in san jose
academic learning center in san mateo
academic enrichment center in east los angeles

You may feel that 2,000 visitors a month is low, but these are highly targeted visitors. With 2,000 highly targeted visitors, you have given yourself an opportunity to capture leads/convert sales/etc very effectively. These visitors are prequalified to a geographic region allowing you to provide a very specific offer to them.  Maybe you get a 1% conversion rate (20 goal conversions a month) when you start out, then work to optimize your offer while expanding to more long tail terms. You're building a highly optimized lead capture machine.

Alternatively, let's say you have focused on ranking for one high traffic keyword that is not as targeted. For example:
enrichment center
.

Let's say this term brings in 10,000 search visitors per month. However, when they land on your page, they are not prospects. Perhaps 80% are looking for a learning center in locations outside of your area. High abandonment will hurt your rankings. You'll need to quickly remedy this, but how? Survey them? Test different offers that are more generic? etc.

In this scenario you have 2,000 visitors who haven't abandoned, but your offer isn't as effective because it isn't targeted. Hence your conversion rate is worse and it is much harder to optimize.

In Summary, focusing on long-tail terms is the right strategy, simply for the fact that you can provide a better experience to the visitor. Google rewards you for providing a positive experience and so will your visitors.
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