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What’s the best way to balance popularity, relevance and competition?

Here’s a great question from a reader.

What’s the best way to balance popularity, relevance and competition?

This is what content marketing is all about.

There was once a time when you could follow a near-mathematical forumla of popularity, relevance and competition to create Internet content that would rank highly in the search engines. That was back when Google only had a handful of variables to evaluate content on a site for the purposes of ranking. Today, there are around 100 variables used, so focusing on any one variable isn’t likely to get you results.

What this means to you is that the most important thing is to build quality content that will keep people on your site so they can see what else you have to offer. Great content helps you build trust and you need trust if you expect anyone to buy what you’re selling.

These variables can still help you make decisions about your content, business and site focus so let’s look at this subject with a hypothetical example.

Imagine that you do some research with Google’s AdWords Keyword tool about coin collecting. It’s a pretty popular subject with about 90,000 monthly searches. It’s also a fiercely competitive niche. But you have a coin shop or you have a site already running so you’re diving in this niche anyway.

As you research further, you find that there are many searches for coins from the former USSR and there aren’t a lot pages on the subject already found in Google. That’s great because you happen to know a lot about those coins and have plenty to sell.

Demand meets supply. Yay!

You’re at a crossroads. Do you dedicate your site to coins from the USSR only, or do you make it a section of your site, because you sell other coins too? It’s time to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What does your visitor want to find when they visit your site? On one hand, if you can pay the rent by focusing entirely on coins from the USSR, it could be a great thing to dedicate a site to that subject only and include tons of information about the former Soviet Union, the history of the currency and make your site an authority on the subject.

On the other hand, maybe it’s just one of many types of coins you’re an expert in. Not only can you build a section on coins from the USSR, but coins from other significant areas of interest. In that case, build out each section to ensure that your visitor finds what they’re looking for and more. Make the navigation clear to the visitor so they can continue to browser information on Soviet coins or check out coins from other countries or historical eras as well.

Don’t leave off a page of information just because there’s already heavy competition for a specific keyword. Seek to dominate by becoming an authority. Google see that your site contains lots of rich content about coin collecting as well as other niches related to coin collecting. People will share your pages through social media if they contain useful information that’s worth sharing and referral traffic should be as important to you as direct search traffic.

Always look at the big picture when it comes to your SEO strategy.

If you have a question about SEO or building your online brand and presence, leave it in the comments below.

For more research, here are some great videos from Google’s Matt Cutts that will help expand your understanding of how to build great content that gets great SEO results too.

What is the ideal keyword density of a page?

Is it better to have keywords in the URL path or filename?

How important is it to have keywords in a domain name?

What are some examples of SEO misinformation

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