what is SEO Zooming?
SEO Zooming is a technique for SEO that gradually changes the focus of the SEO from the most specific or long tail keywords to the more generic, higher traffic keywords.
Take the following example, if I wanted to use the SEO Zooming technique for Blackbox E-Marketing for the keywords 'Medical Marketing ' - the first thing I would need to do is identify how competitive the keyword is. A quick glance at Google will tell you that there are 87.2 million results. Here I'm using google.co.uk to find the competition rate, not google.com. The reason for this is that Black Box E-Marketing's SEO/marketing clients are all based in the UK. There's no point trying to get good rankings in search engines which are tailored for countries in which you do not normally do business. (there are exceptions to this, but adaptation of your core business model is outside the scope of this article).
Ok, having established that you are up against 87 million different web pages for this keyword, you can pretty much guarantee that you are not going to get to page 1 of Google very easily. Therefore we need to zoom in our SEO efforts to something more achievable. The next step is to develop a hierarchy of semantic terms. Consider the following diagram:
How do we find the other phrases? Well, Google helpfully provides us with related phrases when you type in your search term, at the bottom it says 'Searches related to X' and using this information we can plot a hierarchy and semantically related phrases using Google's own algorithm! (you don't have to use Google's related keywords to generate this map, you can use your own)
For each step, we enter the search term, select the most appropriate and more specific related keyword, then drill down to that one, and select the next step.
In this example, the hierarchy is not great, so instead I use the geographic filter and make the second level of zoom to be UK Medical Marketing. Now we're down to 19 million results. Another trick to find the next level of zoom is to add elements to the phrase, so the next step we're going to use is ' uk medical marketing and medical websites ' - now we're down to a manageable 2 million results. And if you look in Google, www.blackboxemarketing.com is already ranked number 1 for that phrase, brilliant, now we can zoom out the SEO to the next level which is UK Medical Marketing - our site is ranked number 3 for this particular search phrase. Not too bad. At this point we can either focus the SEO at this level, or zoom out again. The decision on whether to focus or zoom out depends on a number of factors, but the two most important questions are:
- Will higher rankings for this search term get me significantly more traffic?
- will zooming out have a negative impact on the conversion rates?
This has to be decided on a case by case basis and there are no hard and fast rules for this.
In this example, the decision has been made to go to the next step, which happens to be the first node in our hierarchy - Medical Marketing. After a few months of SEO, we are now ranked number 6 in Google. This is probably a good time to focus on the medical marketing keyword and try to get higher rankings for this.
What do you do after SEO Zooming is successful ?
So, you've got to the top for your primary search phrase? well the next step is to do a sideways shift. This is what I call SEO Panning . The way this works is to get good rankings for a very closely related SEO phrase which differs from SEO zooming in that the focus of panning is to get more and better conversions, not necessarily more traffic. SEO Panning will be discussed in a later article.