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Over the past few years, we’ve developed a reliable system for building websites that’s proved to be successful. However, just because something is working doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
That’s why we thought it made sense to mix it up a bit and try something different with our newest site, which we’ll tentatively call site #6.
For those of you who missed it, I posted a launch video about this site, which goes over the general thought process behind it.
In a nutshell, the goal with this site is to create the most comprehensive resource as possible for our visitors. By this, I mean that we will try to cover every corner of the niche, regardless of competition.
While doing this, we will be targeting clusters of topics within the niche, one at a time, and we won’t be moving on to the next cluster until the current one has been thoroughly covered.
We will also be adding internal links between all of the related articles as we go, which is something we typically put off until later down the road (mostly because we normally wouldn’t have much related content on a site early on).
This is a drastic departure from our usual strategy, which is to only target low competition keywords. With our usual approach, if we find 50 keywords within a topic cluster, but we only consider 10 of them to be low competition, we only target those 10 keywords.
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With the new approach, we would target all 50 keywords in this scenario. The goal of course is to create topical authority in Google’s eyes. We want to be seen as the expert on each topic cluster.
That’s probably enough background, so let’s move on to the update. Obviously, with this being the first update, there’s not going to be much to share. As the months pass, I’ll dive more into the numbers in Search Console and Analytics.
One of the first challenges you’ll come across with any new site is to get Google to find and index your content. After all, if Google doesn’t put your content into their search engine, how do you expect to get visitors to your site?
Getting a new site indexed shouldn’t be difficult, but many people have run into issues with this as of late. So far, we don’t seem to be having any issues with indexing, and this is how we approached it:
First, before we even posted our first article, we created accounts with Google Search Console (also commonly called Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Next, we submitted our sitemap through each of these services. This is as simple as copying your sitemap URL, pasting it in the appropriate area, then clicking submit.
Submitting a sitemap isn’t necessary by any means, but it can help Google find your content more quickly. With it being so easy to do, I definitely recommend taking this step.
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Aside from the sitemap, we also manually requested indexing for our first 30 posts. This can be done through Google Search Console as well (we didn’t do the same for Bing Webmaster Tools).
That’s it. With those basic steps behind us, it’s just a matter of waiting to see what happens. So far, this is what we’re seeing with 41 posts and a handful of pages on the site:
As you can see, Google has picked up our sitemap and has checking it regularly. They’re also indexing most of our posts as we publish them.
One thing I should point out, that’s likely contributing to the quick indexing, is that we’re adding tons of internal links within the posts as we publish them. When I say tons, I mean about 4-5 outbound internal links from each post.
I don’t think we have a single post that doesn’t have at least one link pointing out from it, and we have some posts with over a dozen posts pointing to them. This not only helps to strengthen our topical relevance, but also makes it easier for Google to find and index our content.
As you’d expect, there’s not going to be much to report as far as traffic goes, considering the site is only one month old. With that being said, we are seeing some impressions in Search Console and even a few clicks from time to time.
The screenshot from above is from Search Console and shows the impressions and clicks for the site. Google often seems to randomly test new articles, so this doesn’t mean much, but it’s still good to see.
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Aside from what you see above, we’ve also gotten a few clicks from other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Again, nothing significant, but seeing a few clicks here and there this early on a site helps to keep you motivated.
As I mentioned up above, the approach we’re taking with this site is quite a bit different from what we’ve done in the past. As a result, it’s lead to some interesting initial observations.
For one, it’s changed the way we’re approaching the keyword research step. In the past, we’d simply build a list of keywords, analyze the competition for each, then target the low-competition keywords.
With this site, what we’ve found is that it makes much more sense to group related keywords into topics. This makes sense because if we’re going to target every keyword, some keywords simply make more sense to be part of a larger article targeting the root keyword.
For example, if this was a bicycling site and you had the following keywords and the goal was to target them all, it simply makes the most sense to put them all in a single article.
- how to ride a bike in the dark
- how to ride a bike at night
- how to ride a bike at night on a busy street
- how to ride a bike in the dark without a light
- how to ride a bike with a flashlight
With our usual method, we would probably target just one or two of these keywords separately, but if the goal is to target them all, it makes sense to simply put them all in one article.
Something else I’ve found is that it’s much faster and easier to add internal links between the posts. Because all of the content is so highly related, this has been a breeze, and we’re even doing it manually.
Lastly, one of the shortcomings of using our traditional approach to building sites is that it leaves knowledge gaps within each topic cluster. When you’re only targeting low-competition keywords, your going to end up not covering certain aspects of a topic that your readers might be interested in.
With our new approach, the site is starting to feel like a really comprehensive resource, something that someone can find everything they’re looking for in one stop.
So far, we’re really happy with the progress that we’ve made on this site and can’t wait to see how it performs over time. We likely won’t see much traffic for another few months (at a minimum), so our focus for now is to keep adding content and build topical relevance by adding internal links where they make the most sense.