Developing a Long-Term, Forward-Thinking SEO Strategy

21 03 2011

Many people look at SEO as a one time consultancy that’s a set it and forget it technique for driving increased leads/sales/traffic to their site.  But, taking a look at something as basic as a keyword research for your optimization efforts can tell a completely different story.  In addition, it’s vital that you hire an SEO firm that understands your industry and can demonstrate that knowledge before a contract is ever put in place.  You must be forward-thinking for a long-term strategy.  The best way to understand what’s going to happen in the future is to look at the past.

A Look Into the Past

A backward-thinking strategy is amazing if your industry is extremely cyclical.  For example, the automotive industry:

If you aren’t familiar with Google Insights for Search and are completely confused at this point – from Google: “The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100. Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100.”

In the graph above, you can see the comparison of four search terms: “2009 BMW,” “2010 BMW,” “2011 BMW” and “New BMW.”  The graph spans the time from January of 2009 until March of 2011.  The data is extremely telling.  Your first thought might be that if you’re optimizing a page for new BMWs then the keyword “New BMW” would be a given.  Diving into the historical data you can see that, just like the auto industry, the search terms are extremely cyclical in nature.  Due to the fact that the auto industry announces new models at the same time every year, you can see that traffic for the current model year is always higher than the search traffic for “New BMW” until around October when the next model year takes over.  Not to say “New BMW” shouldn’t be part of your overall keyword strategy, but you might want to reconsider a primary focus.

Thus, knowing the industry and having an ongoing, forward-thinking SEO strategy is of utmost importance.  Any on-site changes must be implemented at the proper time in order to capture the flip in search traffic for the next model year.

What industries have you seen the same type of trends?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

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