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The SEO Snowball Effect

Written by James Anderson and published in WebProNewsUK

SEO can seem like a long hard slog with little to no reward at times. Your mind often racing, constantly thinking about keyword phrases, H1 tags and links as you lay in bed trying to catch a few winks.

Six months down the line your SEO efforts are nowhere to be seen, not even a trace, except in the redness of what used to be the whites of your eyes. But what if, it didn’t have to be this way. What if, there was a method of seeing results sooner rather than later.

I still remember when I first set out on my path of SEO enlightenment, vividly. If I knew some of things I know now, it would have been a completely different journey and a much shorter one to arrive at the place I’m at now (slightly further up a never ending path). The sleepless nights as my brain churned through the new chunks of information learnt that day. The eureka moments when you learn the most simplistic of things like anchor text and emphasising keywords with bold tags. Learning how to perform keyword research was one of the most enjoyable and undervalued aspects of SEO. And did I mention the sleepless nights.

Anyway enough reminiscing and back to topic of this article. The SEO snowball effect is a simple an analogy. Remember those cartoons where a character would role down a snow covered hill, gathering more snow and increasing in size until they crashed into something like a tree. Well that is the SEO snowball effect, minus the crash at the end (hopefully).

You see, if you drew a chart that measured the effort put into SEO and the traffic it produces, you get something very much similar to that snowball. At first the effort you put in yields very little traffic if any at all. But putting the same amount of effort in again results in slightly more traffic, until further along the chart, the same amount of effort yields a much greater output of traffic.

The problem with this is the time it can take to see the first initial traffic from your efforts. Many webmasters will give up because of this, while others carry on but only see little reward in the first year or so. However, there is a way of optimising the initial stages of this snowball and it all comes down to keyword selection.

In brief, many webmasters focus on keywords they believe are worth the effort in terms of traffic and rightly so. After all what’s the point of chasing keywords that no one uses or only have a very small number of impressions? So we go after the big boys, the keywords with lots and lots of traffic. But this contributes to the snowball effect because the effort required to obtain a top hundred ranking can be a lot on keywords with higher traffic levels. While the traffic gained from being listed in position 67 will be insignificant. So may be there is a reason to gun for those keywords with fewer impressions?

If you conduct you keyword research intelligently you should be able to find quite a few keyword phrases with small amounts of traffic but more importantly, phrases that contain your main keywords. By optimising these phrases you are contributing to the SEO of your main keywords, simply because the main keyword is part of phrase. These lesser phrases in terms of traffic are much easier to reach traffic generating results and therefore can be done much quicker. Once you’re happy with the rankings of that phrase, simply move onto the next until all small traffic phrases are optimised. In a lot of cases the combined traffic from sub-primary keyword phrases can be more than the primary keyword it self, not to mention more targeted.

When all sub-primary phrases are optimised, the chances are your site will rank well for the primary keyword with little to work left at all to get the top spot. The best thing is you have targeted the best keywords but received highly targeted traffic earlier in the campaign. Turning the snowball effect from an annoying symptom into a competitive advantage.

About the Author:
James is an SEO Consultant for Podium Solutions a web design Manchester and internet marketing company.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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