Finding the Tipping Point then Moving On
Each keyword has a tipping point, but when you manage hundreds or thousands of keywords simultaneously from tactful implementation such as theming and siloing the rules of the game change swiftly.
The idea for each page in your website should be to reach the top 3 rankings for something relevant to that page, the top 10 just isn’t good enough unless you page is above the fold (the top 5 results gets maximum traffic so says every internet marketing consultant :)). This way, each and every page that you add becomes an instant asset that produces short-term value as well as long term gain.
We have become experts at identifying the proper signals of search and giving search engines the proper foundation to nourish relevance. Despite the popular opinion that “it’s all about backlinks”, it’s not; we have sites with less than 500-1000 links ranking for keywords with millions of competing pages in “phrase match” and just a few hundred pages of content.
Ironically, the other sites which occupy the top 10 positions for the same keywords have anywhere from 10 to 20 times the links and or pages to accomplish the same thing; which makes me want to rally back to the point mentioned above.
Don’t let your website get bloated
When is it time to prune a site and extract those signals of trust into something tangible that can dynamically infuse new content with verve and zest? How much is too much when it comes to acquiring a top ranking position?
Do you really need 40K links pointing at one page or 10,000 pages on the same topic to push a keyword to the top? It depends on your approach and how broad your semantic footprint is along the way.
Without going too far into specifics (which you can do by following the links provided in the suggested reading section at the footer of this post), is boils down to cultivating content and authority simultaneously.
But once you acquire that stance in any given vertical or niche, it is almost as if the algorithm spreads out, then becomes buoyant. Meaning, a website has the tendency to extract the range of semantic signals that emanate from the content, fulfill the long-tail and mid-tail rankings as a result of happenstance and unique search queries.
If you don’t believe me, just look at your server logs and see what kind of unique keywords are dropping off traffic to your pages. It is not surprising that most websites receive 20% of their traffic from their top 10 most prominent keywords and the remaining 80% of their traffic from mid-tail and long-tail keyword variations.
Naturally over time, websites have a tendency to move up to acquire more competitive keywords and respective phrases, but not magically of their own accord (they need guidance and sculpting like clay). The entire process sometimes happens so gradually that you may or may not know that it is happening.
This ascent of relevance is the process of homogenization whereby the fusion of pages, content, links, popularity and engagement all produce a unique signal. First you may have 20-30 visits per day, then 50-100, before you know it your site is attracting thousands of visitors per day as each page passes the threshold of relevance.
If you understand that this synergy is a systematic reaction based on cause and effect it is possible to augment specific outcomes based on a structured series of preferences (such as toppling a competitive keyword).
Understanding the Hierarchy of Relevance
Before you run, you must learn to crawl and then learn to walk and in this instance, the analogy refers to understanding how the tip of the iceberg is extremely important to cultivate. Your topic is the apex and the content you use to shore it up should also contain relevant pears to tie the theme together.