One thing that I've been doing this year a little bit differently is my approach to search visibility.
The way I used to do things was definitely more conventional, I'd buy or write some content for my sites, I'd make sure said content was wonderfully optimized and then I'd build links and repeat.
Yes this works and it worked for me really well, but when you're focusing on your organic search traffic it can certainly be a little disheartening in the early stages of your projects.
Instead I decided to take a different approach and focus instead on search impressions, just to see what I could achieve and how different the end result would be.
So what are search impressions? Where can I find out mine?
You can easily find out your search impressions by using Google Webmaster Tools and navigating to Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
The site I decided to take this approach on was around 3 months old at the time that I adjusted my strategy, I'd already published 15 pieces of content ranging in length from 500 - 2,000 words each.
Since then all I've done is audit my existing content, added maybe 2-3 more links and 5 new pieces of content.
You can read more about optimizing for impressions on this post about link building for a new website.
The main difference was focusing on maximizing visibility, adding pieces of content that target multiple keywords and not worrying so much about monotopicness of content... This meant that existing pieces of content with keywords in the top 20 would on average have another 5 keywords sprinkled in with maybe another 200-500 words added to the content.
I did this over a month back in May-June and the results have been pretty phenomenal.
Prior to the spike and the continued steady growth in SERP Visibility the site had only been doing around 1,000 impressions a month.
Within the first month I set a goal to get to 10,000 impressions and I achieved that a whole 2 days early.
So what can effect impressions?
What I did here was in a pretty controlled test environment where most of my early link building had already been done.
However search visibility and impressions is literally just the amount of people seeing your site in the SERPs.
So building more links, adding new pieces of content and just generally seeing your site climb in rankings will effect your search impressions.
Which is exactly why optimizing for impressions early is SO damn powerful.
Turning 10,000 Impressions Into 10,000 Visitors...
So say you take my advice and on a new project rather than setting goals like 'Get Keyword X Into The Top 10' you decide to set a goal of 10,000 impressions instead...
How does this really help you make money?
Well, provided you only do a little link building initially and you've published 25 pieces of monster content targeting dozens of keywords each (lets not forget the keywords you didn't mean to target) then you'll quickly get to 10,000 impressions.
Once you start to kick on with your link building you'll soon see huge spikes in your impressions and your visitors...
Imagine if you're not in the top 10 and you're already getting 10,000 impressions... What does that look like when you get into the top 10? 50,000? 60,000? It's quite niche dependent, but yes, I'd say 5x at least going on how my sites improving right now.
More importantly that quickly turns into heaps of traffic and 10,000 visitors isn't that difficult to get, however if you spend months targeting just a few keywords you'll probably end up headed where my site was, which is 1,000 impressions a month to nowheresville.
Sometimes it makes sense to take a different approach and I just wanted to share mine with you all!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, in the mean time, try it out!