Search Engine Optimizers tend to concentrate on choice keyword terms that have the potential to bring large amounts of traffic to their websites. However, the competition to rank for these terms is fierce and it takes considerable time, expertise and money to battle it out with the big players in these crowded arenas.
This should not keep you from trying to win the ranking wars for your best keyword phrases. You must practice patience, keep abreast of current techniques and allot a sufficient budget to gain visibility and viability in your marketplace. While you’re waiting for that to pay off, feast fabulously on low hanging fruit.
What is low hanging fruit?
In the real world, it is the fruit on the lowermost branches of a tree. There’s no need for ladders or special tools to harvest it and it’s not necessary to expend much effort or endanger yourself climbing into the tree to get it. Instead, it is easy to pick.
In the virtual world of the internet, the “fruit” we wish to pick is targeted keyword phrases for which there is not much competition. Low hanging internet fruit is generally considered to be any keyword phrase that gets 25 or fewer searches per day.
Most website owners are not satisfied with that amount of traffic for their homepage, which is why there’s not much competition. Without competition, however, it is often possible to rank highly for these terms within a relatively short amount of time. Low hanging fruit has the potential to bring a large amount of highly qualified traffic to your website, if you know how to harvest it properly.
Finding Your Own Low Hanging Fruit
First, you must do extensive keyword research in order to discover which non-competitive keywords are right for your website. Professional tools, such as Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery make the task quick and easy.
You want to uncover terms that are very targeted to you. For instance, the main keyword phrase you want to rank for might be “san francisco hotels”, since currently about 185 searchers look for that each day. But if you are one of the “boutique hotels in san francisco”, “san francisco airport hotels” or “san francisco luxury hotels”, you have the potential to pluck 22, 24 and 10 visitors per day by ranking for those terms.
If you are near Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf or the Embarcadero, there is low hanging fruit related to those terms ripe for the picking, as well. Then think about the type of service you offer. Are you pet-friendly? Do you offer airport shuttles? Do you have a honeymoon suite? Rooms with kitchenettes? All of these phrases present opportunities to harvest visitors interested in buying exactly what you are selling and, since they are so targeted, the conversion rate tends to be high.
While none of these terms alone can drive large numbers of traffic to your website, when they are all used together, their impact can be enormous. If you gain just 10 visitors per day for each of 10 different phrases, that adds up to 3000 additional – and highly qualified – searchers each month!
How to Optimize for Low Hanging Fruit
Create more good pages on your website. Yes, it really is that simple.
Add one or more information-rich pages to your website for each of the terms for which you wish to rank. Use the keyword phrase in your page title and description. Use it – and synonyms for it – in your text.
Link to the page from elsewhere on your site so that it is easy for the search engine spiders to find it. Provide valuable information about the topic within the content of the page to attract links from other websites and to make it useful for visitors.
For example, if you create a page aimed at “pet-friendly san francisco hotels”, a list of veterinarians especially those available for emergency care, would be appreciated by those considering your accommodations for themselves and their family pet. Show a map of nearby dog parks and describe each of them. Visitors may also benefit from learning about local leash laws and where to go for food, waste bags, toys, etc. They may also like to know about a local groomer who will pick up their pooch, bathe it and return it fresh and fluffy. Is doggie day care available nearby? Do you offer dog walking services? Does housekeeping have a stock of disposable litter boxes?
Providing this type of information convinces the Search Engines that your page really is all about a pet-friendly San Francisco hotel, which greatly increases its chances of ranking well for that term. In addition, it demonstrates to travelers with pets that you and your staff truly understand their needs and are devoted to making their stay safe, pleasant and convenient.
Variations of the phrase “pet friendly san francisco hotel” currently get about 7 searchers per day, 210 per month and 2520 per year – that’s a bountiful harvest of low hanging fruit waiting to be plucked!