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Vertical Markets and Pyramids

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Vertical Markets, Pyramid Websites and Themed Trees 

Pyramid Websites may be a big leap for those new to SEO, but in fact the principle has been around for many years. ‘Themed SEO’ is about addressing specific Vertical Markets with targeted information.

Vertical Markets are the different sectors that a business trades within. These sectors might include OEM, Corporate, Service, Distribution, etc.

Pyramid Websites and SEO are often considered a ‘black art’ and outsourced, as a post-production task, to a specialist company. The relationships between a company’s suppliers, distributors and clients are broken. If all concerned parties were contacted up-front, a websites search engine ranking could be increased with no need for coding knowledge.

Vertical Marketing is about stepping back and looking at your business as a whole and compartmentalising your market sectors.
Google takes a similar approach when it indexes a site; starting with a broad theme, then working its way down. Google will read and index a webpage into its library and for a page to be found within search engine result pages (SERPs) it needs to be stored within the right section.

Vertical Marketing and Pyramid Website Advantages

From a Marketing standpoint there are huge advantages in tracking which market sector a visitor is from.

  • Improved Market Specific Analytics
  • Long term planning and strategy insights
  • Less effort than the competition
  • Faster reaction to market fluctuations
  • Opening unforeseen opportunities
  • Identifying niche markets
  • Providing focussed content
  • Brand recognition within market sectors
  • Higher search engine rankings

Some sites think they can gain this information by asking every visitor to fill in lengthy forms. Lets face it, nobody likes or trusts these; so it makes much better sense to track what pages are popular within such tools as Google Analytics and AWStats. The resulting statistics can be used in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the website and long term, to identify trends within individual markets. Ask existing clients what subjects they would like more input or need with and build from there.

Vertical Marketing and Theme Pyramid

SEO Value WebSite Structure (sub content categories)
1 No value Main Site Root or Index Page
2 Low value
Primary single keywords
On index pages
(hallway pages)
Sub Topic A /
Market Sector A
Sub Topic B /
Market Sector B
Sub Topic C /
Market Sector C
 
3 Medium value
Secondary 1-2 word keywords
(Cornerstone pages)
Medium
a1
Medium
a2
Medium
b1
Medium
b2
Medium
c1
Medium
c2
4 High value
2-3 word keywords and / or phrases
on high content pages
High
a1a
High
a1b
High
a2a
High
a2b
High
b1a
High
b1b
High
b2a
High
b2b
High
c1a
High
c1b
High
c2a
High
c2b
5 Money!
2-4 word keywords and / or phrases
on prime targeted pages
£
a1c
£
a1d
£
a1e
£
a1f
£
a2c
£
a2d
£
a2e
£
a2f
£
b1c
£
b1d
£
b1e
£
b1f
£
b2c
£
b2d
£
b2e
£
b2f
£
c1c
£
c1d
£
c1e
£
c1f
£
c2c
£
c2d
£
c2e
£
c2f

When generating your Vertical Markets or Google Themed branches, start with broad content, then work your way down through each sector. Horizontal Market sectors should be controlled or co-ordinated by a parent section authority. Each section should be linked vertically to one parent and multiple siblings; being mindful that haphazard linking will dilute the Vertical Market or Google theme and a strongly themed page will benefit from higher rankings within SERPs.

If linking one page to another could support or strengthen the theme, the link should pass indirectly via the target’s ‘hallway’ or ‘cornerstone’ parent. This will not only categorise a page but encourage click through, increasing the sites’ hit count.

Using section 5 as an example, to link ‘£ a1c’ to ‘£ a1d’, the flow through of links would look like:

‘£ a1c’ » ‘High a1a’ » ‘£ a1d’

To link horizontals from different market sectors, the page linking flow might look like:
 

‘£ a1c’ » ‘Sub Topic B’ » ‘Medium b1′ » ‘High b1a’ » ‘£ b1c’

Coders can prevent theme dilution with the use of the rel=”nofollow” linking tag. This can be particularly beneficial when large drop down menus are present. For a site linking matrix to be affective, it needs to be constructed leaving no page, a ‘dead end’. If this strategy is used in conjunction with a CMS, the linking matrix should be kept up to date and checked regularly by someone with coding knowledge. A simple link ‘breadcrumb’ and a sub menu can overcome many of these issues.

  • Home >> Category One >> Page One

Google uses algorithms that filter and categorise pages depending upon the relevance of inbound and outbound links. Several Google patents pay close attention to the keywords used within a links’ anchor or text. If that link is outside of a menu and placed within the main content, it can be worth as much, or more than an inbound external link. Contextual links are considered to be more important, as they often closely reflect a pages theme.

Contrary to most peoples’ expectations, your target keywords and phrases should be at the bottom of the tree and not the top. The keywords at the top of the tree should encompass the theme without be too long or specific, whereas keywords at the bottom can be longer and more industry specific. Pages at the bottom of the tree are more likely to bring in higher volumes of traffic.

How do I monitor Pyramid Websites? 

Simple. Firstly install Google Analytics onto your website:

http://www.google.com/analytics/

Secondly, once you have capture say one month’s results, underneath ‘Content Overview’ click ‘view report’
Google Analytics Content Overview

Within the next page click ‘View Full report’

Google Analytics Pyramid Websites

In the next window at the bottom complete the filter box with your branch name.

for your ‘Blog’ branch, you’d type:

  • /blog/

Google Analytics and Vertical Markets

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