Future Thinking: Planning an SEO campaign for an emerging market

By | June 29, 2010 at 9:00 am | No comments | SEO | Tags: ,

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to predict some of the largest yielding search results and have an SEO campaign ready for when it happens? Imagine ranking ready for the BP oil spill, Justin Bieber or the iPad? Sometimes, all it takes is a little forward thinking and you can prepare be ready to soak up the traffic.

There are several ways to earmark an emerging market. These can include:

Unfortunately, you have to either be in the right place at the right time, or simply put hard graft into planning and analyzing markets & industries.

Keep your ear to the ground

Whether you are an SEO, a technology enthusiast, a gamer, a passionate fashion follower or simply a fan of anything that has an already thriving presence online you are already in an important position to jump first.

You will already be listening to the right grapevines in the form of blogs, twitter accounts, industry papers etc; All you have to do is keep your eyes & ears open for a new opportunity, simply something no-one has mentioned before.

Take the ever popular gaming industry for example. I’m not talking gambling (e.g. online bingo); I’m talking games consoles, online MMORPG’s etc. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of new titles for a variety of platforms released yearly. These are perfect opportunities to grab a little bit of brand traffic and rank in advance for something that has not been released yet.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

A great example of this is the forthcoming expansion pack for World of Warcraft entitled Cataclysm. If you follow this blog, you may know that I am a keen World of Warcraft player.  The developers of World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment, announced the new expansion pack in 2009, with an expected release in 2010. With over 11 million players playing the game as early as 2008, the unsurprising online rumour mill quickly caught steam as to what the expansion was going to be called and it was at this point where the SEO marketer in me should have listened to my own advice. Sadly I didn’t – I was too busy playing World of Warcraft!

React quickly

There is nothing worse than not reacting. Once you have missed the boat, it’s gone and you will rarely get a chance to get on it again.

There are many things you should do when you hear about a potential gold mine of upcoming searches and the first is to get to a domain registrar.

Snap up the domain names

Whilst the days of net sitting are long gone, there is no harm in creating great domain names around the planned launch of a new game, piece of hardware, fashion range etc.

Let’s stick with WOW: Cataclysm and look at how you could have jumped on potential traffic generators in an already competitive market.

Researching potential domain names

It’s important you understand the market you are entering, particularly if you are new to it. The first step is to research the industry to see what particular searches are often carried out in relation to the market. This can be done through Google’s keyword suggest tool if there is a similar market already existing.

In the case of a forthcoming game such as World of Warcraft: Cataclysm there are currently searches around:

  • Release date
  • Information
  • Levelling Guides

Also, as with most games, the name is often abbreviated. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, for example, went by the moniker COD6, MW2, COD:MW etc. Sticking true to form, World Of Warcraft: Catalcysm is known in industry circles as WOW:Cata, Cata, Cataclysm etc. This gives a great pool of domain names to possibly target *. A selection of these includes:

  • worldofwarcraftcataclysm.tld
  • worldofwarcraftcataclysmcheats.tld
  • worldofwarcraftcataclysmguides.tld
  • wowcataclysmcheats.tld
  • wowcataclysmguides.tld
  • wowcataclys-levelling-guides.tld
  • wowcataclysminformation.tld
  • cataclysmguide.tld
  • cataclysmcheats.tld
  • etc

*I haven’t checked to see if these are available, so knock yourself out 😉

Obviously, if you can acquire these domain names with top-level TLD’s you will stand a chance of achieving 1st page rankings much easier than without.

Become the market leader

Regurgitate. It’s as simple as that. Unless you are severely connected you won’t get the exclusive that will drive you a tonne of traffic. However, what you can do is be the first to re-release the information thus building up your website as an authority in the market. I’m not advising you to rip off other peoples work. You can easily create fresh & unique content by rewording and reworking their articles and cite them as a source. This will enable your new website to become the first stop for information thus making it a highly linkable source of credible information.

Create Google Alerts, subscribe to RSS readers of popular related websites who WILL get the scoop, monitor the creator of the market’s website (if applicable) to see if anything new gets announced. Finally, get immersed in the sector and get yourself known as an authority on the subject – people might just come to you with the exclusive 😉

Create reasons for people to link to you

Another option could be to create linkbait for your emerging market. An idea that has been carried out in the past (particularly by game creators themselves) is a live countdown to the launch date. It’s simple, yet effective.

Once you’re there, don’t sit back!

Once your website is setup with a host of content, a little bit of authority and a following, the worst thing you can do is to let your website degrade and lose the reason for people to link to you. Without links your website will not compete with the other websites that will also be popping up around you.

What to do when the buzz dies down

I like to make these decisions on a case-by-case. If you have created a website that is the overriding authority on your targeted market I would simply keep it and milk the link juice for all its worth. Monetize it a little with affiliates and sponsored ads and let it generate cash for you.

However, if it was a flash in the pan and was more of a linkbait idea, you could add a few links to your other websites or even simpler: 301 it to your core website and let the authority of the links seep into your own and give it a little boost.

About the Author

Kev Strong

Kev Strong is an online marketing consultant at Newcastle Upon Tyne based digital marketing agency, Mediaworks. A lover of all things search and an ex-web developer, Kev Strong (a.k.a Goosh) is a specialist in advanced search engine optimisation.