500 Page Website, and why

Written by AJ Marek on . Posted in Search Optimization

How a 500 Page Website can Make Your Brand Competitive Quickly

500 Page Website and WhyHow many times have you searched for something and come up with irrelevant search results from around the world, especially when you’re looking for something local, or at best nationwide? Kind of makes that little stat of XX billion search results returned redundant and nothing but a nice trivia reference. The problem can be traced to the algorithm used by the search engines, that due to their weightings return these redundant search results. So what do you if you’re a marketer?

Think like the Searcher

In this case it’s a tail wagging the dog kind of thing. You have a choice - either spend the time and energy to rank within the irrelevant results, or think how the searcher will react when faced with irrelevant results. Usually when you get a search result that doesn’t meet your needs, you add further qualification. For goods and services this qualification is usually geographical, by adding the state/province or the city, if not the neighborhood. This is where the 500 page site comes into play.

Keeping Search Volumes High

To rank for general search keywords with high volumes, keyword matching is based on matching at a word or a couple of words. For long tail searches that include a location, keyword matching will necessarily be more specific and with less related search volume. Take for example the difference between “hotels”, “hotels nevada” and “hotels reno nevada” - the 1st search term has 37.2 million monthly searches, the next 74,000 monthly searches and the last only 12,100 searches according to Google.

So instead of trying to rank your website against irrelevant results which may be nigh impossible, rank for what the searcher will do next. The more specific your keyword optimization, the greater the likelihood of a ranking on the first page of search results for that keyword. However, there is a general inverse relationship between the level of specificity of a search phrase to the volume of searches related to that search phrase. This means that to achieve a similar critical mass of searches that you would see for a more general search term, you have to use use more specific keywords and have a larger set of keyword optimized pages.

In this sense the goal of a marketer is not necessarily to rank for the highest volume keyword, but to achieve the same total volume of searches with more specific keywords. The results in strictly volume terms will be the same in having the website exposed to the same total amount of potential visitors, from which all things being equal A% will click through to the site and B% will convert.

The 500 Page Site Formula

So given the objective of equalizing total keyword search volumes the formula to achieve this result can be visualized as:

X (general keyword search volume) = Y [ (specific keyword search volume with Location 1) + (specific keyword search volume with Location 2) + (specific keyword search volume with Location n ... ) ]

or X (general keyword search volume) = Y [ (average specific keyword search volume with Location n) * Number of Pages ]

or Number of Pages = X (general keyword search volume) / Y (average specific keyword search volume with Location n)

The number of pages specifically optimized by keyword will then be a function of the average specific keyword search volume of all Locations. Arguably for best results in keyword ranking through offering the most relevant content, keyword optimization would be page by page, so that one page would be optimized for 1 keyword. Looking at a practical example we can see that the number will not be de minimus:

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you are a pool supplier in Toronto Ontario. Searches for “pool supplies” in Google.ca were 18,100 for the month of June 2013, and included 7 national suppliers in the top 10 results, of which 7 out of 10 were high PR (Page Rank) sites with substantial authority for which it would be hard to displace in search results quickly. Assuming you have a 10% conversion rate of those that visit the site and in turn have set a goal of 500 conversions per month, you will require 5,000 visitors to your site. If your position is in the 1st place of search results for the keyword “pool supplies” for which you will potentially achieve approximately 40-50% of click throughs, the previous search volume for that keyword will have the critical mass necessary to achieve your goal. Utilizing the above formula replacing (specific keyword search volumes Location n) being 700 searches for Toronto, 260 searches for Mississauga, 50 searches for Brampton, etc. ... with an average search volume of 20 searches per keyword, and using the same click through percentage used above, results in requiring at least 500 individually keyword optimized pages in order to rank for equivalent search volumes (e.g. 20 average searches per keyword Location n * .5 click through rate * 500 individual keyword pages = 5,000 visitors). It is therefore easy to see how a 500 page site is both required and advantageous.

Conversion Rate Based 500 Page Formula Variation

There is the argument that if search terms are more relevant keyword sets, this should result in more qualified visitors, leading to higher conversion rates. Conversion would be those that buy, land on a page or do some other intended action that is viewed as a goal of the website. By using a more specific keyword such can act as a pre-qualifier and therefore conversions will be higher than for general keywords. Incorporating this element into the general formula yields a variation as follows:

Number of Site Pages Required =

Z2 (Conversions Required)


Y (average specific keyword search volume with Location n) * Z (conversion ratio) * Z1 (relevancy factor) ]

e.g. 500 conversions required / 20 average specific keyword search volume per Page/Location * .05 conversion ratio * 1.05 relevancy factor (being a 5% increase in conversions due to relevancy) = 476 Pages

Anticipating the Future of Search

We already see some movement by the search engines to make search results more relevant locally through:

  1. Autocomplete adding local qualifiers, e.g. Town and State/Province, to search terms.
  2. Google Search results for certain searches showing G+ local results in an outtake.
  3. Search tools offered within portals for local refinements, such as Google’s “nearby” and Bing’s “Narrow by Region”.

Can it be far behind for the search algorithms to take into account local optimized content?

500 Page Website Makes Sense

For a business that serves a geographic area of say within an hour range of 60 miles/100 kilometers, it therefore makes sense for it to optimize for the 5 cities, 15 towns and 30 neighborhoods within that area. Which for 10 keywords by the 50 locations means a website of 500 individual keyword optimized pages.

Contact CLOSEUPwebdesign.ca to see examples of 500 page websites in action and to see how you can capitalize on local search optimization ahead of your competition!

AJ Marek

AJ Marek is the technical side of the CLOSEUP group of websites and is the primary proponent of testing all kinds of web theories to see what works, what doesn't and what needs some TLC. He shares his office with many animals, all part of the creative team who in turn assist the truly creative one Tee Marek.

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