since my site www.dreadlockssite.com started (3 years ago next week) we have struggled to reach as many interested in dreadlocks before they ruined their dreads using info on the high ranking websites.
(for a lil backstory i'll just tell you theres a dozen sites that are all clones of 2 comercial sites that advocate using wax to make dreads wax glues hair together to look like dreads but prevents actual dreading, and traps dirt and water causing them to rot from the inside)
thousands find us just days too late after wasting tons of money on these sites and have toi throw their purchases in the trah
anyways how this all relates to serps reach and loyalty..etc
in google searches when yiu search for dreadlocks the following sites tend to come up highest (note added spaces to prevent link creation)
www . dreadlocks . com
www . dreadheadhq . com
www . knottyboy , com
www . perfectdreadlocks . com
www . howtodread . com
all are basicly affiliate sites of dreadheadhq or knottyboy
they have horible and false info..downright lies in fact
now dreadlocks . com comes up number 1 so theoretically should get 98% of 75,000 daily searches
yet when you look at their alexa ranking its ranked at 1,208,374 with nearly a 100% bounce rate! average pageviews is 1.1 s0 hardly anyone views more then 1 page and on average they spend 1 minute on the site
on my site alexa ranking 117,281 pageviews per user 24 time on site over an hour
my sites serp for dreadlocks has fallen alot recently from 15 to 40 however much of my trafic searches for my site by name dreadlockssite
now the 2 big corporate sites that all the clone affiliate type sir-tes refer people to the 2 sites combined get 1/2 the traffic my site does despite the fact they dominate the top of google with multiple "doorway" type sites
they do suck in alot of newbies till they realize they are vasicly scams but they have also earned very bad reputations over the years.
there are thousands of sites created by newbies that quoy=te them and link to them unfortunately
in fact the open directory project which is a human edited directory lists only 3 sites when you search for dreadlocks
dreadheadhq perfectdreadlocks howtodread
they refuse to list any of the other million or so other sites that beliong in the category
and if your competing with dreadheadhq or tell the truth about how bad they are you are disqualified automatically in fact if you apply to be an editor, and use any websites as an example that isnt 1 that supports that site you are disqualified for consideration.
anyway im rambling a lil
the point of this is, my site has over a million pages in the sitemap, 560 thousand or more indexed in google
dozens or maybe hundreds of long tail search terms come up number 1
(including dreadheadhq and/or kniottyboy reviews haha we have hundreds of reviews..and all are very bad but honnest)
so we have a wide reach, and a very strong loyalyty
with alot of word of mouth reach.. that sort of "buzz'
the praise of your members who spread the word for you and really cherish your site for all you do for them is pricless
you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on seo to try to get to the top
but without the loyalty of your members..without the value your site offers thbat keeps them coming back
your site will not only be worthless but will have a bad rep
you can have thousands of links from thousands of sites that are all relevant
but if the info on all thousand sites is wrong..bad info..your site will be nothing but a joke
unfortunately there are alot of people out there just in it for the money who believe the lies told by the top sites so thousands of people a day get ripped off still
further info the 2 commercial sites all the other sites link to
dreadheadhq ranking 670,072 (our global ranking beats their usa ranking haha) 6 pages per user and 5 min on site average
knottyboy 489,198 (again our global ranks better then their usa rank) 9 pages per user and 9 minutes on site
total traffic at a guess id have to say we get more traffic then all the top 10 positioned sites combined
mostly cause those in the know know to overlook those sites and search deeper
although too many newbies get stuck in the top positioned sites fir too long and dont find us till its too late
(which is why i pay attention to seo so much..i owe it to my members to get us to the top so fewer people get ripped off)
Interesting info, thanks for sharing. Looking into this I saw all kinds of opportunities for you.
First off I think you do have a satisfactory SEO position there. You are right there mid-page and the wiki & photo listings are non-competitive. The search user behavior will probably discount those, so I think you have a good opportunity to catch interest. The problem is I don't think you do enough to distinguish what you have to offer as a more attractive selection. People will take a glance through the results enough to notice your option, but if you don't outclass the higher results then they will select those first. Your description is useful but could be more effective IMHO.
You've got social authority- a qualitative differentiation that should make it obvious you outclass those other sites. Either they are straight up informational or solicitive, and despite the fact they may have social applications, none of them represent specifically a social network on your niche. However, I think your approach comes across as informational regardless of your mention of forums etc. Appearance-wise, it also kind of looks solicitive on first impression.
So I think your statistics there don't suggest you're falling short in SEO, but rather what you are doing right that you should put more of your focus into. So, just to put that into perspective for you, take those proven strengths and repackage your value proposition to showcase those aspects. I think Jen used to have an Alexa ranking feed, for instance, and since you rate higher in those respective categories, you might even put that out there positioning your concept as the "best" site.
The concept of your site is constrained. Saying it is a "niche site" kind of falls short of somebody that goes with a more direct "niche" name. I like your prospects better with refocus on "niche network". The neat thing is you can justify both having that domain and being a network. So what I would do is go ahead with the rebranding to The Dreadlocks Network or even Social Network, retitle that for your SEO call up, and then in the description reframe to something like "A social network for people who love dreadlocks. The best site for learning the right ways to grow natural dreads".
Just a slight redirection. A little more thought into it, and you could do even more to separate your value proposition as a better first option to select even if you've got a few corporate listings ahead of you.
Delivery- I think when people check you out, you need to do a better job in presentation. The first impression is off. The top result is so weak and poorly done, there's no question why they get bounced. There is one site ahead that's showing an upgrade in quality, but it's real artificial missing the point of the organic appeal of dreads. Plus, they're missing the point on social suggesting it's a fun value-add on their site when they can't help but put forward their commercial interests first. So you are ultimately in a better position to deliver the social value first, non-commercialized, and more sophisticated in the sense of showcasing real people, genuine community support (for the haircare aspect), and the natural beauty through visual intensive organic style photography.
There's a lot I would do to reframe your concept and main page. I would make it more about the niche and community, and less about hair care. That could naturally follow and still be a featured value- just not the main one. I actually recommend Ning creators be selective in what they present on their main page instead of just feeding in module activity. In your case, I would suggest more module activity to reflect the social network differentiation- still being selective to put feature the best though for controlling first impression. I would also keep on much of the paneling but be more selective on what you are presenting. So social media that delivers the visual people have in mind when they visit, for instance, like some quality photography of attractive people with good dreads. Instead of trying to hit people directly with the info, maybe present an expose on some interesting member, event, perhaps article that addresses the subject matter. In that way people get it. The value is there for the taking without feeling forced. You can still get the main page SEO there and deliver it with link through to discussion, blog, video, photo, profile, etc.
O.K. so I'll cut this short. You've already established a credible basis for social authority. Use that for your advantage, distinguish yourself from the competition, and let the viral upswell carry you on over those other SEO results.
hmm well i love the suggestion about the description and i will use tbat absolutely
im not so sure about putting the social aspect above the advice aspect as the 1 thing that everyone says gives our site the highest value is the quality of advice we offer
but i will concider that for now ill definately change that description thats an excelent suggestion
I realize you weren't asking. Totally agree with the tip, just suggesting you take it even further. Those other sites with something to sell have nothing to offer really but info, and as you said it's misleading toward their product lines. People with common sense will usually see through that and look for more credible word-of-mouth info from people who can speak from experience, have genuine passion for the subject, & don't have alterior motives. Yet, even the most naive of people are inclined to be more impressed with what the majority of people have to say vs. straight up info.
i changed the description on the front and main page as u suggested and as soon as i saw it change in google it sure did seem to increase traffic
its too soon to say for sure since it wasnt a full day yet only 12 hours or so but i thunk ill be seeing new highs
ill keep u posted
Right on. I will stay tuned. It's interesting to hear you got notable results that quickly.
Still, I'd bet you get way more by changing the SERP title from
dreadlocks natural dreads
The Dreadlocks Social Network
ok awesome news changing that description ..and having it take effect 1/2 way through the day made today the highest traffic day of all time
so expect tomorow to be even higher
awesome tip! thanx