solar-heated-outdoor-shower
Can outdoor showers improve your SEO?

Would it be too obvious to state that you may be wondering what outdoor showers have to do with SEO? Quite likely but I’ll say it anyway. So what’s the connection? Possibly nothing and maybe everything – it all depends how you look at it.

Part of my work involves SEO, optimising websites to get as much attention from search engines as possible to improve their chances of appearing higher on the results pages. While some people claim to be able to ‘game’ the search engines and cheat their way to the top using SEO (more specifically black hat SEO) it’s generally a short term win if anything. Major search engines (when I say that I mean Google – the only search engine that counts) usually catch on to anything underhanded and adjust the results accordingly. So for my clients I generally advise them to stick to the basics and keep it above board – long term it’s the better option.

So getting back to this outdoor shower business. I’ve been tracking visits to my site and uncovered a few interesting things, some of which have to do with outdoor showers. Now my site is mostly about the cheap website services I offer and my PogoStick Web Services business, but I also blog and my blogging is quite random at the best of times. While I try to focus on Christchurch events, I often get distracted and will blog about anything from cephalopods to the blogging queen of NZ, Moata Tamaira. But my blog is only one part of my entire website, surely it wouldn’t impact too much on what keywords I rank well for? Well actually it does make quite a difference. When I look over the last 16 months of activity on my site, the phrase “outdoor shower” was in the top twenty keyword phrases that brought traffic to my site. I only mentioned it once in an old blog post, as well as a tag referencing the phrase. But still the visitors arrive from the search engines using that keyword. Actually I do have an outdoor shower (currently unused due to the colder weather and the need for a couple of brass gate valves) and I could write a lot of helpful hints and tips on building your own outdoor, solar-powered hot shower, perfect for returning from the beach after a surf, or just because showering inside makes you feel claustrophobic, but I haven’t. I only mentioned it once. It’s the power of keyword targeting and repeat visitors.

It also has to do with keyword traffic, and with the phrase “outdoor shower” having about 100,000 hits every month and my site featuring in the results despite the little content I have on the subject, it tells me that this is a phrase that isn’t very well optimised for. If you sell outdoor showers, this says “golden opportunity” like nothing else.

Broken ankle is another keyword I get a few visitors from, based on a post I wrote about six months ago when I broke my ankle playing soccer, and decided that I had to share that ground-breaking story with the world, hoping that it might help someone else out in a similar situation. Actually a quick update on the broken ankle situation; things healed quickly and I was able to enjoy an active summer – surfing, tennis and touch rugby and I was back playing soccer within four months and have been ever since without any pain or problems. One thing I do notice is if I spend a whole day on my feet that it can be a bit sore but for the most part it’s completely righted itself. The physio did say that it would take almost a full 12 months before it would look exactly like my good ankle though but to be honest I can’t tell the difference even now.

Getting back to keywords, “broken ankle” is another high traffic phrase, with about 135,000 monthly searches so it can be a keyword worth chasing if that’s what you want to rank for (for me, there’s no real benefit in capturing any of this traffic unless someone with a broken ankle decides they want a website setup to document their own broken ankle adventure!).

To illustrate how keyword targeting works, I’ve demonstrated a few techniques in this post – including it in the URL, in the post title, tags, as well as the content itself. There’s also some internal linking to related posts to boost keyword context.

One thing that will be interesting is to see how this post improves/affects my hits for those unusual keywords. Stay tuned!

Outdoor showers and other strange SEO happenings
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3 thoughts on “Outdoor showers and other strange SEO happenings

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  • Sat, 3 Dec, 11 at 11:13 am
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    Finally, there is Google, the company we joke around as being “our new overlords.” The reality is that we have, in fact, turned over vast amounts of our personal identity to this company in exchange for free webmail with pretty themes, snappy web browsing experiences, free analytics tools, more. As Allen Stern noted this weekend, “Google Knows Where I Am and Everything I Do.” (If you want to jump even deeper down that rabbit hole, take a closer look at Google’s User Data Empire). 

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