SEO Methodology For Yearly Events – Revisited

by Alex Graves
See Dave Speak SMX London

Today I have been looking into the most efficient way to be able to perform SEO on year related events such as the Grand National and the World Cup, or generally any event, competition or regular occurrence that you as a webmaster could look to target.

This is not a secret formula that is going to give you the edge over all of your competitors as the information held within this post has been cited by professionals for a number of years but it seems that there are still people out there that are not conducting their optimisation for such occurrences in a way that would build strength year in, year out and so this is why i thought that i should take the time to reinstate this information for you!

It seems that the general uniform of webmasters looking to rank for terms that contain yearly stubs, like Grand National betting 2009 and later editions of the competition, is that webmasters create a new page each year, something that theoretically means that you are having to generate link equity into new pages every time you create the pages but my research shows that there is a better way to optimise your site to enable you to retain the equity within that area of the site.

The key to being able to successfully retain and build further equity within a certain page is the creation of a ‘central hub' that will act as the main focus for the key terms that you are looking to target, allowing you to efficiently alter the way in which that certain page is presented in order to ensure that the work that you have put into your optimisation for the previous year is wasted on time related pages that soon become little more than filler content on a site once the buzz from the event has passed.

Although there are a vast number of website owners out there that will be reading this and thinking that this is exactly what they are doing at the moment, the fact is that from the evidence that I have seen across the internet spectrum, many are still not making the best use of the pages that they are spending time, money and effort into optimising, only to bury their hard work later on.

So what do I mean that you should be looking to create a so called ‘central hub'?

As many of you will know, which each and every link that you place into a certain page of your website, equity is passed into the page, helping to increase the strength and authority of the page as links are considered to be the equivalent of a voting system, the more ‘votes' your page has, the more power it absorbs.

I'm sure that I don't need to outline the fact that there are a number of strengths of ‘vote' within the link building game, dictated by the authority and strength that a ‘voting' site has, meaning that if you use the Google PageRank metric as an indication towards the authority of a site, a link from a higher PageRank site is going to be valued more than a link from a site with very little authority but that's basic link building and many of you guys will already know this so I will continue.

My discussion with Dave revealed that there is a way in which a website owner would be able to create a page that would be able to not only house the content of your chosen event for the year in which you created it, but there was a way to be able to make that page work for your site in a continuous cycle, meaning that year on year, you have an increasingly strong and better respected page to be able to push your service/product or other reason that you have created the page in the first instance.

The solution is to create one page that will become the main focus of attention, for both users and linking strategy surrounding that niche area, but the key to the correct execution of the method is that you need to know what and when to change in order to be able to retain the power of the page without offering historic data from the previous year.

Now I know that many of you are still waiting for me to share exactly what I mean by this but I wanted to take a moment to stop all of those readers that are about to rush back onto their site to lace their Grand National betting related page with additional content, that's not the best way to use this method, so stay with me.

Realising that the strength of a page can be vital when it comes to search engine rankings we need to find a way of being able to retain the use of a page while still keeping the content fresh and related to the event that you are promoting, there is no point promoting the Grand National 2009 on a page when this year is 2011.

So how can you make use of a page that has previous information on without the removal of the information, after all content is king in many eyes, but yet still keep the page in which you have built strength and authority into so that you can replenish the information with more recent content for this year's push?

Time stubs.

The addition of time stubs would mean that you would be given the chance to be able to take the old content that features on the page and move it into a new page that would mean that the original page could be then geared towards the latest year of the event.

So let me break this down a little bit further for you so that you can see my findings in action:

My demo site that will be used to explain the methodology behind this article

As you can see from the title at the top of the page, the image is of a horse race betting site that I have created in order to show you exactly what I mean within this article, don't worry, I know that reams of text can be hard to swallow at times!

So this is MyFakeRacing, and on the page that I am showing you at the moment, I am trying to optimise for the keyword term ‘Grand National Betting 2009' as you will be able to make out from the use of a header 1 (h1) title that I have in place.

H1 Title Tag Highlighted For Your Reference

My title in place, you know exactly what I am about to cover on that page and can already guess what the subject of the following content of that page is going to be centred around.

As the owner of the site I want to be able to rank this page as high within the search engine results as possible and this means that I need to build links into the site, resulting in authority being given to the page and as long as I have my on page and off page optimisation practises in place, a higher ranking will begin to materialise, there is no magic and no secret behind the success of gaining high rankings, you need authority and plenty of it.

So having spent days, weeks and months working on getting links into the page, I begin to see movement within the rankings and by the time that the race is scheduled to run, i’m sat in the number one position on Google and am reaping the rewards that come with the level of traffic that i am receiving, the meeting passes and a month later the visits to the page have stopped and it’s now time to push that page out of the limelight and into the ‘filler’ folders as i look to build a new page for the Grand National Betting 2010 market.

WRONG!

I have seen that many webmasters are following that train of thought and instead of learning how best to utilise the page in order to benefit you within your push for the Grand National 2010, they have simply buried the page deep within their site and allowed their authority building to simply sit out of sight.

The website owners tend to be those that believe that the URL structure of their site is correct and fail to see the advantages of a slightly different set up which could mean that their links that are pointing into their old page could offer strength to the new keyword push that you are making, ‘Grand National Betting 2010′.

So lets have a look at the way that these website owners set our their sites (could you be one of them?) and reveal the best way in which to set your URL structure out:

Do your URLs look like these? If so, you could be making better use of your pages!

Although the URL structure on the examples above are great for the user, there is a slight alteration that would be able to keep the easy of reading for the visitors to your site but would also mean that you were able to retain the authority that you build into your pages throughout the years, resulting in one stronger page on your site rather than 3 sites that carry 1/3 of the authority that would be generated with this easy to do alteration.

So how should you create the pages on your site to ensure maximum power each and every time a new occurrence of the event happens?

Lets reference back to my display site that I showed you earlier within the article, MyFakeRacing.

To be able to make full use of the authority that I am building into that page (the Grand National Betting 2009 page) I would need to create that page on the following URL:

Creating this page on the URL shown means that the name of the event features within the structure but also gives me the chance to be flexible with the content that I am able to place on the page, including what i am about to explain.

Making use of on page SEO optimisation methods such as the addition of H1 and H2 tags can help to define what the topic of the page is at any given time and this means that http://www.MyFakeRacing.com/grand-national has the potential to be the home of any Grand National related page that I want to be able to rank within the search engines, but to be able to keep the content on that page unique and up to date I need to have a plan to make use of the content that was filling the page previously.

So what steps should you take to make the most out of your hard work?

Create a central page that will act as a’hub’ which will be the home of the most recent content that you have created for that event that you are looking to promote. This will also be the page that you will look to build your links into.

Once the first instance of the event has passed (2 weeks after the event), move the content from the ‘hub’ page into an archive section like the image below:

Moving the content from the original page into an archive page relating to the year

The above movement of the content into a related archive page means that you are able to keep the content that you have provided to your users on the site while clearing the initial page for new content that relates to the following occurence of the event, benefiting from the links and hype that the page has previously generated.

This movement of the content from www.FakeURL.co.uk/grand-national should be made every year, with the later events been placed within their relevent archive year, so the 2010 content that was used would be moved to www.FakeURL.co.uk/archive/2010/grand-national.

The creation of a new page would mean that when the archive pages have been created, they would not have the equity within them that you had created and so you need to make sure that you are feeding a link from the ‘hub’ page into the new page that will host the content that you have moved, so something as simple as having a small listing within www.FakeURL.co.uk/grand-national entitled ‘Previous Events’ would allow you to list links into older pages:

How you could link into your archive pages from the 'hub'

Do you optimise your site in this way or are you one of the masses of website owners out there that are missing out on the chance to reuse the links that you have generated into your site to offer better equity?

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