Compound SEO is the process of applying SEO to your marketing efforts. This technique can be used to create a compounding effect and generate more leads than ever before.
The foundational concept of compound SEO is to figure out what a site’s authority is. It is the type of authority that determines what level of keywords Google will trust you without doing any SEO. The idea is you launch a new page and Google will instantly trust you with certain keywords. Most SEO professionals have had the experience where you had a longer tail phrase and you don’t do too much SEO to the page. You launch it and you’re instantly on page two or three and it starts drifting up, then it’s on the top of page two, then the bottom of page one. This is before you have done much of anything to the page, and you think you’re an SEO god.
Know Your Tier
So, you promote a keyword that’s nearly identical in terms of everything you can see from outside the metrics, and you don’t crack the top 100 with that term. So, you think, what’s the difference between those two keywords. They look identical. The difference is likely that one was in your tier and Google just trusted you with it, and the other one wasn’t. So, to win that other term and move it up, you need a boost. You need something that’s going to carry you out of your authority or your natural tier.
You can do that, but the idea is that you are susceptible to the whims of Google because Google gave you that boost outside of your tier. If we change something and Google doesn’t like that boost anymore, you didn’t necessarily get penalized, you just got dropped down to the place where you normally would be.
The Purpose of Compound SEO
To understand compound SEO, try developing content within your tier so that you’re getting clicks and impressions without really doing any SEO. The only SEO you’re doing to get what Google wants to give you is putting your keyword in the title tag, H1, and dispersing it a few times in your content. The idea is that as you get more and more clicks, you move up to the next tier and then go after a different set of keywords, then a new set of keywords, etc. This makes the page grow so you have a site that’s built on an extremely strong foundation and is much less susceptible to any kind of traffic volatility or Google updates.
What About the Google Sandbox?
This also bring up the question, “is there a Google sandbox.” The answer is no, there isn’t. With a new website you start at zero. It’s a matter of what keywords will Google trust you with at the very beginning. You need to lay that foundation to start moving up in the rankings, starting with the lower competition keywords within your tier. That’s the path to quicker results. You can be on page one in a month by choosing the right keywords.
Compound SEO Framework
The framework of this is from Chris Carter at SerpWoo. If you read SEO Without Resources, he has an amazing article and on the article is a chart and that chart is a great place to start. I think you’ll want to modify it a bit as you get more comfortable with the concepts, but it’s a great jumping off point to figure out what your tier might be. The rough idea is it’s based on clicks or the impressions that you’re receiving from Google currently. Look at Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Basically, you look at a three-month span where you take your low clicks day and your high clicks day and toss out the outliers. From there that gives you the range where Google is trusting you. What you can do is go after keywords that have the monthly search volume within that range
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be going after the big money, more difficult keywords. You should be going after those terms as well. The idea of the compound is that it lays the foundation. You should have the high competition keywords on your pages even if you’re never going to win them just for topical coverage as part of a complete website. If you are going after the term “weight loss” you are never going to rank high for that term, it is just too competitive.
Use techniques that work but don’t base your whole strategy on a few “techniques.” That’s not going to help you sustain in the long run. Let’s say that you are building links all the time and that’s your main strategy. Having a good link building strategy is good, but you need to have a foundation laid out first, which is the compound.
The concept is that you really want to find something that doesn’t require much SEO. Those are the keywords you’re looking for. You’re just doing on-page SEO and not off-page SEO, such as links. For the target pages that bring in a lot more ROI that are more difficult, go all in doing SEO for those terms.
Being topical with your keywords is what compounding is all about. Google favors sites where there are answers for what people are searching for. That’s what being an authority is, providing topical coverage. You have answered all the questions and more. You need pages to answer those questions, so why not build out those pages that answer the questions? You can then start ranking for those keywords, plus your authority is going to go up, you’ll get more clicks, you will be happy, and your clients will be happy.