Beware the statistics in niche SEO markets

How well are you doing with your SEO?

This is a question anyone involved in promoting an on-line business is constantly asking.  And if you have even the most basic information on SEO you will already know that the best place to start getting good actionable information is from Google’s own products – Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics.

However, when we have been watching these figures recently, there seemed to be some anomalies, and in particular the most popular search keyword was showing well below par click-through rates (CTR).

The website in question was about Diving Gran Canaria with Davy Jones Diving, which can in worldwide terms be considered a very tiny ‘niche’ market, with just a smallish number of main competitors and a market of visiting tourists.   The customers come from all over Europe and it was noticeable that the CTR for English queries was lower than the CTR for German or Spanish.

Then it finally dawned on us … because there are several companies all monitoring their position and rankings, probably on a daily basis, some of whom will use automated tools to measure their position, this will lead to a disproportionate increase in overall impressions in a small, niche market, compared to a bigger market with good search volumes.   In this case all the main players are managed in English and this has traditionally been the strongest market for Scuba Diving. So, if 6 competitors all check their status every day twice on average, then after 30 days .. they will have generated 300 impressions between them, so if the market is only running at say 2000 impressions per month… you can see that 15% of the apparent volume will come from competitive monitoring of the SERPS output by the main players in the market.

So the best advice in small markets, apply some caveats and segmentation to your stats, and you will have to learn how to interpret your data more effectively to take the best decisions from it.

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