Elance Blog

Use the Pyramid Approach to Build Web Traffic

How do you drive traffic to your website? Of course one way is to turn to a search engine optimization specialist on Elance, but did you know that there are simple steps that you can take right now on your own? Mike Mindel, Founder of Wordtracker.com, discusses his easy-to-follow "pyramid approach" to building more web traffic to your site.

By properly organizing the content on your website, you can increase traffic from Google and other search engines. If, in the past, you’ve struggled to attract the traffic you want, a well-planned site structure will really help.

Google loves sites with lots of content. So, to maximize your chances of attracting traffic, your site needs lots of content. Organizing that content will make you look like an authority site, so Google (and other search engines) are more likely to send you traffic. Think about creating at least 25 web pages. If you’re setting up a new site you should build a home page, five category pages, and 4-5 content pages in each category.

You should try to organize your content in a pyramid shape:


Home page keywords
Category page keywords
Content pages for each category


This helps readers find what they are looking for, and helps search engines see the related themes in your content.

Plan Your Site With Keyword Research
Start your planning by researching the keywords that you want to be found in Internet searches for your site.

There are lots of keywords tools available to help you. Over time, any successful site is going to need to target hundreds of keywords, so it’s worth investing in a tool that helps you manage that work. Wordtracker offers both a paid Keywords tool and, if you’re working on a budget, a free keywords tool. Google’s Adwords tool is popular too.

We recommend checking your keyword research results against more than one source, as search figures will vary.

How to Structure Your Site for More Traffic
Your home page is likely to target one or two of your most popular keywords. If you were selling tea online, your pyramid would start at the high level by targeting the keyword: tea.

You’re likely to face competition for a popular keyword such as tea, so you might want to include a less competitive keyword phrase on your home page, too. Something like buy tea online. Fewer sites will be targeting the longer phrase, so it will be easier to rank well on the search engines - and there's a better chance you'll attract traffic.

Let’s return to our pyramid of content.

Each category should address a niche market. Your category pages would address niche types of tea, like green tea, herbal tea and oolong tea. You can determine what your categories should be by looking at the results of your keyword research. Remember--keyword research is the same thing as site planning.


On your home page, you would link to your category pages. You should use relevant linking text in each of the links. So, on your home page you would have links to each of your category pages. In our example, these would include the terms green tea, herbal tea and oolong tea.

Content Pages
Next, each category page should link to its content pages. This sets up the structure of your website. Now you can begin to create content pages.

In each of your categories, you would provide content (videos, articles, blog posts). Again, each page would target a keyword. These might be topics such as the benefits of green tea, Chinese green tea, or Green tea caffeine. Just know that the keywords on your content pages are likely to be less competitive long-tail keywords.

You might want to create themes across categories. So, you could create content pages about the benefits of tea, you would target green tea benefits in one category and herbal tea benefits in another. Link the pages to each other and you’ll let Google know that they are related, as well as helping users to better navigate through your site.

You shouldn’t target more than one keyword per page, nor should you use the same keywords on different pages. Each target keyword needs its own page, and each page should be optimized for one or two keywords.

At Wordtracker.com, we’ve put together this 18-minute video will show you how to optimize an individual page using keywords.

Finding Keywords for Your Content

A good keywords tool will help you identify keywords that people are searching for. You can see how many people are searching for these keywords and determine which are best for your website based on the search volume. As a general rule, those keywords with more searches will make good category page topics.

Let’s say you’re creating a website for an osteopath and have determined that back pain is a well-searched keyword and one that you want to use as a category. Now type back pain into your keywords tool to find keywords to use for content pages.

In the results, you want keywords with high search volume and low competition. In Wordtracker, for instance, the 'Competition' column tells you how many sites you’d be competing with for any keyword.

You’re likely to get more traffic if you target low-competition keywords with high search volumes. If you’re new to search engine optimization (SEO) you might want to test some low-competition keywords along with more competitive keywords to see what traffic you get back.


Using Keywords To Create Great Content
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, you can start creating content.

Let’s look at an example. If low back pain right side is getting a lot of searches but doesn’t have much competition, this could be one of the content pages in your Back Pain category. You could create an article called “Causes of Low Back Pain Right Side” or “Low Back Pain Right Side Remedies.”

For another content page, you might create a video titled “Lower Back Pain Stretches” and another blog post on a separate page for “Treating Upper Back Pain Rib Area.” The key is to focus on a single keyword subject for each page while still keeping the content relevant to its category.

Another way to help search engines find your related content is to interlink your content. At the bottom of your “Low Back Pain Right Side Remedies” page you can list relevant links to the other pages of Back Pain content. This not only helps readers find more content on the subject they are interested in, but also assists Google and other search engines in determining what pages are related to one another.


Once your content is organized into a pyramid structure, you should think about building links to your site. Google rewards sites that have lots of links from other sites. The more useful people find your content, the more likely they are to link to you and the more search engines will love you. So, creating great content is always a good idea!

If you're serious about boosting your search engine results, you can take a risk-free 7-day trial of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

About the Author

Mike Mindel has a passion for internet marketing and is a founder of Wordtracker.com, the keyword research company.

In Wordtracker’s online Academy, you’ll find lots of free articles, books and videos about keywords, link building, SEO and PPC. We also run regular free webinars about search marketing.


Mike, thanks for sharing this post. I love the way you explain it and the diagrams you use. It makes it seem a lot more simple.

Thanks this is great and useful information!

Hi Mike,
You certainly have demystified the whole process by your step-by-step description.

Your article will be the major force to help me design my next website, obviously with the aid of my Elance Team.



Great article, plain and simple and the diagrams make it hit home harder.

Excellent Job. Thanks to be a part of our family :)

Thank you for your excellent basic outline about how to organize content - We are a small business offering professional services with a niche market - It has been our long experience that those seeking services like our are very location sensitive - they search for the type of service available in a particular locality - these localities are relatively small and therefore we must attract traffic from numerous localities in the area around our office - I have noticed that many websites address this problem by creating many web pages with identical content except for the locality - i.e widgets smallville - widgets - ballville - widgets - zallville - etc that then like back to the content page for widgets - Is this the most effective method of structuring the website or can you suggest another way -