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RPI and CTP: (cont'd)

What really makes RPI valuable, though, is that we can look at a web site and judge the maximum attainable RPI for that site, at that time. It also gives us goals to shoot for to improve RPI, as well. In my experience, the following RPI values are realistic goals:

  • An RPI of 4 is possible with a medium-sized site with a moderate SEO campaign.

  • RPI of 5 is possible for a large site with an aggressive, year-long SEO campaign.

  • RPI of 6 is within reach with a huge site with and an aggressive, multiple-year SEO campaign.

  • RPI of 7 or 8 is only possible if you happen to run a "Household word" site, like Ebay or Amazon.

Assume a 'medium-sized' site has 20-40 pages of quality, text content. A 'large' site has 40-100 pages. A 'huge' site will have at least 100-200 pages of text content.

So, if we find a set of terms and calculate the RPI necessary to achieve a high rank for that term, we can use RPI to predict what is or isn't possible for your search engine optimization campaign, given your current site. We can also plan out how we might grow your web site, and bring terms requiring a higher RPI within reach.

Using RPI to Predict Search Engine Rank

RPI makes it possible to estimate the rank you will achieve for a given keyword, on a given web site with a given number of pages of text content.

To estimate your potential rank, after search engine optimization, use this formula:

Rank = competition/10RPI
Round up to the next integer.
competition is the number of competing sites in a search for this term.
rank is the rank that your site gets on a search for the term.

Important caveat: This is an educated guess only! Your actual rank will be determined by a large number of factors, many of which you have no control over. Your actual rank might be higher or lower than this formula will tell you. The main idea is to make the best guess possible with the information you have.

Here's an example: Suppose you have a site that can reasonably achieve an RPI of 4 or 5 - it's a fairly good-sized site, but not over 30-40 pages. Then assume you conduct a moderately aggressive SEO campaign - you optimize your site, add some targeted content and get a few incoming links, so you can achieve a target RPI of 5 for a keyphrase that has 200,000 competing sites. Plugging these numbers into the formula gives you:

200,000 / 105
= 200,000 / 100,000
= 2

The formula predicts a rank of #2.

Note that RPI can be used to make predictions about rank, but it doesn't tell you anything about the amount of actual traffic you will receive for a term after search engine optimization. For that, you need to use Click-Through Prediction.

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