Being a content marketer, you at least know the basics of SEO or what is meant by it. SEO is the way to get your content ranked on the first page of search engines mainly Google, although it sounds extremely easy and attractive, let me tell you that it isn’t.
If your business operates online, then optimizing your site for search is crucial. Organic search results are an excellent place to advertise to potential buyers and reach new clients.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about how to improve your website ranking and how to build links to it.
Unless you’re the New York Times or Forbes, then ranking on Google isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. Over at Process Street we focus on a few core methods and techniques whilst sticking to our keyword research process helping us rank for difficult keywords.
Note your initial rankingBefore doing anything else, you need to find out where your page ranks today for the keyword(s) you’re focusing on. Without a baseline, you will not be able to measure your progress.
You can do it manually (search for your keyword in Google and take note of your position) or use a rank tracking tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer that can do this automatically on a daily basis.
Keep in mind that you won’t magically go from position 60 to position 5. Improvement comes gradually, but you need to know your starting point in order to track progress.
Search variationsType your target keyword(s) into a keyword tool, for example, you can use Google’s keyword tool but it doesn’t matter what you use and you want to look for two things.
First, find variations of your target keyword, especially if the keyword is long.
Next, look at the competition for each of those keywords. This data will be used later in the process.
Doing quick keyword research gives you a better idea of how difficult your keyword is to rank for and what other options you can choose from.
Then, go to Google’s search engine and type in your keyword. Look at these three crucial things:
• Suggested keywords by Google as you type in your keyword
• Pages that appear on the first results page
• Suggestions for “related searches” at the bottom of the page
Find the competitionOnce you have settled on your keyword, you need to find out what the competition is for that keyword. Do a search on Google and see how good your competitors are doing for your chosen keyword. You want to pay close attention to the following:
- Domains and URLs – How many are exact match domains? Does every URL in the top 10 include the keyword?
- Titles – How do the title tags incorporate the keyword?
- Type of content that’s ranking – Product pages? Blog posts? Videos?
By doing this you’re looking for ways to differentiate yourself. You’ll need to equal the quality of content that is on the front page and ideally be adding more on top of that. Making yourself article stand out.
Measure IntentThe more specific the keyword, the easier it is to measure the searcher’s intent making it easier to record what those searches are probably looking. If you’re wondering what is meant by the word “intent” then it is marketer's best at what the person using the search query really wants to know.
Read the following keywords:
• Cheap cars
• Cars for sale
• Cars for sale in NY
• Pre Used cars for sale in NY
You’ll have noticed how much easier it is to guess the intent from the words as you went further down the list.
Now, ask yourself, what kind of content best serves your chosen keyword? In this case, it would be a selection of cars for sale. From the first search term, you can’t even tell if the person is looking for toy cars or driveable cars and even the second keyword isn’t clear enough as it could be a picture of a car that is being searched for.
Conjure up the contentOnce you have the keyword in place, you now have to decide what kind of content you are going to create. For example, is it going to be a blog post? Article? Infographic? Video? Whatever path you chose, you need to make sure that the content is of high quality enabling to rank.
Another tip, especially if you’ve got a solid base of content already, is to re-optimize existing relevant content. If you find that a page you hoped to rank isn’t performing, you can update it, re-optimize the on-page SEO, and push it back to the homepage of your site if it’s sitting in the archives. By doing this, we’ve seen boosts of more than 400% in traffic.
Also, you need to keep in mind how long the content will actually take to create, who is going to create it and if everything is going to be in-house our outsourced. Whatever ways you choose to create your content, don’t let anything distract you. Make sure it gets done. If you’re going to make content like a video you will need more resources. But if you choose to write a blog post or article you will be able to do it all in-house if you have the research of course.
Merge everything togetherKeep in mind that this formula won’t get you ranking every single time for every keyword you choose to create content for. But our team have been able to rank for high-quality niche words on Google using these methods. The majority of it is down to how good your content is, creating quality content will get you places, making middle-of-the-road content will rarely get you places.
Keyword Research: The Basics
courtesy of: poweredbysearch.
Remember after researching, optimizing and putting your post together, you still have to promote your post on social media and other outlets to help it rank. Do not just publish your content and then think that’s it done, you have to continually work at it. If you want to rank for keywords then you better put in the effort. Once you hit that top spot, guess what? -- you continue promoting it.