How to rank for the most lucrative keywords
Before we can set sail for website optimization and embark on our SEO journey, it is important to determine your destination. What phrases do you want to rank your website for? It is quite common to target the wrong keywords. Most people are confused by the assumption that because one search term is getting the most searches, it must also be the best to target.
This section will show you a version the keyword research process we use for client campaigns. A video showing the process can be viewed and a template spreadsheet downloaded for free. Search YouTube for “keywords Exposure Ninja” to view the entire video.
Step 1: Brainstorm keywords
Begin by naming the core products/services that your business sells. These keywords are your’seed keywords’, the keywords you use to describe your products or business.
Core services, and thus Exposure Ninja’s’seed’ keywords are:
* Search Engine Optimization
* Content Marketing
* Influencer Marketing
* Facebook Ads Management
* Web Development
A core service for an event planning company could be:
* Corporate Events
* Corporate Parties
* Product launches
* Private Parties
Next, try to imagine yourself as your target customer. Then think about the phrases you would use if they were searching for these products and services.
A customer searching for a business may not know the search terms they used. Exposure Ninja customers may not be aware of the different digital marketing services that we offer. Instead, customers might search for the keywords that are most relevant to their needs or search for a specific keyword.
* How to increase traffic to my website
* I want to sell my product
* You can sell products online
* Increase your business online
* A list of marketing services
* Online marketing company
The following might interest customers of an events company:
* Event organizers
* Arrange corporate parties
* Product Launch Planner
Don’t try to filter or second-guess yourself at this stage. Just let the ideas flow freely. This phase is not scientific because we need to have a wide range of keywords that are ‘common sense’. Filtering will take place later.
You can find an online forum or chat room to help you if you are stuck or trying to research a new market. Reddit and Quora are great resources for natural language. We sometimes use them to search keywords for clients. What is the best way for people to explain their situation? How does one explain their situation? It is important to match your language and keywords to the experience level of your target audience.
You should aim for at least 10 keywords in your rough start list. However, this may be more if you have a lot of products. You will need to do a lot of keyword research if you sell many products. Each product category will have its own set of keywords. In this instance, I recommend that you do keyword research in stages. Start with the most popular and profitable product categories. You can continue adding categories to your catalogue until you have it all covered and optimized.
Step 2: Select keywords from Search Console
You can use Google Search Console to check for keywords you are ranking for or gaining traffic for if you have a website.
Log in to Search Console https://search.google.com/search/console/about. Select “Performance” and then “Search Results”. A graph should appear showing you the number of visits to your site from Google search results. Below the graph is a table that will display the search terms your website appears for in search results. These search queries can be good keywords for you to add to your own list.
Step 3: Use SEOrush to locate keywords
Next, you need to determine which phrases are ranking well for your keywords. SEMrush is a paid tool, but we have negotiated a 30-day trial at https://thankyouninjas.com. This is a great tool that can help you save time and money.
SEMrush allows you to drop any website address into the program and view the keywords it ranks for.
The Keyword column displays the keyword for which the site ranks. The position that the site appears on Google is called Pos. Position 1 is the top page, while position 11 is at the top of page 2. Volume refers to the number of times that this phrase is searched each year.
It may surprise you to find out which keywords your site ranks for!
Select any keywords that are relevant to your products and services, and add them to the keyword list.
This is a great time to discuss keyword search volumes. It is possible that certain phrases you want to rank for are not being searched in SEMrush, or any other keyword tool. Keyword search volume is an important factor, but you should take it with a huge pinch of salt because:
1. None of these tools can accurately report or know the search volume for any given phrase. Each number in the SEMrush table is an estimate. Some of them are based on other estimates.
2. If your target audience is a good fit for your business, even low-volume phrases are worth targeting. Which would you prefer to have visit your website? 10 people who want to purchase the exact product that you are selling or 100 people who might be interested in something similar.
Companies have been built by ranking phrases with low search volumes. My number one rule in SEO is to never trust data before commonsense. If you are certain that you should target this phrase, make sure it’s on the list!
Step 4: Search for keywords that are similar to yours
While we’ll soon be discussing how to identify your competitors’ keywords strategy, you can take a look at the website of those companies and see what kind of language they use to describe their products. Do they use any phrases you would like to include in your keyword strategy? Copy them, but don’t assume they know what you’re doing.
You can also check their ranking in SEMrush. Do they rank for the same phrases that you would like?
Step 5: If your business is location-based,
To ensure that your searches are relevant, add these keywords to local businesses or targeted locations. You should compile a list of areas, counties, cities and towns that are close to the location where your business is located.
SEMrush will show you the search volume, CPC, and competition in the area. Determine which areas have the greatest value and should be addressed first. These locations can be used as a suffix or prefix to each keyword.
Step 6: Choose the most lucrative keywords
You may have hundreds of keywords. Now it is time to prioritize them and make a list of between 10-50. It might seem like a large range. However, there are also readers who sell a single product and others who sell many.
This will assume you are using SEMrush for keyword research. However, any keyword research tool should provide similar metrics. You can analyse the keywords’ metrics by simply entering it in the box at the top.
The volume is a measure of how many people search for that phrase each month. This is an indicator because, as we said earlier, SEMrush does not know how many people search for “car insurance quotes” each monthly. We’ll show you how to use the Competition and CPC data shortly.
Bonus tip: Google Trends can be used to track changes in interest in search terms over the past year if your business is trend driven or seasonal. If a keyword is on an upwards trend it can be worthwhile targeting it. You could also be able to steal a march on your competitors by capturing a valuable keyword before anyone else does. Google Trends uses relative data to show the interest level. Therefore, the scale is always between 0 and 100. 100 represents the highest amount of interest the keyword has received.
You’ll also see the Related Keywords section. This shows similar keywords as well as Phrase Match Keywords. These show keywords that are related to your keyword. To view the complete lists, you can click View Full Report on either of these tables. As we refine, please add any keywords that are relevant.
We have four criteria that you can use to narrow down your keyword list and place it in your priority group. It is not possible to determine the exact balance of each criteria. There are no right or wrong keywords for your business, so you will need to use your judgment. A keyword research process that is too heavily influenced by data or based on opinion won’t be very useful. I recommend getting as much information as possible and then selecting the best ones. Now, we’ll go over the criteria and then discuss some additional selection and prioritization tips.
Search volume: Your priority keywords must have sufficient search volume to allow for enough traffic.
Ranking first for any one phrase will likely bring you about 40% of traffic. If you want to generate 100 leads per month using a group keywords with volumes between 0-10, you will need to rank for many keywords.
The key is to strike a balance. Keywords with the highest search volumes tend to be more competitive. If your site isn’t well-known yet, you will have to target the most popular phrases on the market.
Competitor: This metric measures the level of paid advertising for the keyword on a scale from 0-1. 1 is the most competitive. High-competition keywords tend to have high commercial intent. If there are many advertisers who are interested in bidding on a particular phrase, it is usually because they make money from it.
SEMrush also has a KD competition metric, which is ‘Keyword Difficulty. This is a measure of competition for organic search positions. It is scored between 0 and 100, 100 being high competition.
We must again balance picking phrases we are confident we can win (low competition), with phrases we feel worthy of fighting for (high competition). Your site’s visibility will determine which phrases you prioritize. If your site is not as visible as your competitors, you might want to target phrases with lower competition. If your site is already competitive, you can aim for the most popular phrases on the market.
CPC (Cost Per Click): Similar to Paid Ads Competition the CPC shows how profitable the keyword is. CPC (Cost per Click) is the average price an advertiser pays to click on an advertisement for this keyword. CPC is used to assess a keyword’s commercial intention (how likely it will be that people make purchases after performing a search).
The CPC for the keyword “short-term loans” is PS10.90. Advertisers are willing to pay PS10.90 per search for this keyword as the searcher has high commercial intent (they are searching for loans) and the sale is enough for them to make a profit.
A keyword for “Aston Villa website”, has a cost per click of 28p. Advertisers don’t want to pay clicks for these searches because they think these searches are low in commercial intent. The searchers may not be looking for something.
Step 7: Use Google keywords to verify that the search results are relevant
It is always a good idea to run a quick Google search on keywords to verify that they are correct. Although keywords can seem to be relevant, they may have multiple meanings or aren’t specific enough for your business. Or, search engines might interpret them in multiple ways.
Is it too broad for this search to be relevant?
It is better to target niche phrases that have low traffic to get all the relevant searchers, rather than to try to attract irrelevant traffic from broad keywords that have higher but less relevant searches. Although it can be tempting to target broad keywords with high volumes, you should be careful as the quality of traffic and conversion rate are lower for keywords that are too broad.
For example, law firms may target “lawyer” and “law firm”, but this search term could have multiple intents.
* Someone who wants to learn how to spell lawyer
* Someone who wants to learn more about the work of a lawyer
* Someone looking for an image of a lawyer
* A person who is interested in a different type of law than the client
* A person who wants to make a career out of law.
* Someone looking for entertainment, such as films or books about lawyers
It would be better to use a smaller, more specific search term like “criminal lawyer”, “divorce lawyer”, “personal injury lawyer”, or “property attorney”.
You might consider going even narrower if your business has very limited visibility. “Divorce lawyer in Bristol”, “low cost property lawyer”, “no win, no fee personal injury attorney” or “local criminal lawyer”.
Step 8: Once you have your keywords, locate your key pages
Your website’s key pages are the pages you want to drive traffic to and improve rankings. Your homepage is unlikely to be the page that ranks highest for certain keywords. However, other pages on your website may have a greater chance of ranking higher than your homepage.
Because they contain lots of content on each topic, your individual product or service pages will rank.
You might also have product pages and pages about services. These pages are key because they already contribute and can be further pushed with some additional optimization or links.
These additional key pages can be found quickly using Google Search Console
* Log in to Google Search console: https://search.google.com/search/console/about
* Select “Performance” and then “Search Results” from the left-side menu
* Check the boxes for “Total clicks”, “Total impressions”, “Average Click Rate” (clickthrough rate), and “Average Position” in the graph.
* Select “Pages” in the table below the graph.
* Take note of pages or blog posts with a high number of impressions, clickthrough rates, clickthrough rates, and average positions.
These key pages should be noted in a spreadsheet. Later, you’ll need to map your target keywords on each page.
Your list of key pages will likely be longer if you have many websites. You can now prioritise by choosing the pages that best represent your top-selling products or service categories. These pages will rank well once you have completed the process. However, we’ll be focusing on them for now.
Next, we will want to determine if these pages rank for any keywords. This is how you do it:
* Log in to https://www.semrush.com. Remember that you can also get a 14-day free trial at https://thankyouninjas.com
* Enter your domain URL into the search box and choose “Pages” from drop-down menu.
* This will display the pages of your website that have the highest organic traffic.
* To view the keywords for each page, click on the Keywords button.
Next, you will want to map your keywords to your key webpages, such as this:
Key Page Keyword Topic Target Keywords
/boiler–repair Boilers Repair, Boiler Breakdown, Fix Boiler, Boiler Engineer
Home Plumbing & Heating Heating Plumber, Heating Engineer, Boiler Repair
/plumbing Plumber, Emergency plumber, Local plumber
This is where you map all of your priority keywords to a page on your website.
If your targeted keywords do not have a key page that is relevant to them, it’s a sign that you will need a new page.
Now is the time to analyze and improve your key pages.
Answer the following questions for each key page:
* Does the key page at least mention each target keyword at least once
* Is there more than 300 words of text? Your blog posts should aim to be longer than 300 words. A good starting point is 500 to 1,000 words, but you can go longer if your topic warrants it.
* Would a searcher who used this keyword find this page?
* Does the layout indicate that the page is relevant to the keywords without the searcher needing to scroll or dig?
* Are the subheadings and page headlines containing the target keywords, variations, or both?
Your key pages may have more content, be written more in depth and use your target phrases frequently. This is a quick way to increase your website’s ranking.
Below is a picture of a business we have done this for:
This graph shows how many keywords the site has been ranked for over time. We were able increase the visibility of the keywords by increasing the content on the key pages. We were also able to improve the ranking for each keyword, which resulted in a 30X increase in leads.
Let’s end with a word about keyword research
Keyword research isn’t a science. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s important to use common sense and your judgment when searching for tools or methods that can help you determine which keywords to target.
Remember that keyword research is not done. After we have seen the results of the optimisation, we usually review the client’s target keyword lists about every six months to ensure that they are still relevant.