If you’ve been marketing online for a while, you may have heard other marketers say, “SEO is dead” or “SEO is too slow. Paid ads are the way to go.”
In the online marketing scene, something is always dying or on life support. The rule of thumb is to ignore all the noise. Search engine optimization (SEO) is not going anywhere because Google is not going anywhere.
Optimizing your site for the right keywords and getting ranked organically is still one of the best ways of generating traffic to your web properties. Ultimately, it all comes down to your keywords.
In this article, you’ll discover 6 basic tips to keep in mind. While these are just the tip of the iceberg, they do matter greatly. You can research them further on Google or YouTube. Most importantly, you must know what matters.
Any marketer who is seriously building niche sites will have a good keyword research tool. Tools like Jaaxy, Long Tail Pro, AHREFS, etc. help marketers understand what search terms people are looking for.
Depending on the features of the tool, you’ll be able to sort the keywords by search or by the number of words and so on. You must have a good keyword research tool to mine for keywords that people are looking for.
You can’t think them all up on your own, and the overused Google keyword planner is limited in its results. Invest in a good keyword research tool.
2. Keyword intent
Knowing what keyword intent is will help you decide if you should target it or not. Some keywords are ecommerce keywords. If you Googled them, all you’d see are ecommerce sites showing up. Even if you tried targeting your niche site for them, Google would not display you on the first page.
For example, if you searched for “Buy Nike shoes”, only shoe stores would show up. This is a product keyword and is almost impossible to rank for with a niche site.
However, if you added a modifier and searched for “best Nike shoes”, now you’d see review sites and niche sites showing up.
It’s imperative that you have a rough idea if the keywords are for products or people looking for free information, etc. Don’t waste your time and effort targeting the wrong keywords.
3. Long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are usually 3 words or longer. One example of a long tail keyword would be ‘survival flashlight no batteries needed’. If you wrote a blog post that targeted this keyword, you’d be found in the search results more easily.
If you went for a broad term like ‘survival flashlight’, it would be a lot harder to rank for that keyword. Even if a keyword only has 50 searches a month, do not discount it.
If you targeted 100 such keywords, that would be 5000 searches a month that your website gets ranked for. The key to succeeding as a smaller marketer is to go for the low hanging fruit. You’ll have to pick a lot more fruit, but over time, you will have a ton of traffic.
4. Sprinkle them sparingly
Gone are the days when you could use the same keyword a hundred times in one paragraph and still rank. Nowadays, Google is extremely smart and can tell if a marketer is trying to rank by overusing the same keyword in the blog post.
So, use your keyword and variations of it sparingly in your blog post. Group similar keywords together and use them in the same blog post. This will increase the relevancy of your post. Throw in a few LSI keywords for good measure too.
Do not have too many links with the same anchor text on your blog post. One link for the keyword you’re targeting should suffice. You may have another link with anchor text such as ‘click here’, ‘read more’, etc.
Your post needs to look ‘legit’ and like you’re not even making any effort to rank. Less is more. Google is closely watching your posts with its virtual hawk eyes. So, make sure you do not do anything suspicious or try too hard to rank.
6. What are your competitors doing?
No matter what keyword tool you use, always go back to Google search before you target any keyword. What does that mean?
For example, if your keyword research tool says that ‘longest runtime flashlight’ is a good keyword to target, don’t just follow it blindly and write a blog post targeting it.
What you’ll want to do is get on Google and search for the term. Study the first 5 results that show up. Are they authority sites? Ecommerce sites? How much content is there in the blog posts that are ranking?
All these are indicators of whether you have a fighting chance of ranking for the keyword you’re targeting. Once you’ve studied the competition, you can make an intelligent decision as to whether the juice is worth the squeeze.
To wrap things up, keyword research is one of the most mundane of tasks when building a niche site, but it’s probably the most important task if you wish to rank well.
Give it the time and respect it deserves, and when you get tons of free organic traffic from search results, you’ll be glad you took the time for proper keyword research.