We’ve all been there before. While you’re looking for keywords to target for to increase search traffic whether you’re using SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, it doesn’t matter really. The same question will present itself to you:
Which keywords should you be targeting?
We look longingly at those 1000+ search keywords and imagine how great it would be to rank #1 for any of those hundreds of keywords right? Imagine how much traffic you could generate if you ranked at the top of the first page.
It could be the perfect solution to your traffic needs, but is it the right move?
Take a step back and analyze just how difficult it will be to dominate the market for a high traffic keyword.
Sure, you could spend 6-9 months of hard work to aggressively optimize your pages and content to rank for a specific search term. I am confident that you could then achieve a first page rank to increase search traffic for that one search term.
We all know that SEO is an art and not an exact science though. In the real world, while you’re optimizing for that term, all of your competitors are doing exactly the same thing. It could easily take 12 months for you to rank for a term that gets more than 1000 searches if there is a lot of competition. This time frame is even longer for terms with 5000 searches. That’s a 12 month waiting period to increase search traffic.
Think of all the resources you’d be spending on 1 keyword. It goes back to that age old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
I know what you’re thinking though, but that’s where all of the traffic is, why waste time ranking for a term that only gets 20 hits per month? We can’t increase search traffic from 20 hits per month!
Well, you do have a point. Ranking for 1 keyword that gets 20 hits per month isn’t really going to do you any good.
But what if you ranked for 150 keywords that get 20 hits per month? That’s 3000 Searches per month and a lot more attainable than ranking for 1 keyword with 3000 searches. You also would be dominating a much larger market as well.
Just take a look at the keywords that receive a high volume of searches. They’re mostly general terms that consist of 1 or 2 keywords. Occasionally you’ll find some with 3 but even those are quite general.
Now look at the terms that have 20 hits. The key is in finding highly targeted long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to your industry. If you write a single 1000 word blog post targeting each of these terms, you can easily start to dominate the results. Start building a strong internal link structure too, and as each article or post receives links, you’d be boosting all of your posts at the same time!
Over that same 12 month period, if you wrote 1 article every other day (Or even every day, it only takes 15-20 minutes to write a post) you could be ranking for almost 130 keywords. Which method do you think is going to yield a better return for you? The best part about going after the low hanging fruit? These are highly targeted searches. These people are looking for exactly what you’re offering.
Now, I know this again seems too perfect, and it is. I am NOT suggesting that you go right ahead and just start throwing out random blog posts every single day and just expect to start ranking.
You’ve also got to share that content across social networks, email lists, build links to the content etc. That’s where having a strong integrated marketing strategy will benefit you.
Now I know earlier I said that you shouldn’t target high traffic keywords, but that’s not entirely true. What I mean is you should primarily focus on the smaller volume terms as you have a better chance to rank there. At the same time though, you should write posts and optimize them for the higher traffic terms too.
Keep in mind, for high traffic terms you should really work on creating a piece of authority level content that is at a minimum of 2000 words.
This is the bare minimum I would recommend to try rank at the Bottom of the first page. As you look at results higher up, it’s not outlandish to see pages that consist of over 3000+ words.
Writing posts of that nature will require a lot of time, editing, proofreading, research, and sources to generate a truly unique and valuable post. You want to encapsulate your readers to continue on and really connect with them on such a deep level that they benefit from your content. Once you’ve built a connection to your reader, you have a higher chance of earning links through them sharing the content to their peers.
On a side note, don’t ever be afraid to ask your readers to share your content! When you need something, you’ve got to ask. For instance, if you found this article to be helpful to you, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we can connect directly too!
This post does jump around a lot, I know, it’s just the way my mind works and it can be hard to follow. To make it easier for you, I’ve broken the post down into easy to follow steps.
8 Steps to Increase Search Traffic
Research your Keywords
- It’s so important to have a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. I know there are free keyword tools out there, but the sheer level of data that you get from either of these programs is going to really benefit you. I use these on a daily basis and I couldn’t imagine trying to come up with topics and keywords without using this software.
- There is also a free resource by Answerthepublic.com. This tool will let you search any keyword and find trending topics that relate to the keyword. Bear in mind you literally get hundreds of variations and options to choose from.
Create a list of the keywords that are most relevant to you (regardless of volume)
- Once you have that list (I recommend setting it up in Google sheets) you can then start organizing your data to find the best ones to target.
- Look at how relevant the term is to your website and also which terms you could write a compelling post about.
- Filter out any keywords with over 200 searches per month. You want to go for the low hanging fruit that presents the path of least resistance.
- Now that you have your list, find common groups and place those together. You want to write your posts in groups that relate to one another, this way it’s using a structure that can be identified and will just make all of your posts flow better together.
- This also helps with building internal links since related posts will share some keywords.
- Don’t ever use your focus keyword as anchor text to link out to another page. This is counterintuitive to what we are trying to accomplish.
Create a list of blog topics that focus on answering questions that your users may be asking.
- Providing useful information is going to make your content valuable and more shareable to your readers. They are looking for answer especially with the highly targeted keywords.
- It’s important that in addition to writing a post related to the keyword you’re also focusing on the reader’s intent. That’s what’s going to help you rank higher with Google’s new algorithms.
Start writing a post a day (or every 2 days)
- You can be as aggressive as you want with this method. If you want to write a post every day, go for it! Sure, I know it’s hard, and it’s even harder to find time in the day.
- We can always come up with 100 reasons why we can’t do anything. This is what will separate you from your competitors. You’ve got to get out there and put in the work so that you can see the rewards later.
- This post has taken me 45 minutes to write so far. I used to spend more time than that per day on video games, facebook, watching TV etc. You can make time by prioritizing your writing over other things that won’t provide you with any rewards later on.
- I believe in you! I know you can find the time in the day to write a post! Start out by creating an outline and then whenever you’ve got 15 minutes in the day, just start writing! By the end of the day you’ll have a completed post ready to be shared with the world.
- Once you’ve uploaded your posts, be sure to optimize your page title and meta description to include your terms. Take a look at existing PPC campaigns that target your keyword. Companies spend thousands on developing these ads, you can use their hard work to find copy that is compelling and will drive clicks on your organic post!
You need to share your posts!
- Let the world see what you’ve created! One of my new favorite ways to share content is through LinkedIN. Why? It’s a professional platform that allows me to connect with other professionals directly. Some brands just aren’t meant to be on Facebook, and that’s fine!
- You need to find the right platform for you and your brand, then work on dominating that niche. Create video overviews of your posts which you can then share and link back to your post.
- You can create infographics that portray the information in your post, then share that via social media with a link back to your post.
- Another great method is to record video overviews and post those up on YouTube and Linkedin. If you want to learn how to increase video views, we’ve got a great write up for you!
- Once you’re sharing your content, you can start building traffic and organically get links from your readers too.
Update posts with internal links
- As you write more posts, you’ll be able to go back to your old ones and insert relevant internal links to newer posts. Try to build an organized link structure that allows your backlink “juice” to be shared across all of your posts. This will help you increase search ranks tremendously.
- This is also a great way to reduce bounce rates and also increase the time people spend on your website.
Build out your authority content posts targeting the high volume keywords
- These posts can be done once a month, the ideal way to do this is to create your highly targeted posts, then at the end of the month, you can build out an overarching blog post that encompasses all of those topics. Remember earlier we mentioned to group your posts? This is where that comes in handy!
- Now you can send internal links from your targeted posts to the authority post. You’ve been working on building up the SEO for at least a dozen posts in the past month, look at how all that hard work can now boost your major piece!
- Find external sources to backup your post and link out to those. Don’t use your focus keyword ever as an anchor text going out to another website though. The best route is to just reference your source and use their name as the anchor text.
Share your authority content along with your targeted posts.
- You want to make sure you use a social media tool that can allow you to schedule posts. One of my favorite techniques is used by Neil Patel. He uses a tool that continuously tweets out his blog posts on a regular schedule and periodically pulls up older posts to tweet out to his followers.
- This method is fantastic for driving traffic and the whole process is automated so you don’t need to do anything besides write up the initial posts.
- You can also post to linkedIN, Facebook, Instagram, and wherever else you like.
If you follow these 8 steps, you are GOING to see results organically. You’ve got to make sure that you are connecting to your followers though, there’s no point writing up all of these posts and then keeping them to yourself. Engage with users and influencers across social media platforms. Start conversations, interact with people and build real connections. That’s the crucial key to being successful with a content marketing strategy.
Need help with developing the content for this strategy? You don’t have to do it alone! Our writers are always available to help you every step of the way. You can contact us for a free SEO audit and we can reach out to you to set up a consultation to come up with a strategy tailored specifically for your website.