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Out now: Keyword research training!

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Out now: Keyword research training!

Out now: Keyword research training!

As of today, there’s finally an online Yoast Academy training course on a crucial aspect of SEO: keyword research! We’re so excited! And judging from the comments we got when we announced the training course, so are many of our visitors. And you should be, as well! In the Keyword research training, you’ll find out what keywords are most effective for your site. And how you can rank for those words!

You can get the course for $129, but only in the first week, so don’t wait too long!

Find out how to rank for your most important keywords with our Keyword research training »

$129 – Buy now » Info

Get the new Keyword research training Now$149 $129 (ex VAT) for course, certificate and badge
Why should I be excited about the Keyword research training?

Doing keyword research is not an option, it’s essential. It forms the basis of everything SEO. Without keywords, Google can’t make sense of your copy. Without keywords, there is nothing to build a site structure around. Without keywords, technical optimization is basically pointless. Do you want to know which words your audience uses to find you? Are you frustrated with competing with sites you just can’t seem to beat? Are you ranking for keywords, but not getting any traffic? The keyword research training will solve these problems for you.

What will I learn in the Keyword research training?

The Keyword research training course is an online training you’ll get access to for a full year. You’ll go through every step of the actual keyword research process. In each module, world-renowned SEO experts like Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson provide you with theory, best practices and tips. Then, you can apply your new knowledge immediately, by building your own keyword list step by step.

First, you’ll make a business profile with your mission and unique selling points (USPs). After that, you’ll draft your first list of keywords. Then, you’ll assess the potential traffic, potential conversion and potential to rank top 3 for your keywords.

At the end of the course, you’ll end up with a keyword list to start creating pages and copy for your most effective keywords immediately! And no worries if you’re short on time, you can also just focus on the theory. By the way, you don’t need any previous knowledge to take this training course. We start with the very basics. Nor do you need to use any paid tools: all of the tools we discuss are free.

Get feedback on your strategy!

When you’ve completed your keyword list, you may want to confirm you’re on the right track. That’s why we offer feedback on your work if you want it. If you choose the feedback package, a Yoast expert will check your keyword list within two weeks, and provide feedback on your keywords and their potential. This way, you can make sure your keyword list will help you rank for your most efficient keywords!

Get the Keyword research training with feedback Now$199 $179 (ex VAT) for training and feedback
Conclusion

The Keyword research training provides you with all the tools you need to get the first step in SEO right. In fact, the Keyword research training even goes beyond SEO. You’ll also learn a lot about content marketing in general. It’s a great way to kickstart or recharge your SEO strategy, whether you maintain a blog, an e-commerce site, or any other type of website. Make sure your content gets the attention it deserves by taking the Yoast Academy Keyword research training! You can get it by simply clicking the button below. It is currently available for $129, so get it before the offer expires!

Get the new Keyword research training NowOnly $149 $129 (ex VAT) to master the essential first step of SEO

The post Out now: Keyword research training! appeared first on Yoast.

Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Keyword research is the first step in the SEO copywriting process and an essential part of any SEO strategy. Before you write your website content you need to think about which search terms you want to be found for and this means getting inside people’s heads to find out which words they use when searching. Then you can use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking for them. This is keyword research and this ultimate guide will take you through the many steps involved.

Find out how to rank for your most important keywords with our Keyword research training »

$129 – Buy now » Info

What is keyword research?Why is keyword research important?How to do keyword researchStep 1: What is your mission?Step 2: Make a list of keywordsStep 3: Look at search intentStep 4: Construct landing pagesLong-term keyword strategyThe importance of long tail keyword strategyWhat is the competition doing?Synonyms and related keywordsConclusion on keyword research for SEO
What is keyword research?

Before we start explaining the process of keyword research, let’s look at the most important concepts behind it.

Keyword research can be defined as the work you do to come up with an extensive list of keywords you want to rank for.

Keyword strategy is about the decisions you make on the basis of that keyword research.

Key phrases are keywords containing multiple words. We tend to use the word keyword all the time, but we don’t necessarily mean it’s only one word. ‘WordPress SEO’ is a keyword, as is ‘Google Analytics plugin’. Keywords usually consist of multiple words! So, in this guide, when we talk about keywords, we usually mean a phrase, rather than a single word.

Long tail keywords are more specific and less common because they focus more on a niche. The longer (and more specific) search terms are, the easier it will be to rank for the term. Keywords that are more specific (and often longer) are usually referred to as long tail keywords.

Focus keyword is the keyword or the key phrase you most want your page to be found for. You should put your focus keyword into the meta box of the Yoast SEO plugin.

Search intent is all about discovering what a searcher actually wants. These are not just keywords, but the underlying goals of what a searcher wants to know, do or buy.

Read more: What is keyword research? »

Why is keyword research important?

Proper keyword research is important because it will make clear which search terms your audience uses. At Yoast, we frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their products, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. These sites aren’t found by their potential customers because of a mismatch in word use.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

$199 – Buy now » Info

Sometimes a marketing department decides to give their products a certain name. That can be a smart marketing decision. It can be a way to make people remember your product. For example, you don’t rent out vacation homes, but ‘vacation cottages’. Be aware that very few people search for ‘vacation cottages’ though. If you optimize your text for these terms, you’ll probably rank well on these specific terms. However, you won’t generate a lot of traffic with these terms and you’ll miss a large part of your potential audience.

It doesn’t make any sense to optimize for words that people don’t use. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience and this makes the whole effort of optimizing your website far more worthwhile. In addition, by looking at search intent, you find out which questions your customer has. Those questions should get an answer in the form of quality content.

Keep reading: The basis of keyword research »

How to do keyword research

For us, there are four steps to keyword research. First, you write down the mission of your business. Next, you make a list of all the keywords you want to be found for. Then you look at search intent and finally, you create landing pages for each of those keywords. This ultimate guide takes you through these steps in much more detail.

Step by step, we’ll guide you through the entire keyword research process, and we’ll give you practical tips to easily start your own keyword research.

Step 1: What is your mission?

Before starting anything, think about your mission. Think about questions like: Who are you? What is your website about? What makes you special? And what promises do you make on your website?

Read on: What is the mission of your website »

A lot of people can’t effectively answer these questions at first. You have to figure out what makes you stand out from the crowd. So take your time and literally write down your mission on a piece of paper, a computer or an iPad – anything will do, as long as you do it. Once you’re able to answer these questions in detail, you will have taken the first and most important step in your keyword strategy.

Things to consider: How competitive is your market?

The market you’re in determines whether your mission will prove genius enough to sell your products to people. Some markets are highly competitive, with large companies dominating the search results. These companies have huge budgets for marketing in general and SEO in particular. Competing in these markets is tough, so ranking in these markets is also going to be tough.

Perhaps you sell cruises to Hawaii. You offer great facilities for children, making the cruises especially suitable for young or single parents. Offering great cruises to Hawaii for young parents could very well be what makes your service unique. Look for the thing that makes your product stand out from the competition. This should be your mission, your niche – and this is what you have to offer your audience.

If you’re launching into in a competitive market, you’re probably best to start out small. Once you ‘own’ a small part of that niche and become a big name in the business of cruises to Hawaii, you could try to go one level up and sell your cruises to a larger (more general) audience. Your mission will then become much more general as well.

Step 2: Make a list of keywords

The second step of keyword research is creating a list of your keywords. With your mission in mind, try to get into the heads of your potential buyers. What will these people be looking for? What kind of search terms could they be using while looking for your amazing service or product? Ask yourself these questions and write down as many answers as possible.

If your mission is clear, you will have a pretty clear image of your niche and your unique selling points (the things that set your business apart from others). These are the terms you want to be found for.

To consider: Make sure the keywords fit your site

Be aware that you should be found for terms that match your site. If we went crazy and did our very best to make yoast.com rank for ballet shoes, people would be rather disappointed to find our site. They would probably instantly go back to Google. If we ranked for ballet shoes, we would have a massive bounce rate. And a high bounce rate tells Google that people are not finding what they are looking for based on their search term. This would inevitably lead to a lower ranking on ballet shoes for our site – and that would be completely justified because we know nothing about ballet, nor about shoes for that matter.

Tools you can use

Making a list of possible search terms is hard. Up until a few years ago you could just check Google Analytics and see the terms people used to find your website, but unfortunately, that’s no longer possible. So you have pretty much no idea which terms people use in search engines to end up at your website. Luckily, there are still some other tools which make your keyword research a bit easier. Read our post about tools you can use in your keyword research for more tips and tricks.

Step 3: Look at search intent

Much of today’s SEO strategy should revolve around answering the questions people have. Whenever someone enters a search query into a search engine, they are on a quest for something. Every type of question needs a specific answer. In my SEO basics article on search intent, I said:

“Search intent has to do with the reason why people conduct a specific search. Why are they searching? Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer to that question? Are they searching for a specific website? Or, are they searching because they want to buy something?”

When planning your content, always ask yourself these questions. There are four types of intents:

Informational intent: Just like it says on the tin, people are trying to find information on a specific topic.
Navigational intent: People want to access a specific website by entering the term in a search engine.
Commercial intent: People want to buy something sometime soon and are doing research before making a purchase.
Transactional intent: People are looking to buy something after doing their commercial intent searches.

Find out which intents apply to you and try to answer these search intents by literally giving people what they want.

Step 4: Construct landing pages

The next step towards a long-term keyword strategy is to create awesome landing pages. In the past, every one of the keywords you want to be found for got its own landing page. Today, however, search engines are so smart that they mostly use search intent to give searchers the best answer to their questions. The page that answers those questions best will rank on top. Search engines also understand subtle differences between keywords so you don’t have to create landing pages for all subtle variations of a keyword.  You can just optimize a page for multiple keywords.

Create an overview

We would advise you to build your page structure in a well-structured way – using a spreadsheet programme like Excel or Google Docs/Sheets is a great way to do this. Create a table then add your list of keywords. Using a table forces you to set up a structure and to make relevant landing pages. Put the search terms in the first column and add columns for the different levels of your site’s structure.

Create landing pages

Then you’ll need to build a landing page for your search terms, but you don’t have to create all these pages immediately – it can be a long-term thing. The more specific your search term is, the further down into your site structure the term’s landing page belongs. The most important keywords will lead to your cornerstone content articles. These are the keywords you definitely want to rank for. To do this, you create the best possible content about that keyword – authoritative and all-encompassing, just like the ultimate guide you are reading right now. All your supporting articles will link to this cornerstone content. This should be part of your internal linking strategy, which Yoast SEO Premium can help you implement.

After completing your keyword research for SEO, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms you want the pages on your site to be found for. This overview should guide you in writing content for your website

Want to learn practical SEO skills to rank higher in Google? Our Basic SEO training is just what you need! »

$199 – Buy now » Info

Long-term keyword strategy

No website should rely on one single keyword or one keyphrase for its traffic. You should use your mission as a starting point, then take our three steps in carrying out proper keyword research and work towards a solid base: a keyword strategy. This section of our ultimate guide explains why it’s important to have a long-term keyword strategy.

How many keywords?

We can’t tell you the exact number of keywords you should have, but we can tell you that you need a lot of them – as many as you can think of. However, more than 1000 keywords is probably too many!

Even if you’re a reasonably small business, you’ll probably end up with a couple of hundred keywords. But there’s no need to create pages for all of these straight away. The great thing about having a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is that you can add content bit by bit. Think about what keywords you want to rank for now, and which ones aren’t immediately so important. Understand your priorities and plan the creation of your content.

Keep on reading: Managing a growing blog: content planning »

Ad hoc keyword research strategies

In an ideal world, you would do your keyword research, make a beautiful table and create landing pages for each one. Your site structure would be flawless and you would blog and write every day making your site rank higher and higher in Google. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

Of course, your keyword research will not always be as extensive. And some posts or articles aren’t written as part of an awesome strategy, but just because the topic was in the news or something inspired you to write it. That’s just how these things work. But this doesn’t have to be a problem.

If you’re writing something that doesn’t exactly fit your strategy, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make that content rank. You could still use it to rank for something related to the terms in the list of your keyword strategy. Use tools like Google Trends to choose which keyword you’d like to rank for. At least take some time to think about how to make your article or blog fit your strategy. After all, if you are writing valuable content, you might as well make it rank!

Learn how to write engaging copy and how to organize it well on your site: Combine our SEO copywriting and Site structure training. »

$349 – Buy now » Info

The importance of long tail keyword strategy

Focusing on long tail keywords should be an important part of a long-term keyword research strategy. Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific (and usually longer) than more common keywords, often called “head” keywords. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus more on a specific product or topic. Read our post about the importance of long tail keywords if you want to know why you should focus on long tail keywords when optimizing your site.

Read more: Make friends with the long tail »

What is the competition doing?

Whether you should go after long tail keywords, which are specific and consist of multiple words, or after head terms largely depends on your competition. If the competition in your niche is high, you’ll have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms. If you have little competition, you’ll even be able to rank for head terms. So how do you determine your competition? What should you be looking for? There are two strategies:

Google and analyze your competition
Try, evaluate and try again.

Google and analyze your competition

Google the keywords that came out of your keyword research. Start with your most ‘head’ term. The most general one. Check out the search engine result page (SERP). These are the websites you’ll be competing against once you optimize your content for such a keyword. To check whether or not you’ll be able to compete with the websites on that result page, analyze the following things:

Are the websites professional websites? Are they company websites? Ask yourself whether or not you are an ‘equal’ to these companies. Does your website belong among these sites? Is your company of similar size and does it have as much influence in your niche?
Does the SERP show well-known brands? It’s harder to rank when you’re competing against sites with strong brand-names. If brands are known from TV or radio commercials, your chances to rank will become even smaller.
What about the content of these websites? Is the content well written and well optimized? How long are the articles on the sites? If your competition has poor content, you’ll have a larger chance to outrank them!
Are there any ads in Google? And how much is the pay-per-click in Google adwords? Search terms that have a high pay-per-click are usually also harder to rank for in the organic results.

Keep reading: Keyword Research Tools »

One simple question

It all boils down to a single question: how does my website hold up, compared to the websites in the SERPs? Are you of equal size and marketing budget: go ahead and focus on those head terms. If not: try a more long tail keyword.

The next step is to do the same analysis with a keyword that’s slightly more long tail. Longer and more specific search terms will generate less traffic, but ranking on those terms will be much easier. Focusing on a whole bunch of long tail keywords combined could very well attract a lot of traffic. Once you’ve managed to rank for those long tail keywords, aiming for more head terms will become a bit easier.

Try, evaluate and try again

Once you’ve done a thorough analysis of your chances to rank on a specific term, the next step is to write an amazing article and optimize it accordingly. And hit publish. Make sure you’ll attract some nice backlinks. And wait a little while. Check out your rankings. Does your article pop up? Did it hit the first page of Google’s SERPs? Or is it hidden away on page 2 or 3? Make sure to evaluate your articles in the SERPs. Google the terms you’ve optimized your articles for. Check whether or not your SEO is paying off!

If you’re not able to rank on the first page, try to write another article, focused on a (even) more long tail keyword. Make it a little bit more specific, more niche. And see how that goes. Evaluate again. Continue this process until you hit that first page of the SERPs!

Synonyms and related keywords

Our Yoast SEO Premium plugin allows you to optimize your content for synonyms and related keywords – up to five per article in fact. This is a functionality we’re developing and extending currently, to make our content analysis just as smart as Google. Marieke has written a roadmap for this here. We’ve also written a post about why you shouldn’t use your focus keyword more than once.

Singular or plural focus keyword?

Should you aim for the singular or the plural keyword? Well, this depends on the query. As Google is learning more about search intent of your query, it is able to better guess what you’re looking for. For instance, if you search for book, you get a different result than if you search for books. Apparently Google thinks that in the first case you’re looking for a definition or certain stories, in the second case it believes you’re looking for books to buy. So make sure you know what you offer on your page and that it fits with the query and results Google gives on that query.

Read on: How to choose the perfect focus keyword »

Conclusion on keyword research for SEO

Keyword research should be the start of any sustainable SEO strategy. The result will be a long list of keywords for which you’d like to be found. But the hardest part is still ahead: writing all that content. You should write articles and blog posts on every single keyword you would like to be found for. That’s quite a challenge!

Keep on reading: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

The post Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide appeared first on Yoast.

How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re visiting a site to get answers, but ended up on a 404 error page? Broken links are not only annoying, but it can hurt your SEO efforts as well.

I did a Google poll recently on which thing that annoys the users the most, and look at the results!

Compared to the others, “Broken Links” has the most votes that annoy users the most.

When visitors found out that you have broken links, they wouldn’t want to continue to explore the other pages.

And when visitors spend lesser time on your site, search engines will assume that your website is not providing a good user experience to the visitors. Eventually, search engines will give you a lower rank.

Not only the users, but search engines hate broken links too. Broken links will chase your visitors away and hurt your SEO efforts. Therefore, it is best to fix them up. Nobody wants broken links on their website, but not many website owners are willing to spend their time to check on the links and fix or remove them.

According to LinkTiger, even the big companies such as Apple and IBM have the most broken links on their website.

Well, it will definitely take a lot of time to check all the links on your website, especially when you have a large site and don’t know where to start. Therefore, let’s start by identifying the broken links first.

What Are Broken Links?

Broken links are links that send a message to its visitors that the webpage no longer exists, triggering the 404 error page.

There are 2 types of broken links on your website:

1) Internal Links

The internal links refer to links that go from one page on your website to another. These links are the ones that you have the most control on your website. For example, in the ‘Tutorials’ page, you will see that I have linked the next tutorial at the bottom of the page.

These are internal links s I still direct them to the same website, but a different page.

So whenever you update or make any changes to your website, you should always check your internal links and make sure that the links are working. If you would like to read more on internal links, here’s another piece written by my team! Have a read: Why Internal Links Matter To Your SEO Effort?

2) External Links

The external links or outbound links refer to the links that are pointing to another website where we usually use as a reference. For example, I am referring to Neil Patel’s blog post on how he used a case study to grow his sales by 185%, and I’m linking it here. This will be an external link because it is linking to another website.

However, the thing about external links is that you need to spend more time on checking the external links because you wouldn’t know when will the link changes as we are not in control. So you’d have to check it from time to time to see if the link is still working or not.

Let’s say I have linked to a particular website, but a few months later, the website owner took the link off their website. So when Google Spiders crawl my site and follow that link to the other website, Google Spiders will read it as a dead end. When Google Spiders detected too many of the 404 error pages, your website’s value will decrease from the search engines’ perspective.

So if you think that having broken links on your website wouldn’t damage your site, you are wrong. Not only search engines might give you a lower rank, there are a few things that you should notice as well.

Broken Links Will Affect:

404 error page doesn’t only upset the search engines and users, it will affect your business too.

Your Revenue

Broken links are roadblocks in the conversion process. No matter how much time you have spent in getting customers to your site, if they can’t get to the conversion page, all of your SEO efforts will be a waste.

Other than losing revenues, you are losing the customers as well. This is because when one customer is unhappy, he/she will let their friends know about it and you will end up losing not one, but more customers.

KISSmetrics has done a calculation about this and it has proven that 44% of users will tell the others when they have a bad online experience.

If you’re not providing a good user experience, your visitors will spread the word and you will end up losing more customers.

After all, you wouldn’t want to waste your time and effort building your website, but ended up having unhappy visitors, right? Just think about how annoying it is to find a link that you wish to get more information, but ended up on a 404 error page that the answer doesn’t exist.

Your Bounce Rate

404 error page is not just frustrating, but it could hurt your bounce rate as well. Bounce rate is measured by the amount of time a visitors spends on your page, and if the user doesn’t stay for a certain amount of time, they will be considered to have “bounced” from your page.

When you have unhappy visitors on your site, each of them will leave your website, resulting in a higher bounce rate. When search engines see the high bounce rate on your page, it will raise a red flag on your page, and the entire site will seem irrelevant to the search engines.

Therefore, it is very important to keep the visitors happy when they visit your site by providing a good user experience.

Your Google Ranking

Like what I mentioned above, a high bounce rate can actually cause a lower ranking in the Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

When Google sees that visitors are leaving your page within seconds of landing, they will assume that the visitors didn’t find what they’re looking for. Then, Google will remove the page from the SERPs as a credible and reliable website.

Another factor that will affect your Google ranking is not having your page indexed. Google uses their Spiders to crawl through your entire site to gather valuable information that tells the search engines what is your page about.

But when Google Spiders reach a broken link, it is like hitting a brick wall. That first broken link is all it takes for Google Spiders to stop the indexing process, which can ruin your chances to get a higher rank.

Now, can you see how broken links hurt your site?

There are a few ways to prevent that from happening, which is to check all the links on your website. When you have healthy links on your site, you wouldn’t have to worry about the broken links anymore.

How To Check For Broken Links On Your Site?

If you don’t have a large site and external links, you will only need to check your site each time you update or make changes to your site. But if you have just a few external links on your site, you should check for broken links at least once a month.

If you run a large site, then you should be checking the entire site for at least once a week. This is mainly because when you have a large site, there is a higher possibility that your site will create a larger amount of broken links, especially if you neglect the links.

The best way to keep an eye on these problems is to monitor your website. Whenever you notice changes in the conversion rates, bounce rates or your traffic, it might indicate a problem. In most cases, these problems are usually related to broken links on your site.

It will be overwhelming to check every single link on your website manually, which is why our team uses SEOPressor Connect, another alternative of website link checker that makes things easier for everyone.

Monitor And Check For Broken Links With SEOPressor Connect

Our latest version of SEO plugin, the SEOPressor Connect introduces a new feature – Link Manager to help check all of the links on your website automatically. With this, you don’t have to check for broken links post by post.

SEOPressor helps to monitor your broken links and address them to you in Link Manager so that you can fix them before it damages your site. Best of all, you don’t have to do it manually, but easily. Let me show you how!

Once you’re at the Link Manager, just look at the ‘Broken’ links and fix them.

You can easily check for broken links in SEOPressor Link Manager.

If the broken links on your page are internal, it will be a quick and easy fix. Just simply make the changes within your page by renaming or moving the links to the correct places.

If the broken links are external, it may take a longer time to fix them. But you can still see the broken links on Link Manager, and then check on the site that you linked to.

You should check whether the site was moved or removed. If the link is not that crucial to your site, then the best solution is to remove or replace it with a new link that provides the same value to your readers.

Manage Your Links Smartly

It is definitely not recommended to leave the broken links on your site, so it is important that you fix, remove, or replace any of the links you find immediately. With SEOPressor’s Link Manager, you can now have a perfectly healthy sitewide link profile all thanks to the broken link checker!

There are also a few main factors that cause broken links. Here are a few that you should observe to avoid broken links. When you:

Rename or move a website and forgot to change the internal link.
Formatted the URL wrongly.
Link to a 3rd party page, and not knowing that they have changed the URL or moved the page.

So make sure to take note of these factors and don’t forget to change your links.

Also, if you have recently purchased SEOPressor Connect, you can check out the tutorial on how to manage your website’s link profile here.

Do you think that this article is helpful to you? What do you think of our newly introduced feature to check for broken links? Share your thoughts with us down below in the comments box, we’d love to hear from you!

This post was originally written by Joanne and published on April 13, 2016. It was most recently updated on Aug 24, 2018

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SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO – Whiteboard Friday

SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

SEO isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, our resident expert Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So today we are going over all things SEO negotiation, so starting to get into some of the business side of SEO. As most of you know, negotiation is all about leverage.

It’s what you have to offer and what the other side is looking to gain and leveraging that throughout the process. So something that you can go in and confidently talk about as SEOs is the fact that SEO has around 20% more opportunity than both mobile and desktop PPC combined.

This is a really, really big deal. It’s something that you can showcase. These are the stats to back it up. We will also link to the research to this down below. Good to kind of have that in your back pocket. Aside from this, you will obviously have your audit. So potential client, you’re looking to get this deal.

Get the most out of the SEO audit

☑ Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups

You’re going to do an audit, and something that I have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. I think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.

☑ Explain their competitive advantage

I think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.

☑ Emphasize quick wins

I almost didn’t put this in here because I think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…

☑ Under-promise, over-deliver

You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.

Smart negotiation tactics

☑ Do your research

Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.

☑ Prioritize your terms

So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what am I willing to lose?What can I give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.

☑ Flinch!

This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.

So take that with a grain of salt. But I look forward to your feedback down below. It’s so funny.

☑ Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”

The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “I want to do what is comfortable for us both. I want us both to reach terms that are fair.”

You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.

☑ Never be the key decision maker

I see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.

They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When I owned my agency for six years, I enjoyed not being CEO. I liked having a board of directors that I could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, I know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.

Tips for negotiation newbies

So for the newbies, a lot of you are probably like, “I can never go on my own. I can never do these things.” I’m from northern Minnesota. I have been super awkward about discussing money my whole life for any sort of business deal. If I could do it, I promise any one of you watching this can do it.

☑ Power pose!

I’m not kidding, promise. Some tips that I learned, when I had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. I do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to my gramsy who told me to do this at SMX Advanced like three years ago.

Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.

☑ Walk the walk

You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.

☑ Good > perfect

Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.

☑ Screw imposter syndrome

Many of the speakers that I go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.

Take inspiration where you can find it

I highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that I love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.

So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? I just want to know when you’re leaving.”

They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.

Take the time to get to know their business

☑ Tie in ROI

Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.

☑ Know the order of products/services that make them the most money

One real quick example was my previous company. We worked with plastic surgeons, and we really worked hard to understand that funnel of how people decide to get any sort of elective procedure. It came down to two things.

It was before and after photos and price. So we knew that we could optimize for those two things and do very well in their space. So showing that you care, going the extra mile, sort of tying all of these things together, I really hope this helps. I look forward to the feedback down below. I know this was a little bit different Whiteboard Friday, but I thought it would be a fun topic to cover.

So thank you so much for joining me on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Bye.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

Two weeks ago a client reset its bot-blocker, unintentionally blocking Googlebot. We had SEORadar monitoring the site so we quickly discovered the problem and alerted the client. Unfortunately, by the time they fixed the bot-blocker settings, they had lost about 100,000 daily visitors from Google. Of course, the first thing they asked was:

How Long Will It Take Our Google Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

While your mileage may vary, in this case the answer is about one week.

Here’s my theory on how this process works:

You block Googlebot from crawling your site (the most common reasons I see are improper bot-blocking settings or adding a “Disallow: /” rule to the robots.txt file).
Googlebot gets a 403 error when it tries to crawl the site or just stops crawling because of the robots rule. After hitting the home page (or robots.txt) a few times, it gets the message and starts demoting the site’s URLs. Traffic drops dramatically within a few hours. In this case, the site saw about a -50% drop within two hours and a -60% drop within 24 hours that held for most of the time Googlebot was blocked.
GSC showed that crawl rate dropped from about 400,000 URLs/day (it’s a 5MM URL site) to about 11,000 URLs/day. I haven’t investigated how Googlebot was able to crawl 11,000 blocked URLs yet. That’s for another post.
When you unblock Googlebot, it starts to crawl again. In this case it immediately went back to its pre-block levels, but if you don’t have a strong domain, you may need to do something to spur crawling (aka “get links”).
As Google recrawls previously inaccessible URLs, it starts reevaluating their rankings. As best I can tell these URLs were never excluded from Google’s index (the URLs still showed up in site: queries), but it does appear the content of their Google caches were deleted. So Google needs to “see” the page again and reapply its algorithms.
On a big site, or a small site with weak backlinks, it may take several days/weeks for Googlebot to recrawl all of the URLs it had demoted. So the recovery pattern can be gradual. Here’s what it looked like for the site in question:

 

On the bright side, when you block Googlebot from your entire site, your avg time downloading a page metrics improve quite a bit pic.twitter.com/CGV3UItX0z

— Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide) August 18, 2018

The post How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Five easy tips to improve the creative assets for your next campaign

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Five easy tips to improve the creative assets for your next campaign

Most designers and other creative professionals are well aware that people don’t always know the best way to work with them. “Clients from Hell” is a popular site lampooning this fact, featuring actual conversations between designers and their clients.

While things aren’t that bad for most designers, there are still improvements to be made. A survey we recently conducted at Wrike gives us some new insights into the challenges that creative professionals face when trying to get work done.  

It turns out that some of the biggest challenges are caused by lack of visibility and lack of process between creative pros and their stakeholders in business roles. Great creative isn’t the result of magic. Ideas can be stoked, molded, and coached to greatness. But teams needs to be on the same page about how to best work together, and have respect for the stresses each other face. 

Remember that creatives are partners – and experts 

One of the top three challenges creatives identified in our survey was “being seen as a service provider, and not a partner.” This mentality likely means that people are sending ideas to creatives and ask them to execute, rather than collaborating with the creative team to generate ideas early on in the project to help develop impactful concepts.  

By education and by nature, creative professionals often look at marketing and storytelling differently. Their creative and artistic perspectives are just as valuable as their counterparts in business and operations, and yet, they are not always treated that way. 

When we ask creatives to execute ideas from non-creative teams, we underutilize their strengths for simplifying complex ideas into visually striking pieces of art. 54% of our survey respondents said another leading challenge is there’s “not enough time to be creative”. Increasing creative’s involvement in the early stages of campaign planning should help overcome this challenge, which will yield strong dividends in the campaign’s results. 

 

More details in briefs

According to our survey, the second biggest challenge for in-house creative teams when it comes to working with other departments is “not enough details in briefs”. This means that designers are often left to forage for the details they need in meetings or follow up emails; both of which take valuable time away from doing higher value, creative work.  

Creative team managers and their operations team should require comprehensive briefs from other departments in the organization. This can be achieved by creating detailed request forms with mandatory fields that call for rich descriptions of needs, context into the how the assets will fit into a broader campaign to help the business reach its goals, and links to outside examples or existing relevant assets. This will allow designers to focus on producing great work; not gathering information before they can even begin. 

 

Keep your communications organized

Above all else, it’s critical that communications between designers and non-designers stay organized. It’s not uncommon for designers to get feedback from multiple stakeholders, their art director, a brand manager, and fellow designers. That’s a lot of conversations to track and without proper tools in place, constructive feedback may fall through the cracks – lost between emails, chats, and other collaboration tools.  

Communications fragmentations is a big problem for digital workers. In another survey our team conducted, respondents said that “missing information” was their number one source of stress while trying to work. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can give each asset a single, clear thread, which makes all files and comments easy to find, and easy to take action upon. 

 

Review your assets on time

42% of our respondents said half or more of their projects are delayed, citing the number one cause for delays as “reviews and approvals aren’t completed on time”. Take this into account when you’re working with a designer. There is a domino effect as designers are juggling multiple projects, so delays in one can lead to delays in another. Help them out by taking the time to review your assets and offer speedy approval or feedback as needed.  

Designers can keep the process moving by setting deadlines for feedback and providing a clear timeline for milestones and deliverables. Designers should also make their production calendars available to the departments that depend on them. The visibility into their busy schedules and workload should provide the soft persuasion needed to encourage stakeholders to take action. 

 

Minimize ad hoc requests

An ad hoc request is something that seems small to the person making it, but it still requires time and energy from a designer. 61% of designers say they get ad hoc requests at least once per week, which is probably not surprising to any designers reading this article. A small update to an existing asset may only take a few minutes, but it’s disruptive to the creative flow of someone whose focused on larger, brand defining concepts.  

Creatives can help themselves by filtering all requests through the same process for scheduling and prioritization. “It’s just a quick tweak,” shouldn’t be an excuse for derailing a designer’s entire schedule. Creative managers aren’t doing their teams any favors by accommodating ad hoc requests without pushing back. It should be the responsibility of other departments to do a better job of assessing their desired assets well in advance and planning accordingly. 

Designers can help their non-creative stakeholders by putting processes in place that foster execution with clarity with respect for competing priorities in an organization. Non-creatives can help designers by thinking strategically about their needs well in advance, which will help reduce ad hoc and last minute requests.   

Better together  

This relationship can be strengthened through the use of digital tools for collaborative work management that walk stakeholders through the steps of submitting detailed briefs, and designers through the steps of delivering and iterating on their creations. As partners, creatives and non-creatives can produce great work that define their brands and products – on time. 

 

 

 

JavaScript SEO – How Does Google Crawl JavaScript

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on JavaScript SEO – How Does Google Crawl JavaScript

JavaScript SEO – How Does Google Crawl JavaScript

JavaScript SEO – How Does Google Crawl JavaScript

In SEO we always look at ranks and SERP, but we also need to know the process that happens before that. That is crawling and indexing.

Google ranks web pages that are in their index. If your web page is not indexed, or not correctly indexed, your rankings will be affected.

The web has moved from plain HTML – as an SEO you can embrace that. Learn from JS devs & share SEO knowledge with them. JS’s not going away. – John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst

The thing you need to know is this.

The process for JavaScript website and a non-JavaScript powered website is vastly different, and that’s why JavaScript is affecting your rankings if it’s not executed cautiously.

Google said in 2014 that they are trying to understand web pages better by executing JavaScript. But how do they actually do that? And to what extent can they render JavaScripts?

Let’s get a closer look at the whole crawling and indexing process.

Who, or in this case, what is involved in the process?

Googlebot

This is the crawler, also called the spider. Whenever there’s a new web page or any new updates on a webpage, Googlebot will be the first point of contact from the search engine.

What it does is it crawls the web pages and follows all the links in a web page. That way, the bot discover more new links and more new web pages to crawl. Crawled web pages are then passed to Caffeine for indexation.

Keep in mind that Googlebot CAN be denied access using robots.txt. The first thing to keep in mind if you want your JavaScript-powered web pages crawled and indexed is to remember to allow access for the crawlers. Remember to also submit your URLs to Google using the Google Search Console by submitting an XML sitemap.

Caffeine

The is the indexer that was launched in back in 2010. Whatever’s crawled by Googlebot will be indexed by Caffeine and that index is where Google choose which web pages to rank.

One important thing that Caffeine also does, other than indexing crawled contents is, Caffeine is also the one who renders JavaScript web pages. This is very important as for JavaScript, without rendering the search engine will not be able to index the complete content of a web page.

Links discovered from rendering will also be sent back to Googlebot to queue for crawling which will result in a second indexation. This is a very important point to keep in mind because one important part of SEO is internal linking. Inter-linking your web pages in your website gives Google a strong signal for things like page rank, authority and also crawl frequency. Which all, at the end of the day affects page ranking.

Here’s a quick image that sums up what Googlebot and Caffeine do.

Crawling and Indexing Process for JavaScript Powered Webpage Is Different

Here we have a straightforward graphic from this year’s Google i/o which shows you the flow from crawling to indexing and rendering.

That is good for getting a general idea of the whole process, but why don’t we zoom a little closer?

So what happens when the search engine reach your normal, HTML, non-Java-Script powered pages?

1. Googlebot downloads the raw HTML file of your web page.
2. Googlebot passes the HTML file to Caffeine to extract all the links and metadata.
3. Googlebot continues to crawl all the discovered links.
4. The content extracted is indexed by Caffeine and used for ranking.

Now, here’s what happens when a Googlebot reaches your JavaScript web page.

1. Googlebot downloads the raw HTML file of your web page.
2. There’s nothing because everything is hidden by JavaScript.
3. There’s nothing for Caffeine to index.
4. Your web page does not rank because there’s no content.

Well, that was the worst case scenario and what happens when you don’t implement your JavaScript in a way that can be rendered by the search engine.So the indexed version of your webpage is empty, as far as Google’s concern.

Now, empty web pages will not rank well. Which is why, you need to understand how to implement your JavaScript in a way where it will be indexed completely, or as close as it could be to how it appears to a user using a modern browser.

Fortunately, now Caffeine actually has the ability to render your JavaScript files like a browser would. Google gave all the SEO and web developers a big surprise when they revealed that the search engine’s WRS(Web Rendering Service) is actually based on Chrome 41. With the Chrome 69 rolling out in September, the search engine is grossly underpowered in terms of rendering modern JavaScript. But hey, that’s better than nothing right?

Google currently leads the race of which search engine can index your JavaScript web pages better. (ps: ask.com gets a part of their indexation from an unnamed third party search engine, I guess we all know who that is…)

What happens when Google with rendering abilities reaches your JavaScript-powered web pages.

1. Googlebot downloads the HTML file of your web page.
2. First indexing happens instantly without the rendered content, while Caffeine works on rendering the JavaScript.
3. Any extracted links, metadata, content etc are passed back to Googlebot for future crawling.
4. The content extracted is indexed during the second indexation and used for ranking.

So does this mean Google can crawl and index your JavaScript-powered web pages with no problem? Well, the short answer is no. I mean, look at Hulu.

Google can crawl JavaScript, but not all JavaScript. That’s why it is so important to implement graceful degradation to your webpages. That way, even when the search engine can’t render your web pages properly, at least it won’t be catastrophic (think Hulu).

The thing for Google with crawling JavaScript is, it is resource heavy and expensive. The first indexation can happen as quickly as they can index an HTML side, but the important part, the second indexation post rendering will be put on the queue until they have free resources to do so.

Which means, imagine this, you served Google a meal, but because they don’t have the cutlery to eat it, they can only judge how good it is by looking, and the server won’t be back with the cutlery until they’re done taking orders from 3 more other tables, Google then post a review on Yelp saying that your food is crap.

Does that sound fair and beneficial? Hell no.

Like crawl rate, how fast and frequent the second indexation will go depends on several factors like page rank, backlinks, update frequency, visitor volume and even the speed of your website.

So how can you make sure that Google can crawl, render and index your JavaScript website correctly? Note, not quickly, because that is a whole other question to answer.

Two important tools you can used to gauge how good can Google crawl and index your JavaScript website is by using the Fetch and Render Tool from Google Search Console and the Chrome 41 browser (you can download the browser here, shout out to Elephate and their awesome post on Chrome 41 and rendering)

Use the fetch as Google function to check whether the search engine can properly render your web page or not. (source)

You can also go to CanIUse to check out what is and is not supported by Chrome 41.

The website gives you a clear view of what is and is not supported by all browser versions. Use this to double check whether your script can be executed by Chrome 41, thus rendered by Caffeine.

These are all crucial tools that help you understand the whole crawling, rendering, and indexing process. With that, you’ll have a better idea of where and what went wrong.

To summarize…

1. Googlebot crawls, Caffeine index and render.
2. For HTML web pages, Googlebot requests a page and downloads the HTML, contents are then indexed by Caffeine.
3. For JavaScript web pages, Googlebot request a page, downloads the HTML, first indexing happens. Caffeine then renders the page, send rendered links and data back to Googlebot for crawl queue, after re-crawl, cue second indexation.
4. Rendering is resource heavy and second indexation will be put on queue, which makes it less efficient.
5. Use the fetch and render tool on Google Search Console and Chrome 41 to gauge how good can Google index your JavaScript page.

Here is another post on JavaScript SEO that may interest you: SEO for JavaScript-powered websites (Google IO 18 summary)

Google’s Medic update, and how to deal with it

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google’s Medic update, and how to deal with it

Google’s Medic update, and how to deal with it

In the week of August 1st Google rolled out a “broad core algorithm update.” We know it was that because they said so on Twitter. There was quite a bit of buzz around this update. Some sites “won”, others “lost”, which is logical because, in the end, this is pretty much a zero-sum game. We’ve been trying to make sense of what happened; this post explains what we know.

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Why is it called the Medic update?

It’s called the Medic update because Barry Schwartz, one of the most prolific writes in the search industry, called it that. It doesn’t mean this update only affected medical sites.

What do we know about this update?

In reality: not much. Google hasn’t said anything specific, and repeat their standard party line:

There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018

If you think this isn’t helpful: we’re sorry. It probably is the best advice you’re going to get around this update or any update for that matter. You shouldn’t “just” build great content though. Great content has to fit with the goal of your site, whether that’s informing people, selling products or something else.

But what does “the data” say?

There are a lot of tools out there, like SearchMetrics and Sistrix, which check the rankings on millions of keywords and tell us what changed. From looking at it, you might get the idea that you understood what happened. Except there’s a problem. Even by looking at the top 50 domains in either tool, you’d still be looking at only a fraction of the data. So: all of what follows is by no means science. It’s anecdotal.

We see some trends after this medic update that are interesting:

Changes for brand searches

For searches towards large brands — think KLM, IBM, McDonald’s, etc. — Google seems to have slightly changed what they show. This now almost always includes a “jobs at” type result, which resulted in a huge uptick in those rankings for some large job sites.

Commercial sites doing slightly better

On the whole, commercial sites seem to be doing better. Among the examples we see are eBay in the US and Germany and Marktplaats (which is owned by eBay) in the Netherlands, but also non-eBay commercial sites. When they do better, content sites in those results have taken a hit, and some price comparison sites also seem to have taken a slight hit.

Is the Medic update about intent?

We can be honest about this: no, we do not see an overall trend. In discussing this, we have a hunch of what Google tried to do with this update: it seems to try and show results that better match the intent of the search. This would fit with another bit of news that came out of Google recently: updated search quality rater guidelines.

Google has teams of search quality raters that look at sites manually and score them according to a manual. This manual recently got an update, and one of the most interesting changes in that update was a new section about the “beneficial purpose” of a page:

Google has also added the concept of “beneficial purpose” to the Quality Rater Guidelines, where raters are not just asked to rate the quality of the content, but also consider whether the page has a beneficial purpose or use to being on the site. What would a visitor to the site gain?

The idea of the “purpose” of a page ties in with the intent a searcher has for a query. Let me explain: If I’m searching for a “LEGO minifgures display case”, I either want to learn how to make one, or where to buy one. Pages in my results should either explain to me how to build one or try to sell me one. If I search for “buy LEGO minifigures display case”, Google can leave out all the pages explaining how to build one.

Our best guess as to what the Medic update did was improve that “match” between intent and results. All of the changes above would make sense with that point of view. The “problem” is that if that’s true, Google’s advice probably is still the best advice on how to do better: build a site that people want to visit. A site that matches people’s search queries and their search intent, and you’ll do just fine.

Read more: When Google changes up: Should I abide every decision they make? »

The post Google’s Medic update, and how to deal with it appeared first on Yoast.

Annelieke’s Analytics: 3 exercises to have more fun with Google Analytics

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Annelieke’s Analytics: 3 exercises to have more fun with Google Analytics

Annelieke’s Analytics: 3 exercises to have more fun with Google Analytics

This post is for those of you who want to use Google Analytics, but feel a threshold to start with this tool. For everyone that wants to see the fun of Google Analytics, but is having a hard time finding that fun. This is a post for people that are scared to use Google Analytics because they’re afraid to break something. This is a post I needed when I started with Google Analytics.

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Google Analytics’ Danger zone

If you’re afraid of skewing data, removing data, or harming data, if you will, then the following should release you from that stress: as long as you are in the reporting section of Google Analytics, nothing bad can happen.

The Admin section is the place where you can do real damage. Here, you can add filters that could harm your data if not used right, here you can adjust time zones. In other words: the Admin section is the place where you implement changes that affect your data.

You can’t adjust the actual data in the reporting section. You can only adjust how you’re seeing your data, the section of data you want to see, but underneath it all, the data stays the same. So, the reporting section is for everyone, even for people who don’t have a clue what the heck they’re looking at.

Reporting section aka play zone
Know what you’re looking at

If you can’t harm your data when in the reporting section, this means you’re in a playground where you can do anything you like and just play with what you’re seeing. Of course, it helps if you have a little context. Knowledge about what you’re seeing. Luckily, Google offers a lot of information about how to handle Google Analytics. These pieces of information are in Google Analytics, you just need to know where to find them.

Every dimension and metric in Google Analytics is accompanied by a question mark that explains what you’re looking at:

I really like this feature because it gives you so much more context. And if the explanation is too vague or complex, Google it. There’s always someone that can explain it better on the world wide web.

There’s also a section in Google Analytics called ‘Intelligence’ that’s set to guide you through Google Analytics by asking you questions (and showing you some answers) and notifying you about anomalies in your data:

And at the top of the page is a question mark where you can ask for help. Especially the ‘Intelligence’ section is a nice starting point for your Google Analytics journey.

Let’s play!!

I want to share some very basic exercises with you that made me realize Google Analytics is a fun tool to play with. If you understand how the following exercises work, and the opportunities they’ll give you, then you can find the joy and insights you’re looking for.

Exercise number 1: use the search bar

There are a couple of search functions in Google Analytics. One that helps you with how to use Google Analytics or helps with navigating quickly to your destination.

But that’s not the one we’ll be using for this exercise. I’m referring to the search bar in the data table. This lets you search in the first column of the table. Here’s the assignment:

Go to the ‘Acquisition’ section
Click on the ‘Source/Medium’ report from the ‘All traffic’ dropdown
Enter in the search bar “organic”
What do you see?

This is very awesome if you need to find very specific information, or want to see totals of a category or a group of data. Like in this case, the group ‘organic’. Or, if you want to check a specific page or just pages that have /category/ in common for example, the search bar comes in really handy. And it saves you a lot of time scrolling.

Of course, there are other ways to see just your organic traffic, but this post is meant to be simple, so I’m keeping it simple. Or at least, I hope you don’t find it too hard.

Exercise number 2: add a secondary dimension

Context is not just the SEO word of 2018, it’s vital for doing a proper analysis. Adding a secondary dimension gives you more context because it adds more information to the data you’re seeing. Without proper context, you might draw the wrong conclusions. So, follow these steps to add more context to your report:

Go to the ‘Behavior’ section
Click on ‘Landing Pages’ from the ‘Site Content’ dropdown
Click on ‘Secondary dimension’
Select ‘Source’ in the dropdown
What do you see?

Now, this is awesome, you can check per source where people land on. Go over all metrics, hovering over the question marks to understand what you’re seeing. Can you see differences per landing page, per source? And what does that tell you?

Exercise number 3: use a segment

This challenge lets you specify things even further, giving the report even more context. In Google Analytics, you can add segments and this enables you to see just a specific piece of data. I absolutely love segments because, for me, they make the data I’m seeing much more understandable and less abracadabra.

Stick to your current report
Scroll all the way up and click on ‘+ Add Segment’
Search for the ‘Organic Traffic’ segment
Hit ‘Apply’
Remove the ‘All Users’ segment by clicking on the downward arrow
What do you see?

So, what do you see? How does this relate to SEO? You’re seeing pages people land on who are coming from a search engine. What’s the most popular search engine? And are the pages you’re seeing, pages you want to rank with? So much information about SEO in Google Analytics right here! Very cool right?

Conclusion

Google Analytics can be scary, especially if you’re afraid you might break something. But if you stay in the reporting section, everything you do is for your eyes only. After doing the exercises in this post, I invite you to just click around. Click on everything that’s clickable and try to understand what you’re seeing after that. If you do that, Google Analytics is far more easy to digest. And, hopefully, more fun, too. Good luck!

Read on: Tracking your SEO with Google Analytics »

The post Annelieke’s Analytics: 3 exercises to have more fun with Google Analytics appeared first on Yoast.

Top 7 Untapped Keyword Research Tools [TUTORIAL]

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Top 7 Untapped Keyword Research Tools [TUTORIAL]

Top 7 Untapped Keyword Research Tools [TUTORIAL]

In this article I’m going to show you the seven most untapped keyword research tools that don’t include the Google Keyword Planner. Number five is my personal favorite, so please keep reading!

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Every good SEO campaign is built on effective keyword research.

There are three critical steps for doing keyword research the right way:

Find keywords – This is exactly what I’ll be showing you in this video.
Qualify those keywords – This is the process of making sure that those keywords are actually worth going after and making sure that there’s actually interest in those keywords.
Prioritize those keywords – This is the process of analyzing the competition to make sure that your website is actually capable of ranking for whatever keyword you want to go after. In this article I’m going to focus on showing you how to find keywords and how to build a keyword database.

I’m going to take you through the process of how I build a real keyword database so you can see how this process works. I’m super excited to show you, so let’s jump in.

Tool #1: Print Books

The first keyword research tool that I love to use is print books.

Print books are probably one of the most untapped keyword research methods that exists, because not a lot of people think to use a book to find keywords and content ideas.

In this process that I’m going to be showing you for building a keyword database, I’m going to focus on the advertising niche. I’m going to find keywords as if I had an advertising website.

I’m not in the advertising space, but I’m going to show you how we would go about building a keyword database for that particular niche.

The focus here is a book called Cashvertising, which is a book about copywriting, sales and persuasion. This is a great book. If you want to learn how to do effective advertising, how to write copy the right way and how to persuade people online, this is a book you must read.

What I would do to find content ideas is I would dive right into the book.

I am inside the Cashvertising book on Kindle and what we want to do to find keywords and content ideas is to start with the table of contents.

Just go through the table of contents and try to find ideas there. Usually the table of contents is a good place where you can find more general ideas that you can expand on later on in the future.

For example, I could go through here and just take some of these ideas and add them to my keyword database. I wouldn’t necessarily want to add some of these ideas to my actual keyword database. These would more be ideas that I would need to do additional keyword research on.

Here is an example: “The Fear Factor, Selling the Scare.” That could be something I could focus on in a blog post, for example. You can go ahead and click through.

What makes print books really valuable is the actual content within the book itself, so you can go through here and you can try to find all kinds of content ideas and even possible keyword ideas, as well.

In this case, clearly this section is all about using fear to sell, so I could create a blog post that shows the psychology behind this particular principle.

Keep going through sections of whatever book you’re trying to get ideas from and just start to add those topics and ideas to your main sheet.

Just in the first chapter alone in Cashvertising I was able to find several ideas that I could expand on within my keyword research. Right away, you can see these are topics that are closely related to advertising. I can go much deeper into these topics.

What you want to do is build this idea section up, so you can then do deeper keyword research using the methods that I’m about to show you.

Tool #2: Niche Forums

My second favorite keyword research method is to use niche forums. All you need to do is enter your niche + forums. In this case I’m going to do advertising + forum.

Now you want to go ahead and click on one of these forums so you can start finding keywords and content ideas.

The first topic we find right away is “How to Drive Traffic to Website Fast” or “How to Drive Traffic to a Website Fast.” So right away this is a topic we should add to our idea list, because this is definitely something that we can expand on.

Obviously, this topic may be too broad to target, but we can definitely break it down into smaller subtopics that we could go after.

So all you need to do is go through this list and copy everything that is relevant to your business and add it to the idea list in your keyword database.

I’m back on the “Ideas” tab now. What I did was I went through this forum and copied a few of the ideas that I found that I believe I can expand on further when we do deeper keyword research.

Tool #3: Amazon

My third favorite untapped keyword research method is to use Amazon.

Amazon is the biggest e-commerce search engine. There are a ton of content ideas and keywords that you can find using their platform.

Let me show you how to do it.

I’m here on Amazon and what we want to do is to find keyword and content ideas using their search engines. I’m going to go ahead and use a very general term here, so I’ll just use “advertising.”

The first thing you want to do is look at the book titles. You can probably find some keyword and topic ideas just by looking at the titles of these books and listings.

Right away by looking at this we can tell David Ogilvy is someone of importance in the advertising industry. Therefore, he could be a topic to focus on on our website.

Here’s another interesting idea, which is The End of Advertising. You could create a piece of content that focuses on why advertising is dead.

Here’s another great topic: is behavioral biases. This is definitely something we’d want to add to our ideas list.

After you’ve gone through all these titles and added them to your idea list, what you want to do is click through on these listings. This is where you’re going to find all kinds of unique ideas, because they start to get more granular with the actual substance of these books.

I recommend going through the Intro section, because there are going to be great ideas you can expand on later. In this case, “how to get a job in advertising” is probably going to be a great topic that you could create a content asset around, f your business was in the advertising industry.

Go through the intro and then scroll down. Another thing you can do is look at the suggestions that Amazon is giving you, because you can probably go deeper and find topics that are closely related to your primary topic.

One of my favorite things to do is to go into the comment section, because this is often a goldmine for finding keywords and content ideas. Go through each of these comments and see if there is anything unique in here that you can extract and add it to your idea list.

Tool #4: Facebook Groups

My fourth favorite keyword research method is to use Facebook Groups. These are a goldmine for content using keywords.

Let me show you how to find them.

When you’re on Facebook, all you need to do is use Facebook’s search function to find keywords and content ideas.

Traditionally, I like to use Groups to find these ideas. All you need to do is go to the search option and enter the topic at a very broad level.

In this case, I’m going to do “advertising.” Right away, before you even go into Facebook Groups, I highly recommend you just look at the search results that Facebook serves you.

Try to see if there are any topics there that you could expand on later on. Go through this as fast as you can, right away. One thing we find is “native advertising.” This is something we’d want to add to our main idea list so we can find keywords around that particular topic.

Secondly, right away, we have “how to advertise.” Obviously, that is a topic we’d want to cover, as well.

We can also see that Ad Age is a very popular business, so we could actually use their brand and create a form of clickbait, knowing that people have brand recognition for them. We could drive more traffic and more visibility by using their name in a particular headline.

As we go through here, we look at public posts as well. You’re seeing “Facebook advertising is too powerful to be given up easily,” so we could create a piece of content around Facebook advertising and why it’s not going away or something of that nature.

Just continually go through this and add as many ideas as you find.

Now I’m in the Digital Marketing Questions Facebook group. There are a few things you can do here. You can scroll through the group and look at the most recent posts and see if you can find any ideas doing that.

The other thing you can do is just use the search function in the group, which is very valuable. So in this case I’ll just use “advertising.” Right away, we’re going to find all the posts where that keyword phrase was mentioned.

“Facebook Ad gurus” could be a topic that we could cover. Another thing here is “Facebook advertising guidelines,” so that could be a topic that you could cover in great depth as well.

Continually go through this and look at all these ideas. Once again, we see Google AdWords, so that can be a separate topic.

Then here is an interesting idea, where someone is talking about how they would go about managing clients if they were selling Facebook Ads as a service. So that is a completely different topic that you could focus on as well.

Here’s another one about Instagram ads, so there is a ton of ideas you could find within these Facebook Groups.

Tool #5: Quora

The fifth untapped keyword research method is to use Quora. This is a website where people can ask questions about anything, and it is also a goldmine for finding keywords and content ideas.

Let me show you how to do it.

All you need to do is go into the search function, and just enter your target topic. In this case, there are going to be many topics related to advertising so, as you’ve been doing throughout this exercise, add these broader topics to your ideas list.

In this case I’m going to go into Advertising and Advertisements.

Right away, you’re going to find all kinds of unique ideas, and the best thing is that you can get a lot of qualification on these ideas, as well.

In this case, we’ll go ahead and look at this topic. We can see this topic has gotten five answers so it’s not super popular, but it has a bunch of upvotes and people are definitely engaging with this particular topic.

So this is definitely something you’d want to add to your idea list.

For example, you could add “most impressive ad targeting” or you could just add “ad targeting,” because, of course, we are going to be expanding on these ideas later on. So just go through Quora and add every single topic and idea that you find to your idea list.

Tool #6: YouTube

The sixth untapped keyword research tool that I love to use is YouTube. As you may or may not know, YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google. That makes it a terrific opportunity to find keywords and content ideas.

Let me show you how to do it.

Now I’m on YouTube and I want to go up and use their search function. Like a lot of these other tactics, you just want to scroll through these different topics and add anything you don’t already have on your idea list to the list.

In this case, that would be “Psychology and Advertising.” I probably already have variations of that, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add it to the idea list.

Here is another idea, “the history of advertising.” That’s definitely something you could add to your idea list.

Just continually go through all of these different titles. I highly recommend that you go through the videos, as well. You’re going to find a lot more micro ideas within the videos, but that takes a lot of time.

There are many other tactics that you can use that are a lot more scalable and faster, but it’s not a bad idea if you’re running out of ideas to go on YouTube and just watch some of these videos and extract ideas from them.

Tool #7: Ahrefs

The seventh untapped keyword research method is to go through popular blogs and find content ideas and keywords that are already qualified based on the user engagement around their content.

This is one of my favorite methods, because you can find these content ideas and you can create something far superior than what they’ve created, knowing that that topic is something that this particular niche is very interested in.

Let me show you how to go about doing it.

Now I’m in Ahrefs. What we want to do is go ahead and add a competitor’s URL into the search. In this case, I’m going to use Ad Age, because I know that they are a monster in the advertising space.

After the analysis is complete, go to the Organic Keyword section. Out of all the tactics that I’ve showed you today, this is the most granular of all of them, because what we’re going to do is we’re actually going to export these keywords. These keywords already have search volume attached to them.

We’re going to know what we’re up against and also what we can expect from those keywords as opposed to the previous methods which were purely based on finding ideas that we’re going to expand on in the future.

Now, go ahead and export these results. Then you’ll just add it to your actual keyword database.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to go after all these keywords. In fact, you probably won’t even go after 80% of these keywords, because you then have to go through the process of qualifying each of these keywords and then prioritizing them, as well.

But that is an article for another time.For now, we are just building up our keyword database, which will be a very rough database, and then we’ll go through that process later on.

So that is it for the untapped keyword research methods that I love to use. There are many ways to find keywords outside of just these seven, but these seven are very effective.

You can build a very big keyword database that you then have to go and make sure you qualify those ideas and then, most importantly, prioritize those ideas to make sure that you’re targeting the right keywords for your particular circumstance.

BONUS: Keyword Research Methods from the Pros

Have you ever wondered how the real SEO experts do keyword research?

I chose eight vetted experts including myself to answer the following questions about keyword research:

“1. What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?”

“2. And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?”
These experts are in no particular order.

Enjoy:

1. Nick Eubanks

SEO Blogger at SEOauv.com

1. What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?

My go to strategy for finding the keywords for any campaign is first scrape the entire universe of suggested terms for every possible variation related to a small set of seed terms.

Then manually reviewing them for modifier patterns, things like specific verbs or adjectives that provide more insight into intent. Then I create buckets; usually 4-5 based on the topics that I’m able to group the keywords into.

Themes quickly emerge and I’m able to then go out and start exploring what content might look like for these types of topics.

Once I have a sense of the content I can figure out who the tangential audiences are and can think of how to maximize the appeal of content that fits within the keyword set.

Performing this content research also lends direction as to who, where, and how I might promote this content, what format that content should take, and who’s site it should live on.

2. And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?

Determining the quality of a keyword for me is pretty straightforward;

Does the implied intent of this term match with the goals of the business or website?
Does the keyword have at least 5 long tail variations each with at least 50 searches/month?
Are there pages currently ranking on page 1 with less than 10 links to the individual ranking URL’s?

2. Jayson DeMers

Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom

What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?

Well, the whole idea of search “keywords” has changed a lot in the past decade.

Stuffing keywords and trying to rank for specific words and phrases simply isn’t useful anymore.

That, combined with the fact that Google Analytics and Google’s Keyword Tool in AdWords tend to hide data, means if you’re using a keyword research strategy from 2010, you’re not going to be successful.

For me, searcher intent is my biggest priority in selecting keywords and topics to optimize for.

I usually start with a general topic related to the site in question—let’s say “online marketing”—and use a variety of different tools to help point me toward what people need most. I look at online blogs and forums, particularly at topics with lots of recent traction, I look at Google Trends to see what people are searching for in the past month or two, and I plug myself into social media conversations to see what people are talking about.

From there, I usually have a pretty big list of potential content topics, general subjects, and phrases that I’ll want to target in my campaign. I use AdWords to find information on search volume, and weed out topics that aren’t going to be a good long-term fit.

At that point, I use factors like degree of difficulty/competition and potential value to find my top picks.

And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?

For me, quality is about value—getting the most traction with as few obstacles as possible.

For that I need keywords that are visibly popular with searchers (which you can see in Google Trends, social media conversations, etc.), statistically reasonable (based on search volume), non-competitive (see who else is ranking for a query and how strong their domain/page authorities are), and valuable (topics that could feasibly win you good leads, direct conversions, or a higher reputation).

That’s a lot to look for at once, but popularity and business value are probably my top two considerations.

3. Sujan Patel

Marketing Blogger at SujanPatel.com

What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?

My approach is to find the highest volume keywords that my site could rank for in 6 and 12 and 18+ months.

I’ll also purchase intent and difficulty into consideration and sort them into those 3 buckets.

The key is to be realistic and grab some short term success to justify further attention.

The last thing I look at is how the keywords (or theme of keywords) is trending and if the demand is increasing or decreasing.

The few tools I use are UberSuggest, SEMrush (my fav and go to tool), Google keyword planner and trends. I also use Open Site Explorer to size up the competition.

And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?

To me the ultimate quality guideline is purchase intent. I often test doing PPC for my target keywords to validate intent.

4. Ryan Stewart

Founder & CEO of Webris, a Miami SEO Agency

I use paid search to find the most valuable keywords. I realize doing so requires a larger budget and longer project scope, but it’s by far the most effective method. If I get a client inquiry in the lead generation / services vertical (i.e. attorneys, real estate, SEO) I build paid search into the SEO strategy and I won’t take them on as a client unless they invest in both.

This really helps kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

We know the keywords that drive the most volume, clicks, on site engagements, micro conversions, form submissions, phone calls and most importantly, closed leads. We then optimize service pages around the most profitable keywords and build out a SEO content calendar/plan for synonym keywords.
It drives an ROI on their marketing spend and buys us time for SEO. We do our SEO and link building 100% white hat – no PBNs, no link vendors, all outreach based. While this is incredibly effective, it takes time. You’re looking at a solid 6 – 8 months of work before rankings and ROI come into play. Paid search alleviates that need for ROI by driving phone calls within 30 days.

When I first got started I would use Google Keyword Planner but honestly, the data is shoddy, you’re really just guessing. Paid search provides concrete market research data that guarantees a profitable SEO campaign (assuming you can rank them, of course).

5. Josh Bachynski

SEO YouTuber, SEO Hangouts with Josh Bachynski

This is the BEST formula for finding the top keywords for a campaign in 2016:

1) what the company sells / what do they want to rank for;
2) what competition is already on that SERP;
3) what is the best broad match / exact match variation that will…
4) have the best CTR and search termination (at that level in the sales funnel);

1. If the company sells “blue sprockets”, then the main keywords are mostly already chosen for you – you have to advertise exactly what you offer on that page

2. However, if the SERP for their head term keywords looks unfeasible (you have to do proper correlation based competitive analysis – ask me what that is if you don’t know), then depending upon their marketing / business strategy, you may need to choose other SERPs to compete on (low hanging fruit, or even all different products!)

3. Check Google’s Adwords Keyword planner for the best broad match / exact match keywords – look at the broad match keyword family that gets the most traffic. Then optimize for the exact match keyword variation in that family that makes the most sense given all the steps.

DON’T optimize for plural variations or misspellings anymore – google will switch those out – only have 1 main keyphrase / topic per page.

4. Once you have optimized for it (how to write the best title tag advertisements is in ART – ask me how to do it), and you are ranking, make sure that traffic clicks on the title you have chosen (make sure google is not rewriting it, and that it has high CTR in Google’s Search Console – anywhere from 20%-60% is good… yes you can and should get that high CTR)

Also make sure people are searching your brand name PLUS the keyword, for e.g.: joshsprockets.com blue sprockets, and getting 60%+ on that search as well

And finally, YOU MUST MAKE SURE 60%+ OF PEOPLE ARE TERMINATING THEIR SEARCH ON YOUR SITE AND NOT BOUNCING BACK TO GOOGLE

The title tag / keyword is a promise. If they don’t find what you said was there (under 3 seconds, above the fold, easily in a non-convoluted design, at a price they think is valuable enough (so sell properly – build value around the offer)) then they will do the wrong things mentioned above, and your rankings WILL suffer

This is just a start to 2016 SEO, but it is an important component!

Need help? I am always here to help you! [email protected]

6. Charles Floate

SEO, Marketing Blogger at charlesfloate.co.uk

What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?

I start off by going to (you guessed it) Google.

I’ll come up with a few keywords myself and fire them into the search bar, noting down anything that stands out from the auto-suggest, then I’ll grab every page that’s on the first page for those keywords, and fire them through Ahrefs position explorer and SEMrush (Note: SEMRush doesn’t allow sub-domains, but Ahrefs does) and export all of the keywords into an Excel doc from both of the services.

Note: Make sure you keep reference of every domain you put through SEMRush and Ahrefs, as later in your SEO campaign knowing what keywords the competitors you’re trying to beat are targeting and ranking for is very useful.

I’ll then manually sort through the keywords of every competitor spreadsheet I’ve pulled off, and add it to one super Excel doc, removing any duplicates once I’m done. If you want to separate spreadsheets into things like “Buyer Intent Keywords” “Longtail Keywords” etc.. then follow the next step via using keyword planner’s “multiple keyword list” tool.

After I have a spreadsheet filled with keywords, I’ll run them through each through keyword planner, pulling off search volume and the CPC for every keyword, then export that spreadsheet from keyword planner.

And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?

Once I’ve got that list in an excel doc, I’ll manually put each of them through Google (via an incognito browser tab) and check the pages ranking on the first page.

I use a mixture of my own knowledge of good sites (e.g. if the top 3 sites are Wikipedia, Amazon and eBay, it’s not going to be an easy keyword) and the Moz & Majestic toolbars to check the metrics and number of incoming links to that page.

If a keywords too competitive, I’ll mark it “Bad” in Excel (which overlays the highlighted cell in Red.

If the keywords easy, then I’ll mark it Green (“Good” in Excel) and if the keywords got a medium level of competition I’ll mark it Yellow (“Neutral” in Excel).

7. Nathan Gotch

Founder & CEO of Gotch SEO

Did you think I would have an “expert” roundup on my blog without including myself?

What is your “go-to” strategy for finding the best keywords for a campaign?

I always start my research by looking at industry forums.

A simple search string like “your niche + forums” will work.

Go into the forum and look at the main categories.

These will likely act as content categories for your site. After you have scoped out the forum on the surface level, jump into one of the sections. See what questions people are asking and what problems they are having. This intel will guide your content and keyword targeting.

Toss the ideas you found into the Google Keyword Planner or Long Tail Pro to see the search volume.

Picking a keyword to target depends on two factors:

The authority of your website
The competition

If your site isn’t authoritative, then you should focus on uncompetitive keywords first. Long tail keywords with a search volume between 100 – 500 is a good place to start in most scenarios.

And what criteria do you use to determine the “quality” of a keyword?

A “quality” keyword I would create content for has to meet this criteria:

The keyword must have more than 100 searches per month according to the Google Keyword Planner

The keyword must drive revenue for the business in one way or another: some keywords drive direct revenue like “pink nike shoes”. While others can send traffic into a sales funnel like “backlinks”. I always ask this question: how can this keyword grow my revenue? If you can’t think of way, then skip it.

The keyword competition needs to be low if the site has low authority. If the site has some authority, then it can target more challenging head keywords. However, targeting only long-tail keywords is a good policy for ALL websites.

To determine the competition level, I quickly examine:

PA, DA: if every site has massive PA and DA, then it might be a keyword to avoid. You especially want to look at PA because that is based on the links and authority going to that specific page that is ranking.
Big brand dominance: if the first page is overwhelmed by big brands, then I might reconsider the keyword. You can beat big brands, if your site is more relevant, but it isn’t easy.
Keyword optimization: I quickly examine the title and META description for every site on the first page to see if they are optimized for the keyword I’m going after. If they aren’t, then that’s typically a green light (if it meets the other criteria above)
“Weak” pages ranking well: I define “weak” pages as forums thread, Q&A threads, PDFs, web 2.0s, and videos. If you see any of these pages ranking, then it’s an indication that it’s a low competition niche.

8. Daniel Wesley

Founder of CreditLoan.com

1. The obvious starting point is putting your product or topic into your keyword tool of choice. Dig for those related searches, match up intent, run through all the fundamentals to get that perfect spread of keywords you want to campaign for. Something I find myself spending much more time on, though, is the competitive analysis.

Look at the contenders on a given SERP, and compile a list of every keyword these pages are ranking for. Go even further to find the keywords that other pages on these domains are ranking for, and chart out how they relate to your core topic. Especially in more competitive niches, you’ll uncover a lot of correlations between these pages, their rankings and how they interplay.

While your approach may become less linear, you’ll benefit by covering more of the proverbial “dartboard” in your strategy.

2. The biggest criteria for quality of a keyword is always intent. Your best visitors are the ones who unequivocally find what they were looking for on the page they landed on. No matter if you’re selling a product, providing an informational resource or addressing a particular pain point – the more specific, the better. Usually you can use estimated CPC as a barometer for this, but don’t let that dictate your approach on its own.

Conclusion

Keyword research doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated. Use your mind and the tools you have available to you.

The top tools mentioned in this guide are:

SEMrush
Google Keyword Planner
UberSuggest
Your mind

Always validate your keywords ideas before jumping into any campaign.

The most important part of keyword research is to analyze and understand the competition.

After you have settled on some uncompetitive keywords, then test them through Google AdWords.

Never settle on keywords just because you think you could rank for them.

Settle on keywords that you KNOW you can rank for and you KNOW will increase your bottom line.

Do you have questions?

Leave it below and thanks for reading!