500 SEO Tips: Essential Strategies To Bulldoze Through Google's Rankings, Increase Traffic and Go Viral
Chapter 1: Keyword Research
A keyword is the word or more often, words that people type into Google’s search bar. For example, “how to build a circuit”. If you write an article about “How to Build a Circuit”, your article will rank in the results of selected pages that Google wishes to show.
Certain keywords tend to do better than others. The most successful webmasters and bloggers know what kinds of topics to target. Some are profitable and easy to rank, whilst others can be easy to rank but not profitable. It is this knowledge which makes them so successful because once you rank high for a money-making keyword, your website will get more exposure than you can think of.
This chapter is all about helping you pick profitable keywords which you can use to rank higher. You will learn how to generate keywords, test how profitable they are and sleect the keywords which will make you the most money. You will then learn how to embed these keywords into your website, for best rankings.
How To Generate Hundreds of Keywords
1. Start A Keyword Mindmap
Your typical mind map consists of sub-headings stemming from the center. Let’s use this simple idea to start our keyword generation. The keyword mind map consists of your main niche as the center and then sub-topics emitting from the center. Through this method, you will start with a basic seed keyword or phrase where you will add more sub-categories.
More categories will be generated to the sub-categories and by the end, you will have a full niche of keywords to write about whenever you like.
2. Create Your Keyword Mindmap
The first thing you need to do is to generate a single “seed keyword”. This is basically your main niche, eg: smartphone security, British cooking or chemistry lessons.
Then, think of all the sub-topics associated with your niche.
Examples: British cooking could be divided into starters, main courses, snacks, drinks and desserts.
Chemistry lessons could be divided into the many topics of chemistry such as organic chemistry, particle science and so on.
3. Generate More Sub Niches With Wikipedia
As part of your hunt for topics to cover on your website or pages to create, you should also head over to Wikipedia. By searching for your niche, and looking at its page – you can find extra topics to write about or cover on your website. For example, if your website sells vitamins, you can create content on the types of vitamins, why they're so beneficial, impacts on the body and so forth. Those ideas came from the headings that Wikipedia covered on their page for vitamins.
4. Get A Keyword List With Ubersuggest
Your keyword mind map is the base for obtaining a keyword list in your niche. You need to get a sub-category on your mind map and start generating more keywords from that. Ubersuggest allows you to enter a "seed" keyword. It will then generate hundreds of new keywords based on that prime idea.
They use Google Suggest to obtain these keywords.
Google Suggest is the dropdown feature that pops up when you search something on Google. Keywords only get to this list if they are searched for at least ten times a month. Ubersuggest “scrapes” all of these keywords that Google have documented into their suggest feature.
You can add a single keyword and then get hundreds of suggestions. For example, if I type “Halloween” into Ubersuggest, I will get ten results with [“Halloween” + word beginning with a] such as “Halloween art”, “Halloween accessories”. Some of the keyword phrases suggested can be three, four or even five words.
To use this tool, head over to www.ubersuggest.com and input one of your sub-category words such as “organic chemistry” from the chemistry lessons example.
Add all of the generated keywords to your list by pressing the green plus sign beside each suggestion. Scroll up and click the “Get” button. Copy these and save them as a text file.
5. Generate More Keywords With Keywordtool.io
With this tool, you can add a single keyword and it will add extra words beginning with every letter of the alphabet. If I inputted “trees” into the tool, I would get results with “trees + word beginning with a”. Numbers are also added onto the first word.
It generates on average, 700+ words and they are scraped from Google Suggest. The results are always different from Ubersuggest which means you can get a fresh batch of new keywords. I have found that some of the words were utter gibberish but here and there you will find some nice ideas.
Go to www.keywordtool.io and input your niche sub-category word (such as “cake baking” or “keyword research”. Copy these to your clipboard (using the “Copy All button at the top) and head over to Word and paste them from your Clipboard into your Word document.
6. Generate "Buyer" Keywords With Soovle
Strange name, no doubt but this tool is exceptionally handy for scraping long tail keywords from multiple websites not just Google. Examples of these websites include Amazon, Wikipedia, Bing and Yahoo among many more. One single keyword into the tool will generate up to one hundred keywords from various channels.
This tool works exactly the same as Ubersuggest and keywordtool.io only that it scrapes these keywords from different channels not just Google. Whilst these keywords can be from eBay or Bing which we aren’t focusing on, you can still use the keywords and check them out later on.
Check it out at www.soovle.com.
7. Steal Keywords From Your Competition
Every website has its own keyword strategies. You can steal these very easily. It isn't gaming the system, it's improving your own website! You can see what juicy keywords are sending traffic to their website.
If they have some "secret" keywords that are secretly bringing traffic to their website, you can use them for your own webpages and content.
Simply follow the GKP hack in tip #16. Instead of inputting the link of a blog post or Pinterest board, input their website link instead. Analyze the keywords and pick out any keywords that get more than 300 searches.
8. KWFinder Is Another Fantastic Way To Do Keyword Research
This tool is a complete dashboard for all your keyword research needs. All you have to do is search for a keyword, and then, the tool will give you about thirty keyword suggestions with all the metrics, a graph showing the interest in that keyword over time, the overall competition for that keyword, and who's ranking in the top ten for that keyword.
It isn't hugely extensive, you won't find as much keyword suggestions as you would with others but it does consolidate a lot of the work into one dashboard. The free version can be quite limited, but it still offers plenty of information. Try it now atwww.kwfinder.com.
9. Mine Through Your Google Analytics Data
If your site has been running for more than a year, and you've gotten a good amount of search traffic over that time (in the tens of thousands), you can start mining through your Google Analytics data and see what keywords people actually used to get to your site. This can be one of the most valuable sources of keywords because those keywords are the ones which brought people, money and leads to your website.
Even if you have thousands of [not provided] keywords, you will still find a plethora of keywords which haven't been plagued by the [not provided] phenomenon. To start looking through your GA data now, simply log into your Google Analytics dashboard, select Acquisition>Campaigns>Organic Keywords.
10. Start A Keyword Ideas Folder
Create a new folder called Keyword Ideas and place it on your Desktop where you regularly see it. Every time you generate a new list of keywords from Ubersuggest or get the monthly searches for keywords from the Google Keyword Planner, you can save them in this folder.
You can even divide the folder into separate folders such as your keyword mind map sub-categories. You can add your lists of generated keywords into each folder and then the results from the Keyword Planner.
That way, you have all your keywords in one available resource!
11. Assemble All Your Keywords Into A File
Copy and paste all your generated keywords into a simple word document either using Word or Notepad or whatever. This makes it super quick to paste your keywords into the Google Keyword Planner later on.
How To Find Out Which Keywords Are The Most Profitable
12. Analyze Keywords With The Google Keyword Planner
Go to www.adwords.google.com and sign in with your Google Account or create an account if you don’t have one. Once the page loads, you will see a page similar to the one below.
Head over to “Tools” on the top and select “Keyword Planner”. Once the Keyword Planner has loaded up, click on the third option and paste in your list of generated keywords. The maximum number of keywords you can input is one thousand but you can submit an Excel file and analyze 3000 instead. Hit Submit.
For the keywords you inputted, you will see many terms which describe CPC, searches per month and more. Here is a quick guide to all those terms:
· Searches – This column tells you the number of searches a keyword phrase receives each month, globally. You would need a keyword to be receiving more than 1000 searches a month. This would equate to about 33 views a day for a new article which is a lot. Much debate goes into the number of searches that a keyword gets because some target 5,000 and others 10,000. It really depends on your level of SEO so for now, stick with the 500-2000 range.
· Competition – The Keyword Planner is originally designed for those who use AdWords, Google’s advertising platform. By saying “competition”, this refers to advertising competition. Advertisers placing ads on certain keywords pay more than others. When someone clicks on their ad, there is a set price for that ad depending on the keyword. This does not refer to the competition that websites have in search results.
If your website is a business and you want your visitors to convert well (becoming a customer), select keywords with a higher cost per click. This is because they are “business words”, ie: keywords that bring customers who will convert rather than leave.
· Suggested Bid – This means “Cost per Click” and is the amount of money an advertiser would pay for one click of an advertisement to do with that keyword. Don’t push yourself in writing articles with a high CPC, I generally wouldn’t look at it as it has no impact on traffic.
13. The Stats You Should Aim For
You see all the stats about each keyword and wonder to yourself about which keywords are worth chasing. Basically you need to find keywords which are have the following monthly searches.
· 1000-4000 Monthly Searches: The sweet zone is in this region simply because it will result in a large amount of traffic and competition won’t be as high. 1000 monthly searches may not seem much when you break it down to a daily number but for a beginning website, 30 daily hits on one page is great.
If you wrote ten articles/created ten pages in the 1000 range where competition isn’t tough, you will get about 300 people accessing your website every day! That is a lot for your business or website! Especially when you are starting out. Once you build up an authority, you can start aiming for higher monthly searches such as 2000 all the way up to 5000 (assuming that PR 1-3 websites are ranking).
14. Looking For "Product" Words?
The best way to find keywords that are going to lead to a higher conversion rate or higher rate of purchasing your products is to find keywords with a high CPC (cost per click) usually in the region from $3-12. However, the higher the CPC gets, the higher the competition becomes. So pick a keyword with a CPC that is typically in the $3 to $7 range. Anything above that range, and you'll find it impossible to rank for those keywords.
Since companies are bidding for these keywords (and are willing to spend their advertising budget on that keyword), it's clear that the people searching for this keyword have some cash to spend and need to do it pretty soon. You can see why those companies are desperate to get those searchers looking at their website.
15. Generate New Keywords Using GKP
As well as checking the potential of keywords, you can also generate new ones related to that niche. It is quick and easy to do this.
Go to www.adwords.google.com and sign in with your Google Account. Once the homepage loads, click on the Tools tab and then “Keyword Planner”.
This will bring you to the Planner. Click on the First option and input some of your targeted keywords. Keep them fairly broad, eg: netbook accessories. You should get about 600+ keywords from this and you can download the list (if your computer can open CSV or Excel files). You can analyze them and pick a few golden nuggets of keywords.
16. Get Super Profitable Keywords No One Is Using Yet
This simple yet amazingly effective hack will give you highly profitable keywords that nobody has seen yet. This means that you can rank easily for these keywords and get huge traffic!
Go to the Keyword Planner homepage using the tutorial above. Select on the first option, “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”. In the dropdown menu, it will give you three options. Go to the second option which allows you to input a URL.
In this section, input one of the following URL’s:
§ Pinterest Boards – Search on Pinterest for your keyword, eg: “making soap” and get the URL for one of the boards.
§ Blog Posts – Do a search on Google for your desired keyword and copy the URL of a popular, high traffic blog post.
§ BuzzSumo – This site shows you the most shared content in your niche. Input your niche (eg: makeup) and copy the links of the first few results.
By inputting a URL, the tool will show you all the keywords that are directing traffic to that site. These keywords are usually hidden from public view, but they are yours to enjoy!
17. Get Visual Data On Long Tail Keywords – Need some long tail keywords? This tool will give you a very unique perspective on long tail keyword research. Simply type in the start of a question such as "why am i" or "why doesn't she" and you'll see the innermost thoughts that people have. Results such as "why am I single", "why is she avoiding me" and "why is she wearing leggings" crop up, as well as search volumes and competition for those questions.
It's not the best keyword tool, but it is quirky and makes research a little more interesting!
Play around with it, and you'll discover some very interesting insights into the minds of the public. (www.hint.fm/seer)
18. Get Commonly Asked Questions/Statements/Long Tail Keywords – This is yet another tool I have discovered on my travels. It's called Answer The Public (www.answerthepublic.com) and it basically provides an entire list of questions which people have asked on Google. You type in a broad keyword such as "dresses" or "cars" and this tool will generate over one hundred questions related to that keyword such as "how dresses changed over the years", "what dresses to wear in winter" or "where to buy dresses in Toronto".
It will also generate over hundred statements about that topic such as "dresses with short sleeves", "dresses which suit short hair" or "prom dresses near me".
This tool is amazing, there's no other way to say it. The best part about it is that it generates the questions in a visual "wheel", and it's quite a sight.
For some long tail keywords and frequently asked questions, you won't find a better tool.
19. Get Keywords From Your Friends and Colleagues
With the shift to Google Hummingbird and keywords becoming more conversational, it's a great idea to get keyword suggestions from your friends and colleagues. They can provide you with more ideas and suggestions than any keyword tool.
The best way to do this is with a new tool which can be found at www.seedkeywords.com. This tool allows you to input a "scenario" such as "What would you search for on Google, if you wanted ideas for Christmas gifts?". The tool will generate a unique URL to this scenario, which you can send to your friends and colleagues at work. By clicking the link, they will be asked what keywords they would type into Google for that topic. You can then analyze the keywords and see how they fare in terms of traffic with the Google Keyword Planner!
It's a quick and easy way to get more keyword ideas from your friends, family and colleagues, without annoying them!
20. Keyword Eye
Get a wildly different perspective on keyword research! This uses imagery (size and colour) to illustrate keyword data. Enter a keyword into the tool and it’ll generate tens of keywords in a “word cloud” style. Bigger keywords have more monthly searches whilst the competition of each keyword is illustrated by a colour.
Red is for high competition, yellow for medium and green for low competition. It’s perfect when searching for new ideas and always leads to that “creative spark”. It’s quite a refreshing way to do keyword research!
This website is a real treat. It is not a keyword tool at all but a dictionary. It provides definitions for words but also displays “similar words” along with them. You can get more than a hundred “related words” per keyword that you input. Eg: I search for the word “SEO” on the tool.
I get a pile of definitions for what it means but at the top of the page, there are more than one hundred SEO-related terms! Many tools just spew out closely related terms but this understands the actual meaning behind the word. For example, “spamdexing”, “crawling” and “keyword research” are included on the list. Copy all these words and get analyzing!
22. Access Over A Trilion Keywords at Wordstream
Get a boatload of new keywords with Wordstream. With over a trillion keywords in their database, you're bound to find some very profitable keywords indeed. I just wish I knew about this sooner. It's free too, meaning you don't have to spend lots of money on keyword research. (www.wordstream.com)
23. Google Trends
The homepage displays trending searches in the past few hours. If you want a publicity boost, you can write on a trending search term. Check out the top ten trending keywords and see if you can write on any. You can also search for your targeted keywords and see if they are popular today.
You will be shown a graph on the popularity of your keyword over time, and what its predicted forecast might be. The tool will generate some new keywords at the bottom of the page too, giving some extra ideas.
24. Forums Contain Keyword Gold
Take a scroll through forums and QA sites and you'll see that the questions people ask can easily be turned into keywords you can research. If someone's asking it, chances are, hundreds of others are probably wondering what the answer/solution is too. Check our QA sites such as Yahoo! Answers and Quora. Also, check out forums such as Reddit and search for forums in your niche using this search string: "[niche] forum".
Search for questions on the forum and statements that are being brought up on the forum. Try to turn these into keywords, and analyse them using the GKP!
25. Get The Keywords That Are Sending Traffic To Your Competitors
What keywords are sending the most traffic to your competitors? You'd be very surprised.
With SpyFu (www.spyfu.com), you get access to the hottest keywords that are sending traffic to your competitors. You also get insights on the amount of clicks that those keywords are bringing to the website, which is a very rare metric to get.
You also get access to the most profitable ads that they have been putting up on Google AdWords. This is great because you can see what keywords have been generating them the most clicks. It's often a waste of money doing "experiments" (which ad gets more clicks, A or B?) on Google AdWords or testing which ad is most effective. With this tool, you get the results to the experiments your competitors have been doing immediately.
SpyFu offers an incredibly vast amount of information on the keywords you're competitors are using. It's probably one of my favourites and whenever I need some ideas, I also head over to it.
26. Use Google Wild Card Suggest
Google have their own wild card operator which means you can generate words. You may have used Google Autosuggest find more keywords to target. However, the suggested words don't appear until the end of the phrase. With the wild card operator, Google will suggest random yet frequently searched words to replace the wild card operator. In other words, a Google Autosuggest search may yield something like, "books for teens". If you placed a wild card operator in the phrase, "_ books for kids", you would get phrases such as "best books for kids", "nonfiction books for kids", "colouring books for kids" appear.
The wild card operator is denoted by an underscore (_) or an asterisk (*). Very few know of this tactic so use it to your advantage!
27. Get Keywords That'll Be Massively Searched For In The Future
It's time to have a massive opportunity over everyone else. Get out your crystal ball and start looking for keywords that will be searched for massively in the future. Since it takes about three months for a webpage's SEO work to kick in, you can start early by ranking for future keywords now.
Type dates after your keyword, such as "marketing 2016" or "Christmas men's gifts 2016". Really, all you need is your niche followed by the year.
People are going to be searching for these keywords in their thousands (or millions) when the time comes, so be the first and seize the opportunity. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm.
Also, focus on highly anticipated product launches which are going to take place a few months or even a year from now. For example, "apple watch launch" or "google glass launch".
28. Go Local
If you have a local business, it would be foolish not to go for keywords aimed at your local area. Instead of trying to rank for "gardening center" would be absolutely impossible to rank for on page one. Instead, try ranking for keywords such as "garden center Bristol". Take the size of the area into account too.
Keywords such as "gardening center arizona" would be more difficult to rank for than "gardening center phoenix". Again, check search volume for the smaller town, larger city or area (province, state, county) and see which is most profitable and has the least competition.
29. Get "Urgency Keywords" – People that search for things like "flower delivery same day" or "Valentine's gifts next day" are more likely to buy something since they need something fast. These keywords emit a sense of urgency so you can cash in by providing a same day delivery. You can prepare for this by including "same day" or "next day" in your keywords if you are an online business.
30. Get "Spammy" Keywords
These keywords promise things that don't exist such as "how to grow hair in one week", "rank website in 24 hours" or "lose two stone in one day". Trying to propose these is simply nonsense and searching for any of these results in a lot of spammy, poor quality websites ranking. You know those online ads you see that propose a "weird tip that you can use to lose weight"? Those websites usually are nothing more than scams.
However, you can create an excellent piece of content which legitimately helps people with their problem. Start off by saying that such an idea is impossible, and then, offer alternatives instead. For example, say that trying to grow back your hair in one week is never going to happen but there are other measures you can take to get your hair growing back in a month. It might not answer their specific query, but it's a whole lot better than paying a visit to those scam websites!
Since your article is of a very high quality, it's going to rank first because all the other websites are spam (which we all know Google hates).
It's important not to choose overly spammy keywords (like "payday loans" for example), because they'll only ring alarm bells for Google. Keep topics on the safe side, and don't go overboard on this strategy!
31. Targeting An Older Audience? Use Bing
If you are in a niche that has an older, less tech savvy audience - you may need to focus on keywords which can be found on Bing. Go to the Bing Keyword Planner at http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords and search for your desired keywords.
32. Don't Place Your Keywords Into The Meta Keywords Tag
Once you have a keyword list that you want to target, do not place it into the meta keywords tag. Google doesn't value this HTML tag anymore and it's just way for competitors to see what keywords you're targeting which means a lot of stolen keywords. A lot of old school SEO websites still recommend the meta keywords tag, but Google stopped placing value on it six years ago. There's no point trying to make that tag work now.
How To Embed Keywords Into Your Content For Best Rankings
33. Use Your Keywords Through Creating Webpages or Content
Once you find keywords you need to make them work for you. That means, bringing customers, leads and ultimately, revenue to you and your website.
You need to create either webpages or content surrounding the keywords that you've picked. If you are a local business wanting to get more traffic to your website (from those keywords), you need to make webpages about your business and what you offer to customers using the keywords in the title. For example, if you provide web design services to clients in London, you're keywords would be "web design London" and you're homepage title could be something like, "Web Design In London: Making Beautiful Websites Since 2007". You would then place the keywords in the relevant places as mentioned below.
Once you have an initial set of webpages, you can then start creating content targeting other keywords that you have found. Content can take in the form of a blog post, infographic or video – and usually solves or answers the problems that are in your niche, eg: "how to be a successful author" would be a good keyword for someone to target that offers marketing for authors.
34. Place Your Keywords In Relevant Places
For a fully optimized page, adding keywords in the right places is essential. You need to have a special keyword in mind when creating your content. By targeting a certain keyword phrase, and placing it in the relevant areas, you are telling Google that your content is about [your keyword] in a sure-fire and clear way, meaning it’s relevant.
When you don’t really know what you’re targeting, you probably have everything all over the place, giving little results. By knowing the keyword you are targeting, you can analyze the page’s position in the rankings, crush any competition you have and more. There are 5 exact areas to drill your keywords in.
1. Title (H1 Tag) – With keywords, Google puts the most weight on the Title Tag. In HTML speak, it’s known as the H1 Tag. Make sure that the keyword is clearly in the title. Make sure your title is no more than 65 characters, or else it will be chopped off in both search results and on social media.
2. URL – Make sure to only include the keyword phrase you are targeting in the URL. Don’t keep unnecessary words such as “and”, “a” or “guide”. I have found that including just the keywords in the URL tend to be valued more by Google. The URL can always be different to the title of the content, so keep URL length to a minimum.
3. Meta Description – This is the summary of your article (appears on Google rankings) which gives you an overview on what the content is actually about. Google don’t value the keywords in this. The description is merely used to grab people’s attention and clinch the click. An effective description should pose a question, add juicy promises and get people excited about what the page has to offer. Keep sentences short and to the point. Lead off the summary with an ellipsis “…” to make people curious and click to read more. Here’s an example:
“Learn how to make pink lemonade, in this illustrated guide! Get all the tips and tricks for a juicy and refreshing drink. This lemonade is so good that…”
The words underlined appeal to the desires of people and make them want to read more. My article has tips and tricks (some exclusivity there!) and offers an illustrated guide. The ellipsis leads to a little mystery, who knows what’s next? Stay within 160 characters, or else it will be chopped off.
4. First 100 Words – In the actual article itself, Google focus a little more on the first 100 words than everything else, so make sure that you insert the keyword phrase you are targeting. This will officially pay tribute to what your title, subheadings and meta description are all about.
5. Content – When you write about the keywords, you will naturally include them in your content without even realizing it. When the Googlebots crawl your article, they don’t actually crawl small, non-important words like “and”, “the” or “a”. Instead, they only crawl instances of keywords. For example, on an article about laptops, they would index “dell, “review of toshiba”, “laptop accessories”, “laptop extras” and so on. These words are taken into account when Google ranks you. Keep a constant focus on the keyword phrase you are targeting.
35. Place Targeted Keyword At Start of Title –
If possible, you should put the exact keyword or keyword phrase at the beginning of the title. Google have stated that titles with the keyword in the first 3-4 words do better than those without. So instead of “A Detailed Guide to Planting Tomato Seeds” you could say “Tomato Seeds: How To Plant”.
36. Watch Out For Keyword Stuffing - Some think that the more they insert keywords into content, the higher they’ll rank. This technique is called keyword stuffing. It can end up pretty bad with webmasters including the keyword hundreds of times in their content.
That used to work in the past, (back in the darker, black hat days) but not anymore.
Keyword density is the amount of times your keyword appears in your content divided by the total number of words. So, if I used the phrase “make lemonade” twenty times and I wrote 1500 words, my keyword density would be 20 / 1500 x 100 = 1.33%.
You don’t need to worry at all about keyword density. It’s a thing of the past and is a very weak ranking factor. Just bear in mind that your targeted keyword shouldn’t have a keyword density of over 3%. Anything more than that, and you are entering the danger zone.
37. Keyword Variations
You should add variations of your keyword throughout the content. You can find variations of keywords in Google's Related Searches box. Do a search of your target keyword on Google and scroll down to the Related Searches box. You should find plenty of variations of the keyword. Include these into your sub-headings and text for an added relevancy boost.
38. Want to Start Using Paid Keyword Tools?
The free tools that I have mentioned provide pretty much everything you need for keyword research from keyword generation to keyword analysis. All the tools that I've mentioned until now are completely free and will probably remain that way.
However, if you want to simplify the keyword process and make it faster, paid keyword tools might be an option for you. I'm not saying that you need paid tools but if you feel like you want to cut down the time you spend on keyword research, paid tools offer the advanced functionality that provides that.
For generating long tail keywords and their monthly Google searches, try out LongTail Pro. You need to input a single keyword such as "Italian cooking" or "keyword research" and it will generate hundreds of popular long tail keywords you can use immediately to start ranking. The free alternative would be Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.
I would also recommend SEMRush (www.semrush.com), and Keyword Project Manager (www.keywordprojectmanager.com) which are amazing tools for keyword research.