You know what’s better than ranking for your head terms? Ranking for your head terms plus the longtail variations of those terms that can also drive great traffic. Once you get outside of the head term fixation, you realize that incredible value exists in the longtail of keywords. In fact, over 80% of queries are considered “longtail”, according to this graph:
What I am going to do today is show you how to blow out your keyword list using tools like UberSuggest and Soovle so that you can identify the terms around your head terms so that you can create content and build links to your site using all of the related terms, still rank for your head terms, AND capture the longtail traffic!
This post may seem basic to some of you, and for that I apologize. But I want to help out the beginners out there who are just starting to get a grasp on SEO.
Step 1: Define your main search query
This step should be pretty obvious, and if you’re reading this post you should already know a bit about keyword research. If you don’t, and you need a little bit of help, go check out my Minimum Viable Keyword Research post.
Let’s say I want to rank for the term “content management” on my site about content management systems (this is all theoretical. I’m not cool or nerdy enough to have a site about CMSs). To rank for this term, I of course first need to create a page for this term. In my case, on this site, I would create a category page optimized around the term, off of which would be links to articles about content management.
Step 2: Find the Suggested Searches for your term in your tool of choice
Next step is to scrape the Google Suggest terms around your head term, in order to find terms that you can create content around in order to target. When I search for “content management” on Ubersuggest, I receive 337 keyword suggestions:
Now, not all of these are useful, but we can find at least 30 or 40 terms that will be useful to run through the Adwords tool.
Step 3: Download the Suggestions
The next step, of course, is to download the terms so that you are then able to gather and run them cleanly through Google Adwords.
This is quite easy to do within Ubersuggest, where you simply click the green + button beside each term to add it, then click copy. You see this screen, from which do a CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy), and then CTRL+V (paste) into Excel:
I then like to alphabetize them within Excel to keep them in order.
Step 4: Run those terms through the Adwords Keyword Tool (Exact match)
Next, run these keywords through the Adwords Keyword Tool (on Exact Match, of course). I’m not going to go into depth on this part, as it’s very basic SEO 101, but if you don’t know how to use the tool, just let me point you to this post on SEO.com.
Step 5: Create Awesome Content for These Terms
Now, we create content around these terms. The goal is to provide value to the online conversation and the vertical conversation in order to earn links and shares to these posts. Often, the terms that are being targeted will only take one or two links in order to rank for that term, which in aggregate will increase traffic to your site.
Also, these articles and their links should all link back to your category page that is targeting the head term for which you are trying to rank. It can be diagrammed thus:
Step 6: Build Links
Now we get into the linkbuilding and word-spreading part of the content creation and strategy process. The two types of linking as I hope you know, are internal and external.
When you are building your site, you should be taking into account the internal linking on your site, so that when you hit Publish on your post, you are also building internal links into the page naturally. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to:
- Organize your site into sections, so that you are automatically linking to the page from within 2 steps from the homepage;
- Use custom sidebars to link carefully within those sections from the other posts within the same section (you can do this using Conditional Tags on WordPress, which I wrote about here on Triberr).
- Use a Related Posts plugin like nRelate to flow link equity to other pages/posts on your website.
- Use Zemanta to surface your content to other bloggers. I talked about it in the Passive Linkbuilding section of my Linklove presentation;
- Push it out on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, wherever your target audience hangs out online.
- Have your site listed on the appropriate Alltop topics page.
- Find related content on the Internet, learn who is linking to them, and build a relationship with those people so that you can surface your content to them over time.
Step 7: Traffic++
If you’ve done your work by targeting terms that have search volume, and also let your social circles know, as well as the people who may be interested in your content, now you sit back and watch your organic traffic increase. Don’t look for a huge jump in traffic usually (unless it is a hugely trafficked term), but compare month-over-month, or six-month-over-six-month periods of time and see how your traffic grows.
Have any thoughts? Feedback? Reasons for disagreement? Let me know about them!