The online world is continually changing and more entrepreneurs are growing brand awareness of their online businesses through search engine optimization (SEO).
As Harsh Agrawal, the creator of ShoutMeLoud, explains, “One of the essential elements of SEO is keyword ranking and position. It is absolutely necessary for SEO professionals to check their Google keyword ranking for target keywords. One of the most common mistakes bloggers and website administrators make is that they write and publish articles without targeting any keywords at all. It takes only 2-3 minutes to use a tool like Traffic Travis or the Google keyword search tool to find which keywords should be used.”
Gaining site traffic and keyword analysis is now a more refined process than it once was. To compete in today’s digital marketplace you need to focus on the details in order to rank first in Google search results.
How can you accomplish this and more? Well, ranking for a keyword isn’t that easy at all. You need to create a process to rank your keyword(s) at the top of Google searches.
So, here’s a look at best practices that are used to rank for a keyword.
Step 1: Draft a rough plan.
This will basically be the pre-plan that includes a look at website authority and the network that your website has built over the Internet. The more authority your website can garner, the better. Check to ensure your website meets SEO best practices, then consider your network (i.e., blog following, social media accounts, email subscriber lists, and link building activities). This can help you gain a better idea of the keywords should you be targeting
Step 2: Perform keyword analysis.
Searching for a keyword doesn’t mean you simply find one that has good volume or focus on keywords coming up in top searches. “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole (Moz.com).”
Once you find out the keyword groups that are relevant to your business, list keywords that are close variations of your primary keyword. This will also be helpful when you are writing and optimizing your content.
Step 3: Check out the competition.
Once you have selected keywords, perform a Google search (and use other search engines) to review keyword competition. Check the title tags of competitive websites to check if they are related to the keyword you have selected. “Title tags are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing (Moz.com).”
What if the keyword you’ve selected is the same domain as a key competitor? What type of business are they running? Is it a new business or an established one?
Garrett French of Ontolo Link Building Company suggests: “I always look at the number of paid advertisers to get a sense of keyword competitiveness, the number of results in the top 10 that look ‘optimized’ (keywords in the title, etc.), and the number of homepages that rank for the term. Nothing scientific, just a quick way to gut-check a space (WordStream).”
Step 4: Conceive and then plan.
There are many paths to take when you want to rank for a specific keyword. Content marketing (i.e. creating articles, blog posts, explainer videos, infographics and so on) is now a closer SEO companion than ever before.
According to CoSchedule, “When outlining an SEO strategy for content marketing, we take a slightly different approach than what we were used to. It is probably best to begin understanding how (and why) Google is rewarding longer-form content and other content that is visually focused. Google has started to see these elements as symbols of quality, and is doing a better job of connecting search users to quality content.”
Step 5: Execute.
The last, final and most important step is to execute your keyword strategy. Plan out a long tail keywords that are less competitive and will help improve rankings. Google is looking for high-quality content and so are your potential customers, so execute and make such content that will benefit your audiences.
“More and more, search engines are looking for high-quality content that benefits the searcher, not keyword-stuffed spam or pages full of ads that only benefit you (WordStream).”
It might be possible that the keyword you chose is too competitive, but stay focused, follow the process and optimize along the way.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Brandy Kendrick, writing on behalf of Video Explainers, enjoys sharing go-to-market strategies, formulating worthy content to explain video marketing to niche markets, making optimized landing pages for A/B testing, and getting deeper into the analytics data. Connect with @videoexplainers on Twitter.
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