Focusing on Stuff that Matters!
A good SEO ranking report is based upon careful planning and a lot of hard work because, at the end of the day, everything will get analyzed. I have often found that applying keyword ranking tools is a process which is often (criminally) overlooked by some SEOs. The SEOs that I am referring to, usually tend to stick with using the traditional Google’s Adwords tool, and as a result, they almost always end up targeting the exact same keywords as their competition.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, this article is going to be all about getting your hands (figuratively) on those juicy, low-hanging fruits (read long-tail Keywords) that are just hanging around, waiting to be plucked and will enable you to make a shining keyword ranking report. First of all, a long-tail keyword or keyword phrase basically contains multiple words of four or more. They are those that have a lower volume of traffic and are less competitive to rank for.
Navigating Through the Pool of Unlimited Keywords:
When it comes to axing the competition, have you ever wanted to break away and go beyond the top keywords that they were targeting? If so, then you can find the answers using free tools like SEMrush and Excel … and reading this post, of course. In this post, we’re not only going to brush up a bit on the uses of SEMrush Pro as a competitive keyword and content research tool, but also on some other tools that are available for free and that everyone can use … even you. So let’s get started!
Basic Keyword Search:
I always like to start my keyword search ranking with a basic Google search using the most obvious keyword. This gives you an idea of who the competitors are and who the big players in the industry are. Pretty hard eh! Allow me to explain.
Finding the Big Fish:
If you are trying (in vain) to climb up the search engine results, it’s probably because you are not sure who to call a competitor in your industry (on the web) and this will not help your SEO ranking report. One way to start is by taking the top keywords you want to rank for and seeing the buggers that rank above your website. This can also be used in SEMrush.com as well and will allow you to bypass your personalized search results (if you have any).
Now that you have a pretty good idea of whom the big players are, it's time to see if we can find out what keywords they are targeting. For this, you can turn to a keyword density tool like SEOBook, which is pretty good. You can also use the tool from DavidNaylor.co.uk. The reason I use this tool is because it has more options to customize your results and can also provide you with phrases of four or more words in length, which makes matters a lot easier.
By using this tool, you should get a list of maybe twenty websites for the keyword phrase you entered. You can take a tour of these websites to determine if they are competing companies with blogs, competing companies without blogs, or a high authority site.
Make a Spreadsheet for Your SEO Ranking Report:
Now, you will want to fire up an Excel spreadsheet (or a Google Docs spreadsheet) to get all the information together in your keyword ranking report. Use the following columns in this order to make it easier for you (or match the SEMrush data).
- Previous Position
- Search Volume
- Traffic %
- Traffic Cost %
- Number of Results
Separate the Wheat (Valuables) from the Chaff (Worthless):
For the next stage, www.Übersuggest.com is a great tool which will allow you to extract all the Google auto complete words for a base keyword. You can also use the tool from www.mergewords.com to further advance your keyword list.
Having followed these steps, you might be having some duplicates or words that may be unsuitable for other reasons. This is how you start the filtering process. First, input all of the keywords into an excel spreadsheet, then use the ‘remove duplicates’ tool in the ‘Ribbon's Data tab’. For more help on using Excel, you can go on www.MrExcel.com.
Let Google’s Adwords Tool Do its Job:
The time has come for you to use Google’s keyword ranking tool to start refining that list and find out additional information, such as search volumes, competition and local search trends. You will have to set all the parameters correctly. So, make sure you set the tool to ‘Exact’ match types, in the correct location and tick the box to only show ideas that are closely related to your search.
Wait… We’re not Finished Yet:
Lastly, two of my favorite tools for keyword research are Google Trends and Google Insights. These two have recently been combined into a new look named Google Trends. This is also a great tool for finding valuable insights into your niche keywords.
Armed with this knowledge, I hope you succeed and find even more ways to add value to your keywords and ultimately, build up a formidable SEO ranking report.