6 SEO Myths That Prove We’re All Idiots





Humans will do anything to look smart and competent. Comedians like Jimmy Kimmel feed off of this propensity for hubris. And then we all benefit from it. Try it for yourself sometime. Go up to a random stranger and ask, “Do you think Bill Clinton gets enough credit for ending the Korean War?” (HINT: He wasn’t old enough to be President of the United States during the Korean War.)



Ironically, this behavior often exposes our ineptitude.

SEOs and bloggers are no different. We want to look like experts so bad we bullshit our way into corners all the time

Here are a few ways SEOs B.S. themselves all the time and really make themselves look like idiots.

1. Do What These Massive Brands Are Doing

When I was a kid, I played the game Lemmings. Often, I’d get bored with a particularly difficult level and just set up traps for my lemmings rather than rescue them. I’d watch them all follow the digger to hell and then hit the nuke button.

The fact a lemming is bigger and healthier looking than the other lemmings doesn’t change the fact it’s a lemming. That lemming still might be heading for a cliff.

Big brands aren’t always wise sages, especially when it comes to SEO. Think of it this way: a bigger brand has a much wider margin of error than you do. If they make a mistake, they can bounce back when you might splat at the bottom.

You’re also assuming their HR department knows what they’re doing when they hire SEOs and web designers. Often the philosophy of “throw money at it to make it grow” doesn’t work. And that’s exactly how some big brands function once they get the big cash.



Don’t be a lemming, seek real advice.

2. SEO is Snake Oil

Ok, SEOs typically don’t say this. They wouldn’t make any money this way.

But I’ve heard it from Google employees, bloggers, and anyone who just doesn’t want to do the work of ranking well. I even had a friend from YouTube tell me this, backpedal, and then say, “well, it’s just that the target is constantly shifting.”

There’s a lot of surface-level SEO information out there. And while it’s not exactly snake oil, it’s often not enough to have any real impact on your SERPs.

SEO is like psychology. It’s a soft science.

We can’t peak into the box and know what’s going on but we can observe the effects. Sometimes Google will give us a heads-up, but often we’re scrambling to patch holes after the fact.

This can make it seem like SEOs are behind the curve, but they’re more in the know than anyone else. It’s not an exact science, but it’s not snake oil either.

3. Worry About Keyword Stuffing

Seriously? What year is this? 2012?

Can we be done with the keyword stuffing thing yet? No? Well, I guess we gotta slay this beast while we’re here.

Sure, keywords still matter a *little* bit. But here’s the bite: they gotta be so natural, even you don’t see them as keywords.



Google’s RankBrain is now all about user intent. It’s so important to give users what they’re looking for that keywords almost don’t matter anymore.

Where Then Are Keywords Relevant?

Until our language goes fully pictographic, search engines will continue to take keywords into account. And you should definitely research a keyword to put in your title tag.

Otherwise, just be natural (grammatically correct, and concise, and…well, content is king, right?).

4. Content is King

Aw, what? Didn’t I just say content is king? Yeah, yeah, I know, plot-holes, right?

But this myth is just like the “write what you know” rule in writing. People take it, run with it and have no clue what the hell they’re even doing. And then they end up writing boring crap because their life is so boring.

Novice bloggers do the same thing with content. If you write it, they will come, right?

Wrong. You need more than just content (even great content) to make the SEO wheels turn. We’re looking at links, tags, design, usability, speed…

Yeah, content is just an important piece of the puzzle, one you can’t do without. But it’s not the end-all of SEO.

5. Links Are a Dead Horse

I’ve said this before, but the internet is — drumroll please — a network! Without links, you are just a powerless tool in a sea of well-connected and well-dressed geniuses.

It’s just that, like keywords, and content, links are only one step in many to get you to the SERP prize. No, don’t put a billion links in, but don’t ignore them either.

Don’t go buying links for cheap either. Negotiate for access to high ranking sites instead. And again, be natural.

6. Google is Penalizing You

I only cried once in Hockey. I’d just come back after time off from a broken ankle and I was reckless on the ice. I almost whacked someone in the throat with my stick. I ended up in the penalty box a teenage mess because I had lost skill.

Google’s algorithms aren’t referees. They’re a content elevator. When one site drops in the rankings, it’s because of a change in the algorithm they weren’t ready for. It also means another site was ready (knowingly or not).

There is no Google algo penalty box. There are referees at Google, but Google actually notifies you on the Google Search Console when you’ve violated their Webmaster Guidelines.

Talking about SERP rank changes like hockey penalties only serves to malign Google and cause confusion.

Don’t Be an Idiot

Humility is an underrated quality in our society. I’ve found that when you admit ignorance, you’re rewarded with knowledge.

Only idiots pretend to know eveything. If you’re on the SEO struggle bus, seek help. Your SERPs will thank you.

 

What Webmasters Need to Know About Google’s Medic Broad Core Algorithm Update





It seems like every few weeks, Google is tweaking their search engine just a little bit. And ever since Matt Cutts cut himself out of the Google-sphere, Moz and other companies must stab in the dark and hope they get their guesses right. In essence, it’s been quite rare that Google actually announces a major algorithm update since the Matt Cutts departure. When they do announce something, it’s after the fact and after much deliberation on our part.



Recently, Google released a major update. They’re calling it the “Medic” Core Update. So, without much further ado, here’s a bit of info on this recent update.

1. A Very Short Google Update History

The Moz outlines all the updates, both major and minor since 2012. They’ve done an incredible job alerting SEOs and webmasters of impending changes and current debacles. And for a time, Google was at least partially communicative with SEOs.

The Moz goes all the way back to the year 2000. But the first real SEO impacting update happened in 2011. Panda affected 12% of all search results. It cracked down on thin content and other quality issues.



From there, Google updated their search engine about every few months. A year later, another major update came waddling in. This was Penguin and it targeted webspam like a spider to a fly.

These updates showed that Google was deadly serious about increasing the quality of their results. And who would blame them? Search results are, after all, their main product.

2. What’s So Special About the Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Google recently began to move away from updating their search engine to find quality content. They’ve pretty much perfected this aspect of Google. And posting quality content will always be something you should do.

For example, if you’re an apartment rental site SEO company, you would want to write articles about SEO and about how to maintain a rental management site. This is what users will look for.



What’s different now? Google is now looking for relevancy.

If your site took a hit with this new update despite usually being a top-ranked site, you probably didn’t do anything wrong. You just need to do more. (Yes, you are allowed to groan when hearing that.)

Figure Out User Intent

This is what Google is trying to teach its search engine to do. And you can do it too. Ask yourself, what is your audience trying to achieve by typing in a search engine term.

What are the questions they’re asking? If you can figure this out, then you can tailor your content to answer those questions.

Who Might Have Taken a Hit?

Moz is calling this the “Medic” update. The sites it seemed to affect were primarily healthcare websites. Anything to do with health and wellness took a hit.

It’s understandable that Google would “target” these sites. I’ve heard medical professionals complain about “Dr. Google” misleading patients. And perhaps Google is trying to teach its search engine to give better medical advice.

Really, if you are in the percentage of sites that took a hit, then my advice would be to double down on your research and give better information. But that should be something you’re doing anyway.

 

Competitive Analysis for Entrepreneurs





What Is “Competitive Analysis”?

Competitive analysis is the process of analyzing your competitors, which are the people you’re trying to run against in specific markets. If you’re somebody that is interested in providing a website that sells shoes and such, you’ll be going head-to-head with all of the other consignment stores and such around the world. As a result, it’s always a good idea to analyze the competition and see what’s trending (in regards to some of the better brands on the market).



If a company is incredibly successful, odds are you’re going to be analyzing their ways quite thoroughly. There are many different aspects of competitive analysis that need to take place, which is what we’ll be covering here today. Google SEO keyword analysis isn’t the only thing you’ll need to ponder, as there are plenty of other things that could help propel a company into popularity.

In order to put together a successful business, you need to be taking initiative when it comes to marketing. To make the most out of your marketing campaigns, you’ll have to understand what makes your target demographic tick – as well as look at what as been successful before you. This article is going to cover how you can go about handling the competitive analysis process, as well as cover terms and phrases that might pop up throughout the entire ordeal. Without the right information under your belt, competitive analysis is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done for your business.

 

How Important is the Property Marketing Plan?

If you’re asking this question, it’s quite obvious that you don’t know how much weight a marketing plan can bear upon your success. Marketing plans are essentially in order to make sure that your business is in good hands, especially when you’re jumping into a relatively competitive industry. If you aren’t ready to effectively market your products or services, then you really aren’t going to get anywhere major.

There’s a reason why some of the largest corporations that the world has ever known sport an abundance of commercials. We all know their brand name and logo because they keep it all in front of us, consistently running advertisements on television and the internet (among other things). The right marketing plan could grace you with things such as:

More Customers – When you have a high-quality marketing plan set in place, you’re going to notice an increase in the amount of sales/business you’ve been seeing. More customers are going to translate into more money, which is critical (and essentially what you’re striving for, these days).

More Experience – Once you’ve put together a single marketing plan, it’s going to get easier and easier. As time progresses, you’ll understand how certain industries tick, and you’ll be able to navigate them (on a marketing level) with complete ease.

More Freedom – The better the marketing plan you put together, the more popular your business is going to be. When you’re a household name, people are automatically going to be drawn towards your services/products. This allows for more freedom when it comes to marketing, as well as many other traits.

In order to curate the right marketing plan, you’ll have to have the right people on your payroll, as well as an abundance of information on the industry at hand. If you’re an expert in your respective marketing industry, you already have an upper-hand. Use that to your advantage and appeal towards the competitors.

Identifying the Competition

This is the portion where you’ve got to identify the competition at hand. If you plan on entering the sports equipment market, you don’t need to be analyzing a technological company; it’s all about maintaining relevancy. If you notice any successful sport equipment business around your local area, try and add them to the target list. From there, you can expand out and look at some of the largest brand you can find within the industry.



When you’ve got a few targets you want to look at, try and see everything from the customer’s point of view. What products are they offering that many other places don’t? What’s the building like? Are the staff friendly? You could ask about 100 different questions right off of the bat, all of which should be taken into account.

You should also probably be worried about looking at it from a business point of view, as that’s how you’re going to be perceiving it most of the time. Is it a difficult industry to navigate? Are there enough potential clients to keep your business in good standing? Look at some of the assets they withhold, and try and plan out how you can compete against them in the marketplace. In order to make the most of your SEO competitor analysis process, you need to figure out their weaknesses. This will allow you to thoroughly plan out (and execute) the right steps needed to succeed.

Going Through a “PEST” Analysis

One thing that I would seriously recommend, is going through a PEST analysis. PEST is an acronym which stands for ‘Political, Economic, Social and Technological’ – it’s a test that looks at the 4 different traits and fields that could be associated with your competitors. You go through a PEST analysis to make sure that you’re well-aware of your competitors’ pro’s and con’s, and when they plan on making a drastic change. When you mix this with the use of the right SEO competitor analysis tool online, you’ll have a lot of important information to work with.

This is pretty much the practice of knowing whenever your competitors make a change, or anything PEST-related changes. If they release a new advertisement campaign, you’ll know about it; and if they release a new product, you’ll know about that as well. Not only that, but you might even be able to build upon a marketing strategy of your own (through the use of inspiration from competitors). The PEST process should keep you in tip-top shape, and always updated when it comes to competitor-related releases. It’s important that you’re not only on top of the target demographic, but the people you plan on going up against as well.

Political – If your competition has a political influence of any sort, local mayor candidacies and such might have an effect of how well they do with marketing.

Economic – Money is always going to be something that is taken into account, regardless of what you’re doing with your life. It makes the world go around, and it definitely has a drastic impact on marketing campaigns. If there are economic problems within a business, odds are there are going to be changes.

Social – Look at their social media presence and see if they’re consistently growing. If so, how are they doing it? When are they posting? What are they posting? There are a lot of questions to ask here, especially since social media is so popular these days.

Technological – Changes in the technology being used (in regards to a business) may have an impact on the way they approach the industry. Look out for changes, and jump on top of anything that might drastically benefit your brand.

Questions to Ask Yourself

There are a few questions that I would suggest you ask yourself before diving into a marketing battle, especially if you’re in one of the industries that has a lot of potential competition to take into account. Keyword research SEO services can give you the right keywords, but they won’t allow you to naturally beat out your competition – that’s what analysis is for. The questions I would suggest you ponder to yourself would be:

Who are the competitors you’re going up against? – You need to know who you’re ultimately going to be challenging. As a result, it’s important to identify the proper competitors.

What kind of products or services are they offering up to people? – Figure out what they have to offer, as well as look at some of their most popular options. This will help solidify the amount of popularity that these things sport within your market.

What types of past strategies have they worked with? – By looking at the past strategies that they’ve made use of, you might be able to determine exactly how they’ve maintained their success over the years.

What does their market share look like? – If they hold a hefty amount of the market share, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s going to be a pretty tough competition.

Are they incredibly aggressive/well-funded when it comes to advertisements? – The more money they have to blow, the harder it’s going to be when you’re looking to “overthrow the top brands”.



Are they very competitive? – If they’re ready to compete, you can know that it’s going to be a battle before you even get into the meat of things. It’s nice information to have, and can prove relatively useful in the future.

Do their strategies directly affect your business as a whole? – If they’re going things that are going to have a direct impact on your sales or advertising techniques, it needs to be taken into account. It doesn’t mean you should avoid the market altogether, as opposed to just take a much more secure stance.

Do you share strengths and weaknesses? – If you share strengths and weaknesses with a successful company, odds are you can follow exactly in their footsteps.

Are they a large threat? – If they serve as a large threat within the marketplace, it’s going to be a relatively large hurdle to overcome.

These are a few questions that should give you a better insight on your competitors, which will allow you to make the most of SEO competitor analysis process. It can very well be the difference between turning a bit of a profit, and really raking in the cash; as a business owner, you always want to turn as much of a profit as possible. Money is the name of the game, and when there is money to be made, there is going to be competition. That’s the way of the world!

PPC – How Are They Doing It?

A lot of businesses rely on PPC (pay-per click) advertisements to keep them in the popularity realm these days, which is going to make things much tougher. For example, some industries are going to call for a much higher rate when it comes to a PPC campaign. Not only will PPC ads help you drive traffic towards your projects, but it’s also much easier than trying to constantly outrank your competitors. The only thing is that you need a reasonable budget to work with. Analyze the PPC process that your competitors are taking part in, and try to work with it for your own gain. Google AdWords is the most optimal tool out there for PPC purposes, and the ‘Analyze Competition’ tool (which is strictly used for Google AdWords purposes) will make things even easier. It allows you to monitor your competition and compare your PPC campaigns to theirs. Even if your competitors are still constantly beating you out, you’ll at least be able to learn from them.

Use the keyword research SEO process to determine which terms you could be targeting for your PPC campaigns, and then see if your competitors are applying them as well. If they are, you’ll know that you are on the right track!

Link Profiles

Comparing the link profile that you sport alongside your competitors is necessary, as it allows you to see how many backlinks they’ve built (as well as where these backlinks are pointing to). In order to make the most out of your SEO practice, comparing competitor link profiles to your own is a process that you should keep consistent. Constantly update it and figure out whether they’re making a major push or not, because it could be the difference between maintaining your current spot, or getting pushed off the block. If you can potentially spot any major link building activity, you could combat it with some of your own. In order to keep your brand renowned and popular, you’re constantly going to struggle with the competition; this is just another aspect to aid you. Link profiles shouldn’t be looked at as the only way to go about optimizing your SEO process, but comparing one another is always good.

On-Page Optimization (and Why They Take Such a Long Time to Handle It!)

On-page optimization is something that you should be taking a look at as well. Notice that a certain webpage was built with keywords in a specific location? Maybe they have a section where the most popular product is currently present? There are plenty of ways to go about optimizing the on-page SEO of your websites, and it’s one of those things that is quite easily forgotten. On-page optimization could follow things like:

How long is the content that they are using (word-wise)?

What types of keywords are they focusing on for individual pages?

What does the layout look like?

What colour scheme are they using?

How many pages are present?

On-page optimization has the ability to go above and beyond those few questions, but it’s up to you to understand what the competition is doing to get ahead. If you see fit, you can draw inspiration from your competitors to better your own page. Make sure that you don’t copy them step for step, meaning that you don’t use the same colour schemes in the same sense (among other things). You should always strive to make changes, as opposed to just blatantly copying the next person up; ideas that are just regurgitated in a brand new from might not always provide a splendid return. Innovate and create as you please, especially when it comes to using the competition as a reference.

Where Else Can I Gather Information?

The internet is a vast place, and will offer up a lot of information about your potential competitors. If you want to get serious about gathering and researching, it’s a good idea to broaden your mental horizon. There are a lot of different information sources out there, and plenty of them are going to offer up some pretty intricate insights. Some of them are going to be relatively obvious, whereas others are going to leave you scratching your head a little bit. Check out some of the most optimal information sources on the planet:

Advertisements – We touched on this a little bit already, but your competitors’ advertisements can give away a lot of information. You can get a feel for the type of budget they’re working with, as well as the customers that they are looking to target. It will tell you the price point they’re offering up, as well as the different products and services available as well.

Sales Pamphlets/Brochures – Have your competitors ever handed out a pamphlet or a brochure of sorts? Well, they’re the perfect place to fish out information in regards to your competitors. They’re trying to make a sale with these things, so it’s going to show; price, product and service, location, and even give you a feel for the type of advertisements that your competitor will be putting out.

Databases (Reference Books) – Census organizations are always going to offer up a plethora of information, such as; the Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining and Trade Corporations, or even just Economic Censuses.

Magazine/Newspaper Articles – Is there an article talking about your competitors unveiling a new service? Maybe they’re just letting people know about their brand new pricing change, which gives customers more bang for their buck. It could also tip you off in regards to any future implementations that may occur, or even just reveal some negative information about them. In most instances, ethics are going to be thrown out the window when it comes to competition; especially for those business owners that seemingly lack morals! In any case, it’s still good information to know of. Visit your local public library and look up some stuff on your competitors; odds are you’ll hit a gold mine of sorts.

Annual Reports – Annual reports are conducted on a yearly basis, meaning, you’ll have an entire years-worth of information to skim through. This should allow you to identify the financial information behind your competitors, like how much product they were able to sell that year. It’s also going to show you how much of a profit they’ve turned! If you’re competing against a privately-owned corporation, you may be able to get annual reports from a friend who owns stock in said company.

Observe – Head out to the local retailer and observe some things for yourself. Don’t try and put on a character or person of sorts, as that’s downright deception (something that competitors don’t take kindly to). If you have a product being distributed out to retailers, you can check the shops to see what the inventory is looking like. Compare how many products of your brand are on there, versus the products of your competitors.

Competition Analysis in a Nutshell!

There are a lot deeper things to cover when it comes to competitive analysis, but that’s all stuff you’re going to handle when the time rolls around. For now, you can understand just how important it is – as well as how to actually go through the process yourself. There are a lot of potential entrepreneurs out there that just want to stay ahead of the game, and this is something that can help them achieve that. In order to compete with the big corporations and competition, you’ll have to think like them. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is definitely the case here; you want to be just as successful (and respected) as the competition you’re going up against. Never back down from a challenge, but be reasonable with your expectations! The analysis is so that you can make calculated risks, in a sense – something that could seriously benefit just about anybody.

 

10 Little-Known Ways to See How Much Traffic a Website Gets





When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern. When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay. Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.Here are ten little-known techniques for figuring out how much traffic someone else’s website gets.



Advise

By the way, SEMRush is my favorite tool.

1. Alexa Ranking

The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:

Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

  1. If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
  2. If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.

Alexa Ranking Icon

Alexa’s reliability is shaky – some argue that it’s worthless – so it’s important to consider other metrics.

2. SEMRush.com

My favorite tool for website-based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:



Semrush gives you a lot of information on a websites search engine rankings, how much traffic they get for those rankings, competitors, paid advertising, backlinks and so much more.

As you can see from the screenshot above, IncomeDiary ranks 1st for “how to make money from a website,” 4th for “famous entrepreneurs,” and 11th for “business movies.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 10,000 times per month.

As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.

3. SimilarWeb.com

SimilarWeb is a website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

ID SimilarWebThe main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. Ahrefs.com

Without a doubt, Ahrefs is one of the best tracking tools I have ever used! This software provides such a wealth of website traffic information. You can find out:

  • New, lost and broken backlinks.
  • Domains sending the most traffic to a site.
  • Search engine rankings.
  • How much traffic a search engine ranking is getting a site.
  • Pages from a site getting the most traffic.
  • You can compare website rankings vs competitors.

And so, so much more…

Not only is Ahrefs great for tracking competitor websites, it’s also a huge help when it comes to figuring out how to improve your own sites!

5. AuthorityLabs.com

AuthorityLabs allows you to track your competitors search engine rankings side by side with your own.

Like SemRush, it tells you how high you are ranking and how many people are looking at that search term. A great tool, that seems to be growing in popularity.



6. YouTube or Vimeo Views

If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Video
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Views
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.

7. Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

8. Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Total Comment Counts

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.

9. Search for Interviews

A large percentage of successful website owners do interviews, talking about how they built their site and what works for them. Often, they will share not only how much traffic they get, but also where it’s coming from.

In my experience, a lot of people are more open about sharing traffic stats then you would think. You see this not just in interviews but if you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.

10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages

By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.

If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.

If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.

The Final Word

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a site gets?

Seven Things That Suck About Being an Entrepreneur and How to Outsource Them





How much is your time worth? People have probably spent more time than it’s worth thinking about this question. If you’re curious, you can spend some of your precious time figuring out how much your time is worth by using an online tool. Or you could just keep reading this article.

The truth is, time is priceless. You really only have about 70-80 years to live on average and every moment wasted is a moment you can’t get back (unless you’ve found the fountain of youth and in that case, please PM me immediately!).



The idiom “make time” is a false idea. You can not “make” time. As Chuck Wendig once said, “time is not feces. It’s a precious resource. You mine it. You steal it. You carve it out of the schist and bedrock.”

How do you carve time out? By giving time sucking things to other people to do. Let them waste their time doing them for money. Here are ten of the things that suck for Entrepreneurs you could totally outsource.

1. Customer Support

You may not yet be spending hours a day on customer support. But at some point, you’ll scale and at some point you’ll have more customers than you have time to deal with. While that’s a good thing, nobody has enough hours in the day to run a business and deal with customer complaints.

Customer support sucks. But customer support is extremely important. Nearly 80% of consumers have bailed on a transaction just because of poor customer service.

So, now you’re in a quandary. You spend too much time on customer support, but it’s important and it could break your business if you get it wrong. The answer is a professional virtual assistant.

You’ll want to look for someone who is skilled in your industry. Someone who knows your niche backward and forward will be better equipped to leap over any customer pitfalls.



2. Taxes

I once tried to do my own taxes back when I was the poor husband of a grad student. We ended up owing $150 when we probably should have gotten some money back. Ever since, we’ve gotten someone else to do our taxes.

When you own a business, taxes become an even bigger chore. You keep track of spending, deductions, employee payroll, etc.

And business taxes don’t just happen in one go like taxes do for the typical individual. You’re spending at least 30 mins a week doing your taxes. Get a CPA to do that for you and you’ll have more time to build your business.

3. Search Engine Marketing

There are people who do this for a living. For them, search engine marketing or SEM doesn’t suck. For the rest of us, SEM is a time suck.

You spend hours researching keywords, creating content, analyzing trends, etc. It all comes back to how much your time is worth. Are you getting value out of the time you’re spending? Could you do something better with that time?

Consider hiring an SEM agency to do the work for you. They can spend less time doing all the search-engine-y things you spend hours a week doing. And they can get results you probably can’t because you don’t have time to keep up with every little trick Google tries to pull.

4. Social Media Marketing

Let’s see here, we’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+, YouTube… Did I miss any? Keeping track of your social media is  like trying to juggle ten balls at once and walking while you do it.

You can mitigate this with automation programs like Buffer, but you still must spend time writing posts and seeking out content. It’s a tedious task and you quickly get creativity fatigue.

Search on Upwork and other writer/freelancer platforms. Many writers will manage social media for you on the side.



5. Cleaning

Wait! Isn’t this an article for entrepreneurs? Why, yes, it is. And it’s an article for anyone who wants to have an efficient business.

What does your desk look like at this very moment? Are there stacks of papers, moldy coffee mugs, half eaten things you can no longer identify? You are being distracted by all of it.

Clutter can literally decrease your ability to focus. And it can even depress you. But if you’re like me, you look at the mess, say you *should* clean it up, and then put it off till later.

It’s never going to happen. And if it does happen, you’ll feel guilty you’re not working on your business. Here’s a secret: It’s absolutely worth the money to hire someone to clean your office or tidy your desk.

6. Inventory

This won’t apply to all entrepreneurs. Most freelancers won’t have to deal with inventory or merchandise unless they have a badass Patreon.

If you’re running your business out of your garage, inventory steals a lot of your time. You might even feel like Bernard Black when he has to order inventory “from the place where you order books from for when you want to sell them from your bookshop.”

It might seem like a pain when you run out of inventory, but it’s also good news. You want the good news vibe to remain, so you hire a fulfillment service.

A note of caution: a crummy fulfillment service could tank your business. Especially now that pretty much every major retail company offers two-day shipping, you’d better get a fast fulfillment service.

7. Finding More Income Streams

This one could seriously pay for itself. It seems like a vague idea, but it really could work.  You want to always add value to your brand anyways, and what better way than to have someone work on new avenues your business or brand could make more money?

Once you have a business rolling, especially a freelance business, you’re too busy kowtowing to

Clients and actually creating to find other streams of income. Maybe there are other projects you’d enjoy more, but you’re too busy putting beer on the table to find out if those projects exist.

What if a virtual assistant could find you projects totalling $10,000? Would they then be worth $5,000? You betcha! And then you could even hire someone to do a good amount of the work on the project, especially if it’s something that will continue to earn passive income like an e-book project or an online course.

Outsource Your Chinks

Everyone has a weakness. Find yours and cover it over with someone else’s strengths. That’s all that outsourcing really is.

What are some ways you’re carving out time for your business? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

 

6 Powerful Ways You Can Use SEMrush to Crush Your Competition





SEMrush is a must-have tool in your SEO toolkit if you’re serious about increasing organic traffic for your website. What started as a simple keyword research tool is now the preferred online marketing tool of marketing professionals around the world. SEMrush is the ultimate SEO tool which helps you get deeper insights into your competition, identifies your top organic keywords as well as paid keywords, allows you to do backlink analysis, and much more. In this article, we’ll examine 6 ways you can use SEMrush to instantly improve your site’s SEO and crush your competition.



Note: You’ll need an active SEMrush account to try the techniques listed in this article. If you don’t have an SEMrush account yet, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of SEMrush Pro here (worth $99.95). 

 

6 Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO

1. Identify your Competitors

One of the key aspects of SEO is to identify the competitors in your niche. It doesn’t matter which industry you belong to, you’ll have plenty of brands to compete with and learn from.

There is no better tool than SEMrush to map your competitors. The only tool that comes close is Ahrefs. Even with Ahrefs, the data obtained can sometimes be inaccurate. SEMrush provides you the most accurate data on your competitors so that you can start working on your strategy right away.

A quick search on “apple.com” on SEMrush search bar shows the following competitors:

SEMrush provides you the most accurate data on your competitors so that you can start working on your strategy right away.

You can now click on any of these competitors to unravel data from each site and improve your own site’s organic SEO strategy.

2. Identify your Competition’s Top Content

SEMrush also allows you to extract your competition’s top ranking content.

Open up the Pages section on SEMrush to generate a report on your competition’s top ranking content.



This report shows all the pages your competitor has ranking in the top 100 Google search results.

SEMrush also allows you to extract your competition's top ranking content. Open up the Pages report on SEMrush to generate a report on your competition's top ranking content.

Click on any of the posts/pages that is generating a massive amount of traffic for your competition. SEMrush will provide a further estimation of the organic search traffic, cost of that traffic, the total number of keywords that piece of content is ranking for, and additional data on backlinks and paid keywords.

Export the list of keywords onto an excel sheet for manual review and sorting. These are all the keyword variations you should use while creating your own content. Make sure these keywords are a part of your on-page SEO elements such as title tags, headings, body copy, alt text, URL, etc.

RELATED  SEMrush vs MOZ: Which is the Best SEO Tool?

3. Identify your Top Ranking Organic Keywords

Yet another SEMrush feature which is beyond useful.

Organic traffic is going to be one of the major drivers of traffic to your website. This feature allows you to review the top ranking organic keywords for your site and helps you determine how your organic SEO strategy is being executed.

SEMrush - Top Organic Keywords

Type your domain name in the SEMrush search bar, pick organic research and examine the results. Don’t just focus on the list of keywords. Pay special attention to the first four columns on the right to determine how each keyword is performing in SERPs.

  • Position
  • Volume
  • CPC
  • Traffic

This will show you how your site is performing in the search engines and whether or not you need to tweak your organic SEO strategy to focus on a different set of keywords.

4. Find News Ways to Monetize Your Website

If you’re a blogger driving decent traffic to your site for certain topics, you’re probably always on a look out for new ways to monetize your website.

There are several sites out there who are willing to pay for the traffic you are driving through organic results.

As such, if you’re able to identify these sites and offer them advertising options on your website, you could earn an extra few bucks. SEMrush makes this incredibly easy.

Here’s how to use SEMrush to find new ways to monetize your site:



1. Go to Organic Research –> Competitors and enter your domain

2. Scroll down to the Organic Competitors table and select one of your competitors

There are several sites out there who are willing to pay for the traffic you are driving through organic results. SEMrush makes this incredibly easy.3. Check out the Ads Keywords column. For this example, let’s pick moz.com as it has 3.5 k ads keywords

4. Next, click on the Common Keywords metric next to Moz

5. You’ll be taken to a Domain vs Domain comparison report. Set the filters so that you are returning the keywords that you rank for organically and your competitor is bidding on in paid search:

SEMrush Feature - Domain vs Domain

SEMrush will generate this report:

6 Awesome Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO & Crush Your Competition

As you can see, the first result is for “seo tools”.

This indicates that while Moz is currently ranked #1 organically in SERPs, Backlinko is willing to bid for the phrase in order to rank #1 in paid search results.

So in order to make full use of this feature, reach out to some of the companies who are bidding on terms you’re ranking for and see if they are interested in placing ads on your site. Negotiate an ad fee and start monetizing the organic traffic on your site.

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5. See the Breakdown of your Competitors

We already know how SEMrush helps us identify our top competitors. You can go a step further by reviewing your competitor breakdown.

Why is this important? Because when you do a competitor research on SEMrush, it produces a report which has hundreds, even thousands of organic competitors. The amount of data available can be overwhelming. As a result, it’s important to first consider your top 5 or 10 competitors and review their strategies individually.

SEMrush Competitors - 6 Awesome Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO & Crush Your Competition

The report on organic competitors is filtered by:

  • Domain
  • Competition Level
  • Common Keywords
  • SE Keywords
  • SE Traffic
  • SE Traffic Price
  • Ads Keywords

With a detailed report from SEMrush, you’ll get a deeper understanding of what your competitors are doing, how you’re stacking up, and what you can do to improve your ranking in SERPs.

RELATED  10 Best SEO Tools to Supercharge Your Marketing

6. Find High Quality Link Building Opportunities

You can use SEMrush to not just to review your backlinks, but your competitors’ backlinks as well.

Find High Quality Link Building Opportunities with SEMrushBacklink analysis on SEMrush reveals the following data:

  • Total number of backlinks
  • Follow/nofollow backlinks
  • Referring domains
  • TLD (Top level distribution) distribution
  • TLD Authority (.com, .net, .edu, .gov, etc.)
  • Referring domains by country

This feature allows you to get a deeper understanding of your competitors’ link profile and highlights new sources you can tap into to build new backlinks and referral traffic.

Once you’ve reviewed your competition’s link profile, use these link building techniques to build new backlinks for your site.

Over to you

Now that you know how to use these features on SEMrush, it’s time for you to test drive the product and see the results yourself.

If you haven’t used SEMrush yet, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

12 Great Reasons to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your Content Marketing





Your competition is beating you really badly in the search results. So what are you planning to do about it? Have you conducted any research on your competitors? Have you analyzed their content marketing strategy, for example, and found out why they get so much more traffic than you? Well, clearly they are doing something right and you are lagging behind.



There are many great SEO tools that help you analyze the competition and come out with a more effective strategy to take them on. SEMrush is the tool that I like most. It is by far one of the most powerful SEO tools on the market.

About SEMrush

So what does SEMrush do and how does it help with your content marketing? Well, SEMrush is an SEO tool that does your keyword research, tracks the keyword strategy used by your competition, runs an SEO audit of your blog, looks for backlinking opportunities and lots more.

Uber in SEMrush

SEMrush is trusted by internet marketers all over the world. It is also used by a number of businesses, big and small. Major companies such as Philips, Forbes, PayPal, Hyatt, etc. use this tool. SEMrush has a massive database of over 46 million domains and 120 million keywords. It tracks so many things, such as the organic position of a domain or landing URL on Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages), copies of AdWords ads and their positions, CPC ads, competitor analysis and so much more.SEMrush helps with your content marketing, and that is the most important thing it does. But before I tell you more about how the SEO tool does it, let us talk a bit about content marketing and why it is so important.

Why is Content Marketing Important?

Content marketing is a strategy used by internet marketers to create and distribute content effectively, in a way that is entertaining, helpful and informative to potential customers. Great content allows you to hold on to your visitors, capture leads, sell products and create a positive association with respect to your brand.

Uber in SEMrush: Organic Search Positions

Here’s what a great content marketing strategy does for you



  1. It builds your own community of loyal customers who keep returning back.
  2. It makes you an authority in your niche.
  3. It helps you engage with your customers and get constant feedback.
  4. It generates quality content that does wonders for your SEO.
  5. It adds value to your business, and helps you stay competitive.

So, what does SEMrush do for you? How does it help with your content marketing? Let’s find out!

12 Great Reasons to Use SEMrush for Content Marketing

Reason #1: More Effective Keyword Research

Your keyword strategy should be the bedrock of your content marketing plans. Keywords are how your customers will find you. What SEMrush does is to identify the keyword phrases that are likely to get you the most search traffic. SEMrush arms you with an amazing amount of SEO intelligence and helps you with your keyword optimization and content strategy.

Organic Search Positions for Uber

SEMrush helps you discover the different keyword variations that are associated with a particular root word. This will allow you to get a much better understanding of how people actually search online. So this takes the guess out of the game and helps you to identify user behavior much faster.

You can see the average number of searches for each keyword phrase per month on SEMrush. You will be able to see the competition for them, the average prices of a click on a PPC ad (AdWords), how many pages Google has for the search query, and the top ranking sites on Google for any keyword search query.

Reason #2:  Comparative Competitive Intelligence

Before analyzing how well your competitors are doing and what they are doing right, it is important that you should first arrive at a better understanding of what you are doing yourself. When you enter your web address on the SEMrush tool, you will see an overview screen, which tells you all you need to know about the traffic that you are getting, whether it is paid or organic. You can see if your traffic is getting better or worse, and how you are ranking on Google, on a real time basis. SEMrush sends monthly SEO reports in PDF that leave you in no doubt at all about your speed of progress and traffic growth over the last 12 to 24 months. Be sure to monitor your dashboard every week and keep a close watch on your progress.

Competitors SEO Over Time in SEMrush

Reason #3: Analyze and Strategize

There are tens of millions of blogs out there, many of which are not much different from your own. So, it is very important to watch out for the competition and find out exactly how they are doing. SEMrush allows you to get a deeper look at your competitors as well as at the keywords that they get most of their traffic for. Once you know the keywords that are used by your competitors with the greatest effect, the next step is to make them a part of your own content marketing efforts. Develop content that targets these search terms. SEMrush allows you to build a very successful content marketing strategy that is based on understanding your competition and targeting the traffic that they get for their best keywords.

Reason #4: Identify New Keyword Opportunities

SEMrush is a great tool for brainstorming for new keyword ideas. For example, if you click on a keyword “content marketing” on SEMrush, many more keywords will be displayed that are relevant to it, such as “effective content marketing,” “content marketing case studies,” “content marketing success” and so on.  Every time you click on one of these keywords, you’ll see new related keywords. This allows you to identify more and better keywords for your content creation.

Lyft and Uber in SEMrush

Reason #5: Track Your Past and Current Rankings

With SEMrush, you can track your current and past rankings very easily. You can see the progressing (or regression) of your rankings on Google over a period of time, so that you can identify what worked and what didn’t. Perhaps there was a blog post that you wrote 12 months ago that led to a surge in your rankings. Why not use the same strategy that was used to write the blog post that got you so much success? Look for similar topics, keywords and try a similar style or writing.

Reason #6: Analyze Your Competitor’s Competition

SEMrush does more than just help you analyze your competitors. It allows you to analyze your competitor’s competitors. Basically, it finds out all websites that are ranking well for similar keywords and gives you an exact estimate of the amount of traffic received for the top 20 keywords used by each of these sites. This would give you a very good understanding of their traffic levels and formulate a strategy that takes this into consideration.



Competitor Map in SEMrush

Reason #7: Don’t Lose Out on Your Existing Traffic

Even as SEMrush helps you get new traffic, it gives you the tools to make sure that you don’t end up losing your existing traffic. Looking after your existing traffic is absolutely essential. You may rank highly for a while because of the new traffic that is coming in, but if you start losing your existing traffic, you won’t stay there for long.

With SEMrush, you can choose what you want to track (your domain), the location for which you want to track your keyword positions for, compare the results with those of your competitors, connect to Google Analytics or Google Search Console to get the additional information you need and add keywords to be tracked. The tool allows you to add 20 top keywords to be tracked from a text file or from the information that you retrieve from Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

Reason #8: Find Better Advertising Opportunities

One of the best ways to make money online is to display ads on your blog and to look for other advertising opportunities. There are a number of businesses that pay a lot of money for traffic generated through Google AdWords. However, AdWords can be really expensive for competitive keywords.

A great way to monetize your own blog or website is to reach out to these companies to display their ads on your site or to join their affiliate programs. To become a successful affiliate marketer, you must, first and foremost, create great content. You cannot make money from affiliate marketing without creating content that is informative, interesting and helpful to your readers.

SEMrush plays a vital role here. It looks at the keywords for which you are trying to rank your website or blog and identifies the various businesses on the internet that are paying for pay-per-click ads that are based on these keywords. SEMrush then displays these keywords in a user-friendly chart and connects to the businesses using them. So you will know which company to reach out to while looking for great advertising opportunities.

Uber SEMrush

Reason #9: Find Advertising Opportunities Before Your Competitors Do

This follows up on the point made earlier. SEMrush not only helps you find the best advertising opportunities for your business, it helps you find them faster than your competitors. Here’s what SEMrush allows you to find out about the businesses that you want to advertise on your website.

  • Domains that are paying for the traffic
  • Common keywords they are bidding for, which your website or blog happens to rank for
  • Keywords targeted by their ads
  • Traffic generated by their ads
  • Cost of driving the traffic through these ads

Once you have this information with you, you will be in a better position to convince these businesses why advertising on your website – which ranks for the keyword that they are trying to target – makes so much sense instead of spending it all on AdWords.

Reason #10: Create an Effective Guest Blogging Strategy

Guest blogging is one of the most effective content marketing strategies that will get you great results every time. There are a number of websites that accept guest posts, there are so many of them that identifying the best blogs to carry your guest posts is not easy.

This is where SEMrush comes in. With SEMrush, you can do your research on a website or a blog where you are considering guest blogging and find out about its strengths and weaknesses. So you will be in a position to know better if guest blogging on these sites would be beneficial to you or not.

Google Search: Uber

Reason #11: Handle Panda Updates Better

A number of websites were hit very badly by Google updates such as Panda when they first came out. If you are not careful, you can get hit, too. Panda updates are essentially content filters to the Google algorithm. They weed out any duplicated content or poorly written content with a lot of keyword stuffing and so on. SEMrush performs site audits of your website and identifies things that can get you hit by Panda. So, you can make changes accordingly and make sure that all the loopholes are addressed.

Reason #12: Performs Backlink Analysis

The objective of any content marketing strategy is to ultimately get more inbound links to the content. Links are the currency of the internet. As a content marketer, you must have a link building strategy in place. With SEMrush, you can find out where your competitors are getting their backlinks from and the total number of backlinks they have. You can then use this information to design a more effective backlink strategy for yourself.

SEMrush uses a pie chart to display the backlinks and divides them into dofollow and nofollow links so that you can see how many high quality links any website has, including your own.

Backlink Profile for Uber

Wrap Up

I have just given you 12 great reasons why you should consider using SEMrush to create a more effective content marketing strategy. Whether you are an internet marketer, an online business owner or a blogger, you will find SEMrush critical to your plans as it identifies the keywords used by your competitors that get them the most traffic and identify better advertising opportunities. Further, SEMrush performs comprehensive SEO audits to protect you from Google algorithms, and helps you create a much better link building strategy.

 

Start right here with your free trial version

SEMrush vs MOZ: Which is the Best SEO Tool?





With tools such as SEMrush and Moz, you get to take your SEO game up a notch and come out with truly astounding results for your blog, business, and clients. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably deciding whether to invest in one of these SEO tools. You may have tried the free version of one of these or both these SEO tools and are now considering whether it’s worth it to upgrade to the full version. Well, you’ve come to the right place.



Even if you’ve never tried any of these SEO tools, please read this post to learn more about their features and how you can leverage the power of these tools to improve your site’s search rankings.

In this post we will compare two of the most popular SEO tools and see how they compete against each other on features, ease-of-use, and pricing.

 
Basic Plans (Comparison) SEMrush Pro Moz Pro
30 Days Free Trial SIGN UP NOW SIGN UP NOW
Pricing $99.95/Month $99/Month
Users Included 1 2
No. of Sites to Track 5 5
Total Pages to Crawl 100,000 250,000
Tracked Keywords 500 300
PDF Reports 5 5
Tracked Social Media Profiles 50 NA

SEMrush: Overview

Just giving a search on Google with the keywords “SEO tools” will show you exactly how complicated and crammed up the SEO world is. There’s a tidal wave of resources out there and while most of these tools are loaded with features, they can make our lives complicated. But most bloggers, SEO gurus, and agencies will agree that SEMrush probably provides the best bang for buck.

I use SEMrush for pretty much everything I do. I use it to find new keyword opportunities, do backlink analysis, and to spy on competitors’ keywords. (To learn more about how SEMrush can help you crush your competition in search rankings, read this post)

If you know the current state of SEO, you know just how important long tail, low- competition keywords are. And that’s exactly what SEMrush allows you to do. Paired with Google’s AdWords Keyword Research tool, you can truly obtain a few very lucrative low competition keywords and create/optimize content that ranks well in search engines.

How to Use SEMrush

If you’ve never tried SEMrush before, then you can read this section to know how to start. Others can skip this part of the post and move on to the next section to read the rest of the article.

To get started, you’d need an SEMrush account. If you don’t have one, you can register for a free SEMrush account using the link below. This will give you 1 month free access to SEMrush PRO (actual value – $99.95).

Save $49.97 on SEMrush PRO with our Exclusive 14-day Free Trial

SEMrush Dashboard - How to use SEMrush

Once you’ve registered and logged into your free account, you’ll find the default search bar like the one shown above. From here, select Organic Research from the left sidebar. Next you can type the domain name of your competitor to see the keywords they are ranking for. For this example, I used SEMrush website to check the keywords they are ranking for. The results for your search should look something like this:



SEMrush vs MOZ

The next step is to set filters to find the top 10 keywords for which your competitor is ranking for (this is just an example. You can set any parameters you deem fit for your competition analysis). Make sure that the monthly search volume for these keywords is at least 10+. Once you’ve applied the filters, the results page should look something like this:

Which is the best SEO tool: Moz Pro vs SEMrush

Once you have the data for top 10 keywords that your competition is ranking for, you can optimize your own keyword strategy and content to make sure your website ranks well for each of these 10 keywords.

In some cases, your competition might be already a big player in the market with several backlinks and other SEO factors to back them up. In this case, what you can do is chase ‘low hanging fruits’ aka long-tail keywords with low-medium competition. These are the keywords where the search volume is low, but the traffic is high since there is little to no competition. For example, instead of trying to optimize your site for the keywords ‘meditation retreat’, you can optimize your site for keywords ‘buddhist meditation retreat in singapore’ which is a long-tail keyword with low search volume, but good traffic.

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With your free trial account, your searches are restricted to 5 per day and the results are limited to 10. The best part about SEMrush is that you can check not just Google ranking results, but also Bing (US). You can also check how your website and your competitors are ranking in 26 countries. Below is the list of countries where you can do competition and keyword analysis.

SEMrush vs MOZ Pro: Best SEO Tool

With the paid version of SEMrush, you get the following features:

  • Site Audit: This is one of the best features that SEMrush offers. You can do a site audit to find and fix the issues with your website. SEMrush offers ‘health percentage’ of your site and notifies you via email whenever the health percentage of your site is at risk.
  • Position Tracking: With the pro version of SEMrush, you can select up to 100 keywords and see how your website is ranking on search engines for these keywords. You can frequently monitor your site’s performance and do the necessary optimization to make sure you rank well for all these keywords.
  • Backlink Audit – You can conduct deep link analysis of your own site as well as your competitors’ site. By doing a deep link analysis of your competition, you can uncover a few backlink opportunities. The more relevant backlinks you have, the better will be your search ranking.

You can do all these and more with a PRO subscription of SEMrush. My suggestion would be to first try their free 30-day trial and use all these features yourself. You can click here to get a complete list of their features.

Verdict: SEMrush is the best SEO tool which is highly recommended by most SEO gurus. If this is the first time you’re investing on an SEO product, then SEMrush is the tool you should opt for because it that allows you to do organic keyword research, spy on competitors’ data, and build powerful backlinks. Is it worth the $69.99 per month? Yes and it’s worth every penny. When used to its potential, the ROI is pretty strong with this one.

 

MOZ: An Overview

Started way back in 2004 by Rand Fishkin, MOZ first started as an SEO consulting company before they developed their first SEO tool. Fishkin has established himself as a thought leader in the SEO space and is one of the most resourceful and respected marketing gurus you can follow on Twitter to learn some very important SEO and content marketing skills. But when it comes to their flagship SEO tools, I’ve mixed feelings.

To get started, let’s talk about some of the good things that Moz offers. The best part about Moz is that pretty much everything good about it is FREE. So if you’re on a shoestring budget and don’t want to invest on SEO tools yet, but still want to ensure that your site ranks well, then the free services offered by Moz are industry standard.

All of these tools below are free and you can use them to improve the search visibility of your site:



  • Open Site Explorer – You can track your link profile and uncover link building opportunities using this free tool
  • Keyword Explorer – Helps you find the best keywords in your niche
  • MozBar – Perhaps the best among the free tools offered by Moz, MozBar is a Google Chrome extension offers you a glimpse into your site’s Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA), both crucial metrics, on a regular basis. Your site’s PA and DA change on a monthly basis, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on how your site is measured in these terms. Moreover, you can perform keyword research and link analysis of the sites you visit right from the browser bar (like shown below) without having to access the dashboard. You can get your Moz Bar Chrome extension for free here.

MozBar: SEMrush vs Moz

If you’re using Moz for free, then you can give up to 3 searches per day. For the example below, I gave a search on Moz.com to find their DA and PA and to get a fair idea about their backlink profile.

Moz vs SEMrush: Which is the best SEO toolNow to the part that isn’t that good. Having been impressed with the free services offered by Moz, I decided to take the plunge for paid subscription and found myself a little underwhelmed.

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I didn’t mind paying the $99 per month price for standard subscription as long as the tools offered were worth that sum. Being a fan of Rand Fishkin, I so wanted to like Moz Pro, but it fell short of my expectations. I found myself using it less and less and cancelled the subscription to look for better and cheaper alternatives.

Having said that, Moz by no means is a bad SEO tool. I still use their free tools such as Open Site Explorer and Moz Bar for SEO to keep a track of my sites’ PA and DA. Moreover, Moz has some incredible SEO and content marketing resources which you can download for free from here. If you’re a beginner, then Moz has some of the best resources which you can read to familiarize yourself with SEO tactics. Their Beginner’s Guide to SEO is perhaps the best SEO guide I’ve stumbled upon in recent times.

They also have an amazing blog which I visit regularly. Whiteboard Friday, a video series featuring Founder/CEO Rand Fishkin, is something that you should tune into every week.

But if you were to ask me if I’d ever subscribe to Moz Pro for $99/Month, my answer would be No. I’d like to emphasize that this is my personal experience with Moz. There are people who swear by Moz and they may be able to elaborate more on the paid services offered by Moz. Perhaps they have been able to find time to use it to its full potential. For me, everything good offered by Moz is free and if you had to invest in an SEO tool, it’d be SEMrush.

Try Moz Pro FREE for 30 days

 

SEMrush vs MOZ: Which SEO tool should you buy?

(Update: SEMrush revised the pricing of their plans in Jan 2017. Their standard plan which was priced at $69.95/month is now worth $99.95/month, Guru plan which was priced at $149.95 is now worth $199.95, and their business plan which was priced at $549.95 is now worth $399.95)

If you were to compare the free tools offered by each of these, both have their own strengths and limitations. However, MOZ offers a free 30-day trial which is akin to Moz Pro’s full version.

With SEMrush, you are required to register an account to get your free 30-day trial which has several limitations. Your searches as well as search results are limited to 5 and 10 per day respectively. But if we were to compare the features offered under paid subscriptions, then I’d highly recommend SEMrush over Moz.

I use SEMrush for pretty much every SEO task that I do.

The sheer amount of data available on SEMrush can be overwhelming at times, but they have excellent training materials and product guide to help you every step of the way. Their support team is really helpful and they organize weekly webinars which you can participate in to hone your SEO skills.

Moz, on the other hand, is expensive for the features it offers. The best thing to do would be to try the free 30-day trial of Moz and probably then decide to take a plunge if you like the product. Like I said, your experience with the product may differ and you may find value in the paid services which they offer. On the other hand, if you had to invest in a powerful SEO tool, then SEMrush has all the features you need and more. Give it a try!

Moz Pro Pricing

These are the Moz Pro pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save 20% by switching to annual pricing.

Moz Pricing: SEMrush vs Moz

SEMrush Pricing

These are SEMrush’s pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save up to $800 by switching to an annual plan.

SEMrush vs Moz - SEMrush's pricing plans as of October 2017

Links to register free accounts with SEMrush and Moz:

Click here to get 14-day free access to SEMrush PRO

Click here to register your free account with Moz

So who is the WINNER ?
SEMrush or MOZ ?

If you ask me go with SEMrush if you want to go PRO !
It gives you the most for the lower price !

SEMrush 

 

 

How to Build Backlinks to your website or blog: The Definitive Guide 2018





How to Build Backlinks:The Definitive Guide

Every online marketer worth their salt knows what a backlink is. It’s an incredibly simple concept… You, as a website owner, convince another website owner to include a link on their website that points back to your website. Like I said, simple right? Well… Yes and no. While backlinks in and of themselves are simple, understanding how to build backlinks the right way is not. With the constant updates to Google’s algorithm and best practices, the very same tactics that once landed you on the first page for your target keyword can now result in massive search engine penalties. All in all… Building backlinks can quickly become a minefield of mistakes and mishaps for the uninformed SEO. Luckily, we have put together this guide to show you the step-by-step process on how to build backlinks the right way in 2018.



Interested?

Then read on…

 

A Few Things to Understand Before We Get Started

Before we can dive into the tactical tips and tools that you can use to build links and shoot your website to the first page of Google, there are a few key terms and concepts that you need to understand.

Anchor Text and Anchor Text Ratios

Whenever you build a backlink, you will use what is known in the industry as an anchor.

For example, in the following link, “Check out this link building case study”, the words, “Check out this link building case study” are the anchor text.

Anchor text can take a number of different forms from keyword related anchors, to branded anchors, to normal URLs.
And while I will explain in detail the 13 types of anchors and how to use them effectively, you need to understand that when you are conducting a link building campaign, the anchor text ratios that you use (e.g. how often you use different types of anchors) matters!

Many experts will tell you that anchor text optimization is unnecessary and ineffective.

Afterall, they argue, by trying to make your anchor text profile appear natural, you are actually manipulating Google’s algorithm instead of just building links that are natural.

And this is true… If you have a huge website with hundreds of thousands of monthly views.

However, after years of working as an SEO and running several 7-figure agencies, I have come to the conclusion that, for small to medium sized websites, anchor text ratios matter… and they matter a lot.

Keep this concept in mind as you move through this guide because optimizing your anchor text ratios is one of the cornerstones of any effective link building campaign.

 

Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links

Before you can understand dofollow and nofollow links, we need to first take a step back and take a broader look at how Google ranks websites and a brief history of their algorithm.

At the most basic level, Google looks at inbound links as “points” on a website’s scoreboard.

The more links that a website has, the more points they have on the board.

But not all links are created equally.

With its current algorithm, Google pays attention not only to the quantity of inbound links that a website has, but also the quality and relevance of those links.

This means that one link from a website like Forbes or the New York Times is far more valuable than even 10 links from a low authority niche site.

Dofollow links are basically any links that put points on the board and boost your page’s ranking within their algorithm.

These links are typically earned through guest blogging and creating high quality content that actually deserves to rank.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, do not count towards a page’s ranking, do not effect the anchor text ratios, and don’t do anything to boost a website’s authority.

Using a simple HTML tag websites can signal to Google that the link in question should not be considered relevant to a website’s rank.

Now some of you are probably thinking, “Crap! That’s kind of a mean thing to do… Why in the world would someone want to prevent a website from getting credit for a backlink?”

Well, there is a reason behind this… And a damn good one if you ask me.

You see, a few short years ago, Google’s algorithm was almost entirely based on the quantity of links that a given website had pointing back to it.

And this lead to some serious problems…

Website owners and SEOs (blackhat and otherwise) realized that all they needed to do to get on the first page of Google was generate enough backlinks to their website regardless of the quality or relevance of those links.

This lead to an era of rampant comment spamming and link buying as low quality websites fought amongst themselves to rank in the search engines.

Eventually, it got so bad that Google realized they needed to make some changes.

And thus, Nofollow links were introduced to cut down on spam and create a more user-friendly algorithm.

  • Today, the nofollow attribute is usually used for:
  • Paid links
  • Comments
  • Forums
  • “Untrusted Content”

And while these links do not directly count towards your ranking, they are still an important part of any link building strategy.

“Real” websites generate nofollow links, and quite a few of them.

They have social profiles, citations, and plenty of purchased links.

Why?

Because there is more to link building than anchor text optimization.

Nofollow links play a pivotal role in building trust and driving traffic and to ignore them simply because they have no relevance to your anchor text percentages would be a huge mistake.

 

Indexed vs. Non-Indexed Pages

In addition to follow and nofollow links, you also need to understand the concept of indexed vs. non-indexed pages before you can effectively begin any link building strategy.

Google’s robots will scan or “crawl” the internet to find web pages and relevant content to serve up in their search queries.

Typically this is done when a Webmaster submits a sitemap.xml file to webmaster tools, but Google can also use backlinks and internal links to crawl through a website.

Then, once the crawl is complete, Google will index the pages that it finds.

However…

Just because you have a web page does not mean that Google will index it.

And this is actually a good thing.

There are certain pages, like blog categories, author pages, pages with 404 errors, and duplicate content that doesn’t’ need to be indexed by Google.

However, some webmasters have made mistakes with their sitemap or content that prevents Google from indexing relevant pages.

This is important to note because Google does not count backlinks that are located on non-indexed pages.

Meaning that if your website or a website where from which you are trying to earn links have crawl errors on important pages, none of the links that you build or the anchor text that you use will have an effect on page’s rank.

Got it?

Good.

Now with that out of the way… Let’s get to the good stuff.

 

The 13 Types of Backlink Anchors and Their Categories

Now that you understand the importance of anchor text ratios and the potential roadblocks that could prevent Google from counting new backlinks, of the types of, it’s time to discuss the different types of anchors that you will be using for your campaigns.

Keyword Related Anchors

Keyword related anchors are exactly what they sound like.

They are anchors designed to help rank a piece of content related to a specific keyword.

So, for example, if you wanted to rank on the first page of Google for the search query “How can I build a natural anchor text profile”, you would likely build a link using the anchor text “build a natural anchor text profile”.

Here are the different types of anchors you would use if you were building links to rank for the above query.

Title Tag:
“How to Build a Natural Anchor Text Profile and Rank Your Website on the First Page of Google”

Exact Keyword:
Build a natural anchor text profile

Keyword + Word:
How to build a natural anchor text profile

Only Part of Keyword:
Natural anchor text

Brand and Keyword together:
Outreach Mama’s guide to build a natural anchor text profile

 

Signs of a Strong Brand

The second type of anchor text is branded anchor text.

This is one of the most important categories of anchor text as Google has become very brand centric in recent years.

Using our brand as an example, here are the different types of anchors included in this category.

Just Natural:
Check out this blog

Branded:
OutreachMama’s blog

No Text:
This is an image link with no alt text

Totally Random:
Any anchor that doesn’t explicitly match the anchor included in this list

 

URL Related Anchors

URL related anchors (once again) are exactly as the name suggests, anchors that are related to the URL of your website.

Here are the different types of anchors within this category.

Naked URL:
https://www[dot]very-good-idea[dot]com/

Websitename.com:
very-good-idea.com

Homepage URL:
https://www.very-good-idea.com

Naked URL Without http://:
www.very-good-idea.com

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of what anchor text is and how it’s used, you can check out our definitive guide on anchor text best practices in 2018.



 

Anchor Text and Their Natural Backlink Types

Now that you understand the different types of anchor text that you can use, let’s discuss the types of backlinks that are commonly associated with each anchor.

Citations (Nofollow) & Directories (Dofollow)

Directory links, while less authoritative than other links, still provide webmasters with a great opportunity to build basic anchor text and generate a healthy number of natural backlinks.

Citations, on the other hand, will help you to build authority within your niche and drive new visitors to your site.

With these types of backlinks, I recommend that you use the following types of anchors.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

Just Natural

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Organic Contextual Links (Dofollow)

Organic contextual links are the hero that most webmasters need but not the one they deserve.

These are naturally earned links that are the result of a fantastic content creation and marketing strategy.

Basically, another blogger or webmaster in your niche reads a piece of content, loves the content, and then decides to reward all of your hard work with a freely given backlink from their website.

These links are a rarity in 2017, but they do happen.

Since you do not have any direct control over these backlinks, you also have no control over the anchor text used with the link.

This means that the “natural” anchor text for this backlink type is “Whatever the hell the linking website wants.” (to put it in scientific terms)

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Manually Acquired Contextual Links (Dofollow)

The second type of contextual link that you can build is a manually acquired contextual link or “earned” link.

These are the links that you earn from creating a kickass piece of content and then doing everything in your power to convince other bloggers to link to that content.

Since contextual links (as a whole) will make up the majority of your backlink profile and will be the driving force behind nearly all of your SEO efforts, it’s important that you understand how to effectively anchor earned links.

Here’s a list of the types of anchors you should use when building manually acquired contextual links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

However…

Even though you can use any of the above anchors, it is important to realize that any anchor you use when creating earned links should appear natural.

Typically, I recommend that most webmasters and marketers stick to keyword related anchors and just natural anchors most of the time.

Why?

Well, think about it like this.

If you are a webmaster who prides yourself on the quality of your content are you going to accept guest posts from a fellow blogger who is clearly using your platform for promotional purposes?

Probably not…

However, if that same guest blogger reached out to you with an excellent article that happened to have a backlink to their website anchored into the article in a natural way…

You probably wouldn’t throw too much of a fuss.

And that is the most important thing to remember when building manually earned backlinks.

Yes… The ratio is extremely important.

However, if you are more concerned with the ratio of your anchors instead of creating anchors that seamlessly fit into your content, you will likely have your links stripped by anyone and everyone that you pitch.

Blog Comments (Usually Nofollow)

Blog comments, while once the most misused (and overused) method of link building have begun dying out ever since the inception of Google’s “nofollow” tag.

However, there are still a number of authoritative websites out there that offer dofollow backlinks for commenters who are offering real value to their audience.

Most blogging platforms do not allow anchors within their comments (with good reason), so whenever you are building these types of links, you will need to use naked URLs in the body or name field of your comments.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded (When adding your website and name to the comment form fields.)

Naked URL (When adding your website link in the comment body itself.)

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Profile Links (Usually Nofollow)

Profile links are easy to build and while they won’t rank your website on the first page of Google anytime soon, they will help you increase the number of referring domains pointing to your site, round out your anchor ratios (if dofollow) and give off healthy branding signals to Google.

Here are the natural anchor types you can use when building profile links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

No text

Homepage URL

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Web 2.0s (Dofollow)

Web 2.0 links are links contained in socially hosted platforms like WordPress.com, Weebly.com, and Blogspot.com.

Before we go any further discussing this topic, I want to make it very clear that building web 2.0 links is a very difficult task.

Not because these links are hard to create (they aren’t) but rather because they have been so misused by black and grey hat SEOs that Google is quick to penalize any site that goes overboard with these links.

In a later section of this guide, I will show you how to use web 2.0s effectively but for now let’s take a look at the kinds of anchors you can use when building these links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword



Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Press releases (Nofollow)

Google has slowly been squeezing the life out of press release backlinks, through strategic penalization.

Therefore, it’s important that you tread with caution when building these links.

That being said, a well placed press release delivered through a high quality service can help give a new website a little kickstart in terms of branding. There are very few services that provide dofollow links with press releases, but regardless of what type of service you employ, stick to these anchor text recommendation.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

No text

Homepage URL

Totally Random

Naked URL without Http://

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

 

What Pages Should These Links Go To?

Optimizing your anchor ratios and link type is only half of the battle.

The second half is making sure that your newly built links point users to the right content.

Luckily, there is a simple formula for you to follow that will all but guarantee your SEO success.

Profile Links, Directory Links, and Citations

When building profile links, directory links, and citations, you should always, always, always point the link to your home page.

Period.

Since most people who arrive at your website through these links are looking for new brands and websites, not specific products or content, there is no reason to redirect users to pages that they may find irrelevant.

Quality sites generate these types of home page links repeatedly – a pattern that Google has recognized.

Therefore, as link builders, it’s the type of pattern we want to create.

Link to your home page and you can’t go wrong.

 

Manually Acquired Links

Whereas you will always want to point profile, directory, and citation links to your homepage, there are very few instances in which you would do this with a manually acquired link.

Whenever you earn a new contextual link, you will generally do so within a very specific context, e.g. guest blogging on a relevant niche website.

Therefore, you want to make sure that these links are as applicable to the context as possible.

Let me show you what I mean…

Imagine that you operate a website dedicated to men’s fitness.

After weeks of email outreach, you have finally earned the opportunity to create a guest post on one of the top websites in your niche and you are chomping at the bit to get your backlink.

You decide to use the anchor “build muscle fast” and now you are deciding where to point that anchor.

At this point, your primary motive should be serving relevant content/offers to the readers, you really only have one of two options.

#1: Point the link to a relevant piece of content on your website about building muscle fast.
#2: Point the link to your 12-week muscle building program

The reason for this is simple.

In addition to building up your “SEO Juice”, contextually earned backlinks give you an opportunity to engage new people and potential leads.

At this point in the relationship, you want to offer as much value as possible, and you do this by anchoring content and low dollar offers that are hyper-relevant to the content from which you are linking.

And while there are certainly instances where you can and should build links to your homepage, such as daily roundups, listicles, and being quoted, they are the exception, not the rule.

 

Blog Comments

When building blog comment links, you are typically at the mercy of the website’s moderator.

This means that it is 10X more important to serve up relevant content than ever before.

With this in mind, I recommend that you use the following rules when commenting on other people’s blogs.

When leaving a comment, enter only your homepage URL into the website field.

If you are going to leave a link in the actual comment, link to your blog article content and not to your homepage or commercial pages.

If your comments are engaging and “non-spammy”, most moderators won’t have a problem when you link to a relevant piece of content that you have created.

However, if you are constantly trying to push your products and services on someone else’s website, you will likely be banned from the thread and have your comments removed.

 

When building press release links, the page to which you will link depends largely on the nature of the release.

From my personal experience, I have found that you should link to your home page most of the time.

Although the links are mostly nofollow, you can still run of the risk of some dofollow’s getting into the mix.

In that situation, you are perfectly fine if you used branded anchor text to your homepage, but if you used a keyword rich anchor text to a blog article or to a service page and that content is syndicated across dozens of PR sites, you get dozens of backlinks with the same keyword rich anchor text.

That type of signal looks like spam to Google and can get your content de-ranked.

 

Simple Link Building Strategies and
Services to 10X Your SEO

Are you still with me?

Great!

Because this is where things get exciting!

Now that you understand anchor text ratios, types of anchors, and where those anchors should point, you are finally ready to start crafting and executing a badass link building strategy.

If you heed the information included earlier in this guide and follow these next steps exactly as I prescribe, I can all but guarantee that you will be able to rank your website on the first or second page of Google for almost any keyword you choose.

Let’s get down to business.

 

Creating “Link Worthy” Content

The first part of any link building campaign or strategy is always creating high quality content that is worthy of a backlink from relevant sites.

After nearly a decade of experience in the SEO and content marketing game, I have found that there are only 4 types of content that can predictably generate and earn high quality backlinks.

Visual Content

Visual content, like infographics and charts, are a great type of content for a number of reasons.

One of their biggest strengths is that visual content, when built properly, tend to distill otherwise complicated concepts into an easily digestible and visually appealing guide.

If you are using infographics, you can create a simple embed code that will allow other bloggers to share your content on their website while automatically generating a backlink.

 

List Posts

List posts are a fantastic type of content for one primary reason.
People are friggin lazy!

Most people don’t have the time or the attention span to sit down and read a mega-guide (like this one) and they prefer to find content that they can consume in a matter of minutes.

List posts provide readers with easily skimmable and digestible content that they can use whether or not they read all of the text beneath each listed point.

In fact, when BuzzSumo analyzed more than 1 million blog posts, they found that list posts generated more backlinks, social shares, and had more viral potential than any other type of content.

Need I say more?

 

Mega Guides

I know, I know…

I just finished saying that most people don’t have the patience or the desire to read 5,000+ word mega guides (like the one you are reading).

However…

By creating the “Go-to” resource for a specific problem in your industry, other bloggers and companies can defer to your content whenever one of their readers or customers asks a question that they cannot answer.

 

Primary Research

This is possibly one of the most difficult types of content to create because of the massive amount of leg work required to actually generate your own primary research.

Primary research requires access huge amounts of data or a large email list filled with people who are willing to answer questions and provide feedback.

However if you can generate enough relevant data on a specific topic in your industry, the rewards are huge.

Statistics and data driven research provide massive amounts of value to other marketers and will allow you to compile an easily linkable resource that will generate a metric crapton of backlinks.

 

Finding High Quality Links

As I have already stated in this guide, not all links are created equally.

And as you embark on your quest for link building domination, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of where you should be building links.

With the slew of Google updates designed to eradicate spammy link building practices, it’s more important than ever before that you only generate links from high quality sources.

But what constitutes a high quality link and how can you find them?

Look at the Page and Domain Authority of the Website

One of the most important factors when searching for high quality links is the authority of the linking page.

For example, a link from The Huffington Post will be ten times more valuable than five links from a no-name blogger with a piss poor WordPress site.

When I am analyzing websites to determine whether or not they are worth the time required to earn a link, I base my decision primarily on their Domain and Page Authority which can be found using Moz.com’s free Open Site Explorer tool. Personally, I recommend looking for sites with a DA and PA of at least 40.

Remember, however, that this is an arbitrary number and does not always indicate the quality or trustworthiness of a website. Plenty of great websites have lower DA and PA, and plenty of shadier sites are quite strong, having a Domain Authority of 60 or more.

 

Is The Linking Domain Relevant to Your Industry?

Equally as important as the domain authority (if not more so) is the relevance of the linking domain.

Google’s algorithm is rapidly evolving and in recent years, they have increased their focus on the relevance of linking sites.

What this means is that whenever you are looking for websites where you can earn a backlink, you want to make sure that the site in question is relevant to your website in a meaningful way.

Let’s go back to the example we used earlier about the men’s fitness site.

Imagine that you are working on your link building campaign and you are debating between trying to earn a link from two different websites.

The first is a website about Monster Trucks with a DA of 70.

The second is a more niche website devoted to hormonal optimization for men but it only has a DA of 35.

Which website would you want a link from?

Well, according to the experts at Google and the most recent data, you should always opt for the website that is more relevant to your specific niche.

Bye bye monstertrucks.com.

 

Is the Link Editorial or Not?

The next question you should ask yourself is whether the link will be editorially placed or not.

An editorial link is any link that has to be approved by a website moderator or owner (think guest posts, resource pages, or organic contextual links).

A non-editorial link is any link that can be created without the approval of the website owner.

For example, creating a profile on another person’s website and dropping a random link.

According to Google and every real SEO expert out there, you should always seek editorial links.

…creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.”

 

Using Email Outreach for Link Building

At this point, the pieces are starting to come together.

But many of you are still wondering.

“How in the hell do I actually convince these webmasters to give me a link?”

Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what I am about to show you.

Find People Who Already Link to Similar Content

Before you ever create an email draft, or pitch a guest post, you should first make sure that the prospect in question is actually likely to give you a backlink.

Sometimes, you can find the answer to this question with a few clicks on their website.

Many blogs do not allow guest posts or any sort of third party linking (with the exception of organic contextual links).

Other websites have a very easy process for submitting guest posts and earning backlinks.

If it is not immediately discernable whether or not a specific website allows backlinks, don’t worry…

You can still find a list of possible link targets using a simple reverse engineering exercise.

First, you are going to search your target keyword in Google.

Once you have your results, copy the URLs of the top 3 results and plug them into a tool like Ahrefs.

Then you are going to hit the “Backlinks” tab on the left hand side and… voila!

You now have a huge list of websites who are likely to reward badass content with an equally badass backlink.

 

Find Their Email Address

Now that you have found someone who is likely to link to your website, it’s time to track down their email address.

Under most circumstances, you can easily find this under the “Contact Us” tab of their website.

However, since some of the bigger websites make it difficult to connect with authoritative members of their business, you can also use a tool called Voila Norbert to find the email address associated with a specific domain.

Simply input the person’s name and domain and you will normally be able to find the right email address to reach out to.

 

Reach out With a Hyper-Personalized Script

Look…

Most authoritative website owners receive hundreds if not thousands of guest post and backlink requests on a monthly basis.

And if you want more than a snowball’s chance in hell at actually connecting with them and earning a backlink, you are going to need to stand out from the masses.

The only way to do this is by creating a highly personalized email script for each prospect.

Brian Dean from Backlinko.com has a great script that you can use for this purpose.

Hi [First Name],

I was looking for content on [Topic] today, when I stumbled on your article: [Article Title].

Good stuff! I especially enjoyed [Something specific from their article].

Also, I just published a new guide on [Your Topic]: [URL].

As someone that writes about [Topic], I thought you’d enjoy it.

My guide may also make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the awesome work with [Website]!

Talk Soon,
[Your Name]

This script is the best resource that I have found for achieving high levels of personalization without too much effort.

 

Simple Tactics to Build Directory and “List Links”

In addition to building manually earned links, you should also spend time building directory and resource links.

These websites exist for the sole and express purpose of linking out to other content making them a perfect target for your link building efforts.

The process for finding relevant directories and earning a link is very simple.

First, go to Google and use a query like “Keyword + best resources” or “Keyword + Best Blogs”.

So, using OutreachMama as an example, we would use the query “Best link building tools 2017”.

Then, after filtering through the top results and looking at each page’s authority, select 2-3 of the most relevant directories or resources pages.

Then use the following script (once again kudos to Brian Dean for this one) to reach out to the website owner and discuss the possibility of earning a backlink.

Subject: Question about [Their Website]

Hi [Name],

I was Googling around for content about [Topic] this morning, when I came across your excellent resource page: [URL].

I just wanted to say that your page helped me a ton. I would have never found the [Resource They Link To] without it.

It’s funny: I recently published a guide on [Topic] last month. It’s [Brief Description].

Here it is in case you’d like to check it out: [URL].

Also, my guide might make a nice addition to your page.

Either way thanks for putting together your list of resources. And have a great day!

Talk Soon,
[Your Name]

 

Link Building Services and Software that Will
Simplify the Process

While I have compiled an exhaustive list of the best link building tools in the industry
(which you can check out here), my three favorites are as follows.

SEMRush

SEMrush is positioned as your “All-in-one” SEO toolkit.

And no statement could be more accurate.

SEMrush not only helps you perform day-to-day tasks, but also provides in-depth analysis that is very clear and can be easily incorporated into your digital marketing strategy and significantly improve your performance. ~Umit Yilmaz, SEO Engineer at Ebay.com

SEMrush comes with more tools, bells, and whistles than you can shake a stick at.

And not just for link building.

I mean, sure, its content and PR tools allow you to monitor mentions, track industry trends, and perform backlink audits and analysis.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

With SEMrush we are able to identify opportunities and react to them in less time by having a trusted source of data that is extremely easy for the whole team to access.

~Kenyon Manu, Director of Search at Overstock.com

SEMrush also allows you to complete technical SEO audits, paid traffic analysis, and generate content trend summaries.

Considering the sheer volume of tools at your disposal, the $99/month price tag is almost laughable.

And with a money back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.

Try SEMrush for free. Start right here.

 

Ahrefs

Ahrefs allows you to check your competitor’s backlink profiles, top pages, link, link growth, and countless other statistics.

Many of the top SEOs in the world use and recommend Ahrefs and it has been one of the leading tools on the market (almost) since Al Gore invented the internet.

Ahrefs offers a 30-day free trial and pricing packages that are comparable to Moz Pro making it a great alternative for Moz-averse marketers.

 

Linkio

Managing multiple pages, different types of links, anchor text plans and several months worth of activity can be a challenge for any marketer, especially if you’re just setting start with SEO.

Linkio takes the complexities of long term link building and boils it down into a simple workflow that improve outcomes for SEO teams.

More specifically, you can create long term anchor text roadmaps for all of your important pages and then break down the game plan into monthly chunks and start executing using the tactics described in this article.

Check out the free tool here.

8 Free Online SEO Tools for Webmasters





SEMrush



There are some great tools available to help webmasters with their SEO. Unfortunately. Many tools require subscriptions and paying for them all can very expensive. However, there are also quite a lot of free tools available and many of the subscription services do offer valuable free tools as well. In this post, we’ll look at 8 of the most helpful and free SEO tools available.

 

1. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed
The speed of your website is an important SEO ranking factor. The faster your website, the better chance it has of ranking higher. Faster websites also retain users longer and have superior conversion rates.

You can easily check the loading speed of your site on desktop and mobile devices by using the free Google PageSpeed Insights Tool. Simply type in your URL and the tool will measure the loading time and performance of your site. The results give you a mark out of a hundred for each device, identify the things which slow your loading time and present you with a list of useful suggestions to make your site even faster.

 

2. Keywordtool.io

Keywordtool

When it comes to SEO, getting the right keywords is vital if you want your site to rank for the right searches. Keywordtool.io is a very useful little tool that provides you with up to 750 keyword ideas based on a single keyword.



All you have to do is enter a keyword, such as ‘men’s shoes’ in the example above, and the tool will provide you with a detailed list of keywords and long-tail keywords to help you rank higher.

What’s particularly useful about this tool is that it finds keywords for particular types of searches. So, if you are looking for keywords that will do well on Google, you can narrow that down to find the best keywords for Google.co.uk. You can also search for the best keywords to use on a range of other sites such as Bing, Amazon, YouTube and the iTunes app store (each of these can be filtered by country too).

 

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
remains one of the most powerful free tools at the fingertips of any webmaster, giving you a complete oversight of the traffic you get to your site. There’s pretty much everything you need to help you understand how well your site is performing and where its weaknesses lie.

Find out where your traffic comes from (location, device used and source), where they land, how long they stay, how they move from page to page, and which pages they exit from. You can track movement and dropout rates from landing pages to checkout pages and even set up goals to measure conversions and other events. Using Google Analytics is a no-brainer – there’s nothing else which is free that has anywhere near the capabilities.

 

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console

In conjunction with Google Analytics, you should also use Google Search Console, the webmaster tools it provides gives you highly detailed website analysis as well as important alerts and error reports.

Google Search Console enables you to understand how well your site is indexed and whether there are any problems that prevent your pages being found; it gives you vital information about whether your site has been given a manual penalty, and provides a wide range of useful information including letting you know what search terms you rank for, what your rank is for each search term and your click through rates for those terms. Also useful for SEO, it shows you which other sites link to yours.

 

5. Google Trends

Google Trends



Another excellent free tool from Google is Google Trends. This tool lets you compare up to four search terms to analyse changes in their search volumes over time. You can analyse over different periods of time, by location and by a range of other factors, too.

Google trends can give you very powerful insights. If you were thinking of selling a new product and noticed that, year by year, the number of searches were getting smaller, then it would be a clear indication that the product’s popularity was on the decline. It can also throw up some surprising results. Looking at the image above, it’s obvious that far more men in the UK go shopping for shoes online than women. It also shows that they key term ‘kids shoes’ is searched for much more than ‘children’s shoes’ – all very helpful information to have for online businesses.

 

6. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb

Sussing out the competition is an important SEO strategy for any online business. Some companies pay hundreds of pounds per month to use the powerful, in-depth competitor analysis tools that are available. If you are looking for a free tool, then SimilarWeb can be very useful.

Although you need the pro version to use all its features, the free tool let lets you compare two different websites at the same time, giving you detailed information about their ranking, traffic numbers and sources as well as various other insights into their analytics.

 

7. Find Broken Links

Find Broken Links
Having broken links on your website can affect your ranking because by sending users to error pages you are offering a poor user experience, which neither search engines or visitors like. Links to internal pages or external websites can be broken if content is removed or the URL is changed.

Manually, it would be difficult to keep track of external links and sometimes it’s not easy to remember all the internal links on your own website (links in images tend to be the main source of broken links). However, the Find Broken Links tool can find them for you automatically.

All you have to do is type in the name of your homepage and leave it to run. It will crawl your entire site and provide you with a detailed list of every broken link it finds. You’ll then need to remove the broken links or replace them with working URLs.

 

8. Copyscape

Copyscape

Search engines have a serious dislike for duplicate content, so if another website has identical content to you, it may affect how well you rank. This is particularly important for eCommerce companies and bloggers.

eCommerce companies who simply cut and paste the product descriptions supplied from manufacturers may find that there are thousands of other websites with the same, word for word, content on their pages.

For bloggers, the problem is that content can be stolen. Another website wanting content on a subject you have written about can just copy it from your website onto theirs. It happens all the time.

Copyscape is an excellent tool for checking content duplication. Enter a URL for your website or blog and Copyscape will show you if the same content is found elsewhere.

 

Conclusion

As you can see from reading this post, there are many useful, free to use SEO tools for webmasters. They can help with everything from website analytics, to keyword research to finding duplicate content. Hopefully, there will be tools here which will be of benefit to you.

Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO: 2018/2019 Edition





SEMrush



The basic foundation of SEO is keyword research.

Afterward, other factors like on-page optimization, quality of content, a good site UI, and some other factors come into the picture.

Many companies invest thousands of dollars to pay for keyword research to get such targeted content.

But you don’t need to do that. Just follow this guide…

The keywords you choose to focus on for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are critical to the success of your website’s rank.

Choosing the right keywords isn’t always easy or intuitive and you need a lot of data to know whether a given keyword will work for you.

If you are completely new to keyword research tools and the process of keyword research, here are some guides from the past which will help you understand the basics:

• Importance of Keywords in SEO

• Keyword Research for Beginner’s Using the Google Keyword Planner Tool

So now you know the basics of keyword research and you have an understanding of how valuable it can be.

Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you figure out which keywords work the best for your overall web strategy. There are mostly two types of Keyword research tool:

 

1 Basic Keyword research: Use the seed Keyword to find profitable Keywords

2 Competitor based Keyword research: Find proven keywords which are helping other sites to drive traffic.

Personally, I find Competitor based Keyword research to be more effective as the purpose of the Keyword research is to find profitable Keywords. What could be more profitable than something which is already working for someone?

All you need to do after that is to create a page targeting that profitable keyword & reap the benefit of keyword research.

In this exclusive guide, I have covered both the type of Keywords. Most of these keyword research tools are paid and only a few of them are free.

Here are the list of tools listed below:

1Google Keyword planner

2SEMRUSH  (Have given a link below to try SEMRUSH worth $199)

3Ahrefs (Offers 7 days trial for $7)

4LongTailPro

5KWFinder (Have free plan as well)



6SpyFU

7WordTracker

8SERPStat

Best Keyword Research Tools: 2018 edition

1. Google Keyword Planner <Free>

The Google Keyword Planner tool is one of the most used and popular keyword research tools out there.

The only reason for it being so popular is it’s free and is directly integrated with Google AdWords.

To start using this tool you need to have an AdWords account (which you can create one for free).

• Features: The biggest feature of the Keyword Planner tool is the deep information it offers on Google (the largest search engine).

• Limitations: In some ways, that’s also a limitation. If you want to know how your site or a given keyword is doing on other search engines, you won’t get it here.

• Pricing: Free to use.

The Keyword Planner tool is a good, basic tool for the early stages of a website’s SEO.

This my favorite free tool, but if you need more detailed and competitive analysis, I would recommend going for one of the advanced tools that I have listed below.

Check out the Google AdWords Keyword Planner here

2. SEMRUSH <14-Day Free Trial (worth $199)

“What is the easiest keyword research tool for a blogger?”

The answer:

• SEMRUSH

SEMRUSH is not a typical keyword research tool; it offers so much more than just researching keywords.

Unlike other tools where you need to add seed keywords to start your research, here you just need to add your URL (or your competitor’s URL) and it will show you all of the keywords that are ranking for that site.

This makes it easier for you to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target and beat out your competition.

You can get in-depth details on:

• Traffic stats

• Search engine reports

Adsense CPC

• and so many other details that you need in properly managing an SEO campaign.

This is a highly recommended product.

• You can read a detailed review of SEMRUSH here.

Download a 14-day (completely free) trial of SEMRUSH here

3. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool

Ahrefs is one of the most popular keyword tool out there. What I really like about them is extensive detail including the keyword difficulty. Ahrefs uses clickstream data to also show how many clicks you will get from the search engine. This is very useful after knowledge graph integration, as many keywords may have huge traffic but they hardly get any clicks from search engine. Reason being, they get answers directly from the Google search result. Example of one such query is: “birthdate of any celebrity”



Another thing which makes Ahrefs Keyword research tool stand out is the great UI & the amount of data they provide. You can also create a list of keywords to target directly from Ahrefs dashboard. You don’t need to use excel & this is a huge time saving.

Take 7 days trial of Ahrefs for $7

4. LongTailPro <$30 Discount>

LongTailPro is a cloud based software for keyword research and one of the most popular in this list.

This is a paid keyword research tool which will help you find amazing keywords for your niche/micro-niche sites. With their “platinum” version, you can get a really amazing and really detailed keyword analysis feature.

They also have a competition checker, which will make it easier for you to pick the right keyword.

You can see a detailed review of LongTailPro here.

Get $30 off of LongTailPro here

5. KW finder: 

If you are looking for one tool which is completely dedicated to Keyword research only, KWFinder is your best bet. They are new in the market yet they are one of the fastest growing SEO tool company.

KWFinder helps you get the Keyword that will help you drive highly targeted traffic. Using Questions based Keyword research option you can quickly find long tail keywords that are related to problem solving. It’s no brainer that problem solving content helps us get more targeted traffic & conversion.

KWFinder offers both free & paid plans. For most of the users basic plan is the best. However do use the free account to see the effectiveness of KWFinder keyword research app.

Visit KWFinder

6. SpyFu

SpyFu is one of the best SEO optimization software products on the market. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to analyze and stay ahead of the competition in a tight niche.

Here’s what you need to know about this one:

• Uses: SpyFu is highly useful for two important reasons.

1 Understanding your competition’s SEO platform.

2 Discovering under-served, un-tapped, or emerging markets.

• Features: SpyFu also has several modules.

Compare Websites module

Keyword History module

Domain History module

Related Keywords module

• Limitations: This program doesn’t have the depth of keywords that some competitors do, although this is changing. Also, the data for SpyFu is monthly, rather than real-time.

• Pricing: SpyFu offers two basic pricing plans as well as an “Agency” plan.

◦ The basic plans are $79 and $99 per month (with a discount of more than 40% if you buy a one year term).

◦ The “Agency” pricing is $999 per month.

SpyFu is a solid SEO product.

It’s useful if you want to check up on the competition as well as find new areas in which to market.

Check out SpyFu here

7. WordTracker

WordTracker is used by small businesses to research keywords, build new links, and develop a strategic SEO platform.

• Uses: The three main tools in WordTracker are the-

Keyword Tool (which helps you research keywords)

Link Builder (which identifies inbound link prospects)

Strategizer (which takes a step back and looks at your entire SEO ranking strategy).

• Features: There are some features that are really cool here.

◦ The Link Builder tool is unique to WordTracker and are not found on any of the products on this list.

◦ The Strategizer gives you a kind of bird’s-eye view that you won’t get anywhere else.

• Limitations: WordTracker often gives fewer results than other services and the interface isn’t particularly intuitive.

• Pricing: WordTracker includes a 30-day free trial.

◦ Monthly pricing is $69 per month.

◦ Subscribe to a full year at $449.

Check out WordTracker here

I would not recommend you pick up all of the tools listed above, but instead stick to one or two and get used to its system.

If you have been using the Google Keyword Planner tool for a while, you have a good basis for getting started with any of the paid and professional tools listed here.  Take a look at some of these tools and decide which works bestfor your business strategy.

My recommendations:

• If you are looking for an easy, yet a great solution, go for SEMRUSH.

• If you are researching keywords for micro-niche sites, use Ahrefs

Whatever you choose, use these tools to supercharge your SEO.

How to Find Low Competition Keywords with High Traffic





SEMrush



To rank on the topmost page of search engines, it is necessary to find low competition keywords with high traffic.

As these keywords are not covered by most of the websites So, it’s a great opportunity for you to rank on keywords having low competition. These are the best source to increase your website’s organic traffic.

When I started my blogging journey, I was not much aware of the keyword analysis and that was the only reason I failed to get even a 50 organic visitors a day. But, as soon as I started learning, I get to know how important the keyword research for a blog.

A blog having proper keyword optimization can rank easily on top search pages without any link building.

If you have started a blog and want to rank with your targeted keyword to increase your online presence, you must consider these five important factors.

  1. Keyword Difficulty
  2. Use of Long Tail Keywords
  3. Content type
  4. On-page SEO
  5. Blog Post Promotion

By implementing all the above-mentioned strategies, you not only improve your organic traffic but you can also attract a few authoritative and natural backlinks too.

In this guide, I’m going to show how to find low competition keywords with high traffic and easy to rank on them.

You’re going to learn following things here:

  • How to find profitable low competition keywords
  • How to use tools to find keywords with low competition
  • How to write a successful blog post that people want to read

How to Find Low Competition Keywords with High Traffic Volume

Sometimes, searching for profitable keywords with low competition becomes difficult when you analyze some specific keywords because many high authoritative sites are already ranking for those keywords.

So, what you have to do for your keyword research? Well, you don’t need to worry about here I have discussed some important techniques to find and optimize your website for ‘Low competition keywords’.

What are the low competition keywords?

Low competition keywords are those keywords that have an average amount of search volume with low competition.

A good searches volume depend on the type of your niche. For some niches, even 40 to 50 average monthly searches are sufficient to rank well in search engine. In other niches, average monthly search volume between 1,000 to 3000 is good.

High Search Volume + High Competition = SEO Failure

A Good Search Volume + Low Competition = SEO Success

Here are some steps to need to follow to find profitable low competition keywords.

Step 1: Do a Proper Keyword Research

This is the very first and important step to succeed in your goal. There are various tools (free as well as paid) available to find keywords with low competition and high search volumes.

You can use these tools to find your keywords have low competition. I’ll show you how to use them to identify profitable keywords.

a. Google Search



Type your main keyword in Google and make a note of the results appear there. For example, I search for a keyword “best keyboard for typing” and note the total returned results in a spreadsheet.

If the search results return less than or nearby 1,000,000 pages, then there are good chances for ranking on the 1st Page.

The next step is to perform the following search on Google.

  • allinurl: best keyboard for typing’, note the number of results containing ‘best keyboard for typing’ in URL. It shows all results with keyword appearing in URL. If the results are less than or nearby 1000 then you have high chances of ranking on the 1st page with a high-quality content.
  • allintitle: best keyboard for typing, note the number of results containing ‘best keyboard for typing’ in the title. It shows all results with keyword appearing in the title. A result of under 1,000 or nearby is good and you have high chances of ranking on the 1st page with a high-quality content.
  • allintext: best keyboard for typing, note the number of results containing ‘best keyboard for typing’ inside the article. It shows all results with keyword appearing in the article. Don’t try for a keyword where ‘Results with allintext’ is 50% more than the ‘Total Results’. In our case, the percentage is very different, so it’s not good to work on this keyword.

 

b. Find the long tail keywords

Now, you have analyzed the competition of your main keyword so it’s time to find some long tail keywords that match with your main keyword.

Long tail keywords are the best way to get more organic visitors, more leads and more affiliate sales.

They are less competitive as compared to your main keyword and get some decent amount of traffic too from google search.

These are the kind of keyword that appears when a user types into the Google search for what he is looking for. For example, a keyword “start a blog” can have a long tail keyword like “start a blog on WordPress’.

There are various tools to find long tail keywords such as:

Google Auto Suggest

You may have noticed sometime when you type something on Google, it shows you some suggested keywords that are completing the search term.

But why Google does it?

Google is able to display all those keywords because people search them often. It means they are in high demand but you don’t need to jump up on them yet. You’ll have to do more work before choosing them.

 Google Searches Related Terms

This is another great way to find long tail keywords. Unlike Google auto-suggest, these keywords are also often searched by people.

When you search for a keyword on Google and scroll down the end of the page, you’ll see some related terms of what you have typed.

These are the golden keywords that can help to rank your article on top pages of search engines.

# Use KeywordTool.io

KeywordTool.io is one of the best free tools to find long tail keywords for a long time. This is also the best alternative to Google Keyword Planner and other keyword research tools.

To find long tail keywords you have to enter a keyword and select which country to target e.g. google.com (US), google.co.in (India) etc.

With the free version, you can generate up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term.

# Use SEMrush Tool

SEMrush



To analyze the keywords, I recommend you to use SEMrush which is my favorite SEO tool. SEMrush is a professional SEO tool for digital marketers and for bloggers. With the help of SEMrush, you can find Keyword Difficulty, Keyword Research, Competitors Analysis and Backlink Opportunities.

You can use SEMrush free trial for your keyword research.

Just go to SEMrush, enter your keyword in the search box under Keyword Analytics section and you will see a brief keyword overview for your entered keyword something like this:

Here, you will find the phrase match keywords and Related Keywords around a Targeted Keyword. Click on “View full report” button to expand the list.

After expanding the list, you’ll see the entire list of keywords around “Adsense alternatives” as shown below.

Now, from this list, choose the keywords having following metrics

  • Keyword Difficulty less than 60.
  • Number of Words more than 3
  • Volume more than 200

You can also select some related keywords by expanding related keyword list. These keywords are semantically related to your main keyword. From select keywords, you can keep up to 25 keywords that are relevant, less competitive and have high search volume and remove the rest from the list.

Step 3. Analyze top 10 websites for your keyword

Just because you have done keyword research and have optimized your content for the right keywords doesn’t mean you will automatically get ranks. You will have to work

After finding the long tail keywords with good search volume, the next step is to analyze the strength of top 10 websites for your keyword.

The strength means you need to find information about the Domain authority, Page authority, number of high authority backlinks, their top ranking keywords and number of social shares etc. To check these metrics, I’d suggest you use the Chrome Extensions called as SEOQuake or MozBar.

To rank in the top position of the search engine, it is necessary to analyze what strategy your competitors are using and you can use the same strategy (here I’m not telling you to steal their content) or even better than them to place yourself on top ranking.

Check Competitors strength For Specific Keywords

1. To analyze your competitors and to find low competition keywords, just go to SEMrush dashboard and from the left menu select SEO Toolkit >> Domain Overview >> Enter your website URL >> Monitor your website performance.

competitors analysis with SEMRush

Note: You can also use the SEMrush navigation system to find other SEO tools.

SEMrush

2. On the same page, you’ll find the competitor’s analysis section where you’ll see your main organic competitors and competitive positioning map that showing their strength and weakness in SERP ranking.

SEMrush competitiors analyses report

3. Click on the competitor’s website to find their traffic reports. Here I’m looking to check traffic report of a great SEO blog “bloggersideas.com”

With SEMrush, you can check competitors keywords, their site search traffic, backlinks and top anchor texts as seen below:

By monitoring your competitor’s strategy, you can easily find out the profitable keywords and backlinks to generate more traffic from search engines.

As I already mentioned in this post, do not copy the exact keywords of your competitors, because their targeted audience may be different from your audience. So, it is better to be smart and select the relevant and profitable low competition keywords with high traffic for your website or blog.

Step 4. Write a content that search engines (and people) will love

Now you have collected your low competition keywords list and organic competitor’s details. After analyzing this information, you will be able to come to a conclusion as to what needs to be done so that you can rank in top pages of search engine for your desired keyword.

The next step is to write an engaging content for your readers using this information. You should write a content that can give the satisfactory answer to a reader’s query for what he is searching.

Here are some important points you should remember while creating your content:

  • Try to create a long-term content having more than 2000 words. A long-term content with high-quality rank high than the short-term content. Include relevant images, screenshots or infographics rather than the just heavy block of text.
  • Keep your paragraphs short and use numbers or bullets to increase reader’s attention on your article.
  • Use attractive headings and subheadings to grab the reader’s attention on the page.
  • Write unique content that means do not copy from other sites. A site having plagiarised content have more chances of being penalized by Google. You can use these free plagiarism checker tools to check your content.
  • Keep your content grammatical error free. A content with poor grammar can have a negative impression on readers and it directly affects your ranking. (I’m personally using Grammarly to correct my online grammatical mistakes which is the best tool).

Make sure you have written SEO optimized content

To rank on the top page of search engines, you must have to perform proper On-page SEO for your content. This step is something you can never rank without it.

Having On-page SEO means you need to include your targeted keywords in title tag, meta-description, h2 tag, image alt tag and in between your content.

You can use SEMrush’s “SEO Content Template tool” to get ideas to write a winning optimized content.

SEMrush

All you have to do is just enter keywords that you want to target with your content within a specified country and hit on “Create SEO Template button” to get SEO-friendly content ideas such as backlink sources, semantically related keywords (for page title, meta description, H1, text), readability and much more.

SEMrush provides you some keywords recommendations and basic recommendations (based on your Google top 10 rivals). It also shows you how your competitors use your target keywords. You can save this result template as a doc file. These ideas help to create a well-optimized SEO content for your website.

competitors analysis SEMrush

You can’t create more than one SEO Content Template with SEMrush free plan. So, I would recommend you to upgrade it to one of their premium plans. And believe me, you will not regret later.

After creating a well-optimized content, make sure you reviewed your content several times (check grammatical mistakes etc.) before hitting the publish button.

Lastly, promote your blog post to all popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Slideshare and with your email subscribers too.

Final Words…

Ranking in the search engine is not a difficult work if you how to do keyword research effectively.

You can rank easily ahead of your competitors if you find the right keywords with low competition and high search volume.

Did you like this post on how to find low competition keywords with high traffic? Do you have any questions?

What tools are you using for keyword research?

Leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer your doubts.

Learn How To Use SEMrush For Keyword Research (30-day Free Trial Inside)





SEMrush



Keyword research is one of the best ways to understand what your readers want and then decide how you can provide value for them through your articles.

Blog posts that target a primary keyword has more chances to get more traffic, leads and sales.

However, choosing the perfect keyword isn’t easy.

You need to perform keyword research to find the right keywords with right intent and even more importantly, profitable keywords with good search volume.

In today’s article, I will show you how to do keyword research with SEMrush, take the maximum advantage of this SEO tool and also a 30-day free trial coupon so that you can use SEMrush to your heart’s content without having to worry about paying.

Please Note:

While this article talks about how to do keyword research using SEMrush, you can typically use the info and insights I give here in any keyword research tool of your choice. I just used SEMrush because it is by far the best and gives results that works.

Getting Started with Keyword Overview


To get started with SEMrush, you have to sign in for a free account here.

After you login to the SEMrush dashboard, click on the overview tab under the keyword analytics options (on the left hand sidebar).

SEMrush Keyword Analytics

You’ll find a search bar in the next screen where you need to enter your broad topic of which you want to find keywords.

You can also select the country (which I highly recommend) for which you are targeting the keyword or preferring an audience of.

For this particular example, I chose the keyword indoor plants. After all is said and done you’ll have a result page as follows.

SEMrush Keyword Overview

In the above screen, you can see 4 different reports for my preferred parent keyword “indoor plants”. Let me explain them to you:

1. Organic Search:

It gives you an idea of how many people actually search for the keyword in Google (22.2K in this example) and how many web pages are ranking for that term (28.7M). That’s pretty tough (but we will see how to tackle such tough keywords in some time).

2. Paid Search:

This part reveals if any websites or brands are bidding for that term using paid ads. And what is the average cost per click, in case you wanted to bid for the term too.

3. CPC Distribution:

This section shows the average CPC based on country you would target.



4. Trend:

This is something interesting and a key factor to analyze. It shows you the monthly distribution of your target keyword and hence you know if a keyword will bring you traffic all the year round or only on specific months (example, Halloween costumes)

This basic info is important to give you an insight of what elephant you are rearing as your keyword. But, you shouldn’t just shoot for these keywords, that would be foolish.

Editor’s Tips

You can also use the “overview” option to research and find 5-6 key topics around your blog.

These topics can be used as your broad categories. If you already have broad categories, use the above option to research more about your category topics.

The search trend in them and how SERPs are changing with time. This will help you to build a relevancy score for your blog which can help you build authority.

For further digging into the gold rush for more profitable keywords you need to dig deeper.

That’s where we meet…

Phrase Match and Related Keywords


Right below the keywords overview tab, you’ll find option for phrase match and related keywords.

This is where the most technical keyword research happens.

SEMrush Phrase Match Related Keywords

What we did in the first phase was actually find a few parent keywords which could form the pillar of our content strategy.

Targeting them or any similar parent keywords is nearly impossible, not at least if you’re just starting.

For that, you have to find the low-hanging fruits (keywords that have very less competition) and leverage them to first build a strong ranking profile for your blog.

Editor’s Tips

We are targeting low competition keywords because they are often left abandoned by authority sites who already have the resources to rank for much broader and profitable keywords.

Hence they mostly don’t target or rather optimize their content for keywords with very less search volume like 60 searches per month (country specific) or even 20 searches per month.

Aren’t we wasting our time by concentrating on something not fruitful?

Not at all.

In fact these low-hanging keywords are easier to rank because you have dedicated blog posts for these unlike the authority sites.

This way, you have far more chances of ranking and thus more click-through rates in the SERPs.

Eventually these blog posts will also rank for a ton of LSI keywords which will bring more cumulative traffic.

How to Use SEMrush Phrase Match Option for Keyword Research?


Phrase match is a great option when you know you have a product or topic to target but it is too broad.

Phrase match gives you the option to find all possible keywords that are closely related (have the exact phrase you searched) to your target keywords along with alternative words.

You can also use phrase match to find long tail keywords and alternatives to product names (alternative terms used by users to search a product).

SEMrush Phrase Match Report

In the above image, you can clearly see two profitable keywords with good buyer intent.



This is only half the screenshot, if you actually search it has 2,641 keywords that match your target keyword.

Editor’s Tips

I would say even the two keywords I selected inside say just half of the story, use these keywords (indoor plant stands, grow light for indoor plants) and enter them separately again as you did to the parent keyword to reveal for easier to rank long tail keywords.

How to Use SEMrush Related Keywords Option?


Are you working on a niche you don’t have any idea of?

Many times we come across a keyword that we’d like to rank for but we don’t have any idea for related keywords to write next.

With related keywords, you can easily enter a specific keyword and find all related keywords that might not have the same terms but belong to the same industry.

This time I entered a keyword as vague as “shoes”.

To be honest this is a keyword that is literally impossible to rank and maybe unprofitable too.

But, suppose you thought of working in the shoe niche but you have absolutely no idea about this niche.

This is where Google’s related searches also fail because they will only show you closely knit related searches like shoes for men and shoes online shopping.

To actually save time, digging deeper, you can use SEMrush’s related search feature which easily unlocked me to many keywords like orange coral shoes, gold women sneakers, all black womens tennis shoes, etc.

You could rinse and repeat the same procedure to further refine into more keywords worth targeting.

Now that you found keyword these keywords, I’d suggest to use the same rinse and repeat formula with these to uncover more related keywords to your key topics.

How to Use SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool?


Imagine you found a keyword (shoes) with 673,000 searches per month.

Isn’t that the ultimate zen thing to happen for your content strategy?

Wrong?

Most keywords already have content published around them (I hope you know internet’s been there from a long time and much before you’re a blogger).

Often times, these keywords have brands or high authority sites ranking for them.

You wouldn’t even want to mess with their keywords because, well, this is nearly impossible to achieve.

That is why keyword research tools are used to give you an idea of how easy or difficult a keyword is to rank.

These tools use a lot of data like ranking domains’ DA, PA, backlinks, social shares, word count, trust and citation flow based on the tool you’re using.

Editor’s Tips

Most tools are machine algorithms after all.

They do give you an idea (which is correct most of the time) but do not guarantee their accuracy.

This is a matter with every keyword research tool out there, leave alone SEMrush.

So, it is always good to use these tools to get an idea of the game and then perform a check of your own manually.

The keyword difficulty tool shows you a count from 1-100% in which a count higher than 1 towards 100 shows the increasing difficulty of the keyword to rank where 100 is next to impossible to rank for.

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool


SEMrush’s keyword magic tool is an all in one yet more feature-rich and advanced keyword research tool where you can literally enter a single worded keyword tool and build an entire empire of related long tail keywords to rank for.

With the keyword magic tool, you can enter a single word and then find the most related terms along with their keyword details under one tab.

You can then select these keywords (by pressing the + button) to dump them into the advanced keyword analyzer tool.

Check the image below:

SEMrush keyword magic tool

After you’ve done that, you can now refresh the stats in the keyword analyzer to find detailed stats for each keyword like the keyword difficulty, click data, estimated search volume and the top competitors that are already ranking for the terms.

SEMrush keyword analyze

This is all you need to have a bird’s eye view over your whole keyword bucket.

Now select the ones that are the most relevant to your content strategy and use them accordingly.

Wrapping up with a Free Gift:


With this I hope you have had a good idea of how to use the SEMrush keyword research tool to uncover hidden profitable and easier to rank keywords.

Not only that, we also saw how to build an empire of keywords (from a single word) in a niche we have no idea of.

This can be quite useful, not only when you’re building a new website but also in Amazon sites where we often have no idea about the profitable niches we want to target.

Remember

our aim with these tutorials is to help you start stronger and win your blogging game.

And no, we don’t want you to spend a dime on keyword research or any such thing from day 1.

That is why, we have partnered with SEMrush to bring you a 30-day free trial coupon so that you can use it to find a year full of blog posts and keyword ideas.

How to Use SEMrush to Amplify Your Content Marketing





Content is the present and future of marketing. Think about it! Strong content is fundamental to all forms of marketing – social media marketing, SEO, PPC, PR, and email marketing. Traditional marketing is losing its steam, becoming less effective by the day. Customers no longer prefer to be bombarded by product pitches all the time. Instead, they would like brands to focus on delivering relevant, valuable, and consistent content that helps solve their problems. In other words, they’d like brands to focus less on pitching their products and more on providing solutions to the issues they are facing. This is why content marketing is so important in today’s business environment.



According to Content Marketing Institure (CMI), both large and small businesses use content marketing because it’s good for the bottom line and the customer. Specifically, businesses use content marketing for these 3 key reasons:

  • Increased sales
  • Cost savings
  • Better and more loyal customers

In order to achieve your content marketing goals, you need a reliable platform that lets you perform a detailed analysis and assessment of your existing content assets, and provides recommendations to improve the quality of content on your site to maximize its impact. SEMrush is one such platform which can help you amplify your content marketing strategy, specifically 3 tools within SEMrush:

  • Content Audit
  • Post Tracking
  • SEO Content Template

SEMrush

In this article, we’ll evaluate the key features of these lesser-known SEMrush tools in detail and examine ways to improve your content marketing strategy.

1. Content Audit Tool

The SEMrush Content Audit tool lets you quickly audit the content on all the webpages of your website, based on the sitemap data. With this tool, you can determine which pages are effective and which ones are not.



This tool provides you with various data such as social signals from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, backlinks, and user signals, such as number of sessions, average session duration, and bounce rate. It also automatically collects metadata, content authors, and content length for each URL. These metrics help you identify pages on your website that are not getting the recognition they deserve and could be improved with an update.

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To access this tool, go to Content Analyzer –> Content Audit, enter your domain and hit ‘Start Audit’. Wait for a few minutes while SEMrush gathers the data for you.

Pro Tip: To get a more accurate data, I highly recommend you connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts with the Content Audit tool. You can do this once SEMrush generates the content audit report.

Once the report is generated, it’s time to identify loopholes and weak spots on your website. The quickest way to do this is by sorting the table by quality metrics such as:

  • Social shares or backlinks – to find content that is not as popular across the web as some of your other pages.
  • Content update – to find pages on your site that are the oldest and need an update.
  • Word count – to find content that could be expanded into longer posts.

You can even manage your work flow within the Content Audit tool and track progress of each of your pages. Your options are ‘Not Done’, ‘In Progress’, and ‘Done’. Use these options to assign priorities to each of the pages that you’d like to improve.

You could also take the URLs that you want to improve and enter them into the On Page SEO Checker (formerly SEO Ideas). With this tool, you’ll receive actionable ideas to improve your strategy, on-page SEO, technical SEO, and more.

2. Post Tracking Tool

With the SEMrush Post Tracking tool, you can analyze and measure the performance of any article by tracking its backlinks, keyword rankings, and social shares. You can use the Post Tracking tool to track the performance of your guest posts on different sites or review any article from your competitors’ sites.



To access this tool, go to Content Analyzer –> Post Tracking, and enter the URL of the article. By default, the tool comes with a ‘demo mode’ with 3 example URLs. So before you proceed, you can check the demo to see how the tool operates.

Within a few seconds, SEMrush will analyze the URL you’ve entered and return with a report showing the article’s keywords, total backlinks, and social shares.

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Under social shares, you’ll also be able to view the top contributors on Twitter i.e., a list of Twitter influencers who shared or retweeted the article. With this data, you can perform an influencer outreach while promoting your own content that rivals that of your competitor.

3. SEO Content Template

The SEO Content Template is a standalone tool that helps SEOs and marketers develop SEO-friendly content. The main goal of this tool is to help you create content that outranks your rivals on the SERPs for your target keywords.

This tool can also help you uncover link building opportunities and discover how your top competitors are using target keywords within their content.

To access this tool, click on SEO Content Template on the left hand navigation menu just below Gap Analysis Tool.

Here, you need to enter your target keywords, select the location, and then hit ‘Create SEO Template’. Within a few seconds, SEMrush will generate a report which will contain the following data:

  • Key recommendations (based on your Google top 10 rivals) – Semantically related words, backlinks, readability, video content, text length, etc.
  • See how your competitors use your target keywords
  • Basic recommendations – Page Title, Meta description, H1, text, etc.

You can also export your template to a Word document to access it offline. This Word doc will list your recommendations for Page title, meta description, text, backlinks, and your rivals’ URLs.

Conclusion

To be effective at content marketing, you need a tool like SEMrush to develop a robust content strategy. Click here to sign up for a 30-day free trial of SEMrush Pro and create a successful content marketing plan for your business.

How to Dominate Keyword Research And Rank #1 For Any Keyword on Google & Other Search Engines





SEMrush
Do you want to know how to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for any keyword?



Obviously we all want more search engine traffic, more sales and more conversions on our sites, right?

So what’s the most important step to grow your search traffic and sales?

Hands down, keyword research is the secret recipe of any successful website that makes a ton of money.

If you’re still thinking, just analyse the top sites like Neil Patel, Copyblogger, Smart Passive Income, Backlinko etc. What do you notice? They all get a TON of traffic from search engines every single day. In fact, Neil Patel gets almost 2 million visitors every single year to his personal blog which was launched just 3 years ago.

So what they are doing right? They all are dominating SEO with proper keyword research.

Why focus on keyword research?

Without knowing and targeting the keywords that your target audience are typing on Google to reach your products or website pages, you can NEVER attract the right people who’re interested to buy your stuff. That’s the reason why you need to dominate keyword research and try to rank #1 for your desired keywords on Google search results.

How to do keyword research in 2018 and beyond

how to do keyword research

If you’re wondering about how to do keyword research like a pro, this awesome post is a treat for you. In this detailed post on how to dominate keyword research, you will find two main pillars to boost your traffic from search engines.

  • One is: finding high ranking keywords with less traffic
  • Second is: creating “long form of content” (so you can use your targeted keywords within your content to get massive search traffic really quickly).

Let’s get started with the first part on how to dominate keyword research first.

How to find “low competition” keywords with “high traffic”?

Let me give you a quick tip if you want to dominate keyword research like a pro: find low competitive keywords with high traffic.

For instance, when I fire up keywords like “SEO services”, Google shows me a ton of competition for the keyword.

So it’s almost impossible to get #1 rankings for such a competitive keyword. Although it’s a great keyword to target but it takes a ton of time and lots of quality links to get traffic for that keyword.

Here’s why you need to find low competition (and most often) long tail keywords to master the art of doing keyword research.

keyword research importance

In the above image you can notice that, 1 word phrases like “shoes” have really high competition and they are of high cost. So don’t compete for those tough keywords.

Instead compete for long tail keywords so you can quickly boost your search traffic (a long tail keyword usually contains 4 or 5 more words in it). Did you know that 70% of search traffic comes from long tail keywords? Yes, that’s the reason why you need to focus on them more often.

So what can you do to get better rankings more quickly?

Target low competition keywords with better traffic. If you’re wondering how to dominate keyword research and how to find low competitive keywords, let me show you how with my favorite SEO tool SEMrush.

Finding low competition keywords with SEMrush

Quick note: Here’s a 30 day free trial of SEMrush just in case if you want to get better at SEO and keyword research.



You need to use the best keywords if you are just starting to dominate keyword research. You should focus on finding what your competitors are doing. Find out how they have already ranked on the first page of a search engine results page. Then, figure out ways on how to beat your competitors. Let me show you how.

Choose low competition keywords. It boosts your website’s rank. Here is how can you find them.

#1. Build a list of SEED keywords

Let me quickly define what are seed keywords.

Seed keywords are also known as head keywords. For instance, “SEO” is a seed keyword. These seed keywords should always be relevant to your overall website topics. Once you build a list of seed keywords that are relevant to your industry, it is easier to expand them to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for almost any keyword.

You need to find the most relevant search terms that will drive to your website. The easiest way to find out the best seed keywords in your industry is to check your competitors’ websites.

Go to SEMrush, click on “Organic Research”. Under that click on “Positions”.

search results from semrush

Now, enter a domain name and click “Search”. It will display list of keywords your competitor’s website is ranking for in Google’s top 20 organic search results.

  • You can apply “filters” to find keywords that are most relevant to your business.
  • You can generate an “Organic Search Positions” report for multiple domains.
  • To view unique keywords per domain, use the Domain vs. Domain tool and export your results.

#2. Expand your keyword list

Now, once you have a list of your seed keywords, you can continue keyword expansion. You can use your initial keyword research with search terms and phrases that suit your blog topics.

Go to SEMrush, click on “Keyword Research” and under that click on “View full report” to find phrase match keywords. Enter a term from your initial list of search terms and click Search. It displays the list of keyword phrases that include an indicated term.

seo tips overview from semrush

  • You can also use the Related Keywords report to find related keywords. This will list phrases that are semantically related to a particular queried search term.

Alternatively, apart from SEMrush, you can also use Google suggestion tool.

Have a look at the following screenshot to better understand about what I’m talking.

Google Search

In the above image, you can see that I used the seed keyword as “SEO tips”, for that keyword, Google suggestion tool (that you find at the end of the search results page) is showing the above keyword ideas. That’s how you normally elaborate your seed keywords list.

You can also export your results with all the other keywords you would like to target to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond.

#3. Find high-volume keywords that have less competition

To know how much potential traffic your website can receive, you need to know your keywords’ search volume and also average monthly searches for each keyword.

Always remember that the higher your rankings for high-volume search terms are, the more traffic will be driven to your website. Obviously, competition for these keywords is very high.

And there is no point in trying to rank for keywords as you will have no chance of ranking for. So, you need to find the right balance between a keyword’s search volume and its competition level.

1. Make sure you estimate competition level

To view both metrics for each keyword, use the SEMrush Organic Positions report:

  • Volume: It is the average number of search queries for a keyword in the last 12 months.
  • Competition: It is the density of advertisers using a particular search phrase for their ads.

Find out your competitor keywords

The quickest way to find profitable keywords and dominate keyword research is to spy on your competitors. Find out what all the keywords that your competitors are using to generate more traffic and sales to their sites.

That’s how you can easily find traffic generating blog post ideas and topics to increase your overall website traffic from search engines like Google. So the first and most important step that you should do to know your competitor’s marketing strategies is finding out their keywords.

Make sure NOT to copy all your competitors keywords because your target audience will be entirely different from your competitors, right? So be smart while doing competitor analysis if you want to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond. Here are few quick tips to do keyword research easily by spying on your competitors using SEMrush:

  • Examine which keywords and pages drive organic traffic using SEMrush. You can use SEMrush, to view a site search traffic and keywords. This tool shows you great data about sites’ search engine traffic based on estimates of keyword traffic and rankings.
  • Apart from SEMrush, you can also use tools like Google Adwords keyword tool, Alexa, SpyFu for doing keyword research quickly.
  • To find competitors backlinks you can use some backlink checkers like Ahrefs,  Majestic SEO, Monitor backlinks, Open Site Explorer. Backlink analysis will be so much helpful to boost your overall website’s SEO. When you want to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for any keyword, make sure to find ways to build as many quality backlinks as possible. That’s how you can score big in SEO.

2. Find out the competitiveness for a particular keyword

For this purpose, you can use the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty tool. Using this tool, you can view the keyword difficulty of up to 100 keywords at once. Just enter one search term per line and click the “Show Difficulty” button.

The range from 1 to 100% keyword difficulty shows you an estimate of how difficult it would be to seize your competitors’ positions in the Google top 20 with a particular keyword. The higher the percentage, the more effort you will need to outrank your competition for targeted keywords.

  • If the percentage is above 80%, it means they are the most difficult keywords. If you have a new site, you should not focus on highly competitive keywords.
  • If the percentage is between 60 and 80%, then it means those are the keywords with average difficulty. With high-quality content and relevant backlinks, you will be able to seize your competitors’ positions in time.
  • If the percentage is below 60% then those keywords are the easiest to rank for. But, these are most difficult to find. Discovering low-competition, high-volume keywords will require hard work and patience.

If you can find a strong list of these search terms and implement them throughout your site, then you will have a very good chance of ranking high for these high-volume search terms.

3. Extend your keyword research

Let’s say, you are working in a highly competitive industry, such as insurance or fitness. Then all of the keywords you are targeting have a difficulty of more than 80 or even 90%. However, for every keyword, you can see your top 20 strongest competitors.

With the help of “Organic Positions” report, you can analyze every domain’s keywords and find your competitors’ weaknesses. To get more keywords with less competition, extend your research by generating the “Organic Competitors” report for each of the top 20 domains with the highest domain strength.

Finding low competition keywords with Keyword Planner

Let’s now talk for a while about the widely used keyword research tool called Google’s Keyword Planner.

It’s used by millions of SEO’s all around the globe and it’s a fantastic tool. Not only it’s free but it also a great tool to begin with to dominate keyword research.



Google Keyword tool gives you a traffic estimation of your target Keywords and also helps in finding more relevant and related Keywords of your niche. To use Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to have a Google Adwords account. And did I say that it’s free.

With the help of Google search and Google keyword research tool, you can find some low competitive but high-medium traffic keyword. To analyze the competition of a keyword, you can then use SEMrush or Long Tail Pro. It will also help you to determine how easy or difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword.

Remember, getting 20 targeted users is always better than getting 200 untargeted users. So, don’t leave those keywords with low traffic. Make sure that you check “Google traffic trend” as it will help you to check your target keyword traffic pattern over the time.

#1. Use Google Instant search to discover Keyword

With Google instant search, you can find a perfect keyword. You can generate tons of ideas. Put any keyword related to your niche. Google Instant search will suggest search results. Depending upon your post type, you can pick a couple of them which make sense to you.

Start adding it to Google Keyword suggestion tool once you have found 3-4 such keywords and then perform a search. Pick any two keywords. Now next step is, find if those two keywords are going to do any benefit regarding traffic.

#2. Keyword search analysis

Put those two keywords in search tool and perform a search. It will show relevant keyword ideas and also will let you find many relevant keywords that you can target. You can create your SEO strategy depending upon your post quality and length. Now, check which one of them is less competitive using SEMrush.

Your job is NOT yet done with keyword research. There’s one more essential thing you need to do start getting more search engine traffic.

The importance of long form content and how to create it easily?

As I said above, dominating keyword research and finding great keywords is NOT enough to get more search traffic.

You need to create “great content” and use your keywords within it to start ranking for them.

So what do I mean by great content?

Great content = Long form of content (with typically 2000 or even more words)

Long form of content is NOT any other buzz-phrase.

Long form of content is the content that is 10 times better than anything else out there. In other words, it means content that stands out and outranks other content on the same topic in search.

Now, you may be wondering how to create something 10 times better than others. With just five attributes, you can identify 10x and long form of content.

  • It provides great user experience
  • It solves a problem
  • It evokes an emotional response
  • It is well-written
  • It is delivered in a unique way

You need to strive to create something original and worthwhile rather than spinning what’s already out there. To give you even more clarity about long form of content, you should start by asking yourself what you think about when you look for an answer to a question on the web.

Here’s a great image of the importance of long form of content.

long content ranks well

Obviously, you will look for an answer to a specific question and you want to understand a topic more deeply. If you find something that really solves your problem that you will bookmark it or share it with friends, then that’s the long form of content.

Brainstorm and choose a tempting topics

With just a single post, you can’t solve all of your audience problems. So, take up one aspect of one problem where you can offer immediate solution that helps audience. Brainstorm for ideas to come up with tempting topics.

For example, instead of writing about “make money online”, write “earn your first $100 online ” or instead of writing about “six abs”, write about “six abs for busy people”.

Once you write down all those blog post ideas, make sure whether readers are interested in in your topic or not. How?

  • Use keyword research tools like Google keyword planner, Moz keyword explorer to check search volume. Check whether the topics you chose has at least 1k searches per month for relevant keywords.
  • To know the topics you chose are popular on social media, you can use social media tools like Buzzsumo. Check how many shares a particular post has to determine popularity.
  • To know whether the topics you chose already exists on the web or not, use Google search. If there is low competition then it means readers are not interested.

Dig into the topic and provide unique content

So, once you have decided on what topic to write. Do as much research as you can. Start by learning everything that’s out there on your topic that you are going to address.

Take a look at the content that’s already been created. How is the user experience? Is there any way that you can improve that content and create a piece of content that tops it. Gain a deep insight into the core of why people are interested in this subject.

Analyze yourself, what’s missing? Once you can identify a gap, that’s where your 10x content will fit in.

Perform your own original research or create a powerful infographic. It’s the content that offers a unique view and singular experience that will be most successful. In addition to maintaining uniqueness, being exceptional and different from everyone else out there, is really important.

Turn your content into visually appealing

Long form of content you create should be complete and should give seamless experience that’s enjoyable for your audience.

If your content has a heavy block of text, then no one is going to read it, no matter how well it is written. It must be visually appealing and easily accessible.

Rather giving emphasis on “readability”, you need to look for ways to make your content easier for your audience. For example, SEO WordPress plugins such as Yoast have a number of recommendations to improve the readability of your content.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to make content easier to read. Here is how you can improve your content’s flow and keep readers on the page:

  • Always keep your paragraphs short and sweet, three or four sentences makes one paragraph.
  • Use bullet points to break up your content and keep your readers’ attention on the page.
  • Format your posts as lists. Use headings and subheadings to help direct readers’ attention and give your content a sense of flow.

In addition to the above points, you should also consider diversifying your format. Instead of relying on some rigid formatting guidelines, do what is natural for your respective audience.

Use attractive headlines

Your topic headline should tempt the readers to click through and read your content. So, you need to take time to craft a headline that makes readers desperate to learn. Your crafted headline should use these 4 methods to convince readers to click:

  1. Useful. Whether it gives any practical use to readers.
  2. Urgent. It should make them to read immediately.
  3. Ultra-specific. They should understand what benefit they will get by reading the content.
  4. Unique. It should give them a feeling that they haven’t  read this anywhere else.

In addition to the above methods, use power words that enhances the emotional impact. Before making a final decision, brainstorm at least 10 headlines for your post.  Keep in mind that headlines represent your reader’s’ first impression of your content. Ask yourself whether headlines you kept are compelling or not.

For example, rather than simply focusing on a “traditional” headline, consider…

  • Phrasing the title of your post as a question
  • Presenting your post as a list.
  • Use a controversial title.

Let’s say you run an ecommerce site that sells clothes, accessories, laptops, all gadgets and you are trying to spice up your underperforming content. How could you apply the above points to your content?

  • “Are You Looking To Buy Budget Laptop? The Ultimate Guide to Choose The best One”.
  • “7 Fashioned Clothes That Suits For Several Occasions”.
  • “Stop Wasting Money and Grab The Offer Now, Save Up To 60%”

Of the titles above, which are more compelling at first glance?

There is a lot of competition around  witty headlines as it represents the ultimate way to stand out from the crowd before your content even gets clicked.

Organize content and give enough polish

The way you organize your content is also very important. To bring structure to your ideas, create an outline while writing your epic post. To structure your content effectively, make sure you consider these while organizing content.

  • Promise: Whether your content fulfill the promise of the headline you kept.
  • Flow: Check whether the information you present has a natural flow. Don’t stuff keywords unnecessarily as it spoils the meaning in the sentence.
  • Objections: Did you address the questions that audience may have?
  • Completeness: Check whether you provided enough information to your readers through your content or not.

To organize your thoughts, you can use mind-mapping map. Use your outline and few guiding questions to create a truly epic content. Ask yourself these questions while creating killer content.

  • Do you have a powerful closing that inspires your readers to take an immediate next step?
  • Have you used short paragraphs and bullet points to improve readability?
  • Did you use simple and easy language that can be understood by your audience?
  • Have you used headings and subheadings that helps readers to understand the content?

Before publishing your content, make sure you reviewed your content several times to improve its clarity and flow. Don’t use jargon words, replace those words with simple words. To check the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, read you post aloud.

Lastly, without promotion and without reaching to audience, even though it is of great content it is of no use. Use smart promotion to give boost to your content. Share your post on social media using relevant hashtags. If you mentioned any blogger in your post, then make sure you inform them.

Repurpose your posts in other platforms like Medium, Slideshare. Reach out to influencers and ask them to share. Email the post to your subscribers.

3 tools that help you dominate keyword research in 2018

#1. SEMrush: This is always my favorite SEO tool. Not only helpful to dominate keyword research but it also helpful for competitor analysis, backlink analysis, site audits and so many more. You can grab their 30 day free trial using this link and I absolutely recommend everyone using this tool to get better at SEO.

Although it has so many features, as we’re only talking about how to do keyword research in this post, so let’s only talk about keyword research related features that you get along with SEMrush. Here are few of them.

  • Find rankings for a specific keyword
  • Find keyword suggestions for keyword research
  • Find keywords with a specific number of search results on Google
  • Find keywords with or without a specific word
  • Find keywords with a specific word count
  • Find a site’s estimated organic traffic history and many more

#2.Keywordtool.io: This is one of the best alternatives to Google’s keyword planner. Not only it’s free to use but it also gives you a ton of keyword ideas to grow your overall search engine traffic.

keyword tool

If you are wondering why you should use this tool over keyword planner, here are few reasons.

  • It provides you up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term
  • Unlike Keyword Planner or other tools, this tool is extremely reliable as it works 99.99% of the time
  • You can use Keyword Tool absolutely for free, even without creating an account (again, unlike Google where you need to sign in to start using their free keyword research tool).

#3.  KW Finder: Do you want to find really good long tail keywords that have less traffic? Then, this keyword research tool is for you. It also has a free version which is enough for most SEO users to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond.

All you need to do is to just enter a keyword of your choice on their tool and it will immediately gives you a ton of keyword ideas along with the metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty and so many other metrics.

Final thoughts on dominating keyword research & rank #1 for any keyword on Google

If you are looking to grow your website’s search traffic and sales, focus on keyword research. If you know how to do keyword research like a pro, you will be way ahead of your competitors.

You can easily outrank your competitors if you find and use the RIGHT keywords (low volume and high traffic).