- Posted by Connor Haslam
- On December 1, 2016
- 0 Comments
If you happened to read my last blog post, I discussed a few Black Hat techniques that you should avoid when it comes to SEO. And if you’re still in the process of building your website, that’s a good thing. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was their tourism website.
So, instead of continuing the parental habit of telling you what you shouldn’t do, this week is going to be the first article in a series of blogs surrounding exactly what you should be doing in order to get your site performing to the best of its abilities. We will initially focus on Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner, and later in the series, we will take a look at Moz Pro and some of the tools they have to offer.
Phase One: Keyword Research
You’ve bought your domain, set up hosting, picked out a WordPress theme (if you’re not already using WordPress, consider this an unofficial plug for their product) and, after all of your hard work, your site is up and functioning properly. But you don’t have any idea where to start when it comes to getting your site noticed. And that’s what matters most, because getting noticed is hard. Well, let’s start with Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner.
Google AdWords has a tool called Keyword Planner that’s particularly useful when it comes to preparing a list of keywords in which you aim to rank for. If you know who your competitors are, this is also a great way to see where they’re investing their time. Or, if you find yourself filled with an inescapable boredom that binge watching the newest season of Black Mirror on Netflix can’t fix (3 episodes never went so quickly), you can type in any website and see what kinds of keywords they may be trying to rank for. That’s right HubSpot, we see you taking Google’s advice while trying to rank for “highly effective people book.”
Back to my point. An obvious first step, you’re going to want to type in your domain name where it says “Your landing page” and click “Get Ideas.” You’ll then see a massive list of keywords populate, and from there you’ll click on “Download” to generate an Excel .CSV file.
Another obvious one here: open up the recently downloaded file. Select all of the data (Command + A on a Mac or Control + A on Windows), click on “Data” in the top menu, and select “Sort…” from the list of options. Under the “Column” panel, select “Avg. Monthly Searches” and change “Order” from “A to Z” to “Z to A.”
So, I gave you advice on the steps to take in order to effectively plan your keywords, but I didn’t tell you why. Well, here’s why: with this list, you can see the most frequently searched terms that may or may not apply directly to your industry or business. As a rule of thumb for a new website, it’s good to avoid trying desperately to rank for any of the terms over 10K. Ideally, you want to rank within the top 10 organic search results, and you’ll be trying to compete with other websites that likely have a very strong Domain Authority if you try to rank for a term that frequently searched. We suggest focusing primarily on the terms searched 100-1K times monthly because you’ll most likely see the highest ROI from your efforts. It would be easy to rank for anything in the 10-100 range, but your audience simply isn’t large enough. You can also get an understanding of the competition you may be facing with these keywords (a high number means that there is high competition while a low number means, well, you can figure it out).
That’s it for this week! Stay tuned for our next blog post in this series, where we’ll delve into the sea of tools within Moz Pro. Until then, check out some of our older posts related to this topic, such as our blog on 6 Moz Features You Should Be Using.