Evaluating keywords for search engine optimization is a fundamental step you need to take. It’s crucial to choose the right keywords that are related to your website. Why? Because you need to be found in the right searches and drive the traffic from your targeted audience. When applying keyword research, there are three key considerations you need to take: Relevance, Frequency and Authority. Read on to find out what these mean and how you can apply them to your Keyword Research.
The Three SEO factors to consider
The three SEO factors will help you get ahead in the competition and rank higher. If you apply them well and remain consistent, you will have a solid chance of ranking first.
Relevance and Frequency factors allow you to directly influence your rankings. This is because you can publish relevant content to your website frequently. On the other hand, the Authority does not give you the same benefit but at the same time, it highly impacts how well you compete. For Authority, the more websites that link your website to theirs, the higher your site’s authority will grow. All three factors need to be adopted to see any difference in rankings.
If your content is not relevant, there is a chance that it will not be indexed. It is therefore important to always keep your content relevant at all times. As time passes, the content may not be relevant anymore if it is not up-to-date. Therefore, it is essential that from time to time, you go through your content and update it.
For your website or blog to be found, your content needs to be relevant to the search queries made by users. Most importantly, you need to make sure you are showing up in the intended search listings. Once you drive the right traffic to your website, you want to also ensure your content is engaging enough for the user to keep reading.
Search engines favor freshness because it considers it to be more accurate and complete. This means that a website that publishes new content daily is ranked higher than a website that publishes the same amount of content weekly. Crawlers indicate to Google how often a website is updated and marks these websites as trusted and more credible.
Authority refers to the sum of the influence of all links made to your website. If most sites linking to yours have high authority, then your website will also be considered a high authority. On the contrary, if few or only small sites link to your website, then you will have less authority.
Links from other websites are called inbound links. Marketers spend a lot of time creating inbound link campaigns. Some places are easy to get a mention from, other places are more exclusive. There are many ways to building your authority, here are some tips on how to do this.
A great way to building your authority is by making use of social media sites. Social media sites allow you to share posts that include inbound links. Google favors having a strong social media presence in multiple social media sites. To be able to have an effect, Google looks at the number of times your link has been re-shared and re-appeared on other social media platforms.
Using SEO To Rank Higher in The Search Engines Without Getting Penalized
Apart from the three main SEO factors, there are other factors that you need to keep in mind. Firstly, Google is continually updating its algorithm and so it is important to always keep up to date on what is happening. Secondly, your ranking is variable and will change depending on several factors. You need the right tools to analyze your rankings and other metrics.
I will delve deeper into these two SEO techniques. Knowing these will help you rank higher in the search engines without getting penalized. You can check out our latest article about how you can end up stuck in Google Sandbox.
Track and measure the right metrics
The next step is to track important metrics for your site and see which factors you need to work on.
It is important to understand where your visitors are originating from. You can use Google Analytics to check this by viewing the Acquisition channels report.
Also, keep a look at the keywords that generate the most traffic to see which ones are likely to give way to conversions. One great tool is SERP Scan – it shows you the keywords that have sent organic traffic to your website within that year and a keyword performance chart.
Tools to Find Low Competition Keywords In SEO
If you are new to the market or starting a new website, you are most likely better off choosing long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific queries that are not popular enough to be crowded by competitors but still attractive enough to send your website traffic. This will give you a chance to find the best opportunities to get organic search traffic.
SEMRush and Ahrefs are tools that can help you find low competition keywords. Here is a step-by-step process using SEMRush:
1. Choose your starting keywords
- Go to SemRush Organic Research
- Type in a competitor’s domain name and Search
- You will be presented with a list of keywords by your competitor’s website is ranking for in Google’s top SERP results.
- Look at metrics such as the keyword difficulty (KD) column. The aim is to find keywords that have low difficulty. To do this add additional filters for KD such as volume and number of words per phrase.
- Repeat the same process for a number of competitors.
- The keywords you choose should then be sent to Keyword manager where you can save a start keyword list.
2. Build on your keywords
Now that you have a list of low competition high traffic keywords, you can start building on them with more phrases. To find phrase match keywords, apply the following steps:
- Navigate to Keyword Magic Tool
- Enter a keyword from your initial list of keywords and click Search.
- You will be shown an expanded list of keyword phrases that include your keyword.
- Next, make use of Related filter to find other related keywords. This will help list phrases that are semantically related to a specific keyword.
- You can also use the Question filter to display only keyword phrases that are in a form of a question. These types of query make great content topics.
3. Filter for high volume keywords with less competition
You can know how much traffic you can receive by looking at the average monthly search volume for each keyword. This means that the higher your rankings for high-volume keywords are, the more traffic will be driven to your website.
Since competition for the most popular keywords is high, there is no point in trying to rank for those keywords. So, it is important to find a balance between search volume and its competition level. To do this take a look at the Keyword difficulty and Competition level metrics. You will find these two metrics in both SEMRush and Keyword Manager.
4. Estimate keyword difficulty
The keyword difficulty metric shows you the percentage value of how hard it will be for top competitors in the top 100 Google positions in respect of a particular keyword. Try to aim for a keyword difficulty of lower than 40%.
Finding low competition and high-volume keywords is not easy and require hard work. But, with the above approaches, you can build a strong list of search terms to implement throughout your site.
What Happens After You Find The Right Keywords
Now that you have found the right keywords for you, what should you do next? Now you need to find keyword opportunities.
You need to analyze and pinpoint the phrases for your site that can easily make it to the first page in search results.
Here are the main things to consider when identifying a keyword opportunity:
- The site currently ranks between 2nd and 20th place for the keyword or phrase.
- There is a volume search of 1000/month for that keyword.
- Site is already progressing in its ranking.
- The page has the potential to expand to more related pages or can be easily optimized with more content.
Find new phrases
You can find new phrases that your business does not currently rank for. You need to build out and expand on current phrases for new opportunities. This can be done by reading through your site’s content and comparing them with competing sites. You can also look at Ahrefs or SEMRush Keyword Explorer to look at competitor keywords and rankings. Lastly, you must look at what drives your customers.
Answer the questions
At the end of the day, when users search for a particular query, they want that their query is answered. If your content answers directly their questions, you can increase your search visibility. Most likely if your content is useful, you will be featured in the Featured Snippet or included in a voice search answer. Use Answer the Public to get an idea of what users are asking for in relation to your targeted keywords.
Google ranking algorithm updates and their effect on live content
According to Google executes such as Gary Illyes and John Mueller, Google is continually updating their algorithm and most of these modifications are not openly announced. In fact, Moz estimates there are around 500-600 Google algorithm changes every year.
Google only shares major update announcements, and the exact inner workings of the algorithm are unknown. The information you will find is just speculation from SEO professionals. If the exact equation to ranking first place was known, then Google would not be capable of ranking only the best results. So, in a way, by doing this, Google protects anyone from finding hacks to find its way to the top.
Here are the major algorithm updates by Google and the best information we have of them:
- Broad Core Update (December 2020) – Update is focused on improving the search quality by using machine learning techniques.
- BERT (October 2020) – Before Google attempts to rank websites or webpages in response to a search query, it must first fully understand the intent behind the query.
- Mobile-first update (July 2019) – Googlebot prioritizes sites that work well on mobile devices.
- Mobile-friendly update (April 2015) – Favors mobile-friendly websites and introduces penalties for sites that do not comply.
- Pigeon (July 2014) – Introduces local search results like Google Maps.
- Hummingbird (August 2013) – Added a semantic understanding of search queries.
In these updates above, Google also made several updates on them without informing the public. So how can we keep track of all these Google updates? There are some tools you can use that can help you stay on top of these changes like Moz Change History and Panguin Google Penalty Check Tool.
Analyze your current search ranking
To be able to improve your Google ranking, you need to understand your position. You can use tools like Ahrefs to detect which specific keywords that you have been targeting are doing. For Ahref, just log in, find your domain in the list and select ‘Organic Keywords‘.
You will be presented with a list of all your targeted keywords and how they are ranking in terms of position, volume, and traffic.
The next step, is to track your site load speed as it is an important Google ranking factor. Having a website that loads slowly will directly impact your search rankings as Google will penalize you.
Google Page Speed Insights
Use Google PageSpeedInsights to test your page content speed.
It will give you a score for different categories that can affect speed such as First Contentful Paint and First Input Delay. It will also give you detailed opportunities where you can improve your speed and a full diagnostic of the performance of your website.
Finding the right keywords is crucial if you want to drive the right traffic to your website. Aim for low competition keywords that have a high search volume. This will give you the best opportunities in ranking on the first page of Google’s search results. But it is not enough. Google’s algorithm is always changing and to keep your ranking position, you need to apply the three major SEO factors: Relevance, Frequency and Authority. Make sure to always use them in your SEO process.