Stop Focusing On A Single Keyword
As an SEO expert, I typically go for the low-hanging fruit keywords before pushing to the harder competitive ones. But after recently working with a client that had this over obsession with a singular keyword, it was mind-boggling to see how competitive and low searched this keyword gets per month. While all this is happening, Our team has been building out content and showing great improvement in the local visibility with new keywords. Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time i’ve had a client like this but I completely understand. A previous expert tells them what they should rank for and they treat it like the bible for years!
Single Keywords are Dead
So without further ado, single keywords are dead!…. seriously – if you are looking to capture “pizza” or “carpet cleaning” because it brings in 100,000 users per month in searches; It’s not worth it. Firstly, a common single keyword like those aforementioned would only be in the awareness stage of a buyer’s journey. If you are looking to brand yourself, then great. Push hard into those common, highly competitive keywords to get branded but expect to spend a good chunk into content marketing and back-linking to barely scratch the top 50 spot. You can always look into PPC branding.
Anyways, Keyword clustering is the wave of the future as well as longer-tail keywords. These two combined can build out some awesome 10x content and become one of your best articles versus the singular competitive keywords.
Rankbrain Believes in Keyword Clustering
If you don’t know what RainBrain is, I’ll quote it Search Engine Land:
RankBrain is part of Google’s overall search “algorithm,” a computer program that’s used to sort through the billions of pages it knows about and find the ones deemed most relevant for particular queries.
Now it doesn’t really talk or confirm about keyword clustering but when a user performs a search; it brings up the most relevant queries to serve the user’s intent. So if you searched for “lobster restaurants” RankBrain understands what you are trying to look for and produces a list of Seafood restaurants near you. It wouldn’t want to just serve pages that only talk about “lobster restaurants” in their text. It will be a variety of contextual keywords from seafood, restaurant, lobsters, crab, fish, etc etc. All these being talked about naturally in the content will reinforce Rankbrain in serving it to more particular queries.
Keyword Clustering Analysis After The Fact
Optimization is not a “one time thing”. Google loves freshness in an article and if you can figure out what you competitors are using in their similar articles – you can possibly tweak it to pull in more keywords and gain more page authority. I personally use Website Auditor from Link-Assistant to perform my analysis. If you want to learn more about this, check out my article on Website Auditor from Link-Assistant.
The image above is just an example on what keywords my competitors are adding to rank for certain phrases. Of course, just adding more content, images, infographics, video, audio will always help boost rankings due to freshness and serving users. But you will need to know how to go about it.
One simple way to find new queries people are searching for is to head over to Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console). If you have an article already indexed and it’s been a few days, you will start seeing queries popping up in the console. What I like to do is toggle from Queries to Pages and then sort by most impressions. Also make sure to check on clicks, impressions, CTR, and position. This will give me a great view of which pages are getting served the most and show me how my CTR is doing.
This is for an informational website only with a 90 day time-frame. All pages I’ve examined have over a couple hundred impressions. If you like me to dig through other verticals, let me know in the comments below.
0%-2% CTR – This CTR on a page means you are ranking for keywords but you just pulling in users. This could be due to low position, image being served in search SERP, Title/description is resonating with the users.
3%-5% CTR – Most CTR around this are ranking well but their title/descriptions aren’t attracting the audience. This is where A/B testing works well to test new ad copy for those users.
5-10% CTR – These are typically great metrics and probably hitting the #1 spot on a lot of keywords. My suggestions is just link-building and finding any long-tail keywords that you could possibly work into the article.