Lesson #6 | Keyword Research & Getting Rankings
What Are Keywords & Why Do They Matter?
A keyword is a search term someone types into a search engine like Google to find something. For example, you might be looking for a good camera to take nature shots with and want some information on the best cameras to help you make a more informed decision. You head over to Google and type in "best wildlife photography camera" to find the right camera to fit your needs.
Almost immediately after searching, Google will come back with a list of relevant website results for you to choose from at which point you would click on one of these results to find related info on a relevant website. I use Google as the main example of a search engine simply because they own the lions share of search traffic, over 2/3 of all searches are done through their platform.
There are 2 kinds of search results: free 'organic' results and paid advertisements.
The paid ads are limited to 4 spots at the very top and in some cases the very bottom IF a website owner is paying to be there. While paid advertising can be great, it is NOT what we are focussing on and it isn't the best approach to building your website business. That's a good thing because it can get super expensive! Organic results make up the vast majority of all search engine results and is where most people will click when looking for information. Organic results are 100% free for life and work incredibly well for affiliate marketers.
The picture to your right is a screenshot of Google search results for "best wildlife photography camera". Notice how there is 1 advertisement at the very top (in this case an image banner) and below that, every result is a free organic listing. The first free listing is a featured result that Google sometimes shows and every other listing is for websites promoting affiliate products, just like how I am showing you. These are just standard websites with useful content, these are not 'gurus' with special skills. This is where YOU will be ranked if you take action on what I am teaching you.
Your primary goal with your website is to get YOUR content ranking so that when folks in your niche search for something, they click on your website. There are practically endless keyword ideas for any niche you could think of.
The bottom line is that if you can get your website ranking in the search results, you absolutely will get visitors. If you can get visitors you can earn commissions promoting relevant products. It's that simple and you CAN do this. If you are unsure about how this ties into you actually making money, then I recommend reading Lesson #1 which covers this in detail.
Keywords Are a Guide, Quality Content Is Paramount
Understanding keywords is essential to getting rankings in the search engines because you are telling search engines what your content is about and ultimately, who should be reading it.
That said, it is important to understand that keywords are just a guide and should not be your sole focus. The days of publishing generic and low value content stuffed with the same keyword over and over to get rankings are long gone. Google continues to update it's algorithms and any attempt to 'game the system' is a waste of your time I can assure you. To be successful you need to focus on delivering unique, useful and thorough content above all else.
Here's Why Content Gets Ranked
Your website might be the most important thing in your life and you may have put in tons of hours building it out, but search engines couldn't care less! The only way you are getting on that front page is by giving search engines a good reason to put your there. Period. Why would they want to rank YOUR content above anyone else’s content?
Your objective becomes very straightforward once you understand this concept. You need to give search engine users the most relevant and useful content possible! When you do this Google will notice and prioritise your content above others in order to give it’s users a better experience. It's not about you, it's about what you can do for Google and it's user base. Plain and simple.
The Best Approach To Getting Ranked In Google
In my experience, the best way to get started and build a successful website is to target low-competition keywords. If there are people searching for something and hardly anyone has written a decent article then it is in Google’s best interests to fill that void with YOUR content.
It is very difficult to start out by chasing high competition keywords because so many sites are already ranking for them, in particular, well established websites with tons of authority! Start out by filling a void and prove your worth to Google by giving their users value where few others are. As time goes on you will gain more and more authority in your niche and within Google and you'll be able to rank for medium-high completion keywords much easier.
The good news is, low-competition does NOT mean low search volume! There are millions of untapped keywords with next to no competition just waiting to be taken advantage of. Yes, really.
The Tools You Need To Get The Job Done
No matter what tools you use, everything I have talked about thus far will help and benefit you. In order to get the job done however, you will need some tools! There are many tools you can use to make your job of finding the best keywords easy. There are free tools available like the Google Keyword Planner but the reality is, it's rather limited and isn't going to help you much with the strategy I am showing you. This is because the data you get is limited to the Google search engine and the competition metrics (the most important thing) are based on paid traffic competition. This won't help you.
The tool I personally use each day to get content ranked practically on demand (many times within hours of publishing) is called Jaaxy Pro. You can read my full review of Jaaxy to learn more about using this tool and what is included in your membership. This does cost $19 per month but you can try it out for free with no obligation or credit card needed.
In my opinion, this is the most accurate, effective and low cost tool you could possibly use for your keyword and niche research. I am basing the following section on this tool for the simple reason that I know it works first hand and I don't want to beat around the bush. If you have another tool you like that gives you accurate competition data, then that is totally fine too.
Alternatively, premium members of Wealthy Affiliate get access to a free keyword tool which provides the same data as Jaaxy, it is just a little less efficient.
Finding Low-Competition Keywords
To show you how this is done I'm going to use the 'slow cooker' niche as an example. There's no reason in particular, it is just a niche I came across a while ago and it does have some good potential. This can be applied to ANY niche no matter what competition the niche itself has though. This is NOT specific to any one niche.
To start off you need to choose a fairly broad search term relating to your niche. There are many different topics you can write about and you may already have some general content categories in mind such as 'how to' guides, product reviews, tips and general content. Whatever you decide is fine, simply select a broad term and type it into the Jaaxy keyword tool as show below.
- Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow Cooker Reviews
- General Related Topics
As you can see, I typed in "slow cooker reviews" and the software spat out TONS of ideas, only a few of which I have shown above to save space. The most important metric here is the QSR, which means how many websites are trying to rank for a particular keyword. Anything under 300 QSR is good, but the keywords above are SUPER low competition and very easy to rank for.
The 'Avg' is just how many people are searching for the keyword each month on average. I am happy to write for anything getting searches or likely to get searches in the near future. After writing 100 low competition articles, the traffic soon ads up! If you can get just one person each day on average to each article, that is 3000 targeted website visitors to your site each and every month without cost. Once people share your content and you continue following the process, your traffic will continue to grow month on month.
Anyway, I decided to click on 'Ninja Slow Cooker Review' which drilled down even further and revealed even more content ideas I wasn't expecting. The "ninja slow cooker recipes" I stumbled across is a very good keyword to target with almost NO competition at all. The idea is to choose the keyword you want to target and save the other keyword idea for later.
It is always a good idea to check the actual search results to see what other websites are ranking and what they have written. This is important as you can try to cover an angle they haven't and be more thorough. By following this guide and using a good research tool, you can uncover 1000's of low-competition keyword ideas for your niche.
What Will You Write About?
You should only choose a niche you know something about or want to learn more about which is why I say choose your passion! You can make money in ANY niche at all so choose something that interests you. There is an absolute plethora of information online and once you start getting into things you will learn the most valuable sources to use in your content.
- Research forums and social media to see what your audience is saying
- Research individual products
- Read other reviews and website content from simialr sites
- See what customers are saying
- Share your own experience
- Many more ways
To learn more about coming up with content and keyword ideas there is detailed training within Jaaxy itself and in lesson #3 I talk about coming up with niche ideas which is a similar process. The video below is also useful to further understand the concept of finding keywords.
How To Implement Keywords Into Your Content
Once you have chosen your keyword, the next step is putting it into your content. This process is very simple. Let's imagine you are in the travel niche and have chosen "backpacking tips for beginners" as the keyword of your next article.
- First paragraph
Put your keyword naturally in the heading of your article. You can add text to the beginning or end but try not to break up the main keyword. For example:
7 Backpacking Tips For Beginners Travelling Abroad
If possible, get your keyword into the first paragraph of your content or even into the first heading. For example:
Travelling around the globe can be the best time in your life, but it can also present some very real risks to the unsuspecting. In this article I share my biggest backpacking tips for beginners to help you get the most from your adventures!
Once you have done this, forget about keywords within your content unless you are writing a 2000+ word article in which case you may want to include it at the end somewhere. I don't do this, but some marketers do recommend this.
I always try to include a relevant image right on top or somewhere within the content that contains the keyword. Only put the keyword in the image title IF the picture relates to the keyword somehow. Simply put it into the image title as shown below:
There are many free resources for getting pictures, I use PixaBay myself in conjunction with a free resource called Canva to edit the images and add text to them. An image I would consider using is the one shown below that took me about 1 minute to put together.
If you follow the above process in all of your content, you will not have an issue ranking for your chosen keyword. You see... it is NOT magic and there is no 'secret trick' to getting rankings! There is a process and anyone can follow it.
It is also important to understand that not all content has to be keyword targeted! Why? There are several good reasons but one in particular is that sometimes it will be very difficult to rank for a given keyword but the content it relates to will give your readers value. Write the content anyway as it will improve the value of your site and build your authority within your niche!
3 Main Ways To Boost Your Rankings
There are several things you can do to increase the performance of each article you publish.
- BETTER CONTENT
- GET SOCIAL
The most effective way to improve rankings is to improve your content and if you haven't already, I recommend reading Lesson #5 on content creation.
The more you can get people clicking through from the search results, reading your content, sharing it, commenting and coming back to your site the better. This shows Google and other search engines your website is giving people value. Improving your content is going to be a continual process, it doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to help people.
It is good practice to share your content within your social media accounts. I personally only use 3 (Google +, Twitter and FaceBook) and occasionally share content there.
Admittedly I am pretty slack when it comes to social media but it can be a very effective medium! I recommend using a unique introduction along with an image designed for that social platform, as in the correct size. Canva makes this easy. If you were going to choose just one platform then I recommend focussing on Google Plus.
It is always good to link to other relevant content you have published within any article you produce and (if appropriate) link to external websites like Wikipedia or some other well established website to back up what you are saying. It doesn't have to match up with a keyword or anything but make sure it is relevant to the overall article and the immediate text.
You'll notice in this website the links are highlighted in red and when you click them it takes you somewhere else on my site or another site. That is what I am talking about.
In this lesson you learned the concept of free organic search results and why search engines like Google would want to rank your content above others. I also showed you how to find low competition keywords and implement them into your website to grow your traffic. By following this strategy you can build a lasting and profitable online business in any niche you choose.
At the end of the day, if you can get content ranking, you can get targeted website visitors to your website for free which is absolute gold! If you can get visitors, you can make money promoting affiliate products that these folks are already looking for.
Lesson #7 is all about choosing a product to promote that fits in with your target audience and that is going to make you money. I'll also touch on some addittional ways you can 'monetise' your website as a bonus. This is where you will come to understand the 'money part' very clearly and where all of this starts to become very real and exciting.