How to Do Keyword Research in 2019 for Maximum Traffic

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Hi everybody uh this is Lauren Baker founder of search engine journal today...
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hi everybody uh this is Lauren Baker founder of search engine journal today we have a very special webinar presentation for you with Sam go and Sam Sam oh and Sam is uh sorry I was reading your your Twitter handle there Sam but Sam is with our se J partner HS so Sam if you wouldn't mind saying hi real quick hey everyone great so um what did they let you know that Sam's gonna be putting together a great presentation today but before you get started I want to go ahead and do some housekeeping to let you know how our scj think-tank presentations work and things you can do over the course of the presentation so Sam's going to be presenting for about a good half hour on keyword research for 2019 and if you're like me you're probably currently looking into new planning for next year especially as things kind of slow down at the end of December and this is a great opportunity to learn some new tips and tricks to help expand your keyword research going
In the next year to open up new opportunity from an SEO perspective just...
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in the next year to open up new opportunity from an SEO perspective just let everyone know our official hashtag is s e-g a think-tank so if you're you know if you have Twitter which I'm sure you do please feel free to go to Twitter let all your friends know that you're currently attending the s CJ think-tank webinar and gives us a shout out will be sharing slides and things like that over the course the webinar as well on social media so you can always backtrack through there speaking of back tracking will also be documenting and sending out the video of Sam's presentation after the webinar is over along with publishing a recap on SCJ and we'll be shooting all of you an email with that information in it during the webinar we're going to have a couple polls so those are going to pop up on your screen feel free really I encourage all of you to participate in those it gives Sam a lot of really good feedback on what you're doing and and what you're learning and things like that and can help him craft this presentation
Accordingly also after Sam's finished we're going to go ahead and open up...
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accordingly also after Sam's finished we're going to go ahead and open up everything to Q&A so you'll see on your go to webinar control panel there's a question box as questions come up during the presentation please feel free to go ahead and type them in that way we can go ahead and see what you have and what you'd like to learn I'll go be going through the questions and asking them the Sam after he's finished so that's basically everything from a housekeeping perspective Sam I'm going to hand things over to you right now to begin your webinar today sounds good so my name is Sam oh and I am the director of education at H F which basically just means that I create educational material showing people how to use our tools and fit them into their everyday SEO tactics and strategies I have ten years experience in SEO and digital I'm an X agency owner and an X professional gamer
And this was at the age of 13 before you could actually make a living playing...
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and this was at the age of 13 before you could actually make a living playing video games and outside of HR FS I do some consulting I create niche sites which are obviously SEO driven and I'm a YouTube creator primarily for Atrus Sam do you mind if I interrupt real quick of course do you have your twitch channel that you can share twitch if the twitch wasn't even available when I left gaming I got paid in video cards nice all right ten years too early right yeah okay please okay so today we're gonna be talking about how to do keyword research in 2019 for maximum traffic so basically squeezing as much traffic as you can out of one topic okay now I will preface that before I show you some cool tactics and strategies we need to make sure that the fundamentals are covered because without understanding things like assessing search intent and various scenarios that you're going to run into the tactics aren't going to be
As effective okay so back in the day SEO s they used to use Google Keyword...
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as effective okay so back in the day SEO s they used to use Google Keyword planner and they'd look up some keywords you know that they thought were popular and you know then they would create some dedicated pages around each keyword you know despite them being essentially the same search query and you know at this time things kind of worked but then Google dropped this bomb and that you know it set us all into kind of panic mode and they basically just started restricting keyword data to only AdWords advertisers so basically if you weren't paying than you weren't gonna see anything helpful but today things are very very very different last year we did a study on three million searches and we found that on average a top-ranking page in google also ranks for nearly a thousand other keywords in the top ten okay so let me show you a bit of an extreme example so you can see that the keyword phrase how to lose weight fast has an average of 58 thousand monthly searches in the US and it has a global search volume of a
Hundred and twenty-eight thousand searches okay but if you look at the top...
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hundred and twenty-eight thousand searches okay but if you look at the top ranking page you'll see that they get around three hundred and seventy three thousand search visitors to the single page alone and I'm guessing that's more traffic than most of us get in a month and they rank for over 32 thousand keywords and if we actually look at the keywords that they rank for you'll notice that they're in the top three positions you know for all of these highlighted keywords so how to lose weight fast best way to lose weight and fastest way to lose weight so at the end of the day these are essentially the same search query but it's asked in a different way and then you look at this one diet plan and it doesn't include any of the words in the target quarry how to lose weight fast yet they still somehow own the featured snippet for this in rank high okay so the key takeaway here is that there is no fixed limit on the number of keywords a page can rank for okay and search volume is not a good indicator for search traffic okay and we
Just have a poll so I'll pass it back to Lauren excellent thank you so I'm gonna...
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just have a poll so I'll pass it back to Lauren excellent thank you so I'm gonna launch the first poll right now what best describes your keyword targeting strategy is it a low competition low volume keywords B try to rank for high-volume head terms C go after highly commercial keywords D go after competitor keywords or e no keyword targeting strategy so he is that you have zero keyword targeting strategy at all we try to get about 60 to 70 percent of you voting because it really will help Sam craft a lot of his delivery today so if you can go ahead right now and answer this multiple choice question ABCD or e that would be fantastic we have 58 percent 59 so I'll give you a couple more seconds for those of you who have not selected the poll answer yet five four three two okay last chance one I'm
Gonna go ahead and conclusive pol at 79% almost 80% okay and share the results so...
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gonna go ahead and conclusive pol at 79% almost 80% okay and share the results so Sam we had 33 percent of our audience responded that they try to rank for high-volume head terms 27 percent low competition low volume keywords 15% go after competitor key terms 14 percent have no keyword targeting strategy so they're gonna learn a lot today and then 11% C go after highly commercial keywords so the most popular was going for after the high volume head terms okay that's really interesting I have a perfect example here for that okay so first let's unpack this idea of why search volumes are misleading okay and I can explain this in MacDonald's terms okay so we all know that McDonald's isn't a healthy choice right it's not the healthiest choice I should say but when you see that commercial or that billboard on a long road trip you know
There's probably nothing more that you want in life in that moment than to dig...
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there's probably nothing more that you want in life in that moment than to dig into that you know delicious grade-a meat and I'm using quotes around grade A here okay so you know let's go with the Road Trip example you stop at the next service station you rush your friends or your kids out of the car you pay your hard-earned money for a Big Mac and you end up with this all right you feel kind of mislead or even betrayed at this point now the truth is that that the advertisement it reels you in and it looked better than it actually was and in the same way search volumes can create a similar effect okay the numbers aren't necessarily fake but they can be distorted from reality so let me show you some real-world examples here okay so here's the advertisement Donald Trump age which has a search volume of 51,000 monthly searches in the US okay but the reality is that there are only 72 hundred clicks that happen on the search results page each month so this means that for this query only 14% of
Searches get clicked and it makes sense the quick answer box it solves the...
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searches get clicked and it makes sense the quick answer box it solves the reason for the query so there's no point in clicking anything else okay now what about the head term like health okay this keyword has a hundred and forty seven thousand monthly searches in the US gets fifty nine thousand clicks which is around forty percent it's not great but it's much better right so you know if you could rank for a health or not a health a head term like this then it should change your health business right not necessarily so if you look at the top ranking pages they get way less search traffic than theirs then the suggested search volumes and this is including all of the keywords that the page ranks for not just for the term health right and again health had a search volume of one hundred and forty seven thousand and if you actually look at the search results you're gonna see that the search intent is extremely unclear okay so think about it for a second I want you guys to think about this if someone is typing the word health into Google what do you think they're looking for right are they
Looking for ways to stay healthy something about health care something...
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looking for ways to stay healthy something about health care something about holistic health or something completely different right so the thing is that you probably have no idea neither do i and if we took a poll on this I can guarantee you it'd be so widespread it wouldn't be funny but the thing is that Google doesn't really know either to a certain extent so if you'll actually look at the top ranking pages the first page is health com so in this case this would be a branded query where as a result number four is about general health information from a governmental website and then result number ten is a news article with a title being black in America can be hazardous to your health the thing is that search intent is unclear and this is actually quite common for head terms so you're going to come down to a common battle okay and this is one that you're going to face often is that you know the search volume / traffic versus search intent so which one wins search intents almost always wins or in my opinion it actually always wins so when researching and choosing
Keywords to create content around you need to ask yourself this question okay...
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keywords to create content around you need to ask yourself this question okay and this is the serve search intent and that's what is the searcher looking for and can i fulfill that intent okay and we're gonna do a deep dive into this stuff so there are forming categories for almost any search query with clear intent will fit okay and that's informational navigational commercial investigation and transactional so your informational keywords these are going to be your how to store what's or anything where people are doing their preliminary research so for example how to make slime your navigational keywords are you you know usually branded queries to a certain extent like Facebook or Bank of America login or Google Analytics login which I'm sure a lot of you have typed before and commercial investigation you know are the affiliates paradise-like the vs. and the best keywords or there are actually times where you know someone will be looking for a specific attribute like brown shoes for men size 11 and then we come down to transactional you know which are by your download etc where
Someone is ready to make a purchase and actually took this image from Nikki...
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someone is ready to make a purchase and actually took this image from Nikki banks agency site and you'll see how these different stages of intent fall into the conversion funnel so how do you identify search intent okay and I promise you it's not sexy but it's an absolute required step and that's to learn from Google's top ranking results okay so let's look at a few examples how to make a website all of the top ranking pages are guides you know there's informational intent here best headphones they're all recent and up-to-date comparisons commercial investigation by Bose QuietComfort headphones and they're all product pages there's a clear transactional intent here right and in general the best way to compete for keywords is to follow suit and I'm talking about content type so you know you don't need to reinvent the wheel with a super unique article or tool you know if all the top ranking pages are guides then don't try to rank with a product page because you probably
Can't match search intent and in most cases you probably won't be able...
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can't match search intent and in most cases you probably won't be able to rank but search intent isn't always clear okay so here's a cool example I love this example if you look at the u.s. syrup for the keyboard football you're gonna see that all of the results are about American football except this one here number nine which is about what Canadians and Americans often call soccer then you look at the UK syrup for the same term and everything is about European football or soccer and this is where things get super interesting okay so this is a cert position history graph from keywords Explorer and if you look at the top four or five ranking pages you're gonna see that they were all jumping in and out of the top 100 okay not top ten but top 100 and it makes sense because you know there's an offseason for American football or the NFL so people type in the quarry at those times and they may not be looking for the NFL website and you know you can't see it on this graph but what else happened this year that's related to this query the World Cup right and that
Was in June and July and around that time FIFA commas actually jumping in and...
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was in June and July and around that time FIFA commas actually jumping in and out of the top 100 in the US surface for this keyword but during the time of the actual World Cup it was kind of stable because that's what people were looking for when they typed football because we can't generalize that everyone in the u.s. calls soccer football right or the other way around - oh I didn't switch the slides okay anyway so in general volatile SERPs they may not require as many links okay but retaining rankings is somewhat unpredictable stable starts on the other hand they will likely require more quality links and than the competition but retaining position is often more predictable okay and so Moz is beginner's guide to SEO is the perfect example for this okay so this is positive energy ID - SEO and it's a perfect example of a stable search so in the last two-and-a-half years or so it hasn't dipped out of the top five
For the keyword SEO okay now one last example which is a nice little mini case...
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for the keyword SEO okay now one last example which is a nice little mini case study on the importance of matching search intent okay so we created this awesome post to different on page ranking factors okay and it got shared a ton okay but more importantly it gained quality links from hundreds of unique referring domains and for a short period we actually ranked in the top five but as time went on as you can see our rankings plummeted so we reassessed search intents and we realized that maybe a data guide isn't the right route for this so we actually updated that post recently and take note of the highlighted title here we created an actionable guide and here's what happened we jumped from around position 40 to position 6 in four days okay we had links we had good content but it wasn't the right fit for what Google thought visitors wanted right pretty powerful stuff when you match search intent okay so at this point we've talked about how search volume does not
Equate to search traffic and that search intent comes first and if you can't...
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equate to search traffic and that search intent comes first and if you can't fulfill the intent of the searcher then it may be worth reevaluate reevaluating whether you know you should actually go after that keyword so how do you find keywords that actually drive tons of traffic and know that you can actually rank for them enter the longtail topics so there's a common misconception around longtail keywords and most people think that it deals with word lengths okay but that's not what they're about at all you know here's an example I want to show you an example that's going to kind of bust this myth so you'll see that the four and five word phrases have significantly more searches each month rather than the two and three word phrase right and this kind of surprised me because I thought lose weight will be way up there and if we look at the left side of this graph okay the left side you're gonna see that thirteen and a half percent of keywords with a search volume of zero to ten have only one or two words in them and on the right side
You'll see that around nine percent of ten K+ search volume phrases have four...
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you'll see that around nine percent of ten K+ search volume phrases have four or more words and longtail keywords are basically they're just search queries with low individual search volume but usually have a huge total search demand as a group okay and this idea comes from this so called search demand curve so at the top of the curve are usually very Euler high-volume search queries then as you go down that curve there are way more low volume keywords on that topic so aka longtail keywords so here's an example this is a screen grab from our video on longtail keywords and you'll see that the term cute cats would be the main topic and so it's at the head of the curve then as you go further down then there might be something with a little bit of a lower search volume that is based around the same topic the cutest cat in the world and then when you go way down to the bottom you know this is your long tail and the fact that you can't actually read those keywords it illustrates that there are a ton of them at the end and
So when they add up it actually amounts to a lot of search volume and this is...
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so when they add up it actually amounts to a lot of search volume and this is why that how to lose weight fast article that I showed you in the beginning it just gets so much search traffic it's a huge topic and there's so many different ways to search for this kind of query right so finding longtail topics comes down to two things number one like how much search traffic does a page actually get and to which keywords contribute to number one and how many so the easiest way to find longtail topics is to look at your competitors traffic generating pages and I use HRF site Explorer to do this and so basically you can just type in a competitor's name there so I've put in bodybuilding.com and I went to the top pages report and now the main columns that I'm looking at here are traffic keywords top keywords its volume and its position and the number of keyword rankings it kind of gives you an idea of the size of the topic the traffic column it gives you an
Indication of how much search traffic you can actually get by ranking for this...
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indication of how much search traffic you can actually get by ranking for this topic the top keyword gives you like it gives you kind of insights into what we call the parent topic or the main topic then there's the search volume for that top keyword in the ranking position which is important because you know if a page is ranking in or if a keyword is ranking in position 20 then it's probably not going to be driving too much search traffic to that page so it wouldn't be a good representation of what we're trying to find here and we'll actually jump into the second poll here excellent thank you just to confirm Sam can you hear me right now possibly not so yeah we can't hear each other but I'm gonna go ahead and launch the poll so here goes which topic do you think generates the most search traffic for bodybuilding.com a chest workouts B back exercises C
Shoulder workouts or D ab workouts so please take the time to vote what you...
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shoulder workouts or D ab workouts so please take the time to vote what you think generates the most traffic based upon the search volume numbers and I do apologize for the technical difficulties apparently Sam and I could not hear each other but we're gonna do our best to give you the best presentation and webinar ever so I'm go ahead and close the poll and share the results we have 44% voted for ab workouts 31% chest workouts back exercises in the shoulder workouts accordingly based upon the search volume and hide the results and then back to you okay I think we're good to go I missed those results but the the answer to that question was actually chest workouts okay okay so now business value aside the top key words may not
Produce the results that you'd expect and because I don't know the results is...
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produce the results that you'd expect and because I don't know the results is going to be kind of interesting but I think that everyone would have you know chosen the one about ABS right because apparently everyone wants a halves but you know if you look at these two columns you'll see that the amount of traffic that goes to these pages is significantly less than the suggested search volume right and despite owning multiple featured snippets and those little quotation icons that you see mean that it's the featured snippet okay but check this one out the top keyword is chest exercises for men with a search volume of 4,000 in the US but the page actually generates more than three and a half times the search traffic and nearly 15,000 search visitors per month in the US alone okay so key takeaway here is to analyze your competitors top pages and create content around the topics that generate traffic for your website and obviously have business value okay so we're past the fundamentals now and well most of the fundamentals and I have two more hacks
For you okay so sending these filters work really well on authority sites and...
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for you okay so sending these filters work really well on authority sites and by Authority site I'm referring to those websites that are ranking for literally every keyword on there just under the Sun so this usually happens in in larger industries like health so like think of your health lines and your WebMD s and for developers for example Stack Overflow would be a good one and if you can't see the two filters that well or if you're on a call I basically set to find only keywords that rank in positions one through three and keywords with a search volume I'll have thousand or more okay and you could adjust that search volume filter based on your niche and so but you what you can do is you can actually look at the it's volume column so in this case chest workouts has 48,000 monthly searches in the US and if you click on the little caret beside that URL then you're gonna see the total global organic traffic to the page so in this case one hundred and forty two thousand search visitors so that's the traffic potential of this
Page and then after you're done looking through one competitor you can go to the...
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page and then after you're done looking through one competitor you can go to the competing domains report okay and this page orders other domains around the web that you have common keyword rankings with so you know you can see that this is ordered by a common keyword percentage so I went to Muscle & Fitness calm and you can see that their highest traffic page is about workout routines that has 22,000 monthly searches and generates around 65,000 search visitors per month and these organic search traffic numbers are actually under estimations so you can see that there's no shortage of topics right but can you actually rank for these keywords okay so let me show you an actual process that you can follow which is going to compass everything that we've gone through you know from the research to measuring ranking difficulty to actually creating your content because that's important too so first I'm on the top pages report and I'm interested in writing about this topic exercises for men and we've already seen that it has a lot of traffic potential
So I would click on that box keyword and this takes me over to keywords Explorer...
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so I would click on that box keyword and this takes me over to keywords Explorer and you can see that the search volume looks pretty good the clicks are a near match which means that even if you don't rank in the top three positions it's possible that you can get search visitors to your page from this keyword since searchers are probably clicking on numerous results they may not be satisfied or they're looking for different options and then there's the monthly global monthly search volume of 8,000 and then at the bottom you're going to see the number that says traffic potential and this is an estimate of how much organic search traffic you can get if you rank number one for the parent topic okay and here I'm just going to glance at the keyword difficulty score and I'll come back to this in a second so you can see here that it says that we need around 22 websites to rank in the top in order to top in order to rank in the top 10 not the top one or the three but top 10 and again this is just a rough estimation
This is the keyword difficulty score so I'd assess the volatility of the search...
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this is the keyword difficulty score so I'd assess the volatility of the search results just to see if search intent is clear and personally I like to go for topics where I know how to rank pretty clearly and for me that's stable occasionally I will still go for slightly more volatile ones and then you need to assess search intent so you can see that all the top ranking pages are guides so I would follow suit in fact most of these are actually list posts so six best routes for a bigger chest 20 best workout chest workout moves 9 keys to more mass and these all have informational intent so it comes down to the question can you serve search intent if it's no move on if it's yes then you need to assess ranking difficulty and again keyword difficulty needs to be assessed manually so no matter what tool you use you know you can't rely on a number a one to three digit number to determine if it's hard to rank it's just not possible with so many different factors that go into how or why a page
Ranks so the way to assess this is to manually review the top 10 ranking pages...
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ranks so the way to assess this is to manually review the top 10 ranking pages so for 8 refs our keyword difficulty score is a weighted average of the number of linking domains to the current top 10 ranking pages plotted on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100 basically translating into links so in our SERP overview you can see that the number of referring domains that are pointing to each page and this is this one on chest exercises for men you're gonna see that there aren't that many links at least in my opinion in fact number 6 only has 2 links from unique domains so from here I want to get an idea of whether these pages are actually optimized for the keyword and of course you'd have to go and visit those pages too and you'll see that you know a few of them at the bottom of the page they aren't really intentionally targeting the keyword chest exercises for men so it might be possible to penetrate the top 10 without as many links as these
Pages that would at least be my hypothesis but what about this page okay...
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pages that would at least be my hypothesis but what about this page okay it has 15 referring domains it's targeting the keyword we're going after so what gives okay so maybe it was they haven't given it enough time to rank but normally what I would do in this case is I would go to the referring domains report so I've actually filtered for only followed links and I'm just looking at the domain rating column and this is just for an eyeball scan so our domain rating score is basically a measure of how strong the website's backlink profile is and you know just by looking at the screenshot you can quickly see that the websites that are linking to them seem to be somewhat of a lower quality so these links probably aren't moving the needle much for them and even if you look at the referring domains report for the top ranking page they don't really have any great links okay so it comes down to this can you build
Better or more links yes or no the links aren't everything okay so our goal is to...
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better or more links yes or no the links aren't everything okay so our goal is to rank high for as many relevant keywords that actually drive search traffic meaning we want to get the most mileage out of our topic and this boils down to content so in our study we found that the length of the content correlates with a number of keywords that a page also ranks for in the top 10 okay so this is not a call to make your content unnecessarily long but I do want to illustrate my example on the importance of content okay this is for one of my niche sites and it might not look like a crazy huge spike in traffic but basically I started publishing new content around longtail topics in November 2017 and I didn't do any link building or very little at least and it actually hasn't earned that many links naturally but the traffic has nearly tripled from just writing good content and it's actually all outsourced
Content because I don't really know much about this topic and if you look at the...
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content because I don't really know much about this topic and if you look at the keywords graphed below you'll see that the number of keywords that my website ranks for has increased with it and the reason why there aren't many top ranking keywords here is additional keywords here is because of links so again links are very important okay so the question now is now what do you write about we have a topic and everything what are we write about and the answer is whatever Google deems is ranked worthy for that topic okay and here's that example again of that how to lose weight fast article ranking in position one with a featured snippet for diet plan so Google's job is to serve search intent best so that becomes your job so you could go and look at the organic keyword rankings for each of the top ranking pages for this keyword to get an idea of what you actually want to write about so I actually said a position filter here in the in the organic keywords report to
Show only keywords that rank in positions one through eight which will...
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show only keywords that rank in positions one through eight which will help keep the keywords relevant and here you want to start looking at the language that these pages are using and I'm saying language because you don't need to include all of these keywords but you're trying to extract subtopics right we're trying to create something that is contextual that has words in there that make sense together okay and I'll show you an example later on that so you can see that I've highlighted some words here so our target audience for this post is clearly for men and then they're talking about workout routines workouts and bodybuilding so now your goal isn't to shoehorn as many keywords in your post as possible right it's to use it when it makes sense and even if you don't have any tools to use you can just go to Google and look at the top ranking pages and actually read through their content okay and then just jot down any keywords that you think might make good subtopics for yours so this is from bodybuilding.com and the article talks about mass it talks about chess definition it talks about upper
And lower chest emphasis right these are all very interesting words to me that...
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and lower chest emphasis right these are all very interesting words to me that pop down but there's an even better way to do this because you probably don't want to skim through potentially tens of thousands of keyword rankings and that's to do a content gap analysis at the page level okay now the more common usage for content gap analyses is to search for a couple competitors keyword rankings and then find out which keywords they rank for but you don't okay and you'll find some common keyword rankings like this but when you do it at the page level you're gonna get some crazy insights okay so this is our content gap tool and if you've never seen it before basically what this is saying is find keywords that all of these pages rank for and these are the top three ranking pages for my target keyword and then the check box says but at least one of these pages has to rank in the top 10 and I'm just leaving the last part blank but the
Following target doesn't rank for just because we're trying to find common...
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following target doesn't rank for just because we're trying to find common keywords within these pages and then here you can see common pages that these pages rank for which makes your job a little bit easier right so you can see that searchers want a routine they want to gain mass and they want a full chest workout it last example and this is a content gap analysis for pages that rank for best watch brands so you can see here that people are talking about mechanical watches for men or not for men the mechanical watches they're talking about Italian watches French watches I'm pretty sure there was something about Swiss just here too now rather than looking at these as a list of keywords use these to form an outline based on how Google sees searching 10 okay so now I know literally nothing about watches I don't wear watches I don't like watches so this might not make perfect sense but if
It does then this kind of proves my point of what the kind of insights that...
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it does then this kind of proves my point of what the kind of insights that you can gain so I'm creating this fake post here it's a list post called 17 of the best men's luxury watch brands and then I'm organizing the by country of origin then type of watch underneath those and you know because we're talking about luxury watches I would definitely mention you know some of the more popular brands like Rolex because like what would a luxury watch brands post be without mentioning these kinds of friends right and so basically I'm trying to build contextual relevance here okay so in summary here are nine steps to do keyword research for maximum traffic okay this isn't really a step but it's an important point that I want to drive home instead of looking at search volume for a keyword look to the total traffic potential of a topic step two is to look at your competitors traffic generating pages to find topics that have traffic and/or business potential you don't ignore that - step three is to identify
Search intent for your your your keyword target by analyzing the top ten results...
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search intent for your your your keyword target by analyzing the top ten results step four is evaluate whether you can fulfill search intents step 5 manually assess ranking difficulty so that will be the link profiles and on-page factors step 6 see which common keywords the top three pages rank for and you can do this through a Content gap analysis at the page level or manually try and extract topical ideas from the top ranking pages step 7 create an outline using these keyword rankings as a guide keyword guide and write a great piece of content that fulfills that search intent step 8 build links and this is a graph from one of our studies and there's clear correlation between organic search traffic in the average number of referring domain in correlation does not equal causation but yes build links and the numeron sand repeat and that's it so I'll pass it back to Lauren thank you for doing that
Deep dive into the page level content gap analysis that was actually very...
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deep dive into the page level content gap analysis that was actually very interesting we had a lot of comments within our question box in chat box around that as well used to seeing a Content gap analysis done on a domain level sometimes but not necessarily page level and also there were some great examples of just you know identifying long tail queries that help support overall search intent so thanks a lot and a good reminder that I should go to the gym this afternoon me too all right excellent so I'm so happy that we have audio back that was a little weird for a while we have some questions that have come in and then also just to let some of you know that jumped on a little bit late we will be having the the slide deck will be available the video of Sam's presentation will be available and we'll also be sending over a recap with some bullet points and things like that if you have any
Specific questions based upon the keyword research tips that Sam went over...
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specific questions based upon the keyword research tips that Sam went over today or if you have any generalized SEO questions please feel free to put them into the question box now and I will start going through accordingly first question you had mentioned that you didn't do much on the linking side for your content on your sample site but had addressed a lot of different longtail key terms and natural writing to fulfill what you had seen from a search intent perspective and Google did you when you publish that content did did you do much internal linking to those content pieces I did so I did and so internal linking is pretty important I have a very basic process that I that I go through so that sample site basically most of the content at least the content that I'm trying to push is based around one topic so I'll usually just go to Google and
Been something like psyche : domain calm and then I'll type in a keyword so let's...
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been something like psyche : domain calm and then I'll type in a keyword so let's say for example I wanted to rank for best watches or watch friends or something then I would just type in watches or watch brands or some Raj watch read like Rolex and from there I would find the pages that actually mention those keywords and then see if it makes sense to add an internal link there okay excellent yeah that makes a lot of sense I I think that you know there's more and more conversation going on now about internal linking but it's definitely something that can be overlooked especially when you're going through a checklist of optimize the page you get the best content do some link building don't forget your internal links also I've seen a lot of I've seen a lot of benefit from including some of your I guess hero content within navigation home page links things along those lines to get people to it as well and that's helped dramatically from a
Link from a traffic increase in ranking increased standpoint and by the way that...
38:51
link from a traffic increase in ranking increased standpoint and by the way that graph that increased graph you saw that you shared was you said it wasn't that large of an increase but it looked pretty good on our side so yeah yeah yeah good to see so next question is uh you know are a lot of these concepts you would shirt a lot of a lot of examples that were consumer oriented right body building watch buying best headphones acceptor etc are these concepts generally the same for business or service related sites so the b2b crowd yeah I think in general the consumer side just has more searches I'm speaking very generally but for example on the HR F's blog we have post I believe on what is it I think the keyword is submit to search engines or something like that or like how to submit your website to
Search engines and I think the monthly search volume don't quote me on these...
39:52
search engines and I think the monthly search volume don't quote me on these numbers was pretty low so let's just say 1500 but then this the traffic potential on that page was way up there and so it's we get a lot more traffic to that page even though the original parent topic or a main topic so for example someone might search for how did how do I submit my website to is to search engine but then they might also say to Google to Yahoo to big and at the same time it's all the same question and we've covered all those different things so our page will still show up for that great great um next question that came in from will Kelly was how do I get a bigger chest so will I quit I would recommend guarding the bottling coffers searching on Google building that foam is a good resource they have a good app too free promotion very cool very cool so uh next question is how do you pick keywords when you don't necessarily have competitors in your own field yet so maybe a new and emerging field any
Keyword tips when someone cannot necessarily go through and put together...
40:54
keyword tips when someone cannot necessarily go through and put together gap analysis is there an example I just can't think of one where there aren't competitors you did not get a specific example so I don't know we're able to track whether they can send us an example and maybe move on to the next one and come back to this yeah sure sure next question is the next question would be first of all for a lot of the examples that you utilize you're using HS right what is what reporting is accessible through HS without an account and are there any other keyword research tools that you would recommend in addition to HS for pulling toward research information hmm what is available in the
We don't really have a free account we have a 7-day trial we're actually...
41:59
we don't really have a free account we have a 7-day trial we're actually working on on a cool video that's coming out on how much you can actually do with 8 reps in seven days so that's going to be kind of fun but to answer your question the free account there are bait very very basically if you go to get a trial for $7.00 after your trial expires if you choose not to renew then you'll be put on to a free account and it's not the limitations are very strict so you can't really use much there other other keyword research tools honestly I only use 8 refs and this is before I even started working for them as I only used 8 refs really just because I could get everything done there if I were not to then I would use I would probably use Google Keyword planner I know it sounds weird with the range volume but there are ways to get around that range volume and without actually paying we have a video of it on our youtube channel but
There are ways and and on our blog post we have a blog post on Google Keyword...
43:00
there are ways and and on our blog post we have a blog post on Google Keyword planner if you just search for something like Google Keyword planner address you'll find something there and there are ways that you can actually get the search volume whether that's by the country or even down to the city which is kind of an interesting way to do that but as for the stuff that I was talking about like finding organic keyword rankings and stuff you kind of need a tool for that just because Google is nothing to give you that information got you excellent ah next question um pretty interesting so what are three common mistakes you think people make when conducting keyword research besides only targeting high volume key terms I think is just putting too much focus on search volume that's the first thing that came to my mind was all they do is they look at search volume and they're like oh sweet like this looks good but like for example that Donald Trump age might be a good one like let's say you had a website about Donald Trump you know it wouldn't necessarily be one of my top topics and I want to target the
Biggest one in my opinion is search intent so people try to often and I'm...
44:03
biggest one in my opinion is search intent so people try to often and I'm using quotes here is to be the hero and so they want to create something super unique something that's super different and you know hopefully that'll turn into something that generates more traffic more revenue but that's not usually the case like I'm not saying don't be creative in your writing or in the tools or products that you create but in terms of format like if it's a byword it's almost always like try it yourself if you go to google and you type in by product name it will almost always be product pages if you type in something reviews and then it will usually be like a review site or how to do this and then it'll almost always be guides and so following search intent is quite important and a third one hmm are we talking about keyword research in particular a keyword research or anything else that you think that there's a common mistake out there
With overall SEO planning and execution I'm thinking that links aren't important...
45:02
with overall SEO planning and execution I'm thinking that links aren't important links are very important and even though my example like kind of defies that which is not true it doesn't define I'm sure they're worse the links that were being naturally earned there it's important to build links so for that site that I showed you I have link building campaigns going on for those right now so we're actually scaling that big time right now so that by the end of next year it should yeah there should be a nice traffic bomb very cool very cool we're getting a lot of questions about links like how can I build links what's the best way to build links things like that any quick link building tips that you have the first one that comes to mind is unlinked mentions so if your website does get mentioned around the web unlinked mentions is super super easy to do I would recommend to do it in content explorer just because it makes it super easy you basically just type in your brand name and variations of it so for example
If we were doing a troughs I might do eight reps or HRF or a horse or you know...
46:04
if we were doing a troughs I might do eight reps or HRF or a horse or you know basically misspellings of it and then just find out which pages have or have not linked to me and the ones that haven't and I would reach out to them and ask for a link broken link building is actually my favorite link building tactic it just converts really really well for me so like the one that I was just telling you about like I think we sent 112 emails are 102 emails and over the last 24 hours seven of those have converted into links and so for me broken link building works really well the way that I would do it is sorry guys like I'm giving you a charge examples here because that's what I use but I would just type in a domain competitors domain in site Explorer then we have a best buy links report and within there you can actually filter for 404 pages so you can see all of the broken pages the number of links that are pointing at those pages and then you can just do your prospecting and contact
Those people guest blogging is is probably one of the easier ones but more...
47:06
those people guest blogging is is probably one of the easier ones but more time-consuming ones and so if you have a team of freelance writers for example it makes your job a lot easier and so that one can be scaled quite nicely to what I like about broken link building is I usually lead in that email letting the publisher know that they have a link to a 404 page and I can actually that that can mess up their overall SEO right because you don't want to have broken outbound links so is one is being helpful letting them know and then two is maybe introducing an alternative place or an additional place to link to how do you usually go about that on your own for our broken link building yeah I love broken link building so this is my favorite so I'm experimenting with numerous emails um but one thing that I've found so one email campaign I can't remember how many emails I said it wasn't a huge amount maybe like 60 to 80
And there was like a 20 something percent link acquisition rate and the...
48:07
and there was like a 20 something percent link acquisition rate and the only major change that I made there was I added a screenshot of where the link is on their Pope on their post so where the broken link is and in my head and this might just be my own reasoning but I feel like when they see a screenshot of their own blog in an email it springs familiarity right is that we're not just going there and also I don't actually tell them to replace their link or like I think you should replace your link with mine like I do pitch my resource but I also tell them like hey I think you should update it and either remove it or update it so I'm not being pushy and it tends to work really well and so and these are all scalable because you can actually use merge tags or merge fields just to switch out these different things you prep and prospect properly excellent very nice tip thank you thank you for that next question is you know we had we
Had some questions coming in about local search right so in addition to intent...
49:08
had some questions coming in about local search right so in addition to intent really being filtered down to two you know transactional pages informational pages comparisons right so in b2b and in the SAS space typically now if you do a search for like best type of this software or even something like single sign-on software maybe a to the top 10 will be G - crowd cap terror oriented post pages things like that not necessarily the software companies themselves and then and then from a filtering perspective the next one is local right so if I do a search in my area for a if I did a search for like best dating site chances are I would find eight out of ten being dating pages in the LA area or LA oriented news articles about dating sites things like that so do you have any techniques that help from a local search perspective with keyword planning and putting the
Other great content and the specific vertical they're asking about is a...
50:10
other great content and the specific vertical they're asking about is a dental dental okay so I will I will tell you very honestly I am NOT a local SEO expert I have done some but I afford the projects that I have worked on I have a partner who deals with that a lot better but for example the local queries where you type something like restaurant near me the first thing is that you don't need to include near me in your page content and that's a common question that I've had is people think that you need to include that keyword so you know a bit I bet you if you did a Google search for something like entitle colon restaurants near me you're gonna find some local pages like that or something anyway that that aside I'm reading an article about a I think it might have been a dentist that changed their business name to dentist near me yeah right and that's the thing is that people think that you have to do that so first of all you don't need to do that a lot of this comes down to
From from my understanding is your actual what is it the Google my business...
51:11
from from my understanding is your actual what is it the Google my business stuff the reviews citations we have we have tutorials on these it's just I can't think of these off the top of my head just because I don't live and breathe local SEO everyday so I would highly recommend checking those out ATF's comm slash blog slash local - SEO and I'm just yeah I'm pretty sure that's the right URL but that god is massive Josh wrote it definitely worth a read yeah and so in terms of rankings and stuff yeah like that guide covers absolutely everything I read it and I felt like I was in that local SEO expert by the end awesome awesome so just let everyone know we'll send out all these links on the HS piece and the HS truck we had a lot of questions Sam like what's the link for the free trial so we'll go ahead and shoot that out to all attendees and registrants after the webinar that way you can get signed up
Give HR FS a run for a 7 day period and see how you like it and then I'll move...
52:11
give HR FS a run for a 7 day period and see how you like it and then I'll move on to the next question if you don't mind and the next and final question which is a great one so right now is basically the annual roundup how to prepare for next year new year's resolutions if you will type a time of the year so uh what are the main SEO metrics and SEO strategies that you think will be game changers for preparing for 2019 and anything that you think definitely has changed from 2018 going in the 2019 from an SEO perspective from 2018 to 2019 it's really tough to predict these things and I usually don't like giving predictions because they're just guesses so don't take anything that I say as as something that's factual because these are just kind of where I'm gonna be focusing so maybe I'll spin the spin the question
That way is the kind of new things that I'm going to be focusing on number one...
53:15
that way is the kind of new things that I'm going to be focusing on number one I'm going to try to create interactive Khan if that makes sense I I do feel like there the whole idea of long-form content has blown up quite a bit over the last few years and I feel like it's getting tiring now for a lot of people because a lot of people are just that's why I mentioned in in my presentation that you don't need to you know make your content longer just for the sake of making it longer right it's just that often times length is a byproduct of a thorough article but creating kind of interactive content is going to be kind of an interesting thing so for example within a blog post I may include a tool that people can use within that blog post and continue to read so right that's something that I'm going to be doing is user engagement signals links I think for me at least I'm a little bit more careful as to who I pitch for a link I don't just pitch just anyone
Under the Sun who might be a good prospect basically so the thing is that...
54:16
under the Sun who might be a good prospect basically so the thing is that my site was in is in the is in the health niche and so I'm sure you guys are all familiar with what happened with medic I don't want to talk about that too much but my site had an increase in search traffic then I don't know why exactly but basically based on what I was doing and some of the sites that I was looking at that just got smashed one thing that stood out to me was link profiles and I'm not saying that this is what cosmetic or poor quality content but yeah so number one I want to keep my content above the rest and I feel like the whole idea of what I showed you with the content gap analysis that helps a lot in terms of understanding what searchers are searching for so usually I'll take those and I'll kind of make an outline for my writer I'll send it to her and then she'll write it um and as for links I'm just careful like I'm a
Little bit paranoid in that sense that I just don't like to just build that scale...
55:17
little bit paranoid in that sense that I just don't like to just build that scale like I do like to build that scale but it's I like to build that scale on quality sites and obviously that scale is much smaller when you're weeding out more than 50% of link prospects that you that someone else might actually pitch so that's kind of interesting to be honest with you I don't think there's gonna be that much that really changes from what I'm doing now aside from scaling up link building that's the main thing I'm gonna be doing and then my content I feel like is it already okay I don't want to speak for hrs just because I know that Josh deals with most the blog stuff Josh and Tim but they seem like they're doing some pretty good stuff I see what they're doing updating content is actually a big one that I should mention if you have old posts that are not ranking where you're targeting a meaningful keyword then it may be worth actually updating that post and so we have a post and a
Video coming out on a Content audit and so I did two content audits this year...
56:19
video coming out on a Content audit and so I did two content audits this year which I would highly recommend doing if you have a lot of pages and so long story short I think I deleted like 75% of my pages and got a lift in of around 57% in the first month in organic search traffic over the year was like 80 something percent and so content audits I think are worth doing stay tuned for that it's actually I think it's it's yeah Josh and I worked on that together and I think it'll be pretty good yeah you know at search engine journal we've been doing a lot of pruning of old content and we've also been doing a lot of updating I think all in all like when I think back to 2017 I think that was a year of getting SSL migrated right like that was a year of SSL right 20:18 has been kind of a year of evergreen content content consolidation right and turn a big one turning uh basically what what it equates to 50 to pick up of
Publishing as much blogs as possible and turning like 10 blogs in the one has...
57:19
publishing as much blogs as possible and turning like 10 blogs in the one has been great and I do agree with you like it one is currently following the SEO trends updating their ten posts and the one master post or putting together great content from a written perspective what's the next step to increased well time time on site interactivity etc etc etc so really looking at additional things that you can do with the content that you've updated over the course of this year whether that adding uh you know video embeds video walkthroughs maybe some tools that you would mentioned little things to keep folks on the page longer and to get them scrolling and they get them clicking around I think it's very helpful and one thing that I saw from medic-2 which is kind of funny because one one site that I work with it's in the health space and at the beginning of 2017 I or at the end of 2017 beginning of 2018 I recommended
That they stop buying links and they focus specifically on Haro...
58:20
that they stop buying links and they focus specifically on Haro and and doing some major guest hosting and they ended up living through matic and increasing so I think I think they're you know concentrating on getting the quality is an important thing especially in some sectors so that's that's a big thing for next year as well so again Sam thank you so much it's it's been a despite the little technical difficulty that we had half way through it's been a great presentation just to let everyone know we will be sending out again the video Sam slide deck and then also a link to the AHS trial and to the local guide and some other guys that you have talked about as well one final question what's the correct pronunciation is it a href s or hrs whatever you want to call it it's something everyone calls it different
Depending on which part of the world you're from and it doesn't even matter...
59:21
depending on which part of the world you're from and it doesn't even matter like some people will watch one of our videos or watch a webinar and they'll hear us say a trust and so we say eight reps but some people say AHS there's a lot of refs there's a lot of different ways that people say follow whatever you want it's the same jewel alright great well thanks again for your time just to let everyone know our next s EJ think-tank will be December 19 so next week we're gonna be doing that on voice optimization strategies of callin homes from chat meter so beef feel free to go to the site sign up you'll see ads for it and things like that and then we'll see you in a week Sam has been a pleasure anything you'd like to say before signing off that's it just give HFS a shot it's worth it in my opinion awesome and the end we'll be sending everybody out that that link thanks again and just to let you know there's a quick survey after we're done with the webinar we'd ask you
To fill out to make our webinars even better so thanks again for attending...
01:00:22
to fill out to make our webinars even better so thanks again for attending everyone thanks again Sam and talk to you soon okay

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