We’ve all heard the term keyword thrown around when talking about SEO, however having a keyword around which your content written isn’t enough (even if you know that your audience will enjoy the topic).
In today’s post I’m sharing what type of keywords you should be targeting, how to find your SEO competitors, the most valuable keywords to target and end up with a list of keywords that 1) people search for, 2) aren’t too difficult to compete with and 3) rank on Google.
Since Mother’s day is around the corner, mom-bloggers – this one is for you! I am using a parenting blog as my example as I take you through the steps of finding the perfect keywords to target.
Before we kick off with the keyword planning, I first need to explain what type of keywords we are looking for.
SEO Keyword basics
Keywords are basically a word or phrase for which you would like to rank number one on Google. Anything between 1 and 10 words.
Before we dive in, you also need to understand what a bounce-rate is
Google defines it as a single-page session on your site. In basic terms, when someone clicks on your link and then leaves without clicking on anything else – which leads to a high bounce-rate.
Ideally you want your bounce-rate to be low because your content was relevant to the user who clicked on it, rather than having them click and almost immediately leave without taking any other actions on your page.
Broad keyword VS long tail keywords
A broad keyword is a single word or short phrase comprising of many potential searches. An example of this could be the ““Toddler Activities,” A search of this phrase on Google could target a variety of articles like
“Activities for toddlers to do at home”
“Fine motor skill activities for toddlers”
“Activities for toddlers to do indoors”
Long tail keywords are more specific keywords (from 4 – 8 words) which target more specific content.
Broad keywords are searched much more often than long tail keywords, which however means that the competition for broader keywords is much larger than long tail keywords.
E.g. “Toddler Activities” has about 977 000 000 results on Google
Compared to this long tail keyword
“Auditive activities for toddlers with household items” has 157 00 000 results on Google
Now the question is which one should you target?
You don’t want to go so specific with your keywords that no one ever searches them on Google, but you also don’t want to target a too broad keyword meaning that you’re competing with millions of other articles as well as the biggest websites out there.
I recommend targeting long tail keywords, the reason I recommend this is the following … let’s say a mom is looking for activities to do with her toddler at home during the quarantine.
At first, she may search “Activities for Toddlers” – the first Google search result might contain some Pinterest-worthy DIY activities, however upon opening the blog and scrolling a bit she realizes that most of the activities require her going to an arts & crafts shop which isn’t allowed. After a few seconds without clicking on anything else on the page she exits, leaving that visit with a high bounce rate.
Next she decides to rather search for “activities for toddlers with household items”, a narrower keyword which then leads to an article where she finds what she’s looking for. She might even follow a link to download templates she can use for the activities she’s planning on doing. This leads to a low bounce-rate, which is ideal for the blogger because low bounce-rates mean your content was relevant to the user and of course the user wins in this scenario too because she found what she was looking for.
Therefore, when targeting long tail keywords your content has a better chance of being exactly what the user was looking for, keeping them on your page and maybe even leading to a share or backlink!
Can my new website compete with established websites?
Getting onto the front page of Google with broad keywords is very difficult, since broad keywords have high search volumes along with high competition.
However, long tail keywords have medium to low search volume BUT ALSO medium to low competition, therefore it is easier to get onto the front page of Google, especially when your content is thoughtfully put together and more thorough than an established website.
When you’re just starting out, target long tail keywords to get the initial increased traffic to your website, leading to shares and outbound links on websites with a higher authority than your website. Eventually leading to a higher organic ranking.
Finding the right keywords to target for SEO
STEP 1: Find your SEO competitors
When you hear the word “competitors” you may be thinking of businesses you know of with a similar offering as yours who maybe have more followers than you on Social Media, however chances are, they AREN’T your SEO competitors.
Your SEO competitors are the websites who are targeting similar keywords than you are and who are currently appearing on the front page of Google’s search results.
Since competing with the top website’s is nearly impossible when you’re just starting out, you first want to target website’s that are similar to the top website within your niche with medium traffic.
When I search “parenting advice” on Google which is in essence what my “mom blog” example will be sharing, within the first three search results of this broad keyword I see www.parents.com twice.
Therefore I am taking www.parents.com as my first main competitor to use in my search for similar websites, but with medium traffic.
Free tools to find similar competing websites
Find your similar competing websites with Spyfu.com
Visit https://www.spyfu.com and search your main competitor’s website, click on “SEO Research” and then scroll down to that website’s top organic competitors.
In this example, spyfu’s list of similar websites contained:
Find similar competing websites with Similarweb.com
Next, visit https://www.similarweb.com and search for your main competitor in the search bar next to their logo. In the left sidebar, click on “competitors”. (Also take note of the two tabs under competitor, “similarity” and “rank.” You can use websites under both these tabs). I also searched for the websites I found on SpyFu and only kept the names of the ones whose ranking was inside this range.
Filter through your websites to find the ones with a global ranking you can compete with
Once you’ve searched for your main competitor on Similar Web hover over the name of each of these websites (like in the screenshot below)
write down the name of each of the website whose global ranking is between 20 000 and 50 000, because websites with a ranking higher than this will be too difficult to compete with. The websites I am left with are:
The next step is to type each of these websites into Similar Web as well and see which of their competitors have a global ranking between 20k – 50k. After doing this, I added the following websites to my list:
Ideally you want to be left with about 8 to 10 competitors.
STEP 2: Use free tools to find the organic keywords your competitors are ranking for
Finding keywords using UberSuggest
Now that you know who your competitors are, you need to find out what organic keywords these competitors are ranking for. There is an amazing free tool Uber Suggest, which you can use for just this …
Visit https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ and search each of your competitor websites. Scroll down to the button “view all organic keywords this website ranks for” and then scroll to the bottom of the list and click “export.”
Open the .csv file in a program like Numbers or Excel (in Excel click on the first column > Click on “Data” in your menu, then “text to columns” and go through the prompts)
After you have opened your file, delete all the rows with a search volume less than a 1000 (because of course you don’t want to use keywords that no one is searching for).
Secondly you can delete keywords with a position greater than 20. This means their ranking on Google when searched on Google is greater than 20, which is much lower than where you want to appear on Google’s Search Results.
Next delete all the keywords with a difficulty greater than 40 – if the difficulty is low it means that the competition for this keyword is low. Leading to a better chance to rank for those keywords if you write content that provides relevant content.
Lastly rank the remaining keywords according to est. visits and copy and paste the top 5 to a new document. This search for the website www.todaysparents.com left me with these 5 keywords
games for babies
new born baby
signs of labour
You can continue to do this for all the websites you have added to your competitor list
Finding keywords using Similar Web
You can also continue your search by searching each website on similar web, clicking on the search icon in the left sidebar and adding the top 5 organic keywords to your list (excluding brand keywords or keywords that are similar to ones you already have)
After doing this for todaysparent.com I added the following keywords to my list (I removed two, because they were too similar to the ones I already have e.g. one was “flower names”):
typing games for kids
flower names for girls
typing practice for kids
Finding keywords using SpyFu
On spyfu.com you can also search each website and then click on “SEO Keywords” in the green menu and see if those 5 keywords are ones that aren’t already on your list. After doing that I added these two keywords to my list:
By the end of this exercise the keywords I collected for www.todaysparent.com looked like this
You can continue to do this for each website on your competitor list and end up with about 100 keywords. Now you’re probably thinking … “am I supposed to write content on each of these subjects???”
The answer is no, in my post next week I will share tools you can use to figure out how to validate these keywords and only write content on the keywords that are relevant and trending.
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Have questions? Send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll share an answer as soon as I can.