How to Select Keywords (That Are Easy to Rank For)
February 1, 2022 |
The In Search SEO Podcast
The In Search SEO Podcast
How do you pick the right keywords that are easy to rank for in Google?
Although one of the tried and tested ways to find keyword opportunities is to focus on keywords that your content is ranking for on page two, in this episode, Lukasz Zelezny has a counterintuitive keyword strategy.
Look for keywords that your content is ranking for on position 50 or more.
In this episode, discover why it works and how to implement it.
How Do You Find Keywords That You Can Easily Rank For?
David: How do you identify new keyword opportunities that are easy to rank for? That’s what I’m going to be talking about with Lukasz Zelezny. From SEO.London. Lukasz, when you’re just focusing on quick wins, is it not best actually to start with keywords that are ranking on page two?
Lukasz: That’s a fair point. Hello, everyone. And thank you for having me. Fair point. Historically, absolutely, yes. You’d say, “Yeah, show me the keywords that are almost ranking first, are almost on the top, almost there. And I will try to make them on the top. And then I can sit back and relax and say, “That’s all I can do.” Because now I’m first and I’m ranking the highest possible. And there is nothing else that I can do. So job done.” Absolutely. Yes. That is how it was historically. And now, should I talk about the different concepts? Would you want me to move into the different concepts that I started implementing?
Anti Snapshot SEO – Keyword Opportunities From Position 50
D: Yeah, sure. Essentially, what you’re saying is that that’s not necessarily the right way to do it now. And there can be a more effective way to target newer keyword opportunities.
L: It’s a very well-known way, very efficient. But there are other ways and I wanted to introduce the other way which I call Anti Snapshot. As you mentioned, the difference between Snapshot and Anti Snapshot is that instead of going with keywords that are ranking between positions 3 and 10, analyzing what is out there, and how we can optimize, we’re going much much deeper. We’re going into position 50 plus, or 60 plus, 70 plus. The first hypothesis is that there are relevant keywords. But because we have no relevant content, Google cannot rank us higher than positions 50, 60, or 70.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say there is a jewelry shop that is selling gold jewels. And they have eCommerce and they have categories. And they have the categories gold, wedding bands, and rings. And people are very often searching for things like “men’s gold wedding rings.” But sometimes people are searching for something specific like “yellow gold wedding bands,” “white gold wedding bands,” or “rose gold wedding bands.” And you can see that, first of all, competitors know about that. And they have that super-specific category and they’re ranking above us. And we don’t have that, we are ranking with some other page, which is loosely related and is on position 50 plus or 60 plus.
Another example from the SEO world. People searching for an SEO are historically typing “SEO consultant,” “SEO consultant for hire,” or “SEO consultant for hire in London.” Now, if you would take a keyword set from a year, and you would say show me keywords in Search Console, show me keywords which don’t contain the word ‘SEO’ which rank in position 50 plus in the last 12 months, you may see that sometimes people are searching for a redirection consultant or a Coronavirus consultant.
I had a situation where people were typing “core web vital consultant.” And my most related article, “What are Core Web Vitals?”, is in position 42. Is “What are Core Web Vitals” relevant to Core Web Vital consultants? Not really. They are talking about something similar but this is not exactly the same intent. Writing a dedicated article on why you should have a Core Web Vital consultant or how a Core Web Vitals consultant can help you and your business is much more relevant. And Google can easily switch that keyword association between the URL and rank it much higher. So this, in a nutshell, is how I would recommend approaching it.
D: What happens if you only have one item? You started off with the example of white gold wedding rings. If you’re a jewelry shop and you only sell white gold wedding rings, are you better off actually creating a niche category for that product, where it sits in to maybe add relevance for Google to show exactly the context of the products? Or if you only have one of those items, then are you better off optimizing the individual product page for generic phrases like that?
L: I think this is definitely 100% not something to play with visibility. If you have one product or one type of wedding ring, then you’re not going to start creating various potential categories and duplicators, and so on, and so on. But if you, for example, are selling women’s dresses, and you know that ‘red coat for winter’ is something that people often are searching for every year, you will try to cherry-pick all these red coats you have. And you will create a category, which will be about red coats for winter. This does not necessarily mean that you should automatically create blue, red, blue, white, black, and brown coats because everything depends on the demand.
Red coats are something very popular (I made this up right now) and if you type ‘red coats for winter,’ or ‘women red coats for winter,’ you will see that there will be lots of players in the UK market like ASOS, New Look, Boohoo, Pretty Little Things, etc. Ranking with the specific category like polka dot pattern, and so on and so on. Everything depends on demand.
It’s worth mentioning that on position 50, very often, there are some random keywords that have nothing to do with ranking or keywords which will never make your ranking in top. I remember many years ago, I started socialmedia.pl. And somehow I started ranking and pushing 50 plus on keyword “FB,” which is like Facebook or “YT,” which is like YouTube. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a signal at all that I should now create a landing page describing what is YT and what is FB. A healthy human approach and understanding are needed in this methodology. But behind that, there are lots of good things.
How Far in Advance Should You Prepare for Seasonal Keywords?
D: Let’s stick with this example of red coats for winter. Now, obviously, that’s a keyword phrase that is relevant for winter or may be relevant for purchasing in the autumn time. So if our website has identified that as an opportunity, but as you’ve alluded to, they may just be ranking in number 50 or number 60. So quite far down. How far in advance do they need to start preparing for this so they actually have an opportunity to be at the top of the SERP for that kind of keyword phrase? And what do you do in terms of approach to give yourself that opportunity to rank that far in advance? How far in advance do you need to create those categories? And what kind of work do you need to do in terms of internal linking and other SEO efforts to give yourself that chance?
L: Winter is every year so we can see that this is very much an evergreen category. I’m refraining from using anything like years in the URL, and so on and so on. Even for Black Friday, I’m using Black Friday and the year is only in the title tag. So every year I can switch it. But going back to the coats, very often it would be that someone is typing ‘woman red coats for winter’ and we are ranking position 85 with the category ‘woman coats.’ Nothing about red, nothing about winter. So cherry-picking the coats which are red and for winter, building an additional category which will be ‘women red cotes for winter,’ and then potentially adding this category into the top or bottom navigation, internal links from other coat categories, and then observe how this category ‘red coats for winter’ is slowly climbing in the URLs.
Maybe in the SERPs, it won’t hit the top this season, but it will be good for the next season. It’s like a good old wine, it is maturing. Obviously, the problem starts if the big fishes, as I mentioned before, start following the same pattern. So we have a double problem because they have a lot of authority, and so on, and so on. And it will be more difficult to beat them on these keywords. But everything depends on how deep you will dive and start picking ideas for landing pages, for categories, and so on and so on. So it’s never too late, never too early, because it’s going into circles.
D: So this is a long-term approach and depending on the authority of your website, it could take a short time, it could take a long time, depending on the competition out there as well.
Should You Change Your Seasonable Category Pages?
D: You said something interesting to begin with. You said, “Never mind the word ‘winter’.” Does that mean that it would be a better strategy to actually create a category called ‘red coats seasonal clothes?’ Maybe you’d create a URL along that structure. However, when it came to winter clothes when it came to autumn time, you use that URL, and you’d optimize that particular page for phraseology in relation to winter. And then you keep the same category, you keep the same page, the same URL for summertime, but you just change the optimization of that page for summertime clothes.
L: I wouldn’t do it like that, because it will be very much like dangling lots of… For one, you can do this like that and then you’re replicating this with other categories. And, you know, SEO always needs a bit of time. 365 days. It’s a relatively short period for SEO. Overall, I’m trying to focus on having as little as possible around that optimization. I wouldn’t try to optimize the same pages for different seasons. I would rather focus maybe on having nice products every time which fall into the categories that are out there.
Again, there is always this healthy approach. I’m always giving this example of how far the taxonomy should be indexable because we said about ‘red coats for winter for women.’ Someone who is listening to us will think, “Okay, red, blue, black, white, brown, five, winter, summer, autumn, spring, four, multiply this for women, for men, two.” And at the end of the day, you will get 100 categories. And that is potentially a very risky approach because you will start very much inflating the website to the level where it’s too much.
First of all, you need to see your inventory, if you have this product, and if that makes sense to create these categories. Second of all, what is the search demand? That’s why I said in the beginning that it’s not automatic that because we can see that people are searching for the red one, we automatically make the assumption that we need to create every other color. And I’m always educating my customers by saying, “Listen, if you’re selling shoes, it can say ‘sport official shoes’. Maybe three different materials. Multiplying this is already six, and so on, and so on.” But you’re not going into size. You’re not going to start building categories with the size of the shoe. The size of the shoes is always a filter that is never in the Google index or shouldn’t be in the Google index. Because when you have the whole structure of categories, let’s say you ended up with 50. And then on top of that, you give the size of the shoes, which can be an additional 15. Fifty multiplied by fifteen is the end of the world.
D: Understood. So create micro categories based upon seasonality and search volume, and what’s important to you as a business. Keep those micro categories going for the long term. And you needn’t obviously link to them from your main menu system when they’re not in season, but you can bring them up. And the fact that they exist and Google knows about them, you’ll be more likely to surface them higher up in a SERP when it’s right for you.
The Pareto Pickle
Let’s finish off with the Pareto Pickle. So Pareto says that you can get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. What’s one SEO activity that you would recommend that provides incredible results for moderate levels of effort?
L: I love this kind of thing, especially when I’m working alone by myself. Then I need to really focus on this kind of thing. And I would like to suggest translation, translation, translation. Language is often a barrier to reaching customers who are out there. Imagine that in Japan, if two people are saying if you don’t speak Japanese, or you don’t present information in Japanese, it doesn’t exist on the market. We all think that English is so universal, but there are still areas in the world where you really need to know the language, or, which is funny enough, there are plenty of people who speak fluent English, but they still start searching in their national language, despite from the fact they have no problem to communicate.
Now, there is DeepL, there is Google API, and there is Microsoft API, and these translators are becoming better and better, especially DeepL. The quality of the translation is almost there. Now, if you can say that you will do as much as you can, as best as you can, but it will still be automatic SEO translation, so sometimes there can be some nuances, and you can sacrifice this, then obviously, you don’t need to say, “Okay, now we will be implementing a language version, we need to hire people to proofread.” There’s this and that, this and that. And then boom, at the end of the day, you’re getting a six digits bill. So DeepL can integrate with Magento, it can integrate with WordPress, and you can translate your content into these languages. There are about 20 languages. And I could see that some people are translating to Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Estonian, even Greek. We use our own characters like Bulgarian or Russian, and you can approve these people.
Some might say this is an automatic translation. Yes, it is. There are some mistakes. But it’s not that horrible. And you can always say on your website that this content was translated automatically. I remember when I could see articles from the 19th century, and they had this little caveat, that this text was automatically scanned. So no one was typing this and proofreading this. They took the whole archive of the paper articles, and they scanned them, OCRed this, and posted this on their website. And that’s why you can type Titanic disaster and you can see in Google SERP that this article was posted in 1912 or something.
By approaching a much wider number of potential customers through the fact that you are using a translator, you can reach them and have a conversation with them.
D: It sounds like we should try and get you on another future episode and talk specifically about that because you’ve got a lot to say about that as well. I’m sure.
L: Thank you for having me anyway. And I hope that this will help some of our listeners to scale up.
D: I’m sure they will. I’ve been your host, David Payne, you can find Lukasz Zelezny over at SEO.London. Lukasz, thanks again for being part of The In Search SEO podcast.
L: My pleasure.
D: Thanks for listening. Check out all the previous episodes and sign up for a free trial of the Rank Ranger platform over at rankranger.com.