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Wondering how to rank higher on Google?

Look no further.

In this video series, I show you exactly how I would go about ranking for a keyword phrase (that’s anonymously submitted).

If you want me to develop a strategy for your keyword please submit it here.

Let’s jump in:

Transcription for Episode #1 Click to Read

Hey, in this new video series I’m going to show you how to rank in Google step by step. Please keep watching to learn more about this new series.

The way this series is going to work is really simple. You can submit a keyword to me anonymously, and I already have a large list of keywords that people have submitted for me. Then what I’m going to do is I’m going to select one of those keywords, and then I’m going to show you step by step how to actually rank for that keyword and basically the thought process that I would have if that was a keyword that I was targeting. I’m not going to personally pursue ranking that keyword, but I’m going to give you exactly what you need to be able to rank for that keyword.
I’m going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you, and then it’s ultimately just going to be up to you to go out there and actually take the information and put it into action, and most importantly, execute on that information. With that said, let’s jump into the video.

Okay, guys. I am on my computer and the target keyword that I’m going to show you how to rank is “trace mineral”s, and this is a keyword phrase that was submitted anonymously by a member of Gotch SEO Academy.

The first thing that I would want to do if this was my target keyword is I would want to qualify this keyword, make sure that it’s actually a good keyword to go after. How do you actually qualify keyword? Well, the first thing that I would personally do is go to the Keyword Explorer on Ahrefs and then put that in there.

Ahrefs is going to give you a 30,000 foot view of what’s going on with this particular keyword. You’ll be able to qualify this keyword with just this data alone, but I’m going to show you a couple extra steps that you can take to qualify these keywords even further to make sure that your targeting keywords are actually worth going after.

Looking at this data alone, Ahrefs is going to give you this keyword difficulty and this is useful. You could certainly make decisions based on the keyword difficulty they show here, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it that service level. I would probably go much deeper. In fact, I would go much deeper.

But the other things I want to look at are does it actually have search volume? Ahrefs is saying it has around 13,000 searchers per month. That’s a pretty good amount of searchers so that would be something that would be worthwhile.

The second big qualifier that I would look at is are there paid results for this keyword phrase? According to Ahrefs, there are paid results. About 21% of the results were paid. That is qualification that this is a keyword phrase that people are willing to invest money into or companies are willing to invest money into. Therefore, that means there is a potential to make a profit with it and there’s a good potential for it to be a great term to monetize around, so that is a really great qualifier.

The next thing I would want to do is look at the keyword ideas that Ahrefs gives me, copy all of these keywords and actually what I’m going to do is I’m going to copy all of the keywords and all of the work that I’m doing now, I’m actually going to have all of this below the video as a free download. I’m literally going to be doing the work for whosever keyword this is, so you can take the information and jump on it as fast as possible and execute as fast as possible on it. I’m just giving you the framework. I’m giving you the roadmap to rank for this keyword. But, like I said, I would copy these.

Then the next thing you’d want to do is go down to the bottom. What I’m looking at right here is to determine if this particular keyword phrase is link worthy. I’m looking at these results here and all I have to do is go to domains and this is the total linking domains going to these pages. Obviously, it’s very lopsided. This exact match domain here is getting the majority of the links, but that proves that people are willing to link to this particular topic and that’s important for when you’re thinking about targeting a keyword. You want to know that people are actually willing to link to the topic because there are some topics that are not going to be as link worthy. The good news that this one definitely is and so that’s the beginning portion of qualifying the keyword.

Now, I want to show you a couple of other things that I like to do to qualify the keyword further. The next thing I like to do is go to BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo serves two purposes. The first purpose is to qualify the keyword based on social engagement and social activity around the topic. All you have to do is just run a search for the target keyword phrase, and once you’re in here, all that you’re trying to look for is to see if this particular topic, which is trace minerals, has social activity around it and it clearly does. It looks like it is a very shareable topic and so that is a really good sign. Of course this is not always going to be the case. But in this case, this is definitely a qualified topic from a social activity standpoint.

The second piece of BuzzSumo that you want to take advantage of is to do this view sharers option. I would just click on this and then this one. I’d go through all of these and I’d get view sharers. Then what I would do is I would export these sharers. Like I said, below this video I’m going to have all of these in a Google Sheet that you can just take and you can reach out to these people later on after you create your actually keyword targeted page. BuzzSumo is really great for qualifying keywords and the social engagement around those keywords, and most importantly, getting access to the people that have shared this particular topic because if you can find these people that means you can reach out to them and let them know that, hey, I just produced something that’s very similar to something you’ve already shared and it’s better. More on that later.

The final qualification technique that I like to use as well is to go to Google Trends. You just enter your keyword into Google Trends and all I’m trying to see is if this topic has been trending upward over the past 12 months or even a couple of years. Over the past 12 months, it’s been somewhat flat but it has been rising a little bit. Really what matters we want to look more at maybe the past five years just to make sure there hasn’t been any steep declines in interest in this particular topic. It doesn’t mean if there is a decline that you should completely avoid it, but it is a good sign if it’s going up because therefore you know at least in a year or maybe five years from now this topic will still be driving you organic search traffic. That’s a nice qualification metric as well.

Now, I want to show you the final qualification technique that I’d like to use which is to look for user engagement around the topic. In this case, the first thing I would do is look at forums so you can just do something like forum. Then you can do plus trace minerals or you can do vice versa, trace minerals plus forum.

What we’re going to do is we’re going to go into these forums and see if there’s user engagement around these particular topics. Looking at this first page here, it looks like there’s a little bit of engagement around this topic. We at least have a forum thread about this topic so there are people that are interested in it and there are people that at least have some knowledge of it as well. That’s a good sign. The same is true for this page as well. It looks like there are responses and of course they’re a little old but at least you see there is engagement around this particular topic.

Then on this page, it also looks like we have some engagement around the topic as well so these are all really good signs. People are talking about this topic. People have a lot of knowledge about this topic and people are asking questions about this topic so that is a good sign because it’s showing that you’re going to be targeting a keyword that people are actually interested in. That’s pretty important. Of course you can just qualify keyword based on search volume because that is a strong qualifier, but I recommend going through each of these different qualifiers to make sure that it really is a great idea and, most importantly, if you have a huge list of keywords, this is a great way to prioritize those keywords based on the once that have the greatest amount of qualifiers visible.

I do want to make one important point and that’s if a particular keyword doesn’t have a good qualifier, for example, let’s say it doesn’t have a lot of social engagement around it, that doesn’t mean you should just avoid the keyword. This is more of just the process of prioritizing your keywords based on these different qualifiers. But there are going to be times where certain keywords are missing qualifiers and some have all of them, so it’s not always going to be a good idea just to avoid it if it’s missing one or two, maybe even three qualifiers, but as long as it has at least one good qualifier, you’re probably be doing pretty well.

Another way for you to see if there’s any engagement around this topic is actually just go to YouTube which is the second biggest search engine and to look to see if there is interest around this particular topic. The best thing to do is just look at the videos and look at how many views each of these videos has around this particular topic.

Then one last thing you can do is actually use Amazon, especially if our topic like this that is basically a supplement. You should go to Amazon and see if there are products around this particular keyword phrase.

As you can see, there are definitely products just for this specific topic. That’s a good sign because it’s showing that companies are wiling to invest into this topic, so there’s a lot of money in this topic so that’s a good, good sign because one of the biggest qualifiers is actual cold hard cash. This is a really good sign.

We can basically conclude that this keyword is qualified, and there are so many factors showing that this keyword is qualified so it is way over qualified as a keyword to go after.
Now, what is the next part of this process? Well, the next thing I would do after I’ve solidified the fact that this is a good idea to go after, I want to do a deep competitor analysis for this keyword.

There are two parts to a effective competitor analysis and the first is going to be examining external signals. Those are going to be backlinks and social signals and then the other part of the analysis is to actually analyze the pages that are ranking.

I’m back here on Ahrefs and I want to start looking at the quality of links that these particular websites have or at least these pages have. The one thing I love to do is I like to export these results. Then what I’d like to do is I like to copy this information here. Then we’ll just go ahead and paste this here. Then what I want to do is I want to actually clean up a lot of this stuff because it’s not really important from a competitor analysis standpoint. Things such as last update, return rate, all this stuff is going to be pretty useless for keyword analysis and then we’ll also get rid of this as well.

Then what I’d like to do is I’d like to get an average of each of these categories. Once you have all your averages laid out, this is a really good way to get a 30,000 foot view of the competition for this keyword vs. your website.

I’m just going to show you a hypothetical situation. What you want to do is you want to just look to see what you’re up against. In this case, I can tell that one person or one competitor is just dominating the backlink quantity. The problem with looking at this from an average standpoint is that clearly the first result is overpowering this number and so if we disregarded this guy, it would probably look a lot different as far as the average backlink total. We’re looking at about 231 backlinks and that’s much different than what it was previously, but still this can definitely distort it.

The other big column, actually I would say probably the most important column here is the linking root domains because this number right here, 70, is the high end of probably how many linking root domains you would have to get to rank for this keyword or to at least probably compete with this number one person. You can obviously get much less depending on how strong your website is relative to the competitor.

The other big piece is domain rating, and when you look at this, it’s pretty interesting because the top ranking domain only has a domain rating of 49, but they’re able to make up for their lack of domain rating because they have the exact match domain. There is a bouncing effect that goes on here but these other guys are much stronger except for this one here. This is a really good sign.

Then also this guy here, these are two really good signs that you could compete for this particular keyword because you have two very weak domains that are ranking mixed in with domains that are much stronger like this which is Amazon of course, 95. You can usually beat Amazon because it’s just one product so you can beat them from a content perspective. But I would be concerned if this domain rating was much higher. If it was around like 70 or 80, that would be a lot more concerning. But in this case, seeing that the number one ranking result is a 49 domain rating, which is still pretty strong, it’s not super strong, it’s not weak, but these are really, really exciting. I would get excited if I saw this particular circumstance because these guys could definitely get pushed off. But the big takeaway here is to always compare your website against the competitors and that’s really what matters.

If you have a domain rating of let’s say 50, you know you can compete for this keyword because there are websites ranking that have domain ratings far lower than yours. But if you have a lower domain rank than every single ranking result, then you know you’re going to have to work way harder to rank for this keyword in most cases. By working harder that’s going to mean maybe getting more backlinks or creating a far superior page than everything that’s ranking.

The next thing I would want to do is I want to look at the actual quality of the backlinks that these competitors have. In this case, these guys don’t have a ton of backlinks going to their pages so I would just look at this first guy to see what his backlinks actually look like.

I’m back here on Ahrefs and I’m just going to put the target URL in here so this is the number one ranker for that keyword phrase. Once the analysis is finished, go to backlinks. Basically what I want to do here is I want to see does this number one ranking result, the guy who’s dominating for this keyword phrase, does he have good, high quality backlinks? Right away, the first thing I notice is a lot of his top links are nofollowed.

What I would do is I would go ahead and make sure that we’re only looking at dofollow links. Now, we’re looking at just the dofollow links that this particular person has. Right away the first link that I notice that they have is a dot gov link. Yes, they legitimately have a dofollow link on a dot gov website. That is a huge boost for them but that’s not to say that you can’t get a link on this page as well because clearly this page is wiling to link out to external websites. You could definitely craft a way to get your link on here with a little bit of outreach.
You don’t need to go super deep analyzing every single link. It’s more of just to see are the majority of their links high quality? If the answer is yes, you know that you’re going to have to get very high quality links as well.

The next thing that I would do is I would go through each of these competitors and I would export all of the links that are linking to them and this is going to be the beginning of building your link prospecting database. I will have the link prospects here below this video so you can get access to those immediately for whoever this keyword this actually is, but that is a really important part because you want to be prepared already out of the gate as opposed to having to scramble after you publish. You already know that as soon as you publish, you have link prospects ready, you have potential sharers ready and you’re just ready to promote this page like crazy so you can push it up as fast as possible.

Now, it is time for my favorite part of this process which is to analyze the actual pages that are ranking, and this is the most exciting part for me because I really love creating content and trying to rank it in Google. It’s like a weird obsession of mine. Let me show you the way that I would go about analyzing a particular set of results and showing you how to find weaknesses in your competitors that you can jump on so that you can beat them very, very fast.

I am here on the website that is ranking number one for trace minerals. Right away one of the biggest reasons why they are ranking is because they have an exact match domain. It’s probably likely this domain has been around for a while, but that’s not the most important part. We want to just look at the possible reasons why this page is ranking. When we look at it, it looks like it is just a company selling trace minerals. This homepage is just dedicated to the products that they sell. It’s not a comprehensive piece of content by any imagination and it’s literally just a homepage of an exact match domain.

In this case, I’d be pretty excited to see this because I know for a fact that I’d be able to beat this particular page with a more comprehensive piece of content because just a homepage like this is not super exciting in any way. But the one thing we really want to take note of is what types of results Google is serving for this keyword because that’s going to give us an idea of how to satisfy search intent for this keyword. In this case we know we have a homepage ranking without much content. You don’t need to get super crazy about this but you just need to take notes of the intent that’s going on here.

I have moved on to competitor number two. A few things I noticed right away. They have a low word count, but first let’s see what the search intent is. It’s just an article. Right away one thing I noticed is that I can definitely create way more words and content on this page than they have. It looks like they have about 1,900 words give or take. We know right away that we can beat this person just on word count alone and so continue looking at this a little bit further, they are doing some things. Well, they have good outbound links. They’re linking to authoritative resources so that’s great, but it looks like they’re using stock photos. What you can do is search this image in Google and see if this is a stock photo in any way. It looks like this photo has been used across multiple websites and, yes, it is a stock photo 100%. That is one thing that you can take advantage of is you can create unique photos for your brand as opposed to using the stock photos so I put that in here.

As you can see what I’m doing right now is I’m basically trying to poke holes in their strategy and trying to find small things that they’re doing incorrectly that I can take advantage of with my piece of content.

The other big thing is I wouldn’t have a huge picture like this to push the content way down. That’s one thing that I wouldn’t personally do. From a readability standpoint, we can definitely beat them on that as well. Also the fact that this entire first block is all bolded are all things that we wouldn’t be doing.

The other big thing that I’ve noticed is this page does not have video. It does not have audio and it doesn’t even have any infographics which are all golden opportunities in this situation.
The third competitor is Amazon. I don’t normally do deep analysis of Amazon because clearly they’re ranking because of how authoritative they are. But the one thing I recommend you do when there is an Amazon result is go to the reviews and also go to the comment, questions and answers because you can find all kinds of topics that you can cover in your content asset right here.
Just looking at this product, there are 507 reviews so there’s all kinds of information about this particular trace mineral product. You can find all kinds of stuff in here that you can use to deepen your content even further. What I would do is I would just literally take some time and dig through this and look for certain points that I can maybe address in my piece of content.
I’m onto the fourth competitor. I’m just going to analyze this competitor and one more because I’m already seeing the trend around this particular keyword phrase. Just looking at this alone right away, you can tell this is probably a stock photo. Looking at about a thousand words on this page and looking through this content, it looks super dry, super boring and does not look fun or entertaining at all so you can take advantage of this very, very easily. It doesn’t look like they put very much time or effort into this at all, so you can definitely beat this particular person. That’s a good sign right away is you see a result that’s clearly not well developed and it’s ranking well so that’s a really, really good sign.

I’m on the fifth and final competitor for this target keyword. Just like the other ones, it looks like they’re using a stock photo once again, and we’ll go ahead and check the word count. It looks like we’ve got about 1,900 words for this particular competitor, and I do not believe there is any video, audio, infographics or unique media at all.

Looking through this, once again it looks relatively interesting but it’s not going to be anything too exciting. Just a huge block of text and most internet users would not get through this because of the way that their content is designed and the readability around it.

You should get super excited when you look at these results because there is a ton of opportunity to dominate for this keyword. This competitor analysis as you can tell is just to see what we’re up against and now you have to actually figure out how you’re going to compete for this keyword. What are you going to create? What are you going to do to actually beat these people?
Just looking at this information alone, we can figure out how to tackle the search intent for this keyword phrase. We know three out of the top five results are articles, so we can create an article and that’s always going to be my preferred way to satisfy search intent because obviously you can go super in depth with an article or a guide and generally they’re much easier to rank than homepage or product page or a category page, for example.

The first step is we’re going to write an article and then we’re going to look at the total word count. Our target word count would probably be in the 3,000 to..

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