So at this point, i’ve completed the “first draft” of SellSideProject.com. The site is fully functional, allowing users to list their websites for sale and then direct message other users to ask questions. It incorporates a community aspect to the process of buying and selling side projects, which I like a lot. Typically, entrepreneurs have multiple side projects they are working on, so the current form of the website allows users to follow each other and see all of their live listings.
I think, at this point, I can begin to work on driving traffic to the website. I’ve done the initial post on a few websites to drive referral traffic and spread the word a bit, but this type of traffic isn’t really sustainable. For this reason, i’m looking for ways to increase the organic traffic from search engines to the website. If I can find keywords which the site can rank for easily, I can drive free organic traffic to the website and hopefully convert some visitors into customers.
In this post, I’m going to give you a breakdown of keyword research and how I go about finding organic keywords to target when I’m beginning to prioritize my SEO strategy.
Keyword research is the process of researching variations of search terms or phrases in order to find the variation that searchers are using. Based on the tool you are using for your keyword research, you will be able to see the search volume of the keyword, the difficulty, competitors ranking for the keyword, along with a variety of other metrics.
Before we get into the keyword research strategy, i’m going to quickly explain a few of the terms I will be referencing.
Search volume refers to the average number of people who are searching a particular keyword per month. This metric is critical in determining keywords of opportunity.
Keyword difficulty is a metric which estimates how hard it would be to rank within the top 10 positions of a particular search term based on the competition. Keyword difficulty is based on a scale of 1 to 100, 1 being easy and 100 being difficult. This metric is also extremely critical in determining keywords of opportunity.
So, what’s the strategy you might be asking? What’s the big secret? Well the truth is…
Keyword research is all about finding the hidden gems. Keyword research is finding the high volume keywords with low difficulty.
And that’s about it.
Let’s go through a quick example of how you can easily find high volume, low difficulty keywords using Ahrefs.com.
To be clear, you will need an Ahrefs account to do this, and those are pretty expensive. But, the same strategy will work with other keyword research tools, you will just need to find your way around the tool.
Search a keyword you would like to target, or search a group of keywords to see information for the entire group.
For this example, we will use the keyword, “Keyword Research” and we will try to find some low difficulty keywords.
So let’s search, Keyword Research.
You will notice keyword difficulty and search volume, as mentioned earlier. Notice how difficult it would be to rank for the term, “Keyword Research”? On a scale of 1 to 100, this term is a difficulty of 91.
Basically, this means we would have to have a site with a high domain rating (a metric representing the sites online reputation on a scale of 1 to 100) or, as shown in the picture above, a backlink profile of approximately 835 websites to rank in the top 10 for this keyword.
This is not the type of keyword a new website should target. It’s simply too difficult.
In the left sidebar menu, click Having same terms.
Notice the keyword difficulty of these terms?
Again, we do not have a chance of ranking for those terms…yet.
We need to find the lower difficulty keywords.
To do this, click on the KD filter and set a max of 20 to start. Click Apply.
These are our keywords of opportunity. Keywords like “Keyword Research Services” are the hidden gems we are looking for. Notice it has a keyword difficulty of 0 and 150 monthly searches? If we were an SEO agency, and we ranked #1 for that keyword with 1 blog post, that’d be an incredible amount of super relevant traffic. Ideally, these visitors would turn into leads and w’d book a number of keyword research projects.
That’s the idea.
And this is precisely the reason that keyword research is important. I wonder if you noticed what I just did. But i’ll leave that for you to comment.
But again, final thoughts, keyword research is important because you need to find the low difficulty keywords with high search volume so you:
1. Bring in relevant organic traffic.
2. Target keywords you have a chance to rank for.
3. Don’t waste your time on keywords that will make zero difference.
This is what I am currently working on for this site. I’m currently researching keywords relevant to this site that will help me target a few different groups. Buyers, Sellers, Entrepreneurs, and the like. Different groups in different parts of the cycle, but ultimately can all eventually use the site at one time or another.
So for now, i’ll be doing some keyword research and putting together a list of blog topics that will help me capture a larger organic audience.
Look out for my next post, updating you on my most recent progress!