The original question arose on The Keyword Academy Forum, where somebody asked ‘How do I make more money with my Postrunner site?’ For the ones of you that are not members, which you should, Postrunner is a guest blog post distribution hub that takes out the emotional tingle-tangle of guest blogging. It allows people to send guest posts to blog owners and these blog owners then can accept or reject the post. If rejected, the post goes back to the creator and he or she can apply to another post for publishing. Content for back links is the trade. Now people that receive such posts often end up with a variety of keywords on their site they have never really researched the potential for. And, over time, they start to rank for these keywords, because it is good content and other reasons. A lot of these sites are also monetized with Adsense or affiliate offers and can make quite a bit of money, if done well. But the recipe below is valid for all sites that target many different subjects or topics, either in a certain niche or topic, or in a more general fashion.
What my method will show you is:
1) What Google thinks your site is all about.
2) For which keywords you are already ranking without knowing it.
3) To evaluate the keywords you should target more.
4) How to find the post or article that you are already ranking for.
5) How to use additional content and internal linking to your benefit.
6) How to get backlinks to the post / article in question.
What you need to do this, is a site with a decent amount of varied content. (Kind of like this blog probably.) Doesn’t matter if it is a static or a WordPress site, btw. It is less useful for a very focused niche site, but still might help you, so do try it out.
What you will get, if you follow my recipe, is a list of keywords you are already ranking for, the potential plus the competition analysis of them. And I will show you how to rank content in the SERPentines that is already ranking, just not doing too great.
What you will need:
- Whatever keyword tool allows you to import data and that returns you search volume, competition and the like.
- Or a full, working copy of Market Samurai.
A trial account for both will do fine (they are free) expired trial accounts will NOT work for this. Alternatively, a lot of free time on your hands. And I do mean a lot …
First thing you have to do, is to go to the Google External Keyword Tool and type in the url of the website you want to analyze in the ‘Website ‘ field.
You can either login with your Google account, with the risk involved that Google is snooping on you and trying to discover what you are up to, or you can ‘just solve the Captcha and stay relatively anonymous in Google’s eyes. But if you do login, you will get a larger list of potential keywords, up to 800 to be precise. Your decision.
Adjust the country and the language settings as you need it. Use the same language and country settings that your site receives the most traffic from. Meaning, if most of the site visitors in question come from the US, set the settings there to US and English. If most of your website visitors come from Spain you might adjust it to Spain / Spanish for best results. You can also set leave the country setting to ‘all countries’ and just adjust the language. Play a bit around with it and see what gives you the best results for YOUR site and in YOUR situation.
Hit the Search Button. Important! Set now the search to ‘exact’ results. Don’t miss this step. You can only use this search filter after you have run your first search. If you don’t set it to ‘exact’, your search results will be greatly inflated and misleading.
Go to the columns tap and select to display only the following columns: ‘Global Monthly Searches’ and ‘Estimated Avg. CPC’ and download the normal .csv file, not the one for excel, to your hard disc.
Now you have several different methods available to proceed:
If you have a TKA subscription (If you don’t have one, you can sign up for a free 30 days trial >here via my friendly affi link< go to the Nicherefinery online tool and upload your list of keywords.
Run Nicherefinery to get the following information: Search volume and competition for each keyword. Filter a bit around so that you end up with a nice set of keywords that has a good search volume and low competition. What the exact values are, differs a bit for each site. I normally look for keywords that have more then 1000/ month and with the first four ranking sites below PR4. As I said, play with the settings and see what you can find out. By now you should have a nice list of keywords that Google thinks are relevant to your site and that have a good potential.
Now identify your blog posts that are already ranking for these keywords. This is done easily with Market Samurai (see step below), but you can also do it by hand by doing an advanced Google search. Go to Google Advanced Search make sure that you are NOT logged into your Google account and that you have personalized search turned off (see here how to do this: How to turn Personalized Search in Google OFF). Reason being, that you want to have the results as accurate as possible and not Google interfering by trying to be ‘helpful’ and ‘improving’ your search results).
Using the advanced search in Google allows you to only search your own domain. Take now your list of keywords and do a Google search for it, one by one, limiting your search results with ‘Search within a site or domain: Yourdomain.com’ Depending on the length of your keyword list, this can be time consuming. What you want to find is the one post / article on your site that ranks highest for each keyword in Google plus the next ranking 3-5 for each keyword. Organize all this information in a spreadsheet or word document table. I will cover shortly what to do with this information, just give me a second to explain things to Market Samurai users.
If you don’t have Market Samurai you can download a free trial of the software, works on PC and Mac) by using my friendly >Market Samurai< affiliate link. Download the csv file from the Google Tool as described above and either pre-filter it through the Nicherefinery and then download that file to your computer or use it as it is. Up to you.
Now you have to open the csv file in Excel, Openoffice or another program that can handle spreadsheets and copy all the keywords into a txt file. This is important, as Market Samurai will only allow you to upload keywords via a txt file, one keyword or keyword combination per line.
Now fire up Market Samurai and start a new project, choose as name your domain name, that is easiest. Leave the rest of the settings on the default or adjust to your specific situation, i.e. country and language.
Import your keyword list into the Keyword research module and click ‘Analyze Keywords’. Analyze them to see more about their earning potential and search volume and eliminate the ones you are not happy with in that respect. Remember to set the search to ‘exact’ and the time frame to the one you prefer, you can now choose between daily, weekly and monthly.
Make now a quick visit to the Ranktracker module and click ‘Add Domain’ in the top right corner and, you guess it, add your domain. Go now back to the keyword research module and tick the keywords you like to check, or if your list is not too long, just tick them all and hit ‘Add to Ranktracker’ in the bottom left corner menu called ‘Actions on selected’. This adds now all these keywords, remember Google thinks they are what your site is about, into Ranktracker.
Goto Ranktracker and run it as it is. You can either limit the search to Google alone, or you can also include Yahoo and Bing. If your keyword list is really long, it might be a good idea to reduce the search depth a bit, for example to the top hundred results. Wait a few minutes and you will get a nice list of pages on your site that rank for each keyword and where their exact position in the SERPentines is for said keyword.
No matter which method you used, you should by now have a list of valuable keywords plus the url(s) on your website that already rank for each keyword.
Now you have to do a bit of work to make them rank even better 😉 That can be done in three ways.
For each keyword you should now have the top ranking page on your website. Have a look at this page and think a bit how you can improve the content even more. You can add more content to it, update the content with new information on top, add some pictures or videos etc. Just do everything to reinsure that this page is indeed the best thing since sliced bread that has ever been written about your keyword / topic.
Now take a look at the other urls on your website that rank for the same keyword, just lower. Choose the best 3-5, improve them like above if necessary, and link them all to the top ranking one internally. This way you show visitors and search engines alike that this is really the best article on your website about the keyword / topic.
After you have done all this, you can now build external links to your top ranking post as well as to your supporting ones. Please don’t spam now the internet! Write some good, useful articles on places like Ezine, Hubpages, Squidoo and do some guest posting on other relevant sites. For the last, you can use the Postrunner guest post distribution hub at The Keyword Academy.
Build these links slowly and over time, and you will see your rankings improving, because you are now pin point targeting keywords you are already ranking for.
- Identify keywords with the Google External Keyword Tool
- Evaluate Keywords for potential and competition.
- Find blog posts or articles on your site that are already ranking for them.
- Improve and reinforce said blog posts and articles.
Hope that helps everybody to get a bit more momentum to their websites without bending the Google rules too much. Leave me a comment if you have a question or suggestion.
P.S. If you want to do something similar with your Hubpages hubs, Infobarrel articles, Squidoo lenses etc have a look at this article I wrote some time ago: Cool Market Samurai Tips for Keeping Track
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