If you're at all interested in ranking higher in the search engines for certain keywords, I'd pay close attention to my following experiment.
Today, I'd like to pick a keyword phrase that I currently do not rank particularly high for. On Monday of next week, I plan to implement various strategies to hopefully raise my keyword position and climb into the top spots in Google. We'll see how long it takes, and if the various strategies even work. Hopefully, if all goes well, you'll then have a good understanding of the things you can do if you really want to rank higher in the search engines.
Today, on day zero, we'll hone in on a particular keyword phrase to use.
Why Is Keyword Position So Important?
Everyone wants traffic, and obviously the higher you rank for keywords that people search for, the more traffic you'll get. But, there's a lot more to consider here.
First of all, you don't just want any kind of traffic going to your website. You want relevant traffic. People who search for certain keywords are actively searching for information about that topic. If you can grab their attention and become their resource, they will be a highly targeted reader, subscriber, or customer—depending on your goal.
Secondly, search engine traffic is virtually free. People are paying large amounts of advertising dollars to be shown on the front page of Google for keywords. By ranking in the top positions, you're accomplishing the same tasks for free. You can't beat that.
As much as we all would love to rank in the top positions for single word keywords like “money”, for example, it's definitely NOT going to happen. It's not impossible—I mean there are a number of things you can do to try and make this happen, but it's going to take A LOT of time, and A LOT of money.
Long-tail keywords, or keyword phrases, are definitely where the money is today. I mean, just think about it: what are people looking for when they type in the keyword “money”? Who knows?!? It could be anything from personal finance, stock options, mutual funds, the history of money, salary information, etc. Plus, with today's information overload, people are getting much smarter with their searches. They'll type in long-tail keywords to find exactly what they are looking for, and this is where we want to catch them.
Let's Pick a Keyword Keyphrase for Our Experiment
Obviously, you want to pick a key phrase that's relevant to your website. Since my blog is about passive income, I'm going to pick a related phrase about that. A great way to begin is to type your main keywords into the Google Adwords Keyword tool, and see what related keywords show up.
This tool is primarily used for finding relevant keywords for Adwords advertising campaigns, but it proves to be a useful tool for any kind of basic keyword research. You may have to sign up for an Adwords account, but it's free, and you aren't obligated to run any advertising campaigns to use it.
Below, you can see I entered the phrase “passive income”. (click to enlarge)
There are some great long-tail keywords here in this list: passive income streams, passive income business, passive income ideas, and passive income opportunities are ones that stick out to me right away. They have a relatively high search volume (but not too high), and they are phrases that make sense and would be easy to put into a blog post title, for example. Let's see how well I rank for each of these phrases.
I'll be using a Google Rank Checker tool to do this for me, instead of manually going in and counting my placement. The numbers below represent my position in Google for that particular keyword. Remember, only the top 10 show on the first page.
The “no” means I'm not even found in Google for that key phrase.
Which Keyword Would You Like Me to Pursue?
So, I'm leaving this up to you. Please cast your vote below for which of the 4 keyphrases you'd like me to focus on. This weekend, I'll do another post outlining the exact strategies I'll be using and why they should work. I'll also do some more detailed, deeper research on the keyphrase using a really cool keyword tool called Market Samurai.
If you cannot see the poll, please click here.
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your input. I was going to try and target some of these keywords anyways, but I decided it might be fun to bring you along for the ride. I hope you enjoy! Cheers!
Update: Thanks to Eric (see first comment below) for helping me realize that this experiment will probably be easy for me since I already rank high for “passive income”. Part of the goal here is also to see how fast this happens. AFTER this experiment, I'll try it out using the same tactics on keywords related to my niche that I do not currently “own”, as Eric points out. (Maybe something with the word “residual” in it, for example).
Thanks again to my readers for showing me exactly what they want to see 🙂