Tim Soulo is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Product Strategy at Ahrefs. He is also the author of BloggerJet.com, a popular resource in SEO and conversion optimization.
Google search rules the internet, but only 10% of content actually gets any Google traffic; now more than ever, marketers must optimize for proven keywords in order to land at the top.
HOW TO: Use SEO research to drive free Google traffic
Ahrefs’ home page only ranks in searches for their specific brand, but they rank high for related terms such as “SEO tips,” “keyword research,” and “link-building” due to their many other keyword-specific pages.
Brainstorm your ideal customer and build your site based on the specific words they’re searching →
If you’re not ready to invest in paid keyword tools just yet, try one of these free resources →
Google ranks pages for similar terms; i.e., a page optimized for “cheap computers” will also show up in results for “discount computers” or “cheap laptops.” Choose the word with only 100 searches but 1000 related keywords over the single superstar search term.
Find keywords with clusters of similar terms →
Buffer (Instagram stories creator) gets 34,000 visits per month from people searching “Facebook cover photo” — visitors they can’t convert because they don’t do Facebook. If you feature on a page unrelated to your product, that traffic will have zero effect on your sales.
See relevant keywords for any web page you visit, including your own →
Americans searching “things to buy in Bali” are probably looking for very different things than people searching the same phrase from India.
Track where your keyword searches are coming from so you can tailor your content accordingly →
Once you’ve matched a keyword to its top locations, emulate a search from those regions to get a closer look at their top-ranking content →
If you have a gift shop and you know people are searching for a specific item, stock it. You may not have originally wanted it to be your best-seller, but frankly, that doesn’t matter.
If you’re just getting started, find comparable products on Amazon’s best-sellers list →
Reach out to owners of high-ranking sites in your field and leverage their existing Google ranking to build your own credibility. SEO guru Ryan Stewart got his top client from a guest post on Ahrefs’ blog, and years later is still getting passive traffic from a single post.
Get your content published on Forbes →