Look at this site. Can you see what the owner has done? S/he (for ease I’m going to refer to the owner as ‘she’) has built her content around a selection of highly searched terms. At least, the terms have moderate to high search counts in the search engines. Building content around search terms means creating a web page to target each of those terms. To do this, she has taken a generic “seed” phrase, in this instance “fund raising”, and has used a keyword research tool to suggest related terms. I suspect she used the Google Keyword Tool because when I use it I get a selection of phrases that bears an uncanny resemblance to the page titles the owner uses.
As far as creating content that people are interested in goes, this method beats sitting down and brainstorming topics to write about. The reason for this is that you are selecting topics that you know people are currently searching for.
Finding Highly Searched Terms
Once her related words were returned by the Google keyword tool, she ordered the results by descending search volume (just click on the Global Monthly Search Volume heading). This was so that she could see the more highly searched terms at the top. Working down that ordered list she selected phrases that met the following criteria:
- the phrase contained more than one word (the more specific the phrase, the better)
- the search count was greater than some threshold amount. I guess she was looking at phrases that had more than 1,000 searches per month
If she was organised, she would have used some spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel to store her findings, because there is more data to come. Here is the spreadsheet I bet she used.
In her spreadsheet she now has a selection of highly searched phrases that relate to the subject of “fund raising”, along with their search counts / month. However, this list tells her nothing of the competition in the search engines for them. There is no point in selecting a very highly searched term that has the entire universe competing for it. What she needs to do is select all the highly searched terms that have little competition. Why? Because it will require less effort to rank in the search engines for them. Plus, these terms attract a significant number of searches so she should gain a handsome amount of traffic with little SEO effort.
A Rough And Ready Way To Gauge Competition In The Search Engines
This girl knows that the first place a SEO will put their targeted phrase is in the title of each web page. That means she can get a rough idea of the number of pages competing for the phrase “fundraising ideas”, for example, by finding the number of web pages that have “fundraising ideas” in their title. The allintitle: operator in Google gives her just the results she needs: a list of all web pages with “fundraising ideas” in the title. It’s not the list she focuses on, just the number of pages returned.
She then discarded any phrases on her list that had more than some threshold number of competing pages. I would say anything over around 50,000 is too much like hard work for a lazy SEO.
There are other phrases that, although they are related in some way to “fundraising”, are not appropriate to this site. An example is “fundraising jobs”. She was not creating a jobs site, so this one went in the bin.
Targeting Those High Search/Low Competition Terms
The owner of the website will have used each of the remaining high search/low competition phrases to title a page. That means one page per phrase. The phrase goes in the title of the page, and also its URL. For example, if one of the phrases she was going for was “auction fundraising software” then she would construct the page name as auction-fundraising-software.html. Notice that the phrase has gone straight into the heading (<h1> tag) for extra ooomph.
She was also quite clever in concatentating some of the more awkward phrases. One example is “easy fundraising”. How on earth can you write about “easy fundraising”? It’s much easier to write about “easy fundraising ideas” and in doing so, that page targets both “easy fundraising” and “fundraising ideas”. Two for the price of one! This keyword ninja is efficient.
The Keyword Research Driven Content Blueprint
- Start with a niche phrase
- Generate additional related phrases using the Google Keyword Tool
- Pick the phrases with high search counts
- From those phrases pick the ones with low competition
- Write a web page for each phrase
- Transfer to a better host that can accommodate the stupefying increase in traffic you’ll naturally experience