Websites with no content do not get traffic from Google.
So you know you need content but how do you decide what content to create? Which article topics have the highest probability of getting ranked high in the Google search results?
Simple: article topics that have 1) high search volume and 2) low competition
I use the same process for article selection for both existing sites I have purchased and brand new sites I am creating from scratch.
I use SE Cockpit to find long tail search phrases that are regularly searched for in Google, but for which there are very few, or relatively weak existing articles that come up in the search results.
Not doing keyword research is one of the biggest, and the first, mistake you can make when embarking on content creation.
The reasoning behind this approach is that if I create a high quality article that is a good search result for a particular search phrase, Google is likely to rank it high and rank it much more quickly than a topic that has strong competition.
Even if your website is brand new and has no links or authority, you can still make it to page one in the search results over a couple of months if your article content is better targeted and higher quality than your competition.
I use SE Cockpit because it scours thousands of possibilities and automatically sorts the best high volume / low competition results to the top.
Look at the simple search I ran above on “icons”.
Now you probably don’t want to create a site about icons because it isn’t a high earning niche. But if you did, writing an article on “Question Mark Icons” or “Justin Bieber Icons” would likely achieve nice search engine rankings with decent traffic.
Those two search terms have monthly volume of 5,400 and 4,400 (it is probably a bit higher than that in actuality because of the way SE Cockpit works), and very low competition for those search phrases.
The tool lets you filter by search volume, competition and many other things to reduce the keywords to a nice list that prioritizes the articles you should create.
How do you decide what to search for to begin with?
First – start broad and then narrow from there
Search for example on “dog”. You’ll quickly find phrases with important sub-categories like:
- dog training
- dog food
- dog walking
Take one of those categories, do a search to see the next level of detail:
- dog walking at night
- dog walking in the city
- walking multiple dogs
- walking big dogs
You may begin to find some lower competition phrases even in that second tier search but the good ones will probably come in the 3rd iteration when you start drill down.
Search on something like “walk dog city”. Use the “Google Suggest” with options for Prepend, Append, Add in between words. SE Cockpit will find some great possibilities for you:
- charity walk for dogs
- walk your lab in nyc
- walking big dogs if you are short
- where to walk big dogs in the city
- poop when walking dogs in the city
You’ll be amazed what people search for. Or maybe you won’t. But it doesn’t matter.
Just follow your nose and it isn’t difficult to uncover keywords that will rank with minimal effort.
Search with “intent” in mind
If you are selling something on your website you need to search for keywords with “buying intent”.
There are certain words that indicate a person is working on a buying decision. For eCommerce or review websites you want to focus on those keywords that catch the visitor when they are near or at that purchase decision in the research process.
Buying intent keywords include:
- brand a vs brand b
- brand a under $XXX
- best ____
- top ____
- best ____ for _____
If your site isn’t directly selling anything but offering informational content, then you go after a different set of keywords.
Consider phrases that have “informational intent”:
- how, why, what, when, where
- ___ for ___
- ___ when ___
- how to
- how do I
- best way to
and many others.
Why SE Cockpit?
There are quite a few tools available to do keyword research. I’ve landed on SE Cockpit because it is quick and easy to use and gives me keywords that climb quickly in the search results.
It is expensive monthly, so I recommend that you sign up for a month, do your research, then cancel and sign up again when you need to.
I actually planned to do the start / stop thing but I’m finding that I use the tool almost every week at the moment so it doesn’t make sense for me to cancel.