Do you want to rank for long-tail keywords at Google?
This case study post will show you how my organic traffic rose dramatically in just one month so that you can experience the same results.
Interestingly enough, the time overlapped with Christmas week, a time when the blogosphere is usually at its sleepiest.
This is a follow-up to my popular post 13 Best Free Tools You Need to Improve Your Long-Tail Keywords.
That post gave you 13 tools to help you find long-tail keywords and improve your search engine rankings.
This post explains five secret methods that will help you find long-tail keywords, rank high for them, and get your website get found in search engines more often.
In addition, the post will offer additional free tools and methods you can use to rank for long-tail keywords and screenshots proving these tips work.
If you rank high for long-tail keywords, you will increase your blog’s visibility in search engines and increase your organic traffic.
By following the tips in this post, you will be able to get your search engine traffic to have a major boost.
My posts have taken many formats. Today’s post is unique. This article is in the form of an email correspondence I had with SEO tips expert Clay. The post then becomes an interview and finally a case study showing these results work.
Consider this conversation:
I was wondering, you have such a high DA (Domain Authority), why don’t you compete for any keyword? You already have a nice DA. Now it’s time to compete for keywords.
Do you know much about SEO?
Ouch! I had better get on the bandwagon. After all, I’m a blogging tips coach.
I can’t be totally effective with my tips if I don’t know how to capitalize on my “high DA” and beat the competition at search engines.
When Kimsea Sok linked to Mostly Blogging in an article, you will never guess what his anchor text was.
He did not call me “Mostly Blogging,” and he did not call me “Janice Wald.” Instead, he called me a “DA 40.” That’s how important Domain Rank is.
[Related: This is Why People Care About Domain Authority]
Fortunately, my good friend and SEO expert Clay agreed to be interviewed for this post and advised me how to improve my SEO strategies, and I am passing along that information to you:
I’m going to give the exact steps that I use to rank for my keywords. This is not a post, or [information] that you can find somewhere else, but this comes from all knowledge that I have on SEO.
(Me: Secret SEO tips!)
This case study post takes a before and after approach.
Before we go any further, I want to show you my percentage of search engine traffic before I took Clay’s tips:
Notice my percent of search engine traffic was 14.9% according to these Alexa.com stats.
I spent a month following Clay’s tips. For the sake of clarity, bear in mind, he is writing me these tips in an email.
How to Rank High for Long-Tail Keywords
First of all, you need to choose a keyword (I prefer a long-tail keyword). Why?
This comes from my proven knowledge (tried by myself).
I tried to rank for the keyword “SEO techniques” which is very very competitive. But I thought that I could take a high rank because of the great post that I made. Of course, I did my best, but do you know the results?
Wasn’t I even on the thirty-first pages of Google? [No!] It was a really, really huge disappointment for me and my career.
But this has its own bright side because I saw how powerful “long-tail keywords” are. I ranked for a keyword (third page) “proven SEO techniques.”
What should you learn from this?
Of course you have higher DA than me, but still, it’s competitive even for you.
I suggest you go for more “long-tail keywords.”
Clay was trying to rank for SEO techniques.
Since SEO techniques contain
only two words, it is not long-tail. He had greater success when his keyword phrase went to three words, “proven SEO techniques.”)
stresses the importance of using long-tail keywords and the potential they have for driving massive traffic to your blog:
Long-tail keywords are the best if you want to drive tons of traffic to your site. Not only are they cheaper to find but also have a high probability rate of converting.
Organic traffic is all time the best traffic because it is accurately targeted to a specific niche. Try or learn how to leverage on long-tail keywords and you can never go wrong.
How to Rank For Long-Tail Keywords Using Tools
Clay continued his tips:
I use this tool for long-tail keywords: keywordtool.io, or Google search related to (at the bottom results in Google).
Maybe you’ve used also this by yourself, but I’ll whisper some techniques also:
Install Mozbar – A Google chrome extension that tells you DR and importantly PR (page rank) which matters a lot.
Also, use Keyword Difficulty – to check your chances for that keyword. (Note: Keyword Difficulty is not a free tool.)
I interviewed Clay about these SEO tips.
I am trying to follow your instructions to compete for StumbleUpon as a keyword.
Do I want the competition (at Google Keywords) to be high or low?
If you want to rank for long-tail keywords then the search volume should be low.
What is your opinion of Google Keyword Planner?
Answer 2: I don’t care a lot for Google Keyword Planner.
This is why I started exploring alternatives to find long-tail keywords which I wrote about in my article describing 13 tools to find long-tail keywords
Could I rank for StumbleUpon since I write articles explaining how people can get traffic from the site?
No, You’re trying to rank for a brand keyword just like “Facebook”.
If I want to rank for How to Get traffic with StumbleUpon (which is long-tail), how would I do it? What keywords would I use?
After you’ve found the keyword and published the post, even if it is a great one, it won’t get the exposure that you want.
So I must say great content is not enough, and [won’t be enough for ] 90%.(Unless you are Barack Obama…)
(Note: Neil Patel lists posting your article to aggregator sites is one of the first steps you should take after publishing a new post. Neil recommends starting with Reddit.)
[Related: How to Get the Kind of Blog Traffic You Want with Reddit]
I think it’s enough for the part one, which I’ll call “Keyword Research”; the next one will be “Outreach”.
How to Rank for Long-Tail Keywords Using Outreach
According to Clay,
The big thing about getting backlinks with the outreach method is this:
For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “how to get traffic with StumbleUpon” you must first search it on Google and find similar content (I suggest not on the first page because big guys do not reply to emails) as I do.
After you find about 10-15 websites with similar content to that niche, is the time to find their email or contact them somehow with a “nice, hot email”.
I suggest you create an outreach email.
SEO Expert Matt LaClear agrees bloggers should ask influencers to link to their content. Look at the comment he made when responding to a blog post about how bloggers can avoid making common content creation mistakes:
A tactic I like to use when creating content is to do so with the thought in mind that I am going to reach out to the biggest influencer in my industry to ask him or her to link to it when it goes up as a post.
Having this person as my primary link target for the piece FORCES me to create much more superior content, as I have no intention of asking an influencer to link to weak content. That would kill my credibility with that influencer in a heartbeat.
Now if he or she links to the post I will get a lot of good traffic from it, but even if they don’t link to it, my readers still get to consume a much better version of my content.
According to Matt, asking influencers to link to your blog post is a win-win situation. If they say no, you have still created a quality blog post for your readers.
I think that you have a lot of blog friends, why not just asking for a backlink directly (if you are close to them).
Another thing that I wanted to mention is that you need to make the <a href> code the same as your ranking keyword.
For example, you want to rank for StumbleUpon, then make the backlinks the word StumbleUpon.
You could do this thing also with guest posting (you create your own backlink with the anchor (backlink) that you want).
Is there supplemental reading my readers could do to get a better grasp on how to improve SEO rankings?
And also check backlinko.com (read all his blogs, they are amazing).
What are the Results?
After spending a month following Clay’s tips, I rechecked my percentage of search engine traffic:
Once again these stats are from Alexa.com taken within the month of Christmas. Notice all my referral traffic is down except for Google. Google is up from 14.9% to 16.9%.
If Clay’s tips can work so well during the holidays, imagine what they can do for you when it’s not the holiday season and shortly thereafter.
These were “secret” tips since Clay had never published them anywhere before.
To summarize Clay’s secret tips:
- Choose a long-tail keyword you want to rank for. Use the free tools he recommends to help you choose.
- Then, Google the long-tail keyword phrase you chose to find what your competitors’ (people already ranking for that word) Domain Authority is. If their DA is lower than yours, don’t pick it.
- Make the anchor text of a backlink the long-tail keyword in your article.
- After publishing the post, share it on content curation sites as well as on social media.
- Remember the competition you Googled? After you publish, ask those bloggers to publish your link in their article (it’s on the same topic so it’s related content and won’t invoke Google penalties). In exchange, offer to publish their link in your article. However, Clay advised not asking any of the bloggers you found on Page 1 of Google since they may not respond to their emails.
Clay recommended many free tools you can use in order to increase your SEO.
If you would like more free blogging tools, click here to get your own downloadable PDF of my free blogging tools list.
Readers, please share this article so other content creators see that you can use these tips, that Clay had never published anywhere, to rank for long-tail keywords at Google.
What’s your opinion of Clay’s SEO tips? He offered you methods and tools to choose long-tail keywords for any blogging niche. Have you already tried to rank for keywords? How are your efforts going? Have you ever checked to see if you rank for keywords? I look forward to your views in the comments section.
Related Posts and Pages:
4 Ways You Can Improve Your Keywords & See a Big Surge of Traffic
14 Secret Blogging Tips That Will Blow Your Mind
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