Hand up if you believe SEO is a waste of time?
You are certainly not alone. Most bloggers, small business owners or solopreneurs have given up on good ol’ SEO.
And I certainly can’t blame you. It is not as simple as it used to be.
But, if you follow certain steps traffic is almost guaranteed.
In this post I am going to reveal to you the exact steps I used to get a client of mine ranked on Google for quite a few competitive keywords.
Not only that, her niche was kinda crazy!
Are you ready?
They say you should “niche down” or narrow your focus in order to stand out online and get traffic.
I totally agree. But, when this client came to me I was not sure if I could get them any traffic at all.
Because their niche was super specific, and kinda crazy!
Any ideas what it might have been?
Yes, that’s right. Insects.
Quite a “challenge” for sure.
However, it’s easier when you have a roadmap (or formula!).
With any website (mine or a client’s) I always start at the beginning of “my formula” for SEO Success
That way, it always works out in the end – with lots of love from Google (aka Traffic!)
I like to break things down and make them as simple as possible.
And that is what I do with SEO too.
In fact, it is so simple I believe any of you can do it. Even if you think you can’t.
Let me convince you.
How do I do it?
Let’s start at the beginning. With a simple plan.
There are four key areas I focus on to get a website high up on Google.
For any SEO pros out there, none of this is news to you I am sure.
However, bear with me. The devil is in the detail.
Google is not just looking at links and keywords anymore. If you have read my recent post on the topic, you will know that SEO is a now a very broad area and is affected by almost everything you do.
It all starts with your website, and when I started from scratch with 4Ento, we had to make sure that the website was
With older websites there is a lot more to worry about as someone could have created a mess (and often has), but with new ones it is a little easier.
Especially when you are dealing with WordPress.
Then, once you have the basics in place, it is time to begin the fun.
Finding keywords that you can rank for on Google is often like skiing uphill.
Damn hard work.
I mean, look at this poor woman!
And when you are tackling a niche you know nothing about, it can be even tougher.
With 4Ento I brainstormed a lot of topic ideas with the client and started with the best ones (the ones she thought would get traction within her community).
Once I had a starting point, I headed into Keyword Planner and began figuring out what words people were “actually looking for”. This part is important to anyone who creates content
– you might think you know what people are searching for. But it is far better to actually check.
My research process is also simple
With this client (let’s call her Ana, as that is her name! hi Ana if you are reading), one obvious topic was edible insects. And when I looked into keyword planner, I found the following topics were coming up in the Ad Groups area
There were some great clues in there. And some ideas for future posts!
A new website meant we were going to have a harder time than the established bloggers in this niche.
We had a brand new site with zero links.
But who is not up for a challenge, right?
If you are careful and really check the competition ( i.e. the top 10 on Google) you can find holes that you can “slide your content into!”
And that is what I did. Brainstorm topics. Find out if they had potential (via Keyword Planner) and then check the competition on Google (more on that in the next section).
Note: It also pays to cheat a little and see what your competitors are actually doing, as they can often give you a shortcut/insight into
Always do extensive research for keywords to make sure you are writing about what people are actually searching for.
Use Google Keyword Planner Ad Group Ideas tab to see what groups of ideas Google is seeing and if their contents fits yours. Otherwise you will need to change topics or use other words.
Also look for relevant ideas, topics and sub-topics for including in that content or for future pieces.
Finding topics to write about for a new website is a good start. But, if you want to start seeing traffic from Google you have to be able to rank on page one (or page two at worst).
You know why that is, right?
Most of the visits will come from page one (or the top of page two). Check out the chart below which shows how many % clicks you might get from being on page 1 or 2 of Google:
Top 10 Of Google – Percentage of Clicks/Visitors (Courtesy of Marketingland)
So with the keyword topic ideas I had found, I now had to figure out if we could rank for any of them.
Remember, this is a new site and it is tough to get any content to the top of Google.
Luckily, being a very specific niche, and having quite a few options on content topics (food related, feed related, insect related) we could always find something that was an easy(ish) target.
The easiest way to do that is simply do the search in Google and see who is ranking.
In fact, it is rare that you cannot find something you can rank for. You just have to write far more specific and long tail focused content (longer keyword phrases). Then, once you are more established (have links) you can go for harder keywords.
In the end, it is often trial and error. You may not always manage to rank everything you write, but over time some of the content will and then the rest follows as the site gets more powerful (builds Domain Authority).
I managed to get quite a few of our targets on page one of Google. And this one below (insect food products) to position 1 quite quickly. All with some creative keyword research!
There were not a lot of experienced content creators in this niche, so the bar was quite low in terms of content quality.
This was great news because it meant I did not need to go nuts and create 4000 word epic pieces (if you have been on this site before, you know I love epic content! But it takes weeks to create.).
However, we still had to be careful to produce
In some cases our aim was to create the most complete resource in the industry, which we did with pieces like:
These posts have since been widely shared and also rank well on Google as a result.
Both these posts have brought in quite a bit of traffic, even in a very specific niche like this where traffic is often hard to come by (not many people are searching for edible insect food – surprisingly :> yet).
You can see in the chart below (in orange) the search traffic after the Insect Food Post was published rising as the post started to rank.
Always create the best content in your industry, if you want to definitely rank for something.
Check out what the top 10 are doing in Google and make something even better (more detailed, better researched, more interactive etc)
No SEO project is complete without links, and I certainly had to create some for this project.
Luckily, the client also had a lot of contacts in their industry who were willing to mention them or link to them because of their relationships.
This is one of the keys to ranking and I always recommend my clients to make use of existing relationships where possible.
It is far easier to get a link from someone you know, than having to build up a new relationship. Especially for someone outside the niche like me.
On a very limited budget with a brand new website, the results for this client were excellent. Over the year that I worked with Ana we were able to build up the search traffic consistently as you can see below (and remember, this is a very specific niche – not Home Loans!):
If you want to learn more of my tips and tricks for getting Google Traffic, join me on an upcoming webinar below!
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).