Tag: Search

How to Create Search Engine Friendly Title Tags

One of the most frustrating things about SEO is getting everything to work together as it should.

If you’ve done SEO, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many little elements in SEO that sometimes it seems impossible for everything to work out perfectly.

Even today! I know I talk a lot about how “smart” the search algorithms are and how it’s virtually impossible to game the system.

However, there are still a lot of elements you need to pay attention to for your SEO to succeed.

Case in point: Page title tags.

Before you yawn and find some more sexy SEO topic to jam on, hear me out.

Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. They always have been, and as far as we can tell, they always will be.

Moz explains, “Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”

When it comes to low effort/big results, title tags take the cake. It’s such a small element, but has such a massive impact!

You know it’s important to create eye-catching headlines, but optimizing your titles also matters for SEO.

That’s where page title tags come in. They’re how your titles are relayed to search engines, and they’re an important part of any SEO strategy.

This is one of the few times when you need to write for both people and search engines, and that can be tricky. (Especially with headlines.)

In short, you have to create a clickable headline that also makes search engines happy.

Here’s the challenge: People have to like it. Search engines have to like it. Yikes!

Does that sound difficult?

Yes, it can be if you don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m going to break down my process step-by-step.

We’ll go through that process, but first, let’s look at why title tags are important for SEO.

What are Page Title Tags?

If you’ve ever used a search engine before (and I’m guessing you have), you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not.

It’s simply the headline on the SERP (search engine results page).

For example, if you Google “kitchen appliances,” you’ll see that one of the top results is from IKEA.

In this case, the page title tag is “Kitchen Appliances – IKEA.”

This is what both people and search engines will see as the title of your page. Often, this is the first thing they’ll see, and that’s a big reason why it’s so crucial to put time and effort into your title tags.

The point you need to remember is this: real people are reading your title tag.

They are going to respond to it. They will judge it. They will be compelled by it. They will be put off by it. They will learn from it.

Basically, the title tag is your page’s message to the world!

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title). In the case of the IKEA search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

I’ve written about meta descriptions before, but title tags are even more important.

Both the title and the meta description together give a brief idea of what your content is about, but the title tag stands out more.

There are two big reasons why page title tags are so important.

First, if you have a clear title that’s relevant to your page, both humans and search engines will see that as a sign of a good page.

If your title tag isn’t optimized, then people could skip right over your content, and search engines may determine that your page isn’t as good as it could be.

A second reason why title tags are important is they show up in browser tabs:

title tags guide show up in search bars

So when someone wants to find your page out of all their browser tabs, they’ll look for your title tag.

Title tags are often what people will see if your page is shared on social media. For example, here’s an example of a title tag on Facebook:

example of a title tag

Can you see why title tags are so important? A good title tag means maximum visibility, while a bad title tag can sink your page.

There are three important steps to take to optimize your title tags.

  1. make sure your headlines make for good title tags
  2. create the title tag
  3. make sure the title tag is optimized for SEO

Let’s dive into all three.

Step 1: Write Your Title Tag

You might be wondering how writing a title tag is any different from writing a headline.

In some cases, your headline and title tag will be the same exact title. But there are some cases where they won’t be.

Check out this SERP result from Copyblogger:

copyblogger example of a title tag

It seems like the title for the page would be “How Content Marketing Builds Your Business,” right?

But when you go to the page, you’ll see a different title:

copyblogger title tag example

The title shown on the page is longer and more descriptive.

So why would Copyblogger do this? It’s most likely because the shorter title tag looks better on the SERP, and it takes less time to read.

The actual title that you see on the page goes into more detail, and that’s probably why they used it. They get the benefits of having both a streamlined title tag and a descriptive page title.

It’s a sneaky and useful tactic that’s the sort of SEO stuff I love.

With that in mind, here’s how to write a great title tag.

There are a few elements of title tags:

Title Tags Should Be Short

Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl.

But there’s a better reason for shorter title tags.

If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut off your title with an ellipsis (…):

title tag example

Ideally, your readers and search engines should be able to see the entire title tag so they get the best idea of what the content is about.

Google typically shows no more than 60 characters of the title tag. So if your title tag is 60 characters or less, you can generally expect that the entire title will show.

If you want to make sure, Moz has a handy preview tool:

title tag tool moz

This is a great feature that I recommend you use. Remember, keep it short if possible.

Title Tags Should Contain Your Main Keyword

You probably expected to see something about keywords in an article about SEO.

For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. That’s so search engines (and people) will see the keyword early on.

Here’s a title tag with the keyword right up front:

title tag example

Contrast that with this result that has the keyword closer to the end of the title tag:

title tag example

One tip: Make sure the keyword placement is organic. It’s preferable that the keyword is close to the beginning, but it’s not necessary for great SEO.

Title Tags Should Describe a Benefit

Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out.

This is one of many reasons Google warns against keyword stuffing and boilerplate titles.

Your title tags are representatives of your pages, and you want people and search engines to know that your pages have unique, valuable content.

Make sure your title tag is related to your content. It should read naturally and grab the reader’s attention.

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to trick people. All you need to do is clearly explain the benefit of clicking on the page.

Often, the “benefit” is nothing more than telling them what the page is about! At this point, you’re not trying to sell anything. You’re simply giving them information.

Here’s an example that clearly expresses a benefit (ignore the jargon-filled, not-so-great meta description).

title tag example laptops

On the other hand, this title tag is plain and doesn’t explicitly state a benefit (they did a nice job with the meta description, though).

title tag for seo example amazon

(Sure, Amazon probably doesn’t need to state a benefit, but your site probably does.)

Stating a benefit probably won’t do anything for search engines, but it goes a long way for human users who come across your site with a search.

Step 2: Create Your Title Tag

Once you have your page title tag written, you need to set it as the title for your page.

The way you’ll do this will depend on what powers your website.

If you have a custom site, you’ll need to edit the HTML directly. (And it’s super easy to do.)

If you use WordPress, it’s also super easy.

If you use another CMS or host, it might look a little bit different for you.

Let’s take a look at each of these three different cases and how to create a title tag for each scenario.

Case 1: You Have a Custom Site Not Hosted on a CMS

If your site isn’t hosted on a CMS, you can edit your HTML to add titles.

First, you access the HTML for your specific page. I recommend checking with your hosting service on how to do this.

Once you’ve found the editable HTML, make sure you’re between the <head> tags.

how to add title tag to custom site example

(Note: This is an example code using Editpad.org. Your code will probably look different, and there might be extra code here. That’s okay––just make sure you’re only between the <head> tags and not any others.)

To create the title, use <title> tags. For example:

how to add title tag to custom site example  HTML

That’s it! Save your code, and your title will now show up correctly.

Case 2: You Use WordPress

If you use WordPress, you’ll be happy to know there’s a super simple solution — it’s actually way easier than editing the HTML.

In fact, this method uses something you’re probably already using: the well-loved Yoast SEO plugin.

This is a powerful plugin that you can get a lot out of. And it’s great for editing your title tags.

First, if you don’t have Yoast installed, go to Plugins > Add New.

add yoast plugin for title tags

Type “Yoast” into the plugin search bar.

type yoast title tag guide

Look for “Yoast SEO.”

add yoast SEO to WordPress - title tag guide

Click “Install Now.”

Next, click “Activate.”

Now the plugin is up and running.

To edit the title tag for a page or post, navigate to that content and open the editor.

Scroll down to the bottom of your post or page, and you’ll see the Yoast box, where you can edit the title tag and meta description.

It’ll also give you a nice preview of both your title and meta description:

where to add title tag in Yoast

If your title tag (or meta description) turns out to display differently on the actual SERPs, you can always go back and edit it in this section.

Case 3: You Don’t Have a Custom Site or a WordPress Site

I know not all of you fall under these categories.

You might use a completely different kind of CMS, or your web host might have a different setup.

In those cases, I recommend contacting your CMS company or web host to find out how to access your HTML to edit your page title tags.

This is really a case-by-case scenario, so it will probably look different for a lot of you. However, you should be able to get an answer with a quick email to your web host’s support email.

So far, you’re two-thirds of the way done! Now you just need to make sure your title tag is the most SEO-friendly it can be.

Step 3: How to Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO

We’ve talked a little bit about this already, but there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your title tag is optimized.

This is the step that most people miss entirely!

They think, “Yay. I’m done with my title tag!” But they forget that one of the primary methods of marketing and promotion is through social sharing!

Here are my best tips for optimizing your title tags for social.

Use Your Brand Wisely

The title tag can be a great place to include your brand, but if you overdo it, you could face some consequences.

Google suggests using your homepage title tag to include the most branding. Their example: “ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle.”

For most of your pages, adding your brand to the end of the title tag will suffice (if there’s room, that is).

Here’s how I do that:

title tag example neil patel

Prevent Search Engines from Rewriting Your Title Tags

You read that right: Sometimes Google will rewrite your title tags.

It’s crazy, I know! But why the heck would this happen?

According to Silkstream, “Google will automatically change how your title is displayed in the SERPs if their algorithm is under the impression that the page title doesn’t accurately represent the content on that page.”

So if your title tags don’t look good to Google, they’ll consider other factors, including:

Take a look at this title tag:

title tag example rewrite

If you go to the homepage and view the source code (right-click and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”), you’ll see the company set the title to be something else:

title tag example source code

Google rewrote it because they felt their revised title tag would help people more than the original.

The good news: If you follow the steps outlined in this article, Google should keep your title tags as they are.

If you do see your title tags showing up differently, revisit them and try to identify how you can further optimize them.

Consider Making Your H1 Page Heading Different From the Title Tag

This is exactly like the Copyblogger example from earlier.

You can use two different sets of keywords in your title tag and H1, which organically enhances your SEO. Search engines will count the title tag as the “heading.” (Just make sure it’s optimized.)

Avoid Duplicate Title Tags

Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.” So don’t copy and paste your title tags.

If you’ve done everything so far, you should now have an optimized title tag! Finalize it and send it out into the world.

Title Tag Frequently Asked Questions

What are title tags and why do they matter for SEO?

Title tags are the title of a page users see in the search results. They serve as a first impression and can encourage — or deter– people from clicking on your pages.

What’s the difference between title tags and meta descriptions?

Title tags are shorter and appear first in the SERPs.

How do you write a good title tag?

Pay attention to the length, use the main keyword the page targets, and explain what benefit the user will get by clicking.

How long should title tags be?

Between 50 and 50 characters. Any longer than that and Google may truncate your title.

How many keywords should be in my title tags?

Generally just one. You can add a second if it is closely related and makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff; the goal of the title tag is to explain what users can expect if they click.

Title Tag Conclusion

I know first-hand that SEO can be a headache., but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m all about demystifying SEO because I know it’s something anyone can do. Even if you’re a technophobe, you can do this!

It doesn’t take years of experience in digital marketing to get SEO right. You just have to learn the ropes and get used to it.

For example, creating page title tags is pretty simple. It might seem complicated at first, but once you take a peek behind the scenes, you see how easy it is.

If you’re not currently leveraging the power of optimized title tags, use this article to start doing that. It can be a game-changer and help your visibility on the SERPs.

Best of all, it only takes a few minutes.

What tips do you have for using title tags for maximum SEO power?

6 Timely SEO Strategies and Resources for Voice Search

Are you missing out on traffic because people aren’t searching the way you think they are?

If your website isn’t optimized for voice search, then this could be the case. These six timely SEO strategies and resources for voice search will not only help you get more traffic from people using Siri and Alexa, but they will also become important pillars of your entire SEO strategy.

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search is a way of searching the internet through speech. Using artificial intelligence, a device can recognize your voice and put the query into a search engine.

Voice recognition has been around for a long time (since the early 1950s), but it wasn’t until 2011 when IBM’s Watson (you may remember it beating contestants on Jeopardy!) came out that it had practical real-world significance.

Today, voice search is everywhere. An eMarketer’s survey revealed that almost 40 percent of internet users in the U.S. use voice search, which highlights the ubiquitous nature of voice search-enabled devices.

Popular Voice Search Devices and Search Engines

If you look in your pocket or on your desk right now (perhaps even on your hand), there’s a good chance you’ll find a voice search device. One reason voice search is so popular is because the technology is in almost every device we use, making it super easy to access.

Here are some of the most popular voice search devices and the search engines they use:

  • Google Home: Google
  • Amazon Echo/Alexa: Bing
  • Google Assistant: Google
  • iPhone/Siri: Safari
  • Android phones and devices: Google
  • Microsoft Cortana: Bing

This means whether it’s your phone, TV, portable speaker, or any other device, it’s got the ability to search the internet through speech.

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

When you type a query into Google, what do you want it to do?

First, it’s got to understand what you mean by your query (helping it to understand the type of results you want to see), and then show you the best results that match your search query.

The way we type queries into Google is quite different from the way we talk to our voice assistants. For example, if you’re looking for a local restaurant to dine in, your searches might look a little like this:

  • typed: “Restaurants near me”
  • voice: “What are some good restaurants in my local area?”

When we type, we tend to use very keyword-based searches, but when we use voice search, our searches become much more conversational. This means search engines have had to become very good at semantics: understanding the meaning behind words.

The way we use language is complicated, and it’s not easy for machines to understand the meaning behind words (just think how many words have multiple meanings). Voice search has forced search engines to get much better at this though, and Google has led the way with key updates like Hummingbird.

This update and other previous ones have changed SEO, taking the focus away from keywords (in the early days, people would simply stuff keywords into their articles) and much more toward user experience.

Voice search has played a part in this shift, and it continues today, with a consistent focus on experience, rather than just keywords.

6 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is here to stay. Everywhere you look, there are voice search-enabled devices, and the percentage of voice searches as a share of total searches continues to grow (usage grew by eight percent between September 2018 and early 2019).

The good news is you don’t have to tear up your current SEO strategy to optimize for voice search. Voice search plays into the overall trend of matching user intent and providing the best possible user experience, so the tactics you use to optimize for voice search will benefit your SEO in general.

1. Optimize for Local Search

Many voice searches are for local information; they are three times more likely to be local searches than text-based ones.

If you think about it, this makes sense. When you’re out and about, and want a quick answer to your question, it’s easy to get out your mobile device and ask a question. This means it’s important you focus on the local element of your SEO.

For many businesses, local SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing anyway. Local searches make up around 46 percent of total searches, and these are extremely engaged buyers. Local people are the people who will drop into your store and make a purchase there and then, and this means showing up in the local search pack is essential, especially if you’re a brick and mortar business.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Optimize for Local Search

Local SEO follows the same principles as regular SEO, and the key thing (that many websites neglect) is consistently telling people you’re a local business. Make sure you’re creating content that’s relevant to your local area and integrating local keywords into your copy.

Check out Ubersuggest to get local keyword ideas and make sure you’re answering the questions local people have:

  • phrases people use to describe the neighborhood around your location
  • “near me” in your title tags, meta description, internal links, and anchor text
  • landmarks around your business location
  • the titles of local institutions that are relevant to your business

Focusing on your local SEO will help your voice search, so check out my Definitive Guide to Local SEO.

2. Create Conversational but Concise Content

The days of stuffing your content with keywords simply to please crawlers are long gone. To be successful with SEO, you’ve got to be authentic, use language naturally, and offer valuable content.

Essentially, you have to be human (we all are, so this shouldn’t be a problem).

Voice search typifies this because when people search through speech, they tend to talk in a more natural way than they do when they’re typing a query into the search engines. Your content should match the conversational way people ask questions to their voice assistants, but not just for voice search reasons.

Today’s rankings are user experienced-focused. The pages that answer people’s questions in the best way while sharing the best experience, will rise to the top of the rankings.

To do this, you’ve got to give people quick access to the information they need (being concise) and do it in an enjoyable way (natural, conversational language). When you’re doing this, you’re not just matching the language people have used in their voice search (user intent), but you’re also driving engagement through your authentic brand voice.

3. Use Structured Data

Ask your voice-controlled device this question: “Who was the first President of the United States of America?”

What happens?

Chances are your device will start reading out an answer about George Washington.

This information is taken from a long page about George Washington though, so how does it know which bit of text to read? The answer probably lies in structured data.

Search engines look at a bunch of factors besides content to determine a page’s relevance and position in their search results. Professional SEOs leverage these additional factors to further optimize their content for search engines.

Schema markup, also known as structured data, is one such factor. It does not affect the rankings directly, but it can give you an edge over your competitors, particularly when it comes to voice search.

Essentially, it is metadata: data about the information on your site. It goes into your site’s source code. The visitors don’t see it, but microdata helps search engines to organize and classify your content. It is an underutilized strategy because it requires work.

Do you want an example?

The following markup classifies your contact details page as containing contact information.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Use Structured Data

Now, let me guess your next question: How is microdata relevant to voice search?

When users search for local businesses, they often look for operational hours, contact information, address, directions from highways, and the like.

You can use microdata to ensure that search engines classify this information.

Let’s search for the population of Dubai.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Use Microdata

Google quickly retrieved the figure because of a markup.

Need another reason to work on your structured data?

A study found that over 40 percent of voice results were pulled from the featured snippet. Just like with voice search, featured snippets need to pull the exact information you’re looking for, so it’s likely they look at structured data to decide what information should be shown.

If you want a step-by-step guide on implementing schema markup, check out my guide to using Schema Markup.

4. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business Listing is an essential part of local SEO and voice search.

Because voice searches are often used to find out important details about your business, such as contact number, address, and opening hours, Google must have accurate information on these details.

Your website and structured data go a long way in making sure Google has the right information about your business, but Google wants to be super accurate, and the way it does this is by looking at your Google My Business listing.

This will give Google all the information it needs to understand what your business does, who it’s for, when it opens, where it is, and much more. This is the exact information voice searches are asking for, so it’s a quick way to get accurate results to people’s questions.

5. Be Mobile Friendly

How are most voice searches made?

You want to show up in results through mobile devices, and you’ve got to offer a good mobile experience. This is a key part of Google’s algorithms, but there are still websites out there that aren’t optimized for mobile.

If this is the case with your website, people are going to click on your site and leave immediately because the page doesn’t work properly on their device. This is a big sign for Google that your page isn’t worthy of ranking, and it’s going to hurt you for both voice search and traditional queries.

I mentioned modern SEO is all about user experience and with the majority of traffic (and virtually all voice traffic) coming from mobile devices, this is something you have to be on top of.

There are lots of little things you can do to make your site more mobile-friendly, so make sure your website is offering the right experience for people who use voice search.

6. Create Content Answering Your Audience’s Frequently Asked Questions

People tend to use questions when making voice searches.

The great thing about this is Google gives you a great insight into the questions people are frequently asking.

Type a question that relates to your website, and take a look at the results. The chances are, you will see a box titled “people also ask.” The FAQ’s feature displays for many queries, and it shows you the questions your target audience is regularly asking.

With a clear picture of the questions people are using to search for information, you can start creating amazing content that answers those questions. As I’ve said throughout this article, it’s all about user experience, and the first thing you need if you’re going to give someone the right experience is valuable content.

Answer people’s questions, help solve their pain points and make it enjoyable. If you can do this better than all the other websites, then it’s going to give you an excellent chance of ranking.

Voice Search FAQ’s

What is voice search SEO?

Voice search SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to show up in search engine results pages for voice searches.

Does voice search impact SEO?

Voice search has had an impact on SEO. It’s all about understanding the meaning behind words, and this is a fundamental part of all SEO.

Why is voice search important for SEO?

Devices with voice search capabilities are everywhere. This has led to huge growth in voice searches. If you’re not optimizing, you might be missing out on a big chunk of your audience.

What percentage of searches are voice searches?

Google has suggested 27 percent of mobile searches are voice searches.

Voice Search Conclusion

If you want to grow your organic traffic, then you should be aiming to rank well for voice searches. Not only are there a huge number of voice searches happening every day, but the techniques you use to optimize for these queries are a fundamental part of modern SEO.

Voice search has changed the way people search for information, and search engines have responded with updates to their algorithms. You need to respond as well, and by matching searcher intent and providing the right user experience, you can make sure you’re getting more organic traffic through voice search.

Are you optimizing for voice search yet?

Algolia (YC W14) is hiring to scale its search engine

Article URL: https://www.algolia.com/careers/senior-software-engineer-distributed-systems-search-core-london-paris-remote-dublin-bucharest

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27758202

Points: 1

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50+ Incredible Link Building Resources to Increase Your Search Rankings

Link building is the cornerstone of SEO. Any good online marketer or SEO needs to know how to build links to their site to rank well on Google.

The goal of this post is to provide something that all marketers with any skill set can use. Whether you’re new to link building or have been building your backlink profile for 10+ years, you’ll likely find some useful nuggets in this post.

Link Building Resources for Beginners

New to link building? These guides explain the basics and get you set up for success:

Comprehensive Link Building Guides

Want to skip the 500-word articles and go straight into a deep dive on link building? These massive free guides can help:

Link Building Strategies

Let’s look at some posts with a wide variety of link building strategies.

Link building resources - Use Ubersuggest to find competitor backlinks

Organic Link Building With Content

Since content is becoming increasingly more important, here are some posts on link building with content:

Link building resources - use infographics to get backlinks

Think Pieces on Link Building

These links are a little less how-to and have more insightful content on link building. If you’re looking for link building tactics, skip this section. If you want to know about the essence of link building and why so many online marketers and SEOs focus on it, these articles can help provide that background.

Link Building Practices to Avoid

Just as important as the links you should be building is knowing what links you shouldn’t be building. Remember that spammy links pointing to your site is a problem you need to take care of.

Link building practices to avoid - disavow link building infographic

Building Local Links

If you have a local business, these link building strategies are made just for you.

Link Building With PR and Social Media

Think PR and social media have nothing to do with link building? Think again.

Link building with PR and Social Media - use haro for link building

Link Building Tools

Nothing makes link building more productive and effective than the right tools. Here are posts reviewing some favorite link building tools:

  • Ubersuggest: I created Ubersuggest to help you find the best keywords for your content marketing strategy. Besides keyword research, it also has a robust backlinks feature which details who is linking to you (as well as your competitors).
Best link building tools - use ubersuggest for link building

Best Link Building Blogs

Want to keep up with link building news? Here are the top SEO blogs link building categories.

Q&A on Link Building

Have questions about link building, or want to demonstrate your link building expertise? Here are some places where you’ll find lots of people asking about link building:

Link Building Resources Conclusion

There you have it! More than 60 great link building resources to chew on.

As you can see, there isn’t one way to gain backlinks. There are many strategies you can use to start establishing yourself (and your business) as an industry thought leader.

The earlier you start putting effort into gaining links, the quicker you’ll gain authority in search results and start outranking your competitors.

What are your favorite link building resources?

How to Use Twitter Advanced Search to Drive 100% More Leads

There are 69.3 million U.S.-based users active on Twitter, meaning it’s a platform full of potential when it comes to lead generation within the states.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to know how to find leads effectively on Twitter—unless you know how to use Twitter’s advanced search queries. That’s why I’m going to tell you what advanced search queries are and how to use them to help drive more leads.

Why You Should Use Twitter’s Advanced Search

Twitter’s Advanced Search function allows you to narrow down your searches to precisely the type of user you want, including location, interests, and more. You can even find users who are talking about your company without tagging (or @ing) you.

Chances are, you have already used Twitter’s search panel on the right-hand side of your desktop screen or the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your mobile screen to search for basic things like hashtags and users.

Say you search for a company, such as Converse. You’ll be able to see accounts related to your search, top tweets, and recent tweets mentioning that keyword.

converse example of a twitter advanced

These searches are general, so you probably couldn’t learn much from them.

And if Converse was your company or competitor, that’s disappointing.

Millions of tweets go out each day, so finding exactly what you’re looking for means you need some filtering tools to narrow down your search.

Twitter’s advanced search option does just that.

Ways and Reasons to Use Twitter’s Advanced Search Options

There are a multitude of reasons you may want to use advanced search functions in Twitter. The way you perform the search depends on what information you are seeking.

1. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search Functions via the Search Bar

You can see tweets from people or companies in any location with any particular phrase you can think of with Twitter Advanced Search. It’s just a bit more complicated than the normal search option.

Currently, you can only access Twitter’s advanced search tool on their desktop site or web app, not the actual Twitter app on your phone or tablet. The next several suggestions can be used on the app or website, but frankly, the desktop advanced search function is easier, and we suggest going that way if you can.

2. Search Twitter by Sentiment

Sentiment searches can help you understand what keywords people use and why they use them via a basic form of natural language processing (NLP). Such searches are generally categorized as positive, negative, and neutral.

Knowing both what and why people search can help you figure out what your potential customers need.

You can purchase programs to run complete NLP analyses on Twitter, but you can do this on your own to a certain extent. For starters, search for happy or sad faces and punctuation combined with your chosen keywords.

In the example below, I searched for the phrase “iphone?” to find people asking questions about iPhones. You can filter results to see top tweets, latest tweets, people, photos, or videos. There are more options on the app, though they sometimes changed based on current events.

Twitter advanced search sentiment options for iPhone?

A simple search like this is a great way to determine what questions people are asking in your industry or about your products or even your competitors’ products.

Be sure to read through the context of each tweet, though, because sentiment filters depend on context.

Someone asking questions about an iPhone could be looking for apps, security information, or troubleshooting guides. However, they could also be looking for a buyer for their used phone, making some kind of joke, or asking a totally unrelated question—it only looks for the word and the punctuation in this search.

Even with the less relevant results still included, sentiment search narrows things down a bit and could be a great way to find users looking for answers or recommendations. If you can answer your questions, showing your brand’s authority, you could find yourself with a new lead.

This method may be more successful if you run a local brand and aren’t competing against international players.

3. Use Location Filters

Find tweets in any country or city with geolocation filters.

That way, you’ll be able to weed out the tweets from faraway places. This is important if you’re a small local business because you can target leads right in your area.

Just add ‘near:(city/country)’ and ‘within:(X mi)’ to find tweets from any specific location worldwide.

The ‘near:’ addition filters out exactly where you want to see tweets from. The ‘within:’ addition lets you pick the distance from that location you want to see tweets from.

Essentially, it creates a radius around the city, county, or other region you specific with the ‘near:’ filter.

For instance, if you own a restaurant in a particular location, for example, you could find anyone who’s looking for a place to eat and send them to your business.

Do this by entering a keyword related to your industry (like ‘Japanese restaurant’) and add ‘near:(your location) within:(X mi)’ to find potential local customers. We recommend looking at “Latest” for this so you can find people who are hungry right now.

Your results should look something like this:

Twitter advanced search sentiment options for iPhone?

Finding new customers could be as simple as that.

And providing help to users with questions—like where they can find good soba!—can boost your online reputation, which is an added perk of using sentiment searches.

Sentiment searching can give you insight into what people are saying to your competitors and asking them about, too.

If you find that customers are unhappy with one of your competitor’s features, tweet back at them with relevant information about your service.

You can dive into any conversation and add your opinions and answers to build an engaging relationship with Twitter users.

4. Track Twitter Mentions by Searching for Usernames

One of the easiest ways to track new leads is to do username searches to track mentions.

All you’ve got to do is add “to:” or “from:” before a username.

The “to:” search reveals tweets sent to that user. For example, if you search for “to:NeilPatel,” you’ll be able to see tweets that other Twitter accounts sent to me, whether in response to my Tweets or independently.

If you enter in ‘from:’ before my name, you’ll see tweets that I have sent out instead:

twitter advanced search - mentions example of using "from"

You probably would use this option more to search for tweets from your competitors, not yours.

Say I’m interested in seeing if anyone has questions for me about branding. All I would have to do is add that keyword to a ‘to:’ search, like this:

Twitter advanced search to: with question

Note I added the question mark back in to help narrow it down to questions only.

Then, all I’ve got to do is engage with those users.

5. Save Your Twitter Advanced Searches

Twitter lets you save as many as 25 searches per account. That’s plenty of searches to keep tabs on.

To save a search, all you’ve got to do is click the three dots on the right-hand side of your search query. Then, select “+ Save search.”

Twitter advanced search to: with question

That way, you can keep an eye on people sharing your blog posts, mentioning you or your competitors, or tweeting about certain keywords.

6. Use Twitter Advanced Search to Exclude Irrelevant Results

Cut out the search results you don’t want by using the exclusion filter.

All you’ve got to do is add the “-” symbol before a keyword, filter, or Twitter user.

For example, if you want to find Twitter users who are talking about smartphones, but you don’t want to see tweets from a competitor (let’s say Samsung), just search for ‘smartphone’ -samsung.

.

twitter advanced search - samsung example

Getting refined results really can be that easy.

7. Create Hashtags and Search for Them

If you use hashtags correctly, you can build your own filter for driving leads.

Use just one hashtag at any given time, ensure it’s branded and creative, and add it to the majority of your posts.

One of the most successful branded hashtags was Redbull’s #PutACanOnIt:

twitteer advanced search

The hashtag became popular worldwide because it encouraged people to use Red Bull cans creatively, take a photo, and share it with the hashtag.

Twitter advanced search hashtag usage

This not only allows your customers to do your marketing and product placement for you, but it also creates a branded hashtag you can search later to interact with Twitter users.

Hashtags like this might encourage people who have never purchased your products to buy them so that they can participate in the fun.

You don’t have to do advanced searches manually, though. Save yourself some time by letting Twitter do the work for you.

8. Use the Advanced Search Function on the Web

As mentioned, the actual advanced search function is only available on Twitter’s website, not the app. If you have a computer or access the site through your browser on your mobile device, this method can shorten the time you spend searching.

Next to your search bar, you can see three dots. Click those dots, then choose “Advanced search.”

Twitter advanced search hashtag usage

From there, it will take you to this form where you can do a variety of different things. You need to scroll multiple times to see all the available options; that’s how advanced this function has become. What shows up on each scroll may vary a bit by your computer, but here is what you can generally expect.

The first screen shows the basics: words to use, words to exclude, and hashtags to search.

Twitter advanced search screen 1

After your first scroll, you can choose a language, tweets to and from accounts, tweets mentioning accounts, and the top of the choices regarding filtering replies.

Twitter advanced search screen 2

Your next scroll gives you additional options regarding replies, allows you to choose whether to include links, and the amount of engagement you want a post to have had before you view it.

Twitter advanced search screen 3

Your final scroll allows you to choose the date ranges of the tweets you want to see.

Twitter advanced search screen 4

You can choose as many filters as you want, then hit search.

The only thing this option can’t seem to do with advanced search is the specific distance option. If I wanted to search Tweets regarding Japanese restaurants within 10 miles of Seattle, I should do that through the regular search bar. However, I can search for Japanese restaurants in Seattle via advanced search by including “Japanese restaurants Seattle” in the first search filter.

I recommend narrowing down dates with every search you do. Tweets from seven years ago aren’t going to help you drive more leads, but recent ones may.

You can look for tweets from the last few days, weeks, or months, or even the last year.

If you want to shell out a few extra bucks each month for even more advanced Twitter searches, there are various paid programs out there, such as Twilert.

How to Connect with Your Twitter Advanced Search Leads

All of this could be for nothing if you don’t talk to Twitter users who could be within your target audience. Once you’ve filtered your search to the types of tweets you’re looking for, start to connect with users.

  1. Respond to the User

    Whether a user tweeted directly at you, asked a question you can answer, or was looking for advice on what to purchase, if you can respond in a relevant way, do so.

    Here’s how Apple does it:

    respond to the leads you identified with your twitter advanced search

  2. Follow Your Leads

    Once you’ve identified a lead, head to their profile and follow them. If they follow you back, you may be able to engage further and more efficiently.

    respond to the leads you identified with your twitter advanced search

  3. Include a Link to Your Website

    No matter why you engage with a customer, if it’s appropriate, add a link to your website somehow. Only do this if it’s directly relevant to their query, though—just tacking one on could make you seem like a salesman rather than a person using their expertise to help.

    Best practice may be to simply add a link to your first response, then simply answer follow-up questions unless a link is necessary to expand upon the answer.

    For instance, if someone asked “What’s the best Japanese restaurant in Seattle?” and you run one, respond with something friendly and include a link. For instance, “Hey, we think we’re pretty good! Come give us a visit! [Link]”

    Then, if they ask, “do you have soba?” you can simply answer with “Yes, and it’s awesome!” or “no, but we do have [acceptable replacement.].”

Advanced Twitter Search Conclusion

There are millions of users on Twitter, potentially making it a great place to drive leads. But you’ve got to know how to use advanced search options to find them first.

Advanced searches let you find specific leads to target and build relationships with by adding extra filters to Twitter search queries.

If you’re on a mobile app, you do this by manual searches through the standard search function. If you’re on a browser, try out their advanced search function in all its glory.

Be sure to connect with your potential leads personally and remain engaged with them over time.

That said, if you simply don’t have the time to run all this yourself, we’re here to help.

Which advanced search queries help you drive the most leads?

How Google’s Search Engine Really Works (A Peek Under The Hood)

Google’s search engine is technically complex.

There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of different factors taken into account so that the search engine can figure out what should go where.

It’s like a mysterious black box, and very few people know exactly what’s inside.

However, the good news is that search engines are actually pretty easy to understand.

We may not know every single factor (out of a hundred or thousand), but we also don’t need to.

I’ll bring it down to the basics with a simple method to please Google, rank higher, and bring in more website traffic.

I’ll also introduce some of the latest developments, like RankBrain, that help Google guess what you’re actually looking for (even if you don’t type it in).

First, I’m going to walk you through exactly how Google’s search engine really works so that you can see that it’s not as difficult to understand as you might think.

How Do Search Engines Crawl the Web?

Google’s first job is to ‘crawl’ the web with ‘spiders.’

These are little automated programs or bots that scour the net for any and all new information.

The spiders take notes on your website, from the titles you use to the text on each page to learn more about who you are, what you do, and who might be interested in finding you.

how search engines work nutshell spiders

That may sound simplistic on the face of it.

Which is no small feat, considering there are more than 1.8 billion websites online today — with thousands of new sites popping up every day.

The first massive challenge is to locate new data, record what it’s about, and then store that information (with some accuracy) in a database.

Google’s next job is to figure out how to best match and display the information in its database when someone types in a search query. Scaling becomes a problem, though.

Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day, and that number increases every year.

how google works number of searches done per day

That means the information in its database needs to be categorized correctly, rearranged, and displayed in less than a second after someone expects it.

Time is of the essence here, because speed wins, according to Marissa Mayer back when she worked for Google over a decade ago.

She reported when they were able to speed up Google Maps’ home page (by cutting down on its size), traffic leaped 10 percent within seven days and 25 percent just a few weeks later.

Google won the search engine race because it’s able to:

  1. Find and record more information
  2. Deliver more accurate results
  3. Do both of those two tasks faster than any other search engine

One of the reasons Google is the front of the pack comes down to the accuracy of its results.

The information it displays is more likely to match what users are actually looking for.

Think about it this way.

When you type something into Google, you’re expecting something. It might be a simple answer, like the weather in your city, or maybe a little more complex, like “how does Google’s search engine really work?”

Google’s results, compared to other search engines, tend to answer those queries better. The information was the best of the best.

This breakthrough came from an initial theory Google’s co-founders actually worked on in college.

Why Do Links Matter to Google?

Google’s co-founders were still at Stanford in 1998 when they released a paper entitled “The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.”

Check it out — you can read the whole thing right here!

how google words why links matter paper

The PageRank breakthrough was simple.

Academic papers were often ‘ranked’ by the number of citations a paper received. The more they received, the more authoritative they were considered on that topic.

Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to apply the same ‘grading’ system to the web’s information. They used backlinks as a proxy for votes. The more links a page received, the more authoritative it was perceived on that particular topic.

links are votes how google works

Of course, they didn’t just look at the number of links. They also factored in quality by considering who was doing the linking.

If you received two links, for example, from two different websites, the one with the more authority on a topic would be worth more.

They also considered relevance to better gauge the ‘quality’ of a link.

For example, if your website talks about “dog food,” links from other pages or sites that talk about things related to “dogs” or “dog food” would be worth more than one talking about “truck tires.”

External links (links from other sites) are also more valuable than internal links (links to different pages on your own site.)

how google works external vs internal links.

Before we go any further, please understand these concepts are over two decades all.

PageRank may have mattered years ago, but it’s evolved tremendously since then. So don’t worry about it explicitly today.

One of the reasons is because of newer algorithm developments, including RankBrain.

What is ‘RankBrain’ and How Does It Work?

RankBrain was first acknowledged in 2015 by Google engineer Greg Corrado:

RankBrain has become the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.

Google’s been working on this technology for years to help the search engine handle the massive increases in volume without losing accuracy.

The RankBrain secret sauce is that it uses artificial intelligence to continually learn how to improve.

rankbrain diagram how google works

So the more it processes new information or new search queries for users, it actually gets more accurate.

For example, in 2010, Google’s algorithm “might have up to 10,000 variations or sub-signals,” according to Search Engine Land. That’s a lot!

As you can imagine, somehow managing all of those on the fly would be incredibly difficult (if not impossible).

That’s where RankBrain comes in.

Generally, the two most important ranking factors are:

  1. Links (and citations)
  2. Words (content and queries)

Note: this changes over time, and these aren’t the only factors that matter. Speed plays a major factor in Google ranking, as do Core Web Vitals.

RankBrain, however, is still a main component. It helps analyze or understand the connections between those links and content so Google can understand the context behind what someone’s asking. This is often called semantic search.

rankbrain semantic search difficulty 1

For example, let’s say you type in the word “engineer salaries.”

Now think about that for a moment. What type of engineer salaries are you looking for?

It could be “civil,” “electrical,” “mechanical,” or even “software.”

That’s why Google needs to use several different factors to figure out exactly what you’re asking for.

Let’s say the following events played out over the past few years:

  • You’re getting a degree in computer science.
  • Your IP address puts you on the campus of Stanford University.
  • You follow tech journalists on Twitter.
  • You read TechCrunch almost every single day.
  • You Googled “software engineer jobs” last week.

Google’s able to piece all of these random bits of data together. It’s like a bunch of puzzle pieces suddenly coming together.

So now Google knows what type of “engineer salaries” to show you, even though you never explicitly asked for “software engineer salaries.”

That’s also how Google is now answering your questions before you even ask them.

For example, do a generic search right now for anything, like “pizza.”

Now, what do you see?

how google words SERP example

You see the typical ad spaces up at the top.

However, the local results below the ads are assuming that you’re asking “where to get pizza.”

The Knowledge Graph on the far right-hand side is serving up almost every fact and figure about pizza imaginable.

RankBrain process and filters all this data to give you answers before you even ask them.

Change your search up a little (like this one for “pizza hut”) and the search engine result page (SERP) changes with new information.

how google works pizza search

Now you know how Google’s search engine really works.

While you don’t need to be an expert, understanding the basics like this can help you better figure out how to give your prospects exactly what they want (so you get better rankings and more traffic).

Here are a few of the big things to keep an eye on.

How to Rank Higher in Google: Solve People’s Problems

People type searches into Google to get an answer to whatever question they’re facing.

If they’re looking for an answer, it means they have a question.

If they have a question, it means they have a problem.

So your primary job is to solve someone’s problem.

In theory, it’s really that simple. If you solve someone’s problem better than anyone else, you’ll get better rankings and more traffic.

Let’s take a look at a few examples so you can see how this works in real life.

Someone comes home from a long day at work. All they’re looking forward to doing is grabbing something to eat fast and hanging out with their family or watching a new show on Netflix.

Before they’re able to throw a meal together, they try to run the kitchen sink and discover that it’s clogged.

Bummer.

It’s already getting late, though, so they don’t want to call a plumber. Instead, they head over to Google and start typing in “how to unclog drain” as their search query.

Then here’s what they see:

how google works SERP example for how to uncolog a sink.

See?!

Way up at the top is an ad for a plumber (just in case you want to call in a professional).

Next up is an Instant Answer box that contains step-by-step instructions that Google believes has helped other people. So you might already be able to fix your sink without ever leaving this page!

Below that are related questions that other people commonly ask (along with their answers).

So all of this begs the question: How do you create something that can help solve a user’s problem?

I’ll answer that in one second, but here’s what you don’t do for the record:

how google works example of keyword stuffing

“Keyword density” used to be an old-school tactic that was once relevant when Google’s algorithm was dumb and static. With RankBrain, Google has become a borderline genius.

So keyword stuffing like it’s 1999 will hurt you in the long run. As you can see, this is a terrible “answer” or “solution” to someone’s problem.

After saying that, there are a few places on a page that you want to pay special attention to.

For example, the Title Tag and Meta Description are used by Google to provide an official answer for what this page is about.

Those are the two elements that will also show up on a SERP when someone types in their query.

It only makes sense, then, that you should use the main topic in those areas so that everyone knows exactly what your page is discussing.

how google works title tag and meta description

Do you want to see where that text is getting pulled from?

Simply right-click on a website to view the source code. For example, my homepage looks something like this:

where meta text is how google works

You can see the title tag and meta description at the top of the code.

I’m also using Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to help add these extra fields on the backside of WordPress.

That way, all you have to do is write out the specific title and description in plain text (as opposed to getting your hands dirty with code).

Otherwise, the actual page content should be written for humans (as opposed to keyword stuffing to tricks or fool the search engines).

Instead, here’s how your page content should look:

how google works example of good content

I wrote an in-depth response to help someone figure out a solution to a complex problem (keyword research).

Even though it’s a complex subject, I was trying to give them a simple, step-by-step solution so they could fix that problem ASAP.

Google even takes website usage data into account now to determine how helpful your content is.

For example, let’s say that someone clicks on your website from Google and is turned off by the poor design or hard-to-read content. So they ‘bounce back’ to Google immediately to find a different result.

That’s a bad sign! Google determines you weren’t a happy searcher. So maybe Google will try to find a few other results to swap out with that one to hopefully make everyone happy.

That’s why I also break up the paragraphs and include a lot of images. The goal is to help people quickly find what they’re looking for.

I want them to read the page faster and digest the information more easily so that they’ll stick around longer instead of bouncing away.

That’s the key to ranking well in search engines. Give the people what they want, keep them around or coming back for more, and Google will be happier as a result.

Let’s go back to our clogged drain example to see how this works in another context.

how google works example.

Those are all pretty good results!

In each case, the person who crafted each page provided a detailed answer to a common problem.

Let’s zero in on that second SERP result, “7 Brilliant Ways to Unclog a Drain (Photos)” from Yahoo, to discover what they’re doing so well to hit number two on a big, popular search query like that.

how google works drain example

This seems like it might be a good result because it gives us multiple methods to try, along with photos so we can see exactly what’s happening.

Let’s click on that to see what they provide.

how google works good content example: include images and easy to read text

Pretty good overall!

It provides the user with good, quality content to help solve a problem. The better your content does that, the more links or ‘upvotes’ it will receive when other people find it useful, too.

Links and other citations or social signals help alert Google. They tell the search engine that your page is on the rise and to start paying attention to your website for these topics.

Your page will get better treatment, move up in the rankings, be exposed to more people, get more links or votes as a result, and continue that upward trend.

That’s where the genius of Google’s process comes into play.

It makes people happy by giving them exactly what they’re looking for. When you do it right, it gives you compounding benefits that can take off all of a sudden, expanding your website traffic as a result.

How Google Search Engine Works: Conclusion

Google’s search engine is one of the most complex technologies in the world.

It crunches a mind-numbing amount of data at lightning speeds to give people exactly what they’re looking for in seconds.

When you boil it down to the basics, search engines are actually pretty easy to understand.

They want to help people find what they’re looking for.

People use Google to find answers and solutions. They have something on their minds, and they want to find an answer that helps them clear the issue to move on with their day.

How Google finds and delivers that information is the building blocks of SEO, making it crucial to growing your business online.

Now that you know how Google works, how are you going to use this information?

How to Use Reverse Image Search For Competitor Research

What do backlinks, reverse image search, and your business have in common?

Your bottom line.

Sure, you can blog until you have hundreds of posts on your site, but it takes time.

Can your business afford to wait? Probably not.

This is where a backlinks strategy comes in. Not only can it help with boosting your domain authority (DA), but it could expose your business to a new audience who may want to buy from you if you target the right sites.

How do you find these sites? Reverse image search. When done correctly, you can use it to snoop on your competitors and find the backlinks boosting their DA and profits.

Here’s how to turn their backlink success into yours.

What Is Reverse Image Search?

A reverse image search uses an image in place of a text-based query.

All you need to do is upload an image onto a search engine, and you’ll get a list of information. These details usually include:

  • file type
  • source of the original image
  • image size
  • other sizes of the same image
  • websites using the image
  • related images

While many people use reverse image search to check if someone is stealing their content, it’s a powerful tool in the hands of a savvy digital marketer.

I’ve used reverse image search to grow my backlinks by 26 percent, but it can do so much more than find unclaimed backlinks. When done right, it can give you the upper hand over your competitors while growing your authority.

Why Would You Use a Reverse Image Search for Competitor Research?

Backlinks.

Using reverse image search on your competitors is one of the best link-building strategies most people skip.

Not having any backlinks is a reason more than 90 percent of websites don’t get traffic from Google.

By uploading a photo of a competitor’s headshot or company logo, you can see at a glance where their inbound links are coming from and start building a list of backlink opportunities.

Why is this important?

Backlinks are a valuable Google ranking factor. The search engine uses links from other sites as a vote of confidence.

According to a study by Backlinko, the site holding the #1 spot on Google has, on average, 3.8x more backlinks than those in positions two through 10.

By analyzing where your competitors are getting links, you can determine what sites are helping grow their authority and get a slice of the pie for yourself. Getting those backlinks could help grow your traffic, build your authority, and potentially one-up your competitor.

For example, let’s say you’re competing with me. If you reverse image search my headshot, you’ll see results like these before the fold:

reverse image search - Neil Patel headshot, before fold

When you scroll down past this, you’ll see a few more pages:

reverse image search - Neil Patel headshot results, below the fold

If you continue to scroll through the results, you’ll see I’ve been featured on sites like:

  • Searchengineland.com (DA 91)
  • Meltwater (DA 77)
  • Forbes (DA 95)
  • Getresponse.com (DA 81)

These are all powerful backlinks helping me grow my domain authority, website traffic, and sales.

How to Do a Reverse Image Search to Track Your Competitors

Ready to uncover those hidden link-building opportunities that lurk behind your competitor’s images? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Step 1: Find a Photo

What photo should you use for your reverse image search to track your competitors? I’d recommend using a headshot of the person who would be credited as the author.

Use their LinkedIn profile picture. They’ll likely use the same headshot for their guest blogging bylines, just like I do.

neil patel linkedin profile reverse image search

In addition to searching for a competitor’s headshot—or if your competitor doesn’t have a “face” attached to it—search for the brand’s logo.

Step 2: Use Reverse Image Search

You can’t upload a photo on the standard Google homepage.

Click on “Images” in the top right-hand corner to load the reverse image search feature or go to images.google.com.

Where to find reverse image search on Google homepage

Next, click on the camera icon.

google reverse image search camera icon

Choose the headshot or logo you downloaded in step 1 and click on the blue “Upload an Image” tab. Google will then return a results page that looks like this:

neil patel reverse image search results

Step 3: Start Looking for Opportunities

If we use the example of my headshot, you’ll see the first result points back to this blog.

Scroll down further, and you’ll see my author profile for CoSchedule. The blog has a DA of 57 and is a popular tool for content marketers. As a competitor, this is the kind of site you want backlinks from or to write guest posts for.

Having a guest post on a high authority site like CoSchedule could add to your credibility. You can use it to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your niche and get your message in front of your target audience.

Don’t forget to reverse image search your competitor’s logo! It can help you find opportunities to get listed on resource pages or niche directories.

reverse image search - neil patel logo

How to Find Guest Post Ideas Once You’ve Completed the Reverse Image Search and Competitor Research

Now that you’ve completed your reverse image search, you should have a master list of websites your competitor uses for backlinks. Now what?

It’s time to come up with guest post ideas, start pitching, and, when a site agrees to your guest post, deliver compelling content to drive traffic back to your business.

You’ll have a much stronger pitch if you have a few blog post ideas. Here’s how to make sure you come with content the website will love.

Read Their Blog

You don’t want to make the mistake of pitching a blog post that’s already on your target’s website or won’t add value to their audience.

Editors receive an average of 10 pitches per day, and 20 percent of them don’t thoroughly read 90 percent of those pitches because they can tell at a glance they’re not worth the time. Make sure yours is in the 10 percent that the editors read.

How? By thoroughly reviewing the website you’re targeting. After reading the site’s content, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is the audience? B2B, CEOs, moms working from home, etc.
  2. What is the level of the audience? beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.
  3. What type of content do they post? 3,000+ word tutorials, quick tips and tricks, narrative essays, etc.
  4. What are the content gaps? Are they missing a comparison between two popular tools? Can you offer a different perspective on a hot topic?
  5. What topics do best? Use Buzzsumo to see what posts get the most shares on social media.

Keyword Research

Once you have a few topic ideas in mind, tie everything together with keyword research.

Presenting a unique guest post idea backed with a strong long-tail keyword shows you know how visitors reach the site and, therefore, can write for their audience.

Plus, you want people to read your post. Choosing a keyword with a decent amount of traffic ensures you’re writing a blog your target audience will find and consume.

Use Ubersuggest to find high traffic, low competition keywords. Remember to check your chosen site’s DA so you can target the right keywords.

using ubersuggest for keyword research after completing reverse image search competitor research

How to Pitch Your Guest Post After Doing a Reverse Image Search on Your Competitors to Find Potential Backlink Opportunities

I have an in-depth guide on becoming a successful guest blogger, but here are the pitching basics to follow every time:

  1. Read the Guidelines

    Always check to see if the site has guest posting guidelines. If they do, follow them to make sure your post doesn’t get rejected. According to research by PointVisable, 22 percent of guest posts are rejected for not following the guidelines.

  2. Personalize the Email

    Hop onto LinkedIn or read the “About” page and find the exact person you need to email. If you can address the blog owner by name, you’ll have a higher chance of success than starting an email with “Dear Sir.”

  3. Introduce Yourself

    Include your industry expertise, accolades, and link to other places you’ve been published. You want the person to understand you’re not a generalist. You’re an expert with something valuable to add.

Reverse Image Search FAQ

How do I reverse Google Image Search?

Go to images.google.com and click on the camera icon. Upload the image and click on search.

How do you do a Google reverse image search on my phone?

Download or take a screenshot of your chosen image, then open the Google (not the Chrome) app on your phone. Tap the rainbow camera icon, allow any permissions it asks for, then tap the gallery icon. Select an image from your phone, and Google will display the results. You can also use Google Lens to take a photo and search for it.

How do you reverse image search with Chrome?

If you’re using the Chrome browser (again, not the app), you can reverse image search by right-clicking on any picture and selecting “Search Google for an image.”

Is reverse image search free?

Yes. It’s a free tool you can access via Chrome.

Reverse Image Search Summary

As you can see, reverse image search is a powerful backlink tool. It can help you identify the best sites to target for backlinks and go after the sites giving your competitors results in their business.

However, searching for an image is only the start. Once you have a list of sites, do your due diligence and pitch blog post ideas to establish your business as the go-to expert.

Only compelling blog posts will get you the backlinks you need to rank higher on search, attract the right people onto your website, and into your sales funnel.

Do you think reverse image search is a good way to gain an advantage over your competitors?

How to Rank a Blog in Google’s Top 10 Search Results

Are you dreaming of getting 1,000 organic clicks a day to your website?

How about 10,000, or perhaps even more?

These numbers are possible, and plenty of websites achieve it (I’ve grown my site to 36,000 visitors per day using these techniques), but if you’re going to reach these numbers, then you’re going to have to rank your blog in Google’s top 10 search results.

What Does It Mean to “Rank’’ on Google?

Ranking a blog on Google simply means getting your website listed in the search results when someone Googles a term or question. This is a fundamental goal for most website owners and it opens up opportunities to gain a large amount of traffic to your site

There’s a catch, though.

How many times have you been to page five of Google’s results? How often do you even make it to page two?

Page two results get well below a one percent click-through rate, so ranking in the top 10 search results (which are the ones that appear on page ones) is essential. If your blog isn’t ranking in the top 10, then very few people see your listing in the search results, and even fewer people are clicking to your website.

Ranking in the top 10 search results on Google is vital because that’s where all the traffic comes from.

Tips on How to Get Your Blog to Rank in Google’s Top 10

Ranking a blog in Google’s top 10 for your target keywords can bring thousands of clicks to your website each day. Naturally, this brings competition, meaning it’s not as simple as putting up a blog and watching it soar to the top of the rankings.

Ranking well on Google takes consistency; it means doing the right things over and over and becoming a reliable source of value for your readers.

It is a process, and when you consistently follow the steps, you’re likely to find your blogs ranking in those top 10 spots.

1. Research What’s Currently Ranking in the Top 10 Results for the Keywords You Want to Rank On

Why should Google rank your blog in the top 10?

It wants to send people to trustworthy websites that answer their questions in the best way.

If you’re writing an article on “How to Take Care of Your Cat,” and the next on “How to Start Your Own Investment Bank,” then Google might wonder where your expertise truly lies. Instead, your blogs need to be focused on your area of expertise and the information your audience is looking for.

This is where your keyword research comes in.

By using tools like Ubersuggest, you can begin to understand how users search Google, giving you ideas about the types of content you should be writing. For example, you might type in “investment banking” and find other keywords people are searching for, such as “investment banking salary,” “investment banking analyst,” and “investment banking jobs.”

How to rank a blog using Ubersuggest

Once you’ve made a list of relevant keywords, then it’s time to check out your competition. Through Ubersuggest, or by typing the keywords into Google, you can analyze the results that already feature in the top 10 to find out what makes them successful:

  • How long is the content?
  • What topics do they discuss?
  • What type of domain are they (if they’re .edu, they can be difficult to beat)?

Google uses a complicated algorithm to decide what pages rank at the top of the rankings, so looking at the competition gives you an idea of what it’s looking for. You can now take the aspects that make these pages successful and add your own personal touches to your posts about similar topics.

2. Optimize for On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the way you structure your page and its HTML to boost its chances of ranking.

I often say the most important part of blogging is offering value to the reader, but you’ve also got to convey that value to the search engines. Google isn’t human so it doesn’t interpret content in quite the same ways as your readers. In a way, it has its own language, and your blog has to communicate properly with it if it’s going to rank in the top 10 search results.

Google’s algorithms have come a long way in the past decade or so, and today, they’re amazingly good at understanding the meaning behind words (semantics). Still, if you want to rank for a certain keyword, then you’ve got to use it and show Google that word is central to what you’re writing about.

You can do this by including keywords in:

  • headers
  • meta descriptions
  • image files
  • page content
  • alt text
  • URL

Before we get too carried away with keywords, though, remember that your user comes first. Just stuffing keywords into your text at every opportunity isn’t going to look or feel natural, and it’s going to put human readers off.

Google understands the importance of user experience, so a big part of your on-page SEO is making sure you tick these boxes. People want a clean and fast user experience, so it’s important to take care of the following as well:

  • don’t keyword stuff
  • optimize images
  • break your page down into easy-to-read sections
  • avoid thin content

On-page SEO is the nuts and bolts of what you do with your blog, so it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing what you do each time.

3. Optimize for Technical SEO

What’s the number one thing that drives you mad about a website?

Is it that it loads slowly? Buttons move all over the screen when you’re about to click them?

These are common user experience errors and they cause people to bounce from your page without engaging with the content.

Google doesn’t want to send people to websites that annoy its users, so it keeps a close eye on metrics, such as load speed. This means you need to do everything you can on the technical SEO side of things to ensure your pages are performing for the reader.

There are lots of tools out there to help you with this and show you how Google itself views your website. Programs like Ubersuggest and Google Lighthouse can give you important insights into how your site is performing and walk you through how to make fixes.

For many, this can seem daunting and overly technical but it’s an important part of getting your blog ranked.

4. Get Backlinks

If your next-door neighbor tells you to buy stocks in BMW this week, the first thing you’ll probably do is ask why, and then research if other people are saying the same thing.

We want to see evidence that what we’re being told is trustworthy, and when it comes to your blog, Google wants to see the same thing. It wants to see who is backing up what you’re saying, and the way it does this is by analyzing your link profile (the links pointing from external websites to your pages.)

Now, imagine another neighbor chimes into the discussion. He’s a painter and decorator. He says, “I agree, you definitely should be investing in BMW.” Another person is backing up the advice, and he seems like a smart enough guy, so his opinion might carry some weight.

As you’re having the conversation, though, Warren Buffett walks by and says, “you’ve absolutely got to buy BMW stock.” This recommendation is going to carry a lot of weight because, well, he’s Warren Buffett.

Backlinks work in the same way; the more people you have backing up what you say (linking to you), and the more authoritative those people are, the more Google is going to trust your information.

Google’s algorithm has become more and more adept at understanding the meaning behind the content, but backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors.

Here’s how you can look to improve your backlink profile.

5. Create Helpful Content

What is valuable content?

Blogs can offer value to the reader for different reasons: They address pain points, answer a question, entertain, or some combination of the three.

This is where it’s important to understand your target audience and what they’re looking for. If you know what information people want and how they search for it, you can create in-depth content that will delight them.

It’s likely Google pays attention to engagement in some way, and even if it didn’t you still need engagement to turn clicks into something valuable for your website. If you’re offering thin content that doesn’t address people’s questions and help them solve their problems, then you won’t get the level of engagement you need.

If you’re going to make the effort of creating content, and you want to create a blog that ranks on Google, then go the extra mile and make sure it’s deserving of ranking.

Here are my nine ingredients for great content:

  • Original content: Always put your own take on things, and don’t rehash old ideas.
  • Headlines are key: Make your headlines concise yet catchy and draw people in.
  • Make it actionable: Give people the information they need to take action.
  • Provide answers: Providing good answers to search queries is the reason search engines send people to you.
  • Be accurate with your reporting and sources: Use reputable sources and check your information.
  • Be thought-provoking: Encourage people to explore the subject further.
  • Don’t just rely on text: Use images and video to appeal to more people.
  • Cut out the fluff: People want you to get to the point.
  • Keep updating your website and blogs: Keep your information relevant and up to date.

Consistently creating high-quality content isn’t easy, but an editorial calendar is a great way to plan out your schedule.

6. Use the AIDA Model

AIDA is a commonly used marketing model, and it can help when you’re writing blogs. It’s broken down into four stages: awareness, interest, desire, and action, and can be a good way to structure your articles.

how to rank a blog with the AIDA marketing model

The first thing you need to do is grab people’s attention, so how are you going to do this? If someone sees your listing in the SERPs or a link on social media, what attracts them to it?

This could be your amazing titles or some cool images (in the case of social media or on your website itself).

Once you’ve grabbed someone’s attention, you have to create enough interest for them to read on and engage with your content. First impressions are key, and if your early paragraphs aren’t on point, then you will lose people.

Your reader is interested now, but how do you turn that interest into desire?

Now you can talk about the benefits of your topic, and perhaps slip in how your business can help solve the problem. For example, this article is all about answering your questions on how to rank a blog in Google’s top 10 search results, but it’s also an opportunity for me to highlight how I can help you do it and build your desire to take action.

The last part is action, and this is a test of how well you’ve done with the other steps. Can you get people to explore your site further, become a lead, or make a purchase?

How to Rank a Blog FAQs

How do I do SEO for my blog?

There are numerous free resources available for those who want to learn basic SEO on their own so they can incorporate best practices into their blog. If you work for a company blog, you may want to hire a digital marketing agency to help you get started.

How long should my blog be?

Experts have found that to rank well in Google, your blog posts should be about 2,000 words.

When is the best time to post a new blog article?

Research has found the best time to post a blog article for maximum traffic potential is late Monday mornings.

How many blog posts should I write before going live?

It’s probably a good idea to have about 5 posts ready when you go live with your blog. That way, people can get a fuller picture of the kind of content you’ll be publishing.

How to Rank a Blog Conclusion

There’s no silver bullet to get your blog ranking in Google’s top 10 search results. Instead, it’s about consistently doing the right things and offering the reader value.

Ask yourself what Google wants to achieve by ranking your blog in the top 10, and you have a pretty good idea of what you need to do.

Creating amazing content that’s optimized for your target audience and presenting it through a fast, clean user experience will give you a great shot at bringing in traffic. It takes commitment and hard work, but it is possible.

Is your blog ranking top 10 for your target keywords yet?

How to Use Semantic Search for Paid Ad Campaign Copy

Semantic search isn’t only for organic traffic; it’s for paid search as well. Understanding the difference between broad and exact match search is important, but semantics is all about the search intent behind a query. 

Google is focusing a lot more on search intent and keyword variants. Knowing the correlation between intent and semantics can help you narrow down to the perfect audience. 

How Does Semantic Search Work? 

What is semantics, and how does it apply to search? Semantics focuses on the search intent of a keyword and the thoughts and feelings that the person has as they search that keyword. 

It’s a complicated subject, and there isn’t a “black and white” set of steps to follow. A lot of context and concept is behind every search query, and many SEOs overlook this by thinking basic keyword research will solve all their problems. 

When it comes to semantics for paid campaigns, we’re talking about incorrect spelling, plurals, variants, synonyms, and other related words and phrases pertaining to the search word. 

If we understand what semantics is, we can understand how it impacts paid search. 

The goal of every advertiser on Google is to gain visibility for as many applicable keywords as possible. The problem is, no matter how much keyword research you put in on Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and SEMrush, you’ll never find all the keywords that people in your target audience are searching. 

This is where semantics come in. 

Google uses semantics in broad and phrase search to help find a wider range of searches and triggers that will match user intent and display your ad. 

Exact Match Vs. Broad Match in Semantic Search

To understand semantics, it’s important to know the difference between exact and broad match in Google ads. An exact match requires the searcher to input the exact keyword you’ve chosen to display your ad on. 

For example, if you used the exact match “wedding cakes,” the person searching must enter some of the following keywords into Google to display your ad: 

  • wedding cakes
  • white wedding cakes
  • chocolate wedding cakes
  • cheap wedding cakes
  • and so on

These are exact match keywords because they contain the phrase exactly as-is. As a result, this type of advertising doesn’t use semantics because it doesn’t allow the flexibility necessary to locate related phrases with the same search intent. 

Here’s another example: If someone searches for “cakes for weddings” or “weding cakes,” your ad may not display because Google thinks it doesn’t match your intention. 

Even though the search intent is the same, you’re not using semantics in your advertising and may experience a higher CPC because you’re targeting a much narrower audience than necessary. 

Using Semantics for Paid Vs. Organic Search 

When it comes to organic search, many SEOs and site owners like to find every slight permutation of a keyword and include it somewhere in their content. At one time, this was the best strategy. 

However, with the RankBrain update, Google started to implement machine learning and AI to understand the search intent and context of the search rather than rewarding the people stacking as many exact match keywords into their content as possible. 

The goal is to make the process of finding information on Google as natural and conversational as possible. 

For example, if you asked a friend, “Who is the richest person in the world?” they might respond, Jeff Bezos. 

If you then asked, “Who has the most money in the world?” the answer would be the same, correct? 

This factor should apply to Google search as well. Just because two people ask the same question differently doesn’t mean they should receive two different sets of search results. The question has the same intent, and the query demands the same answer. 

If we apply this to organic search, it would tell us that we don’t need to worry so much about getting every single variation of the keyword because Google will identify the similarities and help us rank for all the keywords with the same intent. 

On a different note, Google’s machine learning is using your habits as a searcher too. After searching for the richest person in the world on Google, I searched “most money” to see what that would bring. 

The number-one result on Google was still relevant to my original search. Since I didn’t click through to anything, Google is still scrambling to find an answer to my query. 

Why Should You Use Semantics for Paid Search? 

Google released data that tells us how important semantics are for paid search. Approximately 15 percent of daily searches are new searches that they’ve never seen before. If those 15 percent of searches have never entered Google’s database before, how could anyone ever pick them up using keyword research or competitive analysis? 

You can’t. 

When it comes to long-tail keywords, the goal is to grab as many of those as possible. However, thousands and thousands of search phrases never hit the keyword research phase because they yield no traffic, and most people would never include a keyword with no traffic in their content. 

Unless Google does it for you. 

This factor has become ever prevalent with the rise of voice search as well. Voice commands are much more common today than they were when released in 2011. Twenty-seven percent of the population uses voice search on their phones. It’s also believed that 62 percent of individuals would make a purchase using voice technology on their smart home device.

We all know that people do not speak the way they search on Google. Semantics play a major role in Google’s ability to take a voice search and translate it into accurate results. 

3 Steps to Use Semantic Search for Paid Ads

What can you do to capitalize on semantics? By now, we see the importance of semantics for paid search, but what should you do to ensure you’re reaching as much of your audience as possible?

  1. Worry Less About Keywords for Semantics

    We should all worry less about creating content around keywords and instead create content around topics. 

    The goal is to cover a topic as in-depth as possible, and the keywords will come naturally.

    A lot of SEOs talk about “silos” and “clusters.” These two strategies help you build out content in a way that increases site relevancy and boosts authority. By doing this, you’re showing Google that you’re an expert on the subject, and it should give you precedence over your competition. 

  2. Focus More on Intent 

    I’m always preaching the importance of search intent, but this has become Google’s bread and butter. It makes it more difficult for SEOs to game the system by stacking a bunch of keywords in their content. 

    When choosing keywords for a paid search, you want to focus on the thought behind the keyword and target the intent. Think about the queries that lead people to your website.

    What are they trying to do when they come to your site? 

    Are people there to learn something? Purchase something? Inquire about something? Once you’ve determined that, you’ll want to find keywords matching that intent. 
    In this image, the keyword “best deals on iPhones” has a different search intent than “best iPhones,” pictured below. While they both contain a similar phrase, the person searching is trying to accomplish different things. 

    Someone searching for deals is already in buy mode; they want to buy an iPhone and are looking for good deals. 

    Someone searching for the best iPhones may not have settled on the phone yet. They want to research brands, quality, read reviews, and learn more before making a purchase.

    These two individuals are at different steps in the buying process. 

    Understanding this can help get more people to your site and may even decrease your bounce rate because they’ll get more of what they bargained for when they land. 

  3. Don’t Ignore User Experience When It Comes to Semantics

    With the release of Core Web Vitals, we know that Google is paying attention to the on-site experience. Factors such as loading speed, load delay, and page layout are important. 
    Focus is shifting away from advertisers and affiliates and turning to the users. Google doesn’t care about how well you understand SEO and how many hours you spent on keyword research. 

    All they care about is that people get what they want on your site. If you’re giving people what they want, Google will reward you. If you’re not, they’ll reward your competition.

    For many years, site owners pumped out sub-par keyword-loaded content built to rank but ignored the people searching for those keywords. That won’t cut it anymore. 
    Work on improving your page speed, optimizing your site for mobile, and pay attention to bounce rate and session duration. These are all indicators of whether or not you’re choosing the right keywords and targeting the right audience. 

    If you find that certain paid ad keywords have a higher bounce rate, it could mean you don’t have the right search intent. Semantic advertising isn’t all about verbiage; it’s also about relevancy. You could have the best offer in the world, but it won’t mean anything if your site doesn’t function properly.

Measuring the Success of Your Paid Search Campaign Using Semantics

How can you measure the success of semantic search in paid ads? The most important metric you’ll want to track is the success of individual broad-match keywords. By finding out which words Google’s AI is displaying your ad for, you can determine whether you should continue advertising for that broad-match keyword. 

For example, if you’re advertising a site that sells iPhone cases, and you find that your audience’s search intent doesn’t align with the phrases your ad is displaying for, you might want to readjust or target something different altogether. 

Two other metrics that can tell you a lot about the success of your campaign are the bounce rate and average time on page. If you’re targeting the right audience and bringing the right people onto your page, they’ll likely stay awhile.

If you have a 90 percent bounce rate and an average time on a page of less than a minute, chances are people are landing on your site, not liking what they see, and going somewhere else. 

This could be a sign of a deeper on-site issue, but for this example, you might want to make sure you’re sending the right people through. 

semantics for google analytics dashboard

You can use tools like Google Analytics or the Google Ad dashboard to explore this data. 

Conclusion 

Much of this article will be great news for many of you. It means you don’t have to lose your mind on hours of keyword research anymore. By using broad matches and focusing on intent, you could pick up all the relevant keywords without having to identify them manually. 

If you need a little more help, we can walk you through the steps necessary to get your campaign up and running. 

The paid ad space is constantly changing and adapting to the digital environment, and we all have to jump aboard and roll with the changes. If we don’t, we risk letting our competition get ahead while paying more per click and receiving lower-quality click-throughs. 

Be sure to keep semantics in mind as you set up your paid campaigns and really think about what the individual is trying to accomplish when they type a phrase into Google. 

How have you used semantics to narrow down on your target audience?

When to Target Low Search Volume Keywords

Going after the “low-hanging fruit” is common advice in the SEO world. Ranking for those terms will help you rank for bigger terms down the line, at least that’s the standard belief.

Do you think that’s true? 

There might be some truth to it, but there are many reasons to target low search volume keywords whether your site is brand-new or well-seasoned. 

In this guide, I’ll cover why low search volume keywords are crucial to SEO and show you how to find them.

Reasons to Target Low Volume Keywords

There are many scenarios where you would want to target low search volume keywords. Let’s take a look at six of my most prominent reasons. 

1. If User Intent Is High

User intent refers to the reason why someone is searching a specific phrase into Google. For example, when someone searches for the “best tennis shoes” versus “tennis shoes,” each of these keywords has a different intent. 

Someone who searches for the best tennis shoes is likely looking for reviews of tennis shoes. When we put that into Google, the results prove to be true. 

The majority of results Google provides are reviews of the best tennis shoes because that’s what people want. This tells us most people who search this phrase end up clicking reviews. 

If we change the search to “tennis shoes” the results are dramatically different. Now we’re not receiving results for reviews of shoes, but we’re receiving results of places to buy shoes and different brands instead. 

low search volume keywords user intent

What does this mean? 

It means the keyword “best tennis shoes” has an informational-based search intent. This could mean the person is interested in buying shoes but hasn’t entirely decided on a brand or a location to buy them. 

They might want to read reviews, surf the web, and shop around a little before making a final decision. 

When someone searches “tennis shoes,” it’s clear they’re ready to buy and they know what they want. This is considered transactional intent — meaning they want to make a purchase.

If we’re writing a review on the best tennis grips and we’re trying to get people who are researching rather than buying, we may want to target the following keywords. 

low search volume keywords on ubersuggest

The keyword “best tennis grips for sweaty hands” is a very specific keyword. Even though it only averages 140 searches per month, it could still be a worthwhile long-tail keyword because it’s highly targeted and the search intent is spot on. 

2. If Search Difficulty Is Low 

Search difficulty refers to how difficult it will be for you to rank for a specific keyword. One of the main reasons people target low keywords is because it’s easy for them to rank quickly without much work. 

If you refer back to the previous image, you’ll see “best tennis grips” has a search volume of 320 with a difficulty of 41. This means the keyword might be challenging to rank, and would require more backlinks and higher authority. 

The keyword below it, “best tennis grips for sweaty hands” will be much easier to rank for because it only has a search difficulty of 18. As you can see, it has a lower search volume, though. 

One of the basic principles of SEO is to find as many low competition keywords as possible and include them in your content as naturally as you can. By doing this, you might spread yourself wide over many different keywords, but they’re all low competition so you’ll be able to rank quickly, get traffic on your site, and increase your domain authority to begin to target more competitive keywords. 

3. If It’s a Long-Tail Keyword That Contains a High Volume Keyword 

low search volume long tail keywords

Take a look at the list of keywords above. These all have low search volume. If you look at the one highlighted with a rectangle around it, you’ll see it contains nine words, which makes it a “long-tail keyword.” Long-tail keywords are phrases that contain more than four words and oftentimes, they contain a high search volume keyword in the middle. 

That’s the case with this example. 

While “what is the best tennis racket for intermediate players” may only get 20 searches per month, the keyword “best tennis rackets” gets 8,100 searches per month. As a result, you may want to target these long-tail keywords and position an entire piece of content around them with the intent of eventually getting the high-volume keyword. 

When you’re starting out with a newer site or trying to grow an existing one, you’ll target these types of keywords that contain the high search volume keyword because they offer you a way to get both of them without having to go all in on the highly competitive phrase. The same goes for high search volume, low competition keywords. 

4. If You’re Covering a Niche Topic 

If we continue on with the tennis example, tennis is considered a niche topic. It’s something that doesn’t interest everyone, but those who enjoy it will want to know as much as possible about the sport. They’re highly interested in it and will spend a lot of money to purchase products to make them better at it. 

As a result, it is beneficial to go after low search volume keywords even if they don’t bring about a lot of traffic. Google is putting a lot more emphasis on the comprehensiveness of a website and rewarding those who cover topics to the fullest extent. 

In fact, a great example of this came in a 2021 update where they targeted affiliate websites with “thin content.” Thin content refers to pieces that don’t add a lot of value or personality to the products or services they promote. 

Affiliate marketing websites are notorious for this. 

Let’s say you have a site and you’re promoting tennis rackets on Amazon. Some affiliate sites will simply copy everything in the Amazon product description over to their site and slap an affiliate link on it. 

You can’t do this, according to Google. They refer to it as “scraped content” and while they won’t penalize you for it, they’re rewarding sites that add insight and interesting anecdotes in addition to product specifications. 

How does this tie into low search volume keywords and niche topics? 

Targeting low search volume keywords isn’t always about traffic. The goal of your site should be topic mastery and expertise. Google is paying a lot more attention to this nowadays. You can’t simply be the best keyword research expert and expect to rank right away anymore. 

Google wants to see you actually understand the topic and are passionate about it. As a result, you can cover extensive topics by researching low search volume keywords that provide a well-rounded piece of content for the reader. Doing so shows you not only understand SEO but understand the topic you’re covering as well. 

5. If It Has a Low Cost-Per-Click (CPC) 

low search volume CPC

The cost-per-click is the average cost an advertiser pays to get someone to click on their Google ad. If certain low search volume keywords also have a low cost per click you might want to target them because it would be easy for you to beat out the competition and get to the top of the SERP even if it’s only for 50 people a month. 

Keywords that have a high CPC are more competitive and will cost more to get you one click. For example, if you’re targeting a keyword with a $4.00 CPC, chances are you’ll have to have a large budget and be willing to pay more than that per click if you expect to get on the first page

That cost can add up quickly and it doesn’t mean a conversion. You’re paying more than $4.00 just to get someone to click through to your website. The rest is up to you. 

By going after low search volume keywords, there is less competition and the cost of getting someone to your website is lower.

6. For Link-Building Purposes 

We all know link building is an important piece of the SEO puzzle and acquiring as many high-quality backlinks as possible is crucial if you expect to ever rank for anything. One way a lot of people acquire backlinks is through manual outreach. 

You reach out to website owners in your niche to see if they’re interested in either including a link to your content on their site or fixing a broken link by replacing it with your great piece of content. 

For this to work, you need to have a great piece of content with traffic that shows the website owner you’re worth their time. 

A great way to do this is targeting a bunch of low search volume keywords that are relevant to your niche but might not be the most competitive. By doing so, you’re creating a piece of content that is topically relevant and interesting to the person you’re reaching out to. This increases the chances of them including a link on their site.

FAQs About Low Volume Keywords 

How to Determine Search Volume for Keywords?

Ubersuggest is a great tool and is pictured above in many of the images. All you need to do is input a phrase and the tool will provide relevant keywords as well as their search volume. 

What Is a Good Keyword Search Volume?

There’s really no specific volume because the goal is to find a keyword with as low competition by high search volume as possible. If you can do that, you’ll have an easier time ranking in a shorter amount of time. 

How to Find High Search, Low Competition Keywords?

Finding low search volume keywords with high traffic isn’t easy. If it was easy, you wouldn’t have thousands of people competing against each other, and we’d all get to rank for whatever keywords we wanted. Utilize Google Trends, research using tools like Ahrefs, and spy on your competition by seeing what keywords they rank for. 

How to Get Search Volume for Keywords? 

Finding the search volume of a keyword is as simple as punching it into one of the various tools. You can use Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and even Google Keyword Planner. All of these tools will display search volume. Keep in mind these are estimates so the results may vary from tool to tool. 

Conclusion 

Finding low search volume keywords is a great way to get traffic to your website whether you’re just starting out or making sure your site is topically relevant. There are many pieces to the SEO puzzle and we’re always trying to figure out how to get ahead of our competition. 

If you’re struggling to figure out keyword research and SEO, we can help. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you conduct your research and put together the next list of keywords you plan to target. 

Do you think low search volume keywords can help you rank for higher search volume keywords? Let me know why in the comments.