How do I Rank for a Keyword?
May 7, 2021
September 2, 2020
The first step in understanding how to rank for a keyword is to understand the basic principles of Search Engine Optimisation.
Google wants to be the best, most popular search engine and In order to be the best, they must ensure that people use the site regularly. One of the most important factors in this is that they want to ensure that when a user performs a search, the most relevant page appears.
For people who create websites and perform SEO regularly, this will mean that you want your site to provide the best experience to users. If you provide a great experience, Google will push your site higher as it will want to show that content to someone when they perform a search.
If for any reason your site stops providing a good experience, or another site provides a better experience, Google will change the order of listings and push the better site higher.
How to Perform Keyword Research
Before you look at how to rank for a keyword, you need to consider the best terms for your business and how competitive they will be, for some industries it is much easier to rank for different keywords, but in other industries there are a lot of competitors who are unfortunately trying to achieve the same goal.
Finding the Best Keywords
For many marketeers you may already have an idea of things your customers search for and this is a great starting point. Make a list of the 10 most popular things you can search for and then have a think about terms which are similar to these keywords.
One way to do this is to type your main keyword into Google and then scroll down to the 'related' section.
If you search for "Web Design London" you get a list of similar searches which are listed below.
web design agency
web design studio
web design company
website design uk
web design and development agency
best web design companies london
web developer agency
web design and build
Now, all of these searches are good and will be things that people have searched for in the past, but they won't give you an idea of what is the most popular. To do this you need to research how many times these keywords are searched and then after deciding on 1-2 keywords you can make your web page relevant to that term.
The amount of research you need to do will depend on the industry but we recommend a couple of different free methods to get you started.
Researching Keyword Ideas
Keywords Everywhere is a free Google Chrome plugin which shows you keyword research ideas Google. It isn't the most in depth method but it is a good starting point for someone who is new to marketing.
To get started click on this link and then 'add to Chrome'.
After you have added the tool to Chrome you just need to complete one extra step which is generating an API key.
We have tried testing this tool for "Web Design London" and got over 60 related keywords.
Finding out how Many Times a Keyword is Searched
In another tab, visit Google Ads, Google's paid advertising platform.
Just because Google Ads are a paid platform, it doesn't cost to use it and you don't need to create any adverts to sign up.
We will cover how to sign up in a separate blog, so if you haven't already signed up and need help please let us know.
For businesses who are just starting SEO it can be tempting to try and rank for the keyword with the most searches, but you are likely going to be competing with people who have much more experience than you.
Have a look at the keywords which still get searched a lot, but are listed as 'low' competition. This can suggest that it is easier for you to rank for them.
Another option is to only try and rank for a small area around your business address. Not only does this mean that it will be less competitive, you will also be less likely to get clicks from customers who are too far away for you to do business with them.
How to Increase your Ranking
After completing your keyword research, select 5 keywords you want to begin looking at in more detail.
Starting with one keyword, search on Google and see where you are ranking. If you aren't ranking very highly that is fine as many businesses have to start somewhere.
Look at all of the sites which are ranking on the first page, make a list of the things that they have which your site doesn't. It could be that they load much quicker or they have more content. It is easy to forget but how many times do the pages on your site mention the keywords that you want to rank for? If your site doesn't have this content it will be difficult for Google to judge it as relevant.
Some websites are built more in a more SEO friendly way than others and we have covered this in one of our other blogs called which website builder is best for SEO.
Some of the most competitive industries:
For these industries it may be easier to look for 'low hanging fruit' which are keywords that still get some searches but are much less competitive than other more popular keywords.
Taking a look back over your previous research, this could be keywords which you are already on page 3-5 for, but are still rated 'low' competition.
These keywords aren't competitive so by making some small improvements to the page, you may be able to push their positions even higher.