As you have probably read, Bob and I are big believers in keyword research. We believe that at the moment it is fundamental at growing a blog quickly. In fact, if you want more reasons why you should target keyword phrases, read my post on Blogging in 3 Simple Steps.
How Do You Find Good Keywords?
One of the best places to start when looking for good keywords is the Free Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Just by supplying a basic keyword and hitting submit, you can get 100’s of keyword ideas to write about. What is great is that you can also view the monthly traffic for these keywords and see what people are searching for. If you want a more long-term strategy for managing your keywords and rankings, then we recommend the Keyword Strategy tool.
Why You Should Chase Your Winners
Regardless of which strategy you use for finding good keywords, you will discover that there is no “magic button.” Sure there are certain criteria that I look for that will rank my blog posts high the majority of the time, but never EVERY time. The important principle to remember here is that taking action, analyzing your actions, and repeating the process is what works.
Sometimes I am shocked at which blog posts rank on the 1st page of google and begin to get traffic. Other times, I scratch my head a bit when a blog post doesn’t hit the top page right away like I thought I would. This is why you should always chase your winners and wait on your losers. This is the secret strategy that many successful bloggers use. It is a simple philosophy of going with the flow or going with what is working. It is the ultimate accentuate the positive philosophy.
How to Chase Your Winners
So, let’s say you write two separate blog posts using what you believe are good keyword phrases. The first post is about “organic gardening” and the second is about “fly fishing rods.” A few days go by and you see that “organic gardening” post ranks in the #12 spot (just on the 2nd page of Google). Meanwhile, the “fly fishing rods” is no where in sight. Instead of putting effort into trying to rank the “fly fishing rods,” we are going to spend time optimizing the “organic gardening” post and just wait on the other by letting time age the article. I am going to share with you a few ways that you can chase this winner. You do not have to do all of these, but it does help.
Work into the text any keywords people are using to find the blog post. The first thing I would do is look in Google Analytics and see what “entrance keywords” that people are using to find this blog posts. Oftentimes, there are keywords that do not appear in the posts. Using our example, maybe most people are finding this post using the keyword phrase “organic gardening tips.” Then, I would find a logical, natural way to edit the post and include that keyword phrase.
Do internal linking to the main blog post. Since I am ranking well for “organic gardening,” I am now going to find other similar blog post and create a link to my “organic gardening” post. I want to make that exact phrase “organic gardening” a blue hyperlink in the similar article pointing back to this main article. By just doing some internal linking you can improve your traffic and rankings in a powerful way.
Build external links to your main post. Now, many people do externally linking in a spammy type of way. We do not advocate that at all. You should always be adding value online. Natural links where other people link to your article because it has such good information is the best kind of link. Other great links would be from blog carnivals and guests posts. You can read our blog post about the best backlinks to get for your blog for more information.
Add additional similar keywords. This is an advanced technique but one worth mentioning. Once you begin to rank well for “organic gardening” you have a much better chance at ranking well for similar keywords such as “organic gardening tips, organic gardening techniques, best organic gardening methods” and so on. Some of these keyword phrases may not be in your text at all and you may not be ranking for any of them either. We use the Keyword Strategy WordPress Plugin that connects these similar keyword phrases with our blog posts. All we have to do is naturally work them into the blog post. What is awesome is to think about the fact that one 400-500 word blog post can rank well for several different keyword phrases. This is when your work begins to really multiply.
Those are just a few of the ways that you can begin to “chase your winners.” When I take the above action steps, I almost always see a boost in my rankings. As far as your losers, do not give up hope, many of them actually get better rankings with time. About 9 months ago, I found a keyword phrase that I was really excited about getting to rank. It wasn’t until a month ago, that I finally began to see it begin to rank.
Now, I am working this new found “winner” and it is finally producing for me. In Adsense alone, this blog posts earned my two click above $4.00! So, do not give up on your losers. I like this strategy over what most bloggers do. Many bloggers and internet marketers are trying to do the above steps to every single blog post. Now, if you have time to do that or outsource it, then go for it. I just like the idea of maximizing whatever current momentum I am experiencing at the time.
Where Do I Start?
If you want to know where to start, I would go into your Google Analytics account and export your top 20 blog posts that get the most search engine traffic (we will probably create a video about how to do this soon). Then, begin to apply the above steps to increase your rankings in Google.
Question: How do you chase your winners once you begin to rank well for a keyword phrase?