Finding better keywords in 2020
Keyword research is the ultimate cheat code in SEO. Want to spend less time and money on backlinks? Find better keywords. Want to rank faster than you usually do? Find better keywords. Even if you want to get away with less-than-excellent content (we’ve all had that writer) – find better… you get it.
The truth that we’ve all seen is that Google is moving more and more towards authority, and smaller sites will keep paying the price. Furthermore, they’re getting better at answering queries without the user even having to click on a search result, effectively stealing your hard-earned traffic.
Thus, it’s now more important than ever to start focusing your efforts on targeting the right keywords, and start gaining some authority in your niche before things get even harder.
So, how do you find better keywords?
Well, let’s first consider what’s not a good keyword to target:
1. Lots of high authority sites (DA/DR/TF/whatever metric you prefer) that are TARGETING the keyword on page 1 and beyond
2. Lots of websites targeting that specific keyword
That about sums it up, but let’s explain why.
The first point means, that not only are there high authority sites on page 1, but they are also TARGETING the keyword you’re trying to rank for. The targeting part is crucial, as you can have higher authority, well-established sites ranking even for stuff like:
Wikipedia, Tor.com, The NY Post… Ouch. Horrible keyword to try and rank for, isn’t it (regardless of the obvious non-existent commercial value)? On top of that, we obviously, have 2.4 million web results targeting the same thing… or do we?
First and foremost, the only reason there are high authority sites ranking on top of the SERPs in the first place, is because there isn’t anything else to show for it, so might as well go with an established news site or Wikipedia. So, even though these are high authority websites, they aren’t TARGETING the keyword.
Getting to the second point, the 2.4 million web results are irrelevant, and have nothing to do with the number of websites actually targeting the keyword. Look at the number of results as more of a compilation of pages which contain some combination of the words in the search term, in this case (after removing stop words), those being Queen OR Red Or Narnia Or World War Z, more or less.
So, how do you find a much more relevant number, you ask? Look at the allintitle results for the term:
Hopefully, that’s about as many as you expected. As we can see, no page in the Google search index is targeting this keyword in its title at all, and very likely (like, VERY) not that many are targeting it in their content either.
I won’t bore you with a case study here for obvious reasons, but if you want, go ahead and put this as the title of some page with a couple of paragraphs on it… you’ll be ranking within days or even hours after getting indexed.
So, while our example here, obviously isn’t the best in terms of being a money keyword, there are likely dozens of these underserved keywords in your own niche. That is, unless your niche is weight loss, or payday loans, or online gambling, in which case you may be out of luck.
All in all, if you want to rank fast and easy, find keywords with the number of allintitle results that your domain can tackle. For brand new domains wanting to get to page 1, that would be under 40 or so, and for established authority domains it can vary. A good rule of thumb is to check the number of allintitle results of keywords that your site is already ranking for (you’re hopefully ranking for something), and then find terms that have close to that number, or less.
If you’re ranking on page 1 for “how to brush cat teeth”, which has 526 allintitle results (note that this can vary based on your location and other personalized results variables), and unless this is one of those rare cases where you don’t understand why your ranking where you are, you will want to stay in that area of allintitle results and go for keywords that are 500 or less in order to rank on page 1.
I’ll leave it up to your imagination how you can find more of these for now, but considering that it’s data that Google STILL just straight up shares with everyone for free, I recommend that you take an advantage of this simple math opportunity while it’s still around. They seem to already be experimenting with removing the number of results for certain queries, and I wouldn’t shocked if they got rid of it entirely for the next year or two.