How to Identify Your “Almost Ranking” Keywords for Quick SEO Wins

Search Rankings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should not be looked at as a “one and done” project – instead it should be part of a broader, on-going marketing plan.

Unfortunately, when it comes to on-going SEO, many DIY marketers are given the generic advice to “create great content” and “be active on social media”, while many providers only offer either a basic set-up package, or an “on-going” package that is static – never really exploring new opportunities.

If you’re on-page SEO is complete (for now) and you’re wondering “what’s next” – read on, this strategy is for you.

Finding “Quick Win” Keywords (a.k.a. – the Low Hanging Fruit)

1. Set up, or access, Google Search Console (formally Google Webmaster Tools).

2. From the homepage, click Search Traffic > Search Analytics.

Google Search Console

3. Click on the “Impressions”, “CTR”, and “Position” boxes.

Google Search Console Search Analytics

4. Scroll down the page. You’ll see columns for keyword Queries (keywords for which your site showed up on the Search Engine Results Page for), Clicks, Impressions, CTR (click-through-rate) and Position (average ranking). Click on the Position heading to order the keywords in order of average ranking.

Clicks = the number of times a searcher clicked on your listing and visited your website.

Impressions = the number of times  you appeared in the search results for that phrase

CTR (Click-Through-Rate) = although CTR doesn’t really help with choosing which keyword to optimize for, if you find a high impression keyword that you rank well for, but your CTR is poor, consider changing your meta description tag.

Position = average position in organic search engine rankings. As a rule, positions 1-10 indicate the first page of search results, 11-20, the second page, and so on.

Google Search Console

Scroll down the list, note keywords of value in which a little improvement in rankings could provide more traffic to your website. Generally this would mean moving from the bottom half of page one into the upper rankings, or moving from page 2 or 3 onto page one.

For example, as I scroll down the sample list, I find that Darcy Price Real Estate ranks:

a) 7.3 for townhomes for rent in henderson nv. Although there are only 6 searches for that term, there are an additional 46 searches for henderson townhomes for rent, a term which they rank 20th (which would put them at the bottom of page 2).

b) They are in 15th position for henderson property manager (1 search), and ranked 17.5 for henderson property management (153 searches).

c) Finally, rental management henderson nv 89074 denotes a specific zip code within Henderson. They Currently rank 15th for that phrase.

Google Search Console Rankings

5. Improve the optimization on those pages identified as having value.

Possible Solutions:

a) henderson townhomes for rent: Of the two variations of this phrase, this one had the most queries so I will optimize for it. Darcy Price Real Estate doesn’t currently have a page specifically optimized for townhome rentals so I’ll address this keyword by building a page for it.

b) henderson property management: this is a priority keyword for Darcy Price Real Estate. The Homepage is currently optimized around the phrase Property Management, Henderson & Las Vegas, NV. As Henderson is a higher priority (and less competitive) search area, I will change the 0n- page elements to reflect that city.

i. Title Tag: From Property Management, Henderson & Las Vegas, NV  To: Henderson Property Management  – yes, the search engines are actually this sensitive

ii. H1 Tag: From: Property Management, Henderson & Las Vegas, NV  To: Henderson Property Management

iii. H3 Tag: From: Worry Free Property Management since 2007  To: Serving Henderson, NV and the Las Vegas Valley since 2007.

iv. Alt Text (image text): From Property Management, Henderson, NV  To: Henderson Property Management.

v. Article Text: I did not make changes to the text as I didn’t see anyplace to add it where it looked natural (rather than forced).

vi. Article Length: Google does reward long-form text with higher search ranking, but as the content for this page is already 920 words, and everything that was meant to be covered has been, I’ll leave it as is.

c) rental management henderson nv 89074: this term may eventual have it’s own page, but for now I’ve added the Henderson zip codes to the Henderson Property Management page’s text and Alt. tags.

6. Make a record of the baseline data, and the changes that you’ve made so that you can determine your success in optimizing the page, or make additional changes in the future as needed.

7. Check back every month – record changes and identify new “quick win” opportunities.

Thanks for reading! As always, your comments, shares, and questions are welcomed and appreciated.

The following two tabs change content below.
Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.

, ,

One Response to How to Identify Your “Almost Ranking” Keywords for Quick SEO Wins

  1. Dennis Seymour December 16, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Awesome step by step Brent. Something people always overlook. 🙂

Leave a Reply

8 + = ten