I was motivated to write this article after reading Sean Jackson’s post for Copyblogger:
In this article the latest in copyblogger’s quest to rank #1 for their primary keyword “content marketing” is discussed.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about one of the most important thoughts that all bloggers have:
How can I rank #1 in Google Search for my primary keyword?
This starts with knowing which keyword to use in the first place.
There are four things you need to know before you choose a primary keyword for your website:
1. Your primary keyword doesn’t have to be part of your domain name.
Continuing the example of copyblogger notice how this keyword is not part of their domain name.
However the page that they rank for in Google is named content marketing www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing/
At the time I wrote this article they were ranked #4 in Google search behind:
- Wikipedia’s content marketing page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing
- Content marketing institute’s what is content marketing page: contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing
- Content marketing institute’s home page: contentmarketinginstitute.com
2. High Quality back links Trump everything.
Although Sean’s article compared Copyblogger to Mashable and he mentioned Wikipedia, the real competition that I noticed Copyblogger has is the Content marketing institute.
Joe Pulizzi has Brian Clark beat on this one, at least in the eye of Google search.
Why is Content marketing institute (CMI) beating copyblogger(CP) in Google search?
In a word, Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia out ranks both CMI and CP in Google search for the keyword ‘content marketing’.
- Wikipedia links to CMI and even sites them as their #2 source on their content marketing page.
3. Your competition is beating you for a reason.
Continuing this example copyblogger has their work cut out for them if they want to rank #1 for their primary keyword ‘Content marketing’.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is by far the most sited source for information on the internet.
- Their home page has a PageRank 8 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 6.
- Their content marketing page has a PageRank 6 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 6.
Content Marketing Institute’s stated purpose is to help you with the how-to of content marketing.
- Their home page has a PageRank 5 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 11,734.
- Their content marketing page has a PageRank 5 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 11,734.
Copyblogger is one of the most read blogs by bloggers worldwide.
- Their home page has a PageRank 7 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 3,654.
- Their content marketing page has a PageRank 6 and an Alexa traffic ranking of 3,654.
* Google.com is the #1 ranked website by Alexa.
Sean mentioned outranking Wikipedia at the end of his post and I think he was only kidding a little.
However, this does present an interesting question:
What would Copybloger have to do to rank #1 in Google search for content marketing?
- Beat wikipedia.
Increase their content marketing page to a PageRank 7 just like the copyblogger home page. This would require obtaining backlinks from PageRank 9 and 10 websites.
- Beat Content Marketing Institute.
Get sited as a source and linked to from the content marketing Wikipedia page. This alone should allow CP to pass up CMI because they have a higher PageRank but they don’t have a link from Wikipedia.
4. Search engine results can be unpredictable so use common sense.
You would expect the page that Wikipedia links to and sites as a reference to be the same page that beats copyblogger in the search results but no, it’s not.
The page that Wikipedia links to is not the CMI home page or the CMI content marketing page that both outrank copyblogger in Google search.
This just shows the process of ranking #1 for your keyword can be unpredictable.
This is why I recommend you use common sense when using content marketing to rank #1 for your primary keyword.
Wikipedia wins this keyword battle because:
- People searching for the term ‘content marketing’ are looking for the definition of the term. They don’t want commercial or sales information on products so this page is the MOST relevant.
Content marketing institute beats copyblogger because:
- The purpose of the entire domain of CMI is content marketing. The fact that Wikipedia is linking to a page that’s not even their highest ranked page should tell you something about their content quality. This site is packed like a bag of lemons with everything you need to know about content marketing and more.
Cobyblogger ranks fourth in this battle because:
- Copyblogger isn’t just focused only on content marketing. They have other areas of they get into like email marketing and keyword research, CMI is focused on one thing “CONTENT MARKETING”.
- Their content marketing page is not the most relevant to the topic. If you compare CP’s page to CMI’s you tell me which you feel is MOST relevant to the topic ‘content marketing’?
How to use Content Marketing to choose a Keyword for your website?
By now you’re probably either confused or you’re realizing this is a trick question.
It’s a double entendre if you will, shout out to wikipedia, again.
When I say that you can use content marketing to choose a primary keyword here’s what I mean:
1. Learn from the example above when you choose your keyword.
Search your potential keyword in Google and see how your page measures up with the winners in an objective comparison:
- Use common sense.
- Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to do all the work that CP would have to do if they want to beat Wikipedia?
- It could take several months if not years and you also have to remember the competition isn’t just sitting there waiting for you to pass them. They’re trying to improve their rankings too.
- CP has a higher pagerank than CMI but they get outranked because Wikipedia is the category WINNER and they link to CMI.
- CP’s pagerank is higher than CMIs but obviously not high enough to outrank them in Google search. CP still needs to do more to win the category, much more.
- Alexa Traffic Ranking
- Even though CP has a higher Alexa traffic rank their page is still not considered more relevant to Google and they are the ‘decider’. That’s why they call it page rank not because of web pages but because of Larry Page.
- Is not 100% accurate for example my niche site gets WAAAAAY more traffic than this site but this site has a much higher Alexa ranking.
- Back links
- Use the PageRank status plugin for chome for fast page comparison. How many links do they have? Who is linking to who?
- Remember High quality high PR back links trump high quantity links any day.
2. Substitute your keyword in the pages above for ideas on the type of content you will need to publish in order to rank #1.
Never ever copy and paste someone else’s work because it won’t work and you’ll end up looking like a clown. The point is to use the explanations of their keywords as inspiration for how you should explain yours.
When you review these pages make a note of the following:
- How many words approximately are on each page. This should give you an idea of how much text to put on the page that you want to rank.
- What Headlines and sub headings are being used. Pay special attention to the titles of sections and subsections. What kinds of points are they making? What questions are being asked?
- Calls to action. What types of actionable words are being used.
- How many images there? This will tell you how many images you will need approximately.
- What are the images being used for? What is their purpose? Visual aid? Are the images of a product? Is it a graph or a chart? What about a process diagram or an organization chart?
- Does the image have a link? What is the name of the image file? What is the text when you hover over it?
- Are there any videos on the page? Are there links on this page to a video that’s on another page?
- Are there any podcasts or music tracks being played on any of the pages? Are there links to download audio files on the page? Example: Click here and Listen to my latest podcast interview, etc.
- Is there an eBOOK or FREE REPORTS that you can download?
- Is there any other type of download that is being offered? Plugin, app, game, etc.
3. Use the Google keyword tool for final selection.
CHECK OUT this article where I explain SEO and how much search traffic to expect from ranking #1.
Some people think that ranking #1 for their keyword is all they have to do and then BAM! instant traffic.
Yes, you’ll get traffic from ranking #1 for your keyword, but not as much as you think.
So you’ve found a keyword huh?
Before you purchase a domain name for it or start creating tons of content make sure you check the Google keyword tool for:
- Local Monthly Searches:
25,000 or more is a good number. If you win the category then you can expect anywhere from 1% to 10% of this in traffic. That could be 2,500 monthly visitors just from one keyword.
- Approximate CPC (Search):
If your keyword has a very low CPC or ‘cost per click’ then you are in a category that will not generate a lot of money selling PPC (pay per click) advertisements. You could still make money in this niche but probably not with adsense you’ll need another way to monetize your site like affiliate products, selling ebooks, etc.
Don’t let this rating intimidate you. For search engine ranking purposes if the keyword ‘competition’ is rated high that simply means there are lots of bidders buying Google ads with this keyword. This is good news for you especially if you have found a keyword that you feel you can rank #1 for.
I hope this article helped you understand a little bit more about content marketing and keywords.
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Now it’s over to you.
How have you been choosing your keywords? What are you planning to change after reading this?
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