How much is a #1 ranking in Google worth to your business?
In most cases, it’s a heck of a lot. In my personal experience, I estimate that 1 single rankings for a high converting keyword is easily worth between $5,000 to $10,000 in lucrative markets.
I’ve built profitable online businesses by attacking a single long tail keywords that drove hundreds of leads and sales per month. The problem is everyone else in your marketplace wants that coveted #1 ranking too.
Google knows this and must constantly launch rankings updates to stop people from gaming the search results and destroying the crediblity of Google. If you understand this, then you will be ahead of your competition.
You need high quality content to maintain a #1 ranking, but it doesn’t have to take a long time to create this content. High quality means it answers your customer’s search query in the best way possible.
You don’t have to write for hours or have an expensive Youtube setup to accomplish this. In this comprehensive guide, I will show you step by step how to rank for the most profitable keywords – long tail keywords.
What are long tail keywords?
Long tail keywords are phrases & search terms that get fewer searches but lead to higher conversion rates. Here’s an example of a regular vs long tail keyword:
- Regular keyword: weight loss
- Long tail keyword: weight loss tips for women
The big difference is long tail keywords are more exact in nature.
When a searcher looks for weight loss tips for women, they want information about weight loss that’s only applies to women. Women usually have trouble losing weight along the hips and stomach.
If you provide good content, then you have an opportunity to educate, inform and convert your traffic. However, a weight loss general search isn’t specific. That’s the difference between broader search queries and more exact long tail keyword searches.
How to Find Long Tail Keywords
I use two tools to find long tail keywords (both free): KeywordTool.IO and Google Keyword Planner.
To find keywords using these tools, type in a general keyword in your market to get some keywords ideas. Next, you are looking for specific keywords that lead to sales and subscribers. Here’s a list of standard buyer keywords:
- Product Name + Review
- Product Name + Promo Codes
- How to + Action
- Niche + Guide
- Best + Your Niche
- Compare + Products in your niche
For a complete list of 220+ buyer keywords, read Stuart’s article on best converting buyer keywords. Other ways to find buyer keywords include:
- Your Google Webmaster Tools’s SEO report
- Google Related keyword results
- Questions from emails you receive
- Comments section of your website
A great long tail keyword shows buyer’s intent for a specific thing. One of my most profitable keywords ever was TradeKing promotion codes. Here’s a few reasons why this keyword made so much money:
- Highly Lucrative market – Tradeking is a stock broker in the financial industry
- Late in the Buyer Cycle – Customers are ready to sign up but are looking for last minute deals
- Long Tail Variations – Keywords with 3+ words are much easier to rank for in the long run
Spend some time identifying potential profitable keywords you want to rank for. A good test is to make sure plenty of advertisers spend money for your keywords on Google Adwords. The more Adwords ads that show up on the Google query, the better your results should be.
Put together a good list of 5 to 10 keywords in the beginning. You can add more in the future.
Step 1 – Brainstorm Content Ideas
Content is king on the internet. Your content needs to be original, high quality, and extremely informative. There are lots of ways to create your content, but I advise you stick with proven content creation techniques. I will share my 3 favorite ways to create content that ranks high on Google.
1. Highly Informative Articles
Great articles are one of the easiest ways to attract readers and convert them on your product and affiliate offers. It’s really easy to create something amazing in an hour or less. I outline my articles in advance to write them faster and make them easier to understand.
Think about what you want to say to your target audience. Length is also an important factor in Google rankings. Articles over 2,000+ words tend to rank #1 in Google. Searches want comprehensive content that solves all their questions.
You don’t have to write a master’s level thesis to get readers. Outline your article with the most important questions and concerns then fill in the content.
2. Youtube Videos
People are making a fortune by creating videos and uploading them to Youtube. Google purchased Youtube because they saw how the future of the internet is heavily weighed on video.
It’s doesn’t take a fortune to make a high quality Youtube video. You need a quiet place to work without background noise, a microphone, good lighting, and video editing software. You can either be a talking head or make video presentations. This depends on your market. If you run a fitness site, then people want demonstrations performed by actors.
If you run an internet marketing website, then informative slideshows are the best way to go. Start off by outlining your videos before you start recording.
Be careful about length because shorter videos generally get more views. A sweet spot is under 5 minutes. Don’t trail off on unnecessary things. Length really matters on Youtube.
3. Social Media Posts
With the rise of Facebook and Quora, I think it’s possible to create a following and rank high using social media alone. I’ve seen numerous people rank high in Google using social media posts with highly targeted titles. Here’s a few sites to consider:
The only downside to social media is your account may get deleted or flagged. If your competitors notice you are doing too well, your account may get reported or deleted. It’s best to never rely 100% on social media because you don’t own the website.
Step 2 – Create Authority Content
Next step is to start creating authority content. Your content needs to be the best content on the internet for your long tail keyword. I use these 4 content creation models in my online business.
How to Guides
People love How to Guides. Simply show your visitors how to do something better. On this website, I use How to Guides for many of my tutorials. My goal is to rank for the exact How to keyword in Google. How to keywords get way less competition because they are usually longer than short keywords.
For example, here’s a keyword that I want to rank for:
How to Choose the Right Web Hosting Plan
It’s as simple as answering the question with a comprehensive guide to help the reader choose the right web hosting.
Step by Step guides
Step by step guides are another way to rank for your keywords. If your keyword is “build a roof yourself,” you could call your article “9 Steps to Build a Roof Yourself”. Step by step articles should always include a number in the title.
Case studies are a personal favorite because they show real life data on how to accomplish something. I often read posts titled “How I made $10,000 with 1 single Google Ad.” You want to show your steps and results using screenshots, data, numbers and stories.
Case studies are highly viral and get great rankings because they are a backlink magnet.
If you are a product affiliate, then reviews are your best content strategy. Use the keyword “Product name + review” in your title to achieve higher rankings. It’s important to make your review unbiased and informative.
If you are reviewing physical products, then Youtube is your best strategy. Online products will do well with high quality articles.
Step 3 – Build Backlinks
There’s lots of misconceptions about backlinks. Let’s remember Google recently stopped updating their pagerank algorithm. Why? Because too many marketers used pagerank to game the SERPs.
Your best strategy is to build backlinks to gain traffic while treating rankings as a second benefit. It’s easy to find great backlink opportunities without spending a fortune. Here are my favorite strategies.
Social Media Linking
Social media should be the first place you look for links. Places like Facebook and Quora make it super easy to share your links. Try these placement strategies:
- Facebook pages
- Facebook groups
- Google+ pages
- Quora questions
- Tweet your link
- Share your link on relevant Youtube videos
Google wants to see your content shared on social networks. If you have lots of backlinks but no social shares, Google will assume you are cheating and lower your rankings. Don’t be afraid to ask people with large social media following for a mention. Email them or find some good deals on Fiverr.
Interlinking with your website
If you have an authority website, interlinking helps a lot. Find the pages on your website with the most authority then build links pointing to your money pages.
- Go to OpenSiteExplorer
- Enter your domain name
- Sort results by top pages
Top pages are great targets for backlink opportunites. Other key pages include your About me page, your footer and sidebar. A common mistake is using the exact anchor text for your backlinks. Switch it up and use different combinations of your longtail keyword to appear more natural to visitors and Googlebot.
Backlinking on other top ranking pages
Type in your long term keyword and visit each of the top 10 results. Sometimes, you can post your link on these pages via comments or social media posts. My favorite current strategy is Quora marketing.
Quora is a Yahoo! Answers competitor that ranks very high on Google. Many of my target keywords show a quora.com question as ranking #1. To post on Quora, create an account then go to the question’s page to answer the question.
My strategy is to write at least 500 words then include my backlinks whenever necessary. Not only do you get a backlink, but people click over to your website as referral traffic.
If the ranking website is a blog, use DropmyLink to find blogs that allow comments. Leave a high quality comment without spamming. The best way to appear natural is to include your link as a signature. Here’s an example:
I love this blog post. I agree that it’s harder to lose weight even when you are dieting. I will try your diet strategy this weekend when I have more free time off of work. My friends say they have tried everything, but I am determined to lose the extra 10 pounds. Let’s see if this works. Thanks for the great tips.
Believe it or not, bloggers do read their comments. If you post generic crap then you will be flagged as spam. Use the link signature traffic to show you are a real person that appreciates the article.
If you know about a website in your niche, email outreach is a good strategy for backlinks. Find the owner’s email address and offer to help them if they link to your website. People are selfish so you need to give them some benefit for linking back to you. Here’s a list of potential ways to encourage backlinks:
- Offer money in the form or sponsorships
- Offer guest articles
- Volunteer as a moderator
- Send them a free sample of your product
- Offer free consulting on a specific topic
If you can truly help the other person, then they will be more likely to link to your content.
Step 4 – Track Your Results
What doesn’t get measured can’t be improved. Tracking your keyword rankings is key to gaining a #1 rankings. BestSerpChecker has a complete list of free & paid keyword position tracking tools.
My favorite tool is Serpbook. Serpbook costs only $10 per month and allows you track up to 50 keywords. Refer to this article for a complete review of Serpbook.
Now, It’s Your Turn
I’ve been using these strategies for 8 years to rank for longtail keywords on Google. What are your questions and concerns? If I receive enough feedback, then I may turn this blog post into a book.
Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.