Google Snippets are one of the most powerful SEO tools available today.
However, nowadays identifying keyword opportunities is difficult. This is due to Google’s search algorithm changes over the last few years.
Now, thanks to recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, we expect ranking will only get more difficult. At least, many SEO companies, brands, and influencers are spooked. They believe this is just the beginning of a number of algorithm changes on big social media sites that we will see over the coming months. You don’t want to tweak strategies to accommodate one platform if it could lead to alienating another.
What’s the trick to reaching the #1 ranking on Google in today’s SEO environment?Rank #1 on Google with These Keyword TipsClick To Tweet
Ranking on Google: This Isn’t the 2000s Anymore
In the early days of SERP, on-page SEO consisted of keyword stuffing and an overload of backlinks. Now, it is better to have relevant content, reputable backlinks, and unique content. While you can still “outsmart” Google’s algorithm using synonyms, that alone isn’t enough anymore.
To own the coveted Google snippet real estate, you need to think like Google. In order to reach the #1 ranking on Google, you also need to identify the best keyword opportunities. While some need to be directly relevant to your business, you can also utilize easy-to-rank for words, too.
This step-by-step process will walk you through the best way to identify keyword opportunities for yourself. The first step: getting acquainted with SEO tools like Ahrefs and KWFinder. Google Analytics is very useful, but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your woodshop.
Start With Identifying Your Product, Industry, & Related Topics
Let’s say you are a new company. You launched in 2017 with a really cool, innovative idea and you are set to rocket to success. Maybe you crowdfunded your idea or had a few VC firms fund your business. Either way, you need to generate buzz and drive traffic to your site.
The first step is identifying your niche and industry as well as honing in on related topics. What items or activities would interest your audience outside of your product or service? In order to maximize your keyword opportunities, you need to branch out.
Let’s go through an example situation. That “innovative idea” from earlier is actually a new coffee machine. So you know that your audience is interested in coffee. You also know that they might be interested in making coffee at home.
You instantly have a giant pool of potential content:
- “How Home-Brewed Coffee Could Save Your Life”
- “6 Ways to Make That Coffee Shop Favorite In Your Own Kitchen”
- “Save The Environment One Cappuccino At a Time”
Obviously, these have a slightly fictitious angle for the purpose of this article. But you get the idea: it needs to be engaging, unique, and brand appropriate. However, the train doesn’t stop there. You have more tools to use in that SEO workshop of yours.
Think of who drinks the most coffee at home that would be in need of a new coffee machine. Statistically, workers with a home office are your main market. They might also influence their place of business to use your product as well as at home, too. That means that certain sections of your audience are involved in certain industries. This means that you can use more precise keywords than just “coffee machine” or “home office”.
In short, go niche, then go even more niche.
Move on to Keyword Tools to Identify Search Numbers and Difficulty
While you may have ideas about keywords for your business, it pays to research them. The best way to maximize your keyword impact and minimize cost and wasted time is to use free tools. You can always upgrade to paid accounts depending on your available budget.
First up is KWfinder.com. You get five free lookups each day and it shows search numbers and difficulty ratings. As you can see in the image above, it also displays the sites that currently rank. While “ground coffee” has a decent difficulty score of 33, it only has an annual search volume of 12,107.
Comparatively, “coffee bean” gets 134,744 searches annually and has a difficulty score of 46. You will have to make sacrifices for search volume and rank-for difficulty often in keyword research.
Pro-tip: you can also filter results by location and language on KWfinder.com.
Next, take a look at WordStream. Here, you can gain access to useful things like:
- Keyword niche finder
- A standard keyword tool
- Keyword Grouper
- Negative keyword tool
The negative keyword tool is especially helpful. It allows you to cut down on unnecessary keywords before implementing potentially costly PPC campaigns. You can also check out keywordtool.io and SEMRush for similar benefits.
Though it doesn’t offer a free option, Ahrefs can bring a bit more insight. You can unlock a $7 trial for one week and test out tools like:
- Backlink checker and index
- Keywords explorer with SERP history, “clicks” metric, difficulty, search volume, and more
- Content Explorer
- Various alerts for backlink gains and losses and web mentions
- Keyword ranking index
- Site audit and site explorer
- Rank tracker
They also offer an SEO toolbar for added insight. Depending on your needs, you might end up using all of these tools.
Use Tools to Identify the Most Successful Implemented Content
As well as keyword tools, you also need analytics tools. Save yourself valuable time by incorporating SEO friendly tools in everything you do. Just like Ahrefs, other services like Yoast offer integrated SEO tools.
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin can tell you in real time the readability and SEO rating for given keywords. It is an essential inclusion in your #1 ranking on Google kit. Accordingly, so are other Google tools like Analytics, Adwords, etc.
You can even expand into borderline surveillance tech like Hotjar for “all-in-one analytics and feedback.” Programs like this provide user heatmaps, mouse path replays, conversion funnels, and more. However, don’t get too bogged down in all the numbers and data. While it is useful to have, it is not the only or most accurate indicator of what your audience is most responsive to.
The best way to discern the best keywords and strategies for ranking on Google searches is to combine all of your tools. Think of it as the SEO Voltron. After you’ve molded your perfectly optimized piece, you can take your giant SEO robot and do some top-tier keyword-driven testing.
Finally: Test Keywords & Adjust Your Strategies According to Data
Keeping a finger on that SEO pulse is the ultimate key to improving your ranking on Google. By checking bounce rates, click through rates (CTR), and other SEO metrics week-over-week, you can track progress. With that data, you can better identify which and what kind of keywords perform best.
You can also further tailor your content to your current audience or adjust to attract new readers. By combining the power of unique, well-crafted content and ingenious keyword usage, you can get that #1 ranking on Google in no time.
If you need more tips on how to improve your SEO or Google ranking, Edgy Labs has other resources. You can find out how to build a fantastic content team or peruse a quick checklist of tools. You can even learn how to optimize your content for Google Voice.
As you might have surmised from this article, the best “hack” is to use ALL of the tools in your arsenal.
One more pro-tip: you arsenal should always be growing. That’s the ultimate trick to ranking on Google.
How Does This Translate to Google Snippet Dominance?
Do you see how I phrased that last header as a question? That’s how Google thinks for Google snippets. This also helps you dominate any “Google Questions” areas. You know what those are, but the image above illustrates them, as well.
Those who are targeting Google snippets and Google questions will dominate the SEO landscape in 2018. However, the first step to reaching the Google Snippet podium is optimizing your keyword research and strategies.