One of the benefits of doing SEO the right way is ranking for a wide range of keywords, yet every day we have customers approach my agency wanting links for exact-match keywords. Sure, rich anchor text like that will never go away, but only focusing on a single keyword is severely limiting your results.

When you focus on creating quality content that’s rich in detail based around one topic, yet also includes sub-topics and related search terms, along with authority building, you will really see the number of keywords your website ranks for shoot to the moon.

This formula I’m about to dive into below is universal, as it involves SEO best practices according to what is working right now, the middle of 2018. Will this change? Sure, eventually, and everyone doing search engine optimization should be fully aware that it’s a constantly evolving practice.

You will need to always be innovating and adapting to stay ahead of your competition, and at the top of the SERPs. This involves more than just using a free keyword search tool and then building exact-match anchor text for each of them and writing a blog post for each with over optimized content that reeks of spam. You might see a spike for a short period of time, but it’s not a long-term strategy and it’s not going to help you rank for handfuls of additional keywords, which pull in more traffic for you daily.

There is also a big difference between traffic and traffic that converts. A lot of SEO agencies will base their success on rankings and traffic numbers, without diving in and seeing if the traffic is actually quality traffic.

If your average time on site is six seconds and you aren’t getting sales, then 10,000 visitors a day is a useless metric. It provides zero value to your business. Now, if you are averaging 1,000 visitors a day and 30 sales, then your traffic is converting at 3%, and that is a respectable rate, generally speaking.

So, not only will what I am about to discuss help you rank for more keywords and drive more traffic to your website, but it will be high quality traffic that will provide value to your business, in the form of qualified leads and sales.

Use the below to start ranking today..


Phase One: Go after your page two and three rankings first, which gives you traffic and sales as you scale your SEO.

This is a little hack that can quickly help you increase your organic traffic with very little effort, and that traffic, if it’s targeted, can generate leads and sales month over month. When you are able to have sales coming in on a regular basis it helps you float the business while you work on improving and increasing your traffic, from targeting new keywords and working towards rising your main money keywords in the SERPs.

So, use SEMrush and run a report on your domain and then look at all of the keywords that your website is ranking for. Focus on anything in the 11 to 30 positions, because page two and page three are our main targets when doing this, with the goal of quickly pushing them up onto page one, where the real impressions and clicks come from.

Once you have a list put together you will need to do a little research. I like to look at it as a 3-step process:


1. Estimate the search volume: Your best source for this is Google’s Keyword Planner, and while it’s not 100% accurate, it will give you a good indication whether or not a keyword is worth pursuing, or at the least, how to prioritize it. For example, a low competition keyword with 400 monthly searches should be tackled before a low competition keyword that only receives 60 monthly searches.


2. Determine the difficulty: While the Keyword Planner will tell you the difficulty, you need to manually perform a Google search for the keyword and see what the first page results are. If it’s all smaller websites with weak link profiles, then it will be easier to overtake than a keyword that has Apple, Amazon and Walmart taking up the first page.


3. Identify do-follow link opportunities: Now, you may need to beef up the page you will be trying to rank for, making it more information packed and appealing. You want every page to become a resource that other websites will want to link to. Whether you create a video, a case study or publish an infographic, make sure it’s awesome and then find websites to pitch that follow their links. While no-follow are still impactful, the goal is to push your page two and three results onto page one fast, with the least amount of links, so do-follow should be preferred here.



Phase Two: Identify new keywords to target and pages to optimize using Google Search Console.

Google Search Console can be one of the most helpful tools you can use to improve your SEO and make epic gains, yet a lot of businesses I speak with aren’t connected, nor have they ever heard of it.

Years ago there was this big conspiracy that Google was after everyone, and since the strategies used then were blackhat and grayhat, most search engine optimization agencies were trying to stay under the radar as much as possible so they avoided all Google products. Many wouldn’t even use Google Analytics because they thought it would help Google identify their shady techniques.

Well, now SEO has changed so much and there really isn’t anything to hide these days for the most part. When you verify website ownership within Google Search Console and set up your profile, submit a sitemap, etc. — you then have access to a lot of information and Google will also monitor your website in its search results and alert you of any problems, like broken links and 404 errors.

Once you are connected, you will want to give it a solid 30 – 45 days to pull data, but if you have been set up for a while, and just never knew about the features available, then you can login now and take advantage of the data available to you.

The most valuable information is the list of keywords and search phrases that have been entered into Google that caused your website to show in the organic results. This allows you to not only see what your site is already ranking for, but what pages Google sees as valuable, and the keywords it’s already optimized for.

This will show you what keywords to focus on along with new keywords ideas that you may not have thought of. I would suggest checking this every 30 days to see if there are new inner pages ranking for anything or if there are new search terms that you should put some effort behind. This is one of the easiest ways to help guide your SEO effort and quickly increase the number of keywords your website ranks for.


Phase Three: Build content and value on your revenue generating website pages.

The entire point of SEO is to increase your website’s visibility in the SERPs, leading to more traffic, more leads, more sales, and more money. Sometimes this is forgotten, and businesses just rank to rank, without any data to support their efforts and guide their campaigns.

You should always have conversion goals set up and track where every single dollar originates from. This includes original referral source, and the page that was responsible for starting the conversion process.

For example, if you are trying to generate newsletter subscribers and have an attractive call-to-action and offer at the end of every blog post, you want to track how many subscribers each pulls and then dive deep into that data.

You might have one page that is generating 100 leads a month from 10,000 visitors, and then you might have one page that only generates 10 leads a month, but that particular page is only receiving 100 visits.

If that was the case, then you would want to put more effort in driving traffic to the page converting at a higher rate, and more effort into the quality of the content on the page receiving all of the visitors but converting very poorly.

You would want to pinpoint the keywords driving the high converting traffic and push them up in the SERPs. Higher rankings means more traffic, which should then generate more sales. Improving the value on the page not converting well should help build trust, so you would want to focus on consumer education and answering and/or addressing pre-sale or pre-conversion questions.



Phase Four: Use Google Correlate to target keywords that are often searched prior to your main keywords.

This is something that your competition definitely isn’t doing, so if you are willing to go above and beyond, then you will not only rank for more keywords, but in doing so, these keywords can often generate a lot of sales, as they are linked (according to Google’s data) to the keywords you are already trying to rank for and also keywords that people often search for prior to buying products or services related to your keywords.

The crazy thing is this has been available for almost eight years, yet I never see anyone talking about it or using it for that matter.

You can access it here, but I am sure you are still scratching your head wondering what I am talking about. It’s essentially a tool that helps you identify closely related search terms over a certain period of time that you select.

You also have the option of uploading your own data that you collect over time, and Google will look for matching patterns in search volumes. If you don’t have data, you can search terms, and it calculates the trending patterns.

Here’s a pretty basic beginner friendly explanation, right from Google’s mouth:


“Google Correlate is like Google Trends in reverse. With Google Trends, you type in a query and get back a data series of activity (over time or in each US state). With Google Correlate, you enter a data series (the target) and get back a list of queries whose data series follows a similar pattern.”


Phase Five: Exponentially grow your keyword target list by using Google and performing manual searches.

This is a very easy technique to 10X your keyword targets. Fist, take all of your main keywords and type them into a Google search one by one. So, let’s pretend you searched for “beats by dre headphones.” You would then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look for “Searches related to beats by dre headphones” and the suggestions listed. In this example, it gives eight suggestions:


  • beats headphones wireless
  • beats headphones price
  • beats by dre earbuds
  • beats by dre studio
  • beats headphones walmart
  • beats earphones
  • beats headphones rose gold
  • beats headphones amazon


As you can see, these are all great keywords to target, yet ones that you might not go after naturally. So, by using your main keywords as seeds you are able to uncover so many opportunities.

A lot of the keywords you dig up will be low competition, allowing you to rank with little effort beyond some quality long-form content that’s perfectly optimized and some decent links. You can even use the suggested keywords as seeds to go really deep.

For example, if you use “beats headphones rose gold” from above, you get these as suggestions:


  • rose gold beats best buy
  • rose gold beats amazon
  • rose gold beats walmart
  • rose gold beats target
  • rose gold beats earbuds
  • beats solo 3 wireless gold
  • beats solo 3 wireless rose gold walmart
  • rose gold headphones


You could create one epic piece of content that then targets all of those keywords, like a big price review comparison, and start to rank for them as well.




Doing SEO the right way takes time and effort, which is why so many people continue to get burned by scammy SEO agencies that promise the world for $500 a month and delivering nothing but cheap Fiverr packages.

The strategy above is one that will work for any type of website, from a blog to an e-commerce website. It all comes down to creating content that fits your company and will allow your target audience to connect and engage, then eventually convert into sales.

If you simply follow the process above, you are going to see results, and the longer you continue to execute, the more keywords you will rank for and the more quality traffic you will receive. A lot of SEOs try to make this seem like rocket science, but it’s really not these days.

This is a long game, and the companies that stick with the process the longest will come out on top. This is why the top of the results are often owned by well-known companies. They have been around, playing the SEO game for years. Buying a few cheap SEO packages and expecting results is crazy thinking, so the sooner you come to terms that this takes time and work, the better off you will be.

What do you think about the strategy above? Have you seen success doing something similar? Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop a comment below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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