No Budget for Full-Service SEO? Here’s How to Improve Your Keyword Rankings for Underfunded Brands

how can you improve your keyword search results

Updated August 2018

Attaining higher rankings in search engine results always starts with a lineup of well-targeted keywords.

Ask yourself this: what’s the first thing people do to find information nowadays?

That’s right — they boot up a search engine and rely on keywords to scrape relevant results.

There are prospective leads out there who could be looking for a brand exactly like yours. If you want to connect with them, you need to be in touch with their needs and identify the keywords that they’ll most likely use.

Here at Long Tail Pro, we’re all about helping brands reach their ideal audience with the power of keywords. That’s why we put together this post on how to improve keyword ranking in Google, Bing, or anywhere else in the search engine sphere.

Got your attention? Then let’s waste no more time.

1. Getting Your Target Keywords Right

Before you invest in strategies that improve your ranking, you must first answer one question:

Are you sure you have the right target keywords?

Remember that the wrong keywords can cripple the profitability of any digital marketing campaign.

It doesn’t matter if you have top-notch content or killer offers that truly bring something groundbreaking to the table. If you target the wrong keywords, you may end up reaching people who aren’t even remotely interested in your industry.

Apart from finding keywords that will draw in the right audience, effective keyword research lets you avoid highly competitive keywords that will pit you against bigger brands.

You can kick this off with a keyword research tool like LongTailPro. After creating a new project, you simply need to enter a “seed keyword,” set the number of suggestions you need, and click “Retrieve.”

seed keywordThe tool will then proceed to generate the specified number of long-tail keyword variations along with metrics that gauge their viability.

For example, if you want to find keywords for your event planning website, here’s what your Long Tail Pro results would look like:

search keyword resultsHere’s a quick rundown of tips that will help you select lucrative keyword opportunities with Long Tail Pro:

  • For smaller brands, aim for keywords with a competitiveness rating (Average KC) of 30 or less. You can find the appropriate range of keyword competitiveness for your website by adding your domain at the top of the results page.
  • To reach users who are more likely to convert into high-value leads, look for keywords with terms that are indicative of purchase intent. This includes “sale,” “for hire,” “price,” “services,” and so on.
  • Another way to attract users with high purchase intent is to target local keywords. For example, rather than targeting “wedding planning companies,” you can probably generate better leads with “wedding planning companies in Los Angeles.”

See Long Tail Pro in action:

2. Weave Keywords Naturally in Your Content

Once you have a batch of freshly chosen keywords, the next challenge is incorporating them into your content strategy.

This is something that you always find in guides on how to increase keyword ranking in Google.

Without keyword-optimized content, it’s impossible for your site to be seen as relevant by search engine spiders — also known as crawlers that travel through links to discover, evaluate, and index posts and pages.

Fortunately, keyword optimization for content isn’t as complicated as it once was. Rather than focusing on what marketers used to know as “keyword density,” the only factor that matters now is to make sure your target keywords appear at least once in the right places.

This includes the following elements in a post:

  • Meta Description
  • Post/Page Title
  • Headline
  • Subheadlines
  • Main Body
  • Image File Name and Alt Text

Wait — so integrating keywords into a post is that easy?

Not so fast. Apart from knowing the page elements where you must insert keywords, there are also a few things you need to remember in order to maximize the benefit of well-targeted keywords for your search engine rankings.

The infographic below just about sums it up:

infographic

3. Build Quality Links

Whether you like it or not, you need an active link building campaign if you want your content to rank highly in search engine results.

The key here is to pick a topic that provides value to users without forcing them to purchase a tool or subscribe to a service. By expressing your genuine desire to help, you can encourage your readers to engage or share your post on their social media channels; thus, improving its chances of being linked by authoritative sources.

The Skyscraper Technique can work as a repeatable workflow that can help you get everything right from the ground up. It can be summarized into three simple steps:

  • Look for popular content
    Just like with keywords, your content strategy requires you to look for popular content ideas that your target audience want to see. For this, you can use content research tools like BuzzSumo, Feedly, and Google Trends, or perform a quick Google search to find posts that already rank for your target keyword.
  • Rewrite it into something better
    The next and perhaps most crucial step in the Skyscraper Technique is to rewrite the original content into something noticeably better. You can incorporate more visual content, update old statistics, add more actionable steps, or upgrade the overall writing quality to make it more link-worthy than the source material.
  • Share it with the right influencers
    Lastly, the step that makes the Skyscraper Technique so effective is reaching out to the influencers who already linked to the original content. You can identify them using Long Tail Pro’s “Backlink Analysis” feature, which lists every backlink that a specific page or post has along with the linking domain’s URL.

4. Promote Your Content on Social Media

The benefits of sharing your keyword-optimized content is three-fold.

First, it helps you grow your social reach and establish the authority of your brand. This makes it easier for you to win your target audience’s trust as well as leverage user-generated content in the form of reviews, testimonials, and social media images.

On top of this, you’re also giving your content more exposure, which also increases the likelihood of earning natural links from social media influencers.

Lastly, promoting content on social media is usually a surefire way to build traffic to your website. All of these benefits contribute to your website’s overall rank worthiness — allowing you to attain higher search engine rankings for your chosen keywords.

Key Takeaways

At the end of the day, the question of “how can you improve your keyword search results?” can be answered by a mix of the main branches of online marketing.

This includes content marketing, general SEO, and a little social media marketing.

To wrap up this post, here is a quick review of the key takeaways that you need to remember:

  • Similar to every other area of online marketing, improving your keyword rankings also starts with keyword research.
  • Don’t worry about keyword density — just be sure it appears and fits naturally in specific page elements.
  • Use the Skyscraper Technique to consistently produce quality content and earn links from authoritative sources.
  • Top off your keyword ranking campaign with a helping of social media marketing to multiply your results.

Want to see the strategies above in action? With Long Tail Pro, you can.

Simply click here to avail your 7-day free trial today!