When it comes to content optimization, I'm a big fan of revisiting and reworking my existing content to take advantage of any traffic opportunities I may be missing out on. Now even though I perform keyword research before writing any blog post or landing page, I
often always overlook keyword opportunities (both long tail and any closely-related keyword variations around my core term).
And being a search marketer, one of my primary goals when writing is to rank. So I don't want to leave any keyword optimization opportunities on the table. That's why, after I've published content, I make it a point to go back and fine tune things, so I can extract every last ounce of SEO benefit.
Now, the Web is saturated with articles on tools that aid you in conducting initial keyword research. But what are some of the resources you can use to fine tune and optimize your existing content? The two resources I use to help me uncover additional long tail keyword opportunities are:
- Google Analytics: helps me find proven variations around my core terms
- WordStream SEO for Firefox Plugin: helps me leverage the long tail by exposing modifiers that aren't on my radar (in my content)
By leveraging both of these tools, I'm able to make my content work harder for me. So let’s dive into these tools to learn how you too can revisit and rework your own existing content to capitalize on low hanging, long tail fruit.
At WordStream, we preach the value of mining your analytics to uncover hidden keyword opportunities. The advantage here is that these are proven keywords, which are highly relevant to your own site and have driven traffic, conversions and sales, rather than keyword guesstimates from a keyword suggestion tool.
When mining your Google Analytics account, you can discover keywords that you:
- May be ranking okay for, but, by creating a new page that is more focused, you could be ranking even better
- Can integrate into existing content to capitalize on traffic opportunities that you’re missing out on
For the purpose of this content optimization post, we’ll focus on the integrating keywords/modifiers into existing content.
Now, I regularly explore Google Analytics to uncover keyword opportunities. For example, I was digging around in the WordStream analytics account recently and noticed a flurry of mid and long tail organic traffic around the term “keyword ranking.” We do have a page on our site that targets the head term "keyword ranking," but experience tells me that we could target a bigger basket of keywords on that page and make it work even harder for us.
So I filtered for searches containing both "keyword” and "rank" and found some intriguing results.
Now even though these long tail queries are popping up in our analytics, many of them weren't on the "keyword rank" page. This presented a fantastic opportunity to rework the copy to integrate some of these newly-discovered keywords that are proven traffic-drivers, which allows me to cast an even wider net, infiltrate more verticals, gain more visibility and capitalize on even more long tail query activity.
Returning to the analytics data, I toggled over to the goal conversion column and discovered some compelling goal data: the phrase “how to rank higher for a Google keyword” is converting at 100%.
Wow. You don't see that every day. Granted, the phrase only triggered eight visits in a month, so this is a very small sampling, but nonetheless it presents a big opportunity.
Given this conversion potential, I wanted to elevate this term to the title tag and see how it would perform in the “spotlight.” I often treat the title tag for published content as proving ground. If I see strong traffic or conversion activity around a particular term, I promote that term into the title tag, much like a call up to the major leagues. I know doing this will give it an instant boost in the rankings, which means more visibility and an opportunity to prove whether a small sampling bears out on a larger scale.
So I crafted the title tag: “Keyword Ranking: How to Rank Higher for the Best Google Keywords,” which now incorporates that high-conversion phrase and will help that page perform even better in the SERPs for that particular query. After a few weeks, I'll revisit the analytics data and evaluate the page's performance.
SEO for Firefox Plugin
Since we launched our SEO for Firefox plugin recently, I’ve been using it to re-examine and revise existing content on our site (both blog posts and SEO landing pages) and seeing great results. Now, one of the big misnomers in SEO is that to rank on long tail queries, you need to have the "exact match" for the query somewhere in your content.
This is incorrect.
You see, for many long tail searches, the modifiers/terms just needs to be present somewhere on the page. It doesn't need to be an exact match. Also, the longer the tail or more granular the query, the more this bears out. For example:
Now, it’s virtually impossible to conceive of every potential keyword modifier on the planet. So the SEO for Firefox plugin does that for you, providing a long list of modifiers searchers have used to in queries surrounding your seed keyword.
We see how the tool suggests related long tail modifiers (bolded, green terms) that I can work into the content to gain more traction in the SERPs and give my piece of content more chances to penetrate more verticals. And as I do incorporate the long tail modifiers into the text, the SEO for Firefox plugin records and tallies each instance so I can check it off my list.
Now even though the premise of this post is to revisit and revise existing content, I’m also starting to use the long tail modifier feature more and more just before and just after I’ve finished authoring a new piece of content. It helps to guide my content optimization and keyword formatting efforts and allows me to put the finishing touch on a blog post, article or sales page.
Why is this method so powerful and effective?
Google recently released some compelling stats that 70% of queries have no exact-matched keywords and 54.5% of user queries are greater than three words. This is a strong case for leveraging the long tail for search. There is so much opportunity in long tail queries, but without hitting the modifiers, your content is less likely to get returned in the SERPs.
What's more, Google says that 25% of search queries are new and have never been searched before, so it’s impossible to predict how the user will search and how your content will be found. It’s also impossible to account for every query variation possibility. But by using the SEO for Firefox plugin for keyword research and content optimization, you’re giving your content a much better chance of infiltrating so many more verticals and popping up in many more queries. If you’re concerned about ranking in a range of verticals, you’d be crazy not add these suggested modifiers to your content. It's time to embrace long tail keywords for your content strategy.