The 3-Step SEO Process That Grew Organic Traffic 200%

My Post (4)First things first, I am going to promise you that this is not another post about including your target keyword in heading tags. 

In this article, I will cover the main tactics I use to write this content, which helped an ecommerce retail client grow their organic traffic +202% Y/Y.

To create satisfying and comprehensive content Google is looking for, you have to put in real effort. But it can be challenging to know where to start.

This 3-step process includes:

  • 1. Find Your “Gimme” Keywords
  • 2. 4 Free Content Analysis Tools
  • 3. Source Authoritative Input

Now let’s see how each of these steps work.


1. Find Your “Gimme” Keywords

In golf, a “gimme” is a shot that other players agree can count automatically — basically, a near-guaranteed victory. We can apply similar logic to keyword research by targeting keywords your organic competitors rank well for, but you could write about better.

Here is how to create a list of “gimme” keywords to influence your new content:

  1. Go to SEMrush’s Competitive Research Toolkit and then the Keyword Gap tool.
  2. Plug in your root domain and click Add Competitor — your top 4 organic competitors will autofill. Choose the first result and click “Compare”.
  3. To only view keywords in the top 10 results, select Position  > Competitors > Top 10. You can also filter Volume to only see keywords above or below a specific search volume.
  4. Scroll down to All Keyword Details and select “Missing” to see the list of keywords you don’t rank for, but your competitor is ranking #1-10.
  5. Document keywords by adding them to your Keyword Manager, or exporting to Excel or CSV.

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Complete this analysis with several of your close competitors until you have a list of keywords you feel confident in. This list is a great starting point, but there is one more crucial step in determining a true “gimme” keyword — looking at the search engine results pages (SERPs) manually.

Google’s algorithm prioritizes relevancy, so you need to make sure your site’s content and expertise will make sense for each keyword.

Starting with your highest-priority keywords, do an incognito Google search on desktop (Ctrl or ⌘ + Shift + n) and mobile. You can also use Mobile Moxie’s awesome SERPerator tool to check mobile results from your desktop.

Analyze the first page of results by answering a few questions:

What Is the Keyword’s Intent?

Search intent is bucketed into 4 different types: informational, transactional, navigational, and commercial investigation. Before deciding to target a keyword, make sure your content matches what users are looking for. Determining intent in the SERPs is fairly straightforward:

  • Informational: Users are looking for generic information about a topic.
    • “What is kombucha?”
  • Transactional: Users are looking for categories or products.
    • “Kombucha kits”
  • Navigational: Users are looking for a specific website.
    • “Kombucha Retailer”
  • Commercial investigation: Users are in the research phase before purchasing.
    • “Kombucha reviews”

Sometimes, results can be mixed intent. For example, a search for just “kombucha” shows informational articles, a product feed, and a local map pack. In this case, it is up to you to determine if your content fits the intent.

Which Publishers Are Ranking?

Take a look at the publishers ranking on the first page for your keyword. Would your website fit in alongside these results?

Say you are a food blogger interested in writing about the “benefits of kombucha.” Currently, the top 10 results showcase sites like Healthline, Medical News Today, and WebMD. Google is prioritizing authoritative health sites, not food blogs, to rank for this keyword.

Yet, search for “ginger kombucha”, and you will find a variety of food blogs dominating the SERPs. Though this keyword is lower volume than “benefits of kombucha”, you will be much more likely to rank.

What Does the On-Page Content Look Like?

Finally, click into the top 3-5 search results to analyze each page. The key sign of a “gimme” keyword is when the top results show missed opportunities. You can usually tell this just by skimming:

  • Does the page lack a sensible heading structure?
  • Is it difficult to read or flooded with ads and pop-ups?
  • Does the content seem too thin (or unnecessarily long)?

This technique may involve a bit more leg work on the front end, but you will avoid wasting countless hours targeting irrelevant or high-difficulty keywords.

If you have done your keyword research and the search landscape seems conquerable, go forth and conquer it.

2. 4 Free Content Analysis Tools

Once you have your list of “gimme” keywords, the next step is to look even closer at the first page of results to understand what content may be good to include.

However, this manual process can be time-consuming. These 4 free tools will streamline your analysis, so you can reinvest that time into writing great content: – Read more