Every day there are literally billions of online searches, and millions of those searches have never been performed before.
This means you have a chance to stand out in your particular niche. You just need to remind Google (and the world) that you’re an expert. To do this, you will need to produce compelling content focused on the topics or “keywords” that you know about.
There’s certainly a huge amount of research you can conduct on keywords, but if you let that research keep you from updating your blog regularly, you’re missing the forest for the trees. Spend time researching keywords, publish blog posts about those keywords, and after a few months, review those keywords to see how they’ve performed—and then adjust your list accordingly.
If you do that, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition that couldn’t move forwards because they spent ages researching keywords, and trying to rank for the top ones, likely with the highest competition.
People are searching for those hidden gems; your job is to become one of those gems.
Finding golden nuggets
Underserved keywords don’t have useful organic results when someone searches them, so you’re unlikely to find them coming up in the traditional keyword research tools.
Every day, new searches are conducted that Google has never seen before. A search like “blogging for the marriage counseling industry” might be underserved. Fifty percent of all searches have at least four words because people don’t always search by a singular word, and Google has to provide results for every one of those searches.
So, focusing entirely on obvious keywords doesn’t take into account all of the other things your potential customers might type in to try and find you. And chances are that if one person searches for something more obscure or detailed, other people will type something similar very soon.
The best way to be that top result for a search that hasn’t happened yet is to anticipate the needs of that user and to create content that has correlating underserved keywords. Blogging is about giving away all of your best information and being as helpful as you can. Do that, and the world will beat a path to your door.
Using underserved keywords to forge that path doesn’t require unlimited resources. Blogging mostly just needs time and attention, but you have to be realistic and use smart strategies.
First, that means being patient. This isn’t something you work on once and cross off your list. Second, don’t assume that you’ll be able to write a few blog posts with the perfect keywords and have tons of traffic pouring in right away. The idea is to build solid content that will be there when consumers look to fulfill needs you’re able to meet.
One way to build that online presence is to use semantic search to make your brand more easy to find. Semantic search is a technique that aims to go beyond finding keywords to determine the intent and contextual meaning of the person searching.
Google is constantly trying to create better algorithms that provide the most helpful results for users, and the company is fully aware of the trend toward longer, more specific search entries. So, Google is actually working to help all of the searchers who would love to learn about your company’s existence have a better chance of finding you.
Sifting out the fool’s gold
Now, it’s time to figure out what underserved keywords you need in your content, so that you pop up in those people’s search results.
Here are three ways to do that:
1. Utilize keyword generator tools
A lot of great tools exist that can help you find promising keywords, and track how well those keywords perform. If you don’t know where to start, Übersuggest and Keyword Tool are both great free tools that will help generate relevant underserved keywords.
2. Talk to your customers
The best way to find your most promising underserved keywords is through your customers and prospects. Listen to the words they use, and even ask what words they searched to find you. Many times they’ll remember, and if they don’t, they can probably find it in their search histories with a couple of clicks (or give you their best guess).
Don’t worry about matching every phrase exactly. If you get the idea down in your headline and in the body of your post, Google will figure out that “Nantucket voice coach” is the same as “voice coach in Nantucket.”
3. Take advantage of Google Keyword Planner
Aside from hearing directly from your audience, Google Keyword Planner is probably the best tool for this job. This is also free and provides relevant keywords and their respective competitiveness.
For example, if you own a shoe store, “shoes” will have a high competitive score. Getting on the first page of results for this term would be nearly impossible.
However, Google Keyword Planner would reveal that “best shoes for high school girls” has a low competitive ranking. Although search volume for the latter keyword is lower, the phrase is more specific, and someone searching for it will be more likely to be interested in your result anyway.
Search each promising keyword, and check out the top 10 results on Google. Your goal will then involve writing better content that’s even more relevant and shareable for those searches.
Continue to develop your strategy by tracking each keyword to measure performance. Hard data will help you discern whether your strategy is working, as well as when a keyword has run its course and needs to be re-examined. Moz and SEMrush are both great tools for this.
If you figure out a solid strategy and perform well with underserved keywords now—when nobody else is focused on it—you’ll have a big competitive edge when others start to figure out the value in this approach.
It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme; it’s about providing plenty of quality content that potential customers will find useful.
If you write a blog post or two every week for a year, there’s no way someone else will be able to match that in a matter of weeks or even months. So do some digging, and all of those little gold nuggets will add up.
Bplans’ favorite SEO resources
If you’re just now diving into the world of SEO marketing, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on the basics. Here are some of our favorite guides to SEO, to help get you started.
Browse through these to get a sense of how to best implement the above SEO tactics into your business (and if you’re still not quite sure what SEO really means but at this point you’re too afraid to ask, don’t worry—they cover that too).
- The Beginner’s Guide to SEO: This guide by Moz may be the best and most thorough SEO guide out there. It’s a great starting point and goes over the basics in manageable chunks, gradually going into more detail.
- HubSpot’s Free eBook: Learning SEO from the Experts: With contributions from some of the top thought leaders in the SEO space, this downloadable guide is another great starting point.
- Whiteboard Fridays with Rand Fishkin Also via Moz, these weekly videos are a great way to get into the details of a particular topic. It won’t give you a large overview (the assumption being that you know the basics by now), but once you have the basics it’s a great way to expand on your knowledge.
- The Advanced Guide to SEO: This guide is a direct follow-up to our first mention, and builds off the information you learned in the Moz Beginners Guide to SEO. Neil Patel of Quicksprout takes you through some of the more advanced aspects of SEO; it’s a hefty guide, but well-laid out and very informative.
- Search Engine Land: With an article on nearly every SEO topic under the sun, you could spend a few solid weeks perusing Search Engine Land’s info and still find yourself learning something new.
- Search Engine Watch: They’ve got tons of great articles on SEO, and an entire section on SEO for video—an excellent resource if you’re hoping to optimize your video content.
- Google Webmaster Central Blog: This blog is straight from Google (the primary search engine you’re optimizing your content for), so it’s a must check-out. The content is more advanced and there is no central “guide” format, so save this one for later, after you’ve mastered the basics.
- The Ultimate SEO Checklist: 25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Post: While this article by Neil Patel is specific only to SEO for articles, it’s a great basic overview of how to best optimize your articles, and draw the most traffic to your blog or website. If you’re trying to optimize your web content, this is a must-read.