Implementing simple SEO with Keywords Everywhere
Up until recently, I have tended to ignore SEO. But I've finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.
What is SEO?
Almost anyone with a website probably wants to attract as many viewers as possible. In particular, most of us want to get relevant views, that is people who are likely to be interested in the content.
It is no secret that many sites get most of their traffic from search engines - primarily Google but also other engines such as DuckDuckGo or Bing. This is often called organic traffic (as opposed to traffic that is responding to paid adverts you might have placed).
SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - is the art of managing your web content to try to generate as much organic traffic as possible.
This is not as easy as it sounds because, of course, every other website is trying to do the exact same thing. When you engage in SEO you are entering into competition with every other website covering the same topics. In fact, even if you don't do SEO you are still entering the same competition, just with far less chance of doing well.
Why haven't I done it before?
There are a few reasons I have not taken SEO too seriously so far, but it amounts to two things:
- SEO isn't free.
- The return on investment isn't certain.
To take the first one, SEO takes a fair bit of learning and effort - time that you could otherwise spend writing more content. The time you spend on SEO needs to bring more rewards than you would gain from simply having more content, or you might as well not bother.
And while it is possible to do SEO for free, the tools are quite limited. The all-singing, all-dancing paid tools for SEO such as Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz, typically cost $100+ per month. That might not be much if you are going all out to create a content site as a full-time business, but if you are doing it as a side hustle it is a lot to risk on something that may or may not work.
Before going to so much expense you need to at least be sure that your website is capable of creating decent revenue. For example:
- If you use Adsense adverts on your site, you might typically make roughly $1 per thousand page views. You would need 100,000 page views per month just to break even. Is SEO going to get you an extra 100,000 clicks? It might, but probably not the first month you try it. (As an aside, if you were getting 100,000 views a month you should probably be using Ezoic or Mediavine rather than Adsense.)
- If you are selling a digital product (for example a $3 cheatsheet), then you would need to sell an extra 30+ of them to break even. Assuming a conversion rate of 1%, you would need thousands of extra clicks to achieve that. However, expecting 1% of visitors to your site to buy your cheat sheet is quite optimistic and assumes that your keywords, web content, and digital product are very well aligned. In reality, you might need tens of thousands of extra visitors just to make back the cost of doing SEO.
There are similar considerations for affiliate marketing, physical products, or any other way of monetising your traffic.
Content is still king
One thing to remember is that SEO is never going to make up for poor content. While it is fine to start thinking about SEO even if your site is new and doesn't have much content, you need to make sure your content is good.
Look at other sites that are covering similar topics. Some of them will have been around for a long time, and are probably doing SEO themselves. You are unlikely to compete with them on SEO alone, you need to have better content as well. Typically, longer articles will fair better, provided they are well-structured and full of relevant information (2000 words of waffle won't help you). Useful images can help too.
Keyword SEO and the 80/20 rule
There are numerous different SEO techniques, but the primary one is keyword SEO. The 80/20 rule tells us that you can often get 80% of the benefit by doing the most important 20% of the work. Keyword SEO looks like it might be that all-important 20%.
There are two ways keyword SEO can help you. It can help you to decide which articles to write in the first place. If you are thinking of writing an article but you find that all the keywords associated with that article have very low monthly search volumes (which means that very few people are searching for that type of article) it might not be worth writing at all. Similarly, if all the search terms have very high difficulty (meaning that there are already a lot of very good articles on that topic) then it might be hard for your article to stand out. That doesn't mean you absolutely shouldn't write the article, just that it might be difficult to get traffic.
Secondly, keyword SEO can identify other popular keywords that relate to the article you are intending to write. These are words and phrases that a lot of people use to search the topic, that perhaps you hadn't thought of. In the simplest case, you might just need to slip those keywords into the article, in a natural way, to improve your ranking, In other cases they might suggest extra subtopics to add to your article to improve it, resulting in a slightly longer article that covers the topic in more detail. Occasionally the keywords might suggest a whole new article.
A cheap keyword SEO tool
There are free keyword SEO tools, for example Google Keyword Planner, but they can be quite tedious, which I often find makes me less likely to bother.
But there are also a few low-budget, basic tools that make things a lot easier for very little cost. One that I have been trying lately is Keywords Everywhere. (This is an affiliate link - if you use it you will get 20% extra credits for the same price, and I will get some free credits too).
Keywords Everywhere is a Chrome extension that is very easy to install. Once installed, it adds extra information to Google search pages, with keyword statistics. To use the tool, just do a normal Google search and the tool will add extra information to the search page.
First, it shows you the basic information about the search term and any pages it finds:
Directly below the search box, it shows you the monthly search volume and other metrics.
For each page found, it displays the monthly traffic for that site for the chosen search term, and below it shows the domain authority for the site. The domain authority is an indication of how much Google trusts the site, from 0 to 100. It is a logarithmic scale, meaning that higher scores are trusted a lot more than lower scores (a score of 90 isn't just 9 times better than a score of 10, it is far, far better).
This gives you a good idea of how much traffic you can expect, and how tough the competition is.
The side of the page show more information, including the difficulty and trends of the search term:
You can also copy or export this information using the buttons.
Also in the sidebar are some suggested keywords:
The image only shows the Related Keywords section. There are two other sections below this showing People Also Searched For, and Long-Tail Keywords.
These provide a lot of ideas for additional topics to mention in your article, again with the monthly volume and popularity information. You can copy or export the data, and if you click one of the keyword items it will open a new Google search for that item. This of course provides you will full information about that search term, with a new list of related keywords. It is up to you how far down the rabbit hole you wish to go.
Keywords Everywhere has a very attractive pricing model. It costs $10 for a whopping 100,000 credits. Once purchased, the credits are valid for a year. And as cheap keyword SEO tools go, it offers a lot of functionality.
A credit is a single keyword result. It is worth noting that every keyword on the page counts as one credit, so the search above would count as 34 credits rather than just 1 credit (the main keyword, 8 Related Keywords, 6 People Also Searched For, 19 Long-Tail Keywords).
However, 100 credits cost a cent, and they don't expire for a year, so it is still pretty cheap. Checking out the keywords for a new article is likely to cost pennies, and if it saves you writing an article that has little hope of anyone ever reading, that has to be worth it. It might not quite be a free keyword planner, but it is pretty close.
How can Keywords Everywhere be so much cheaper than the competition? Realistically, it doesn't do nearly as much as the bigger sites. Ahrefs et al maintain extensive infrastructure to gather information, and that costs money. Keywords Everywhere gets all its data comes from free sources such as Google Adwords data.
However, I find trying to switch between multiple different free tools to gather this information for every keyword is both tedious and distracting, and ultimately those things tend to deter me from doing the analysis at all. Paying a few cents per article to make the process easier and therefore more effective seems well worth it to me.
Keywords Everywhere isn't the only option. For example, the Ubersuggest Chrome extension does a similar job and is considerably cheaper than the bigger providers, but it still has a significant monthly fee that you might wish to avoid until you have worked out whether keyword SEO works for your site.
Keyword SEO is almost certainly worth a punt, both to maximise the traffic to your best article and to avoid wasting your time writing about things nobody is interested in. Keywords Everywhere lets you give it a proper try for a very low initial outlay.
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