A guide to ranking for competitive keywords

Aug 28, 2020 by
A guide to ranking for competitive keywords

In recent years, content marketing and SEO has experienced something of an uphill battle as everything has become more data-driven and competition has increased a thousandfold. In such an environment, it’s tempting for marketers to go for the low hanging fruit and focus on ranking for the incredibly niche keywords that nobody else is coveting.

But it is possible to aim higher for those words that you thought were beyond your reach as long as you’re willing to put the work in and work smart. That’s why we’ve decided to spill our knowledge on how even the smallest brands could be conquering the web’s most competitive keywords.

Identify the keywords

This goes without saying but keyword search is still an integral part of a good SEO strategy that forms the foundations of your SEO strategy. Spend time researching and evaluating the right words and only press forward with your campaign when you have at least 100 to go forward with.

Analyse the landscape

Search volume and competition are the key factors when selecting any keyword with the former metric helping marketers understand demand and the latter helping them realise how many others they are competing against for it. Generally speaking, the higher the search volume, the higher the competition. There was once a time where a few golden geese remained but realistically, in 2020, you’ll really struggle to find a high search volume keyword with low competition.

Knowing the level of keyword competition is important for setting expectations and thankfully, most keyword research tools will include a ‘difficulty’ metric. The key in this day and age is not in finding a high search volume keyword that has low competition, but in finding one that has less competition than you might expect. Measure your expectations going in or you’ll just end up disappointed.

Create 10x content

10x content is a term that was coined a few years ago to essentially describe content that was 10 times better than everything else. Because Google now puts so much emphasis on quality content, this is something that has become more prevalent in recent years and is the best way for smaller brands to compete for the ‘big words’.

The best content is evergreen (always relevant) and can be continuously updated. It’s also content that can provide relevant links to industry head terms. If you can find a competitive keyword that you can create this kind of content around then you should be able to rank highly for it.

Optimise that content

Of course, creating the content is the lion’s share of the work but that content also needs to be properly optimised and promoted. This means internally linking content to other content on your site that also shares similarly ‘evergreen content’ traits. If you can focus primarily on industry terms then it will be that much easier to build contextual links around them.

The best thing about these links is that they will hopefully be able to generate more organic traffic as the robust nature of the page will allow it to rank for multiple keyword variations. The main thing is to ensure that content is always being updated with the latest information and statistics. Only then will it be seen as the main authoritative source and only then will you be able to completely own those competitive keywords.