In years, working with eCommerce businesses, dancing around the Pareto principle, and falling asleep in the middle of 15k+ list of keywords, I’ve devised some effective url analysis strategies for organic SEO boost.
One of the best strategies I’d like to share with you is knotted around a keyword research and a competitors research. It has a massive impact on organic traffic. One of it's biggest advantages is that it saves time tremendously.
The Core Question
But before we even start I’d like to say a few words about semantic core. We know that our site's semantic core is much like our planetary one - center of attraction. It's our central point of traffic.
Expand it and you’ll increase the attraction. But if gravity is merciless force attracting anything within its reach, your site’s pull should be more selective. We all know that building our semantic core is labor-intensive task. You can't just fill it with Google keywords tool.
On top of that, the only way to succeed is to constantly expand it, and here comes the hateful time-consumer that is keyword research.
This step by step guide is about how you can select pages and keywords those pages contain that can be easily pushed to the top of organic search and gather you more targeted traffic.
Using the techniques described here you’ll be able to:
- Identify your pages with potential to become on top of search
- Easily find good keywords you’ve missed
- Benefit from your competitors’ success
- Reduce time-consuming manual labor to minimum
Step #1. Identify Missing Keywords and Pages with Potential
Run your domain through SERPstat keyword research tool. (As our example I’ll use Nike.com):
The reason I’m using this tool is because it can analyze and compare URLs like they were domains. We'll use URL analyzing abilities of this tool later, now it's time for the next step. In "SEO Research" section of the tool click on “Tree View” option:
Now you have the full list of site’s pages with keywords ranking in top-100 of search. The “Pos.” gauge shows the position of the keyword and its dynamic. Other metrics for keywords would be their level of competition, CPC, and Volume.
But our focus here should be on the keywords’ positions which leads us to the next step. Sort pages by clicking on “Filters” on the top of result screen and filter out your results to show only the pages that are ranked for keywords with SERP's position from 11th to 20th (a.k.a. Google's second page):
We’ll have our results:
Now we have a list of pages with keywords that have great potential to be pushed on top of search.
With our list of pages with keywords ranked 11 to 20 we shall use simple internal linking with those keywords as anchors.
Some pages have a lot of keywords in 11-20 ranking bracket and can bring a lot of organic traffic. Just have a look at this page:
In terms of organic SEO, this page has great potential to be on Google’s first page as it contains 15 highly potential keywords.
Now it's time for some serious accretion. Run one of these pages through the tool and in "URL Analysis" section click on "Missing Keywords":
The results you now have is a hidden treasure. Missing keywords enables you to identify all relevant keywords that similar pages from top-20 are ranked for but your page misses out. Use them to increase your semantic core.
Step #2 Deeper Competitors Research
This action is largely overlooked by most specialist, which has a negative overall effect on SEO. The action I’m talking about is a URL research. “What are you on about?” - I’m hearing you asking in disbelief, - “Haven’t we just researched and identified good keywords from our competing pages?”
Well, yes we did. But no, our competitors research isn’t over jsut yet. Now, don’t sign with fatigue because I’m about to tell you one awesome way to make your page uber-performing!
The sad fact is that not all our pages are equal. Some, like popular kids in school, have more attention around them, and drive more traffic to your site. Meanwhile your domain almost certainly has some shy kids within its premises.
With the following technique you’ll be able to boost your under-performing pages using your competitors’ top-performing ones.
Let’s say we have our page about product X. If our product isn’t something unique chances are there are tons of similar pages out there. But sometimes our competing pages doesn’t belong to our competitors at all.
You don’t have to research Wikipedia or Amazon like you would do with your niche competitors. These giants aren’t our competitors. But if their pages rank higher for our product X, well, big kids, get ready for rumble:
For example, here’s our page:
When you enter URL into SERPstat you can work with it as if it was a domain.
When you do so, go to “URL Analysis” and click on “URL vs. URL”:
Now you’re ready for deep competitors analysis. The tool suggests you pages that has similar keywords (semantically and morphologically) for which they rank - these are the closest competing pages for your page.
The trick is that now you can compare URLs back to back. Just add competing pages clicking on their URLs or pasting them (if you know what exact page you want to analyze) like so:
And click “Compare”:
You’ll have all the keywords these pages have in common, their unique keywords and their core keywords. It would usually take a lot of time to obtain competitors keywords and compare them manually in spreadsheets or excel file, luckily now you can simply push “Export Data” button:
And have your ready list to identify competitors’ weak spots in whichever format you like.
Step #4 Brainstorming and Blackhattery
Congrats! We’re almost done. Unfortunately, we cannot disregard said Pareto principle: 20% of work give 80% of results and vice versa. So we’re actually just 20% through (sorry for sensationalism).
But now it’s just for technical work. Naturally, to manage our internal linking (using our keywords in anchors) we’ll gonna need new content. That brings us down to the remaining 80% of the work. Luckily we can cheat 🙂
First, we generate ideas for our soon-to-be top notched content using auto-suggest tools. And if our previous step required us to stick to just one tool (simply because there’s no alternative when it comes to URL comparison except for tedious manual labor) now we are free to experiment.
You can use any auto-suggestion tool for this. I’ll proceed with SEPRstat using its “Search Suggestion” because of its cool “Only Questions” filter.
You may remember that our first keyword from the page we identified and chose to boost in ranking was “football gloves adult” ranking 18:
To maximize our suggestions we’ll run the body of this keyword - “football gloves” - in the tool and in “Keyword Research” section click on “Search Suggestions” :
You'll have autocomplete suggestions from Google. And here’s why I favor SERPstat for this action. Now click on "Only Question" filter:
It applies quite clever algorithm to spot queries close to yours in meaning (semantically) and in form (morphologically) from databases. Thus it gives you questions that users ask Google themselves.
With the ready list of relevant questions all you have to do is to give answers. Start transforming it into great content. Naturally, you could set up a task to your copywriters or write it yourself or...
... you could buy your content. I’m sure you know that there are places where you can buy quality SEO-friendly content. There are many platforms for this. Fiverr and UpWork are first that come to mind.
Yet despite its notorious name, BlackHatWorld is my to-go service for that. Simply because it’s one of the most active forums where you can buy top notched copywriting services from pros.
Let’s sum up. By the end of this manual you should have:
- A list of your pages with great potential to be pushed on top (11-20 ranking gap)
- A list of relevant keywords your competitors have and you don’t
- A list of your underperforming pages that you’ll compare to similar pages of your competitors to beat them down.
- A list of question users ask themselves for your query
With our list of pages to boost and content ready we’re heading towards the finish. Our last piece of action is to set up internal linking with said keywords as anchor text.
Now you can sit back and watch your pages crawling toward the top of search while your aggregate traffic figures jumping high:)