We offer these free tips to help our clients and website visitors improve their search engine rankings. For the best in SEO Tips and a great SEO Tool, check out SEO Moz

Ranking for Highly Competitive Search Terms

  1. With some search terms and phrases you’ll have a difficult time getting first page results.

    For these situations, it can be tempting to try things outside of the search engines’ best practice guidelines. Keep in mind that search engines do not tolerate shady manipulation techniques like buying links on link farms.

    Although these methods may be effective in the short term, sites that use manipulation techniques may become banned from search engine results.

  2. For highly competitive search terms, targeting niche search terms may be the best strategy.

    Research keywords that may be less commonly used but still represent a significant source of search traffic. Target those keywords for your SEO efforts and you may immediately get first page results.

  3. Create a complete list of keywords, or keyword phrases, and select the most competitive.

    Having a list of keywords that are important to your target search engine traffic is one of the first steps of any SEO plan. Use this list to choose the top three to five keywords that appear to be the toughest on the list.

  4. Create a new page or blog post on your website for each target keyword.

    Each page should contain an article with at least 15 – 20 sentences, related to the target keyword, or keyword phrase. Do some research for the article, and make sure it contains an “appropriate” amount of keywords within the text.

    If you’re careful not to over-stuff the page with keywords, and make sure it reads well, you’ll probably have an “appropriate” amount of keyword rich text.

  5. Search the rest of your website pages for your target keywords or phrases.

    Use Google to find the other pages on your website that have your targeted keywords in the text. Here’s how it works:

    Google lets you use the “site:” modifier to search only a specific website. So for your situation, if your keyword phrase was “decks atlanta” you would type the following into the Google search bar: decks atlanta site:www.mysite.com. The results will show all usage of the keyword phrase “decks atlanta” on your site… that is as long as Google has indexed all of your pages.

    If you have the keywords on non-indexed or new pages you’ll have to use some other search methods. WordPress has a great search plugin called Search and Replace. Be careful with this one! You can do serious damage to your website with it if you’re not careful. Make a back-up of your database and site first, and get your web developer to help if you’re unsure.

  6. Link the keywords you found on other pages to your new page.

    Go to each of your pages and create hyperlinks around your keywords, linking them to your new page. Make sure to use descriptive keywords in anchor text that match the keywords of your target page. Keyword Text

  7. Vary the keywords and anchor text for many of your links

    It’s best to have a variety of keywords and anchor text linking to your new page. If they’re all the same it’s just not as effective. A great tool for discovering various keyword text is the Google Wonderwheel. It’s actually buried within their “More search tools” at the bottom left of the Google search results page.

    Here’s an example Wonderwheel view of “decks atlanta” search phrase.

Implementing an SEO Strategy

  1. SEO is a long-term process. Those who expect quick rankings after completing a few suggestions will often be discouraged. Search engines can often be very slow to respond to website improvements that will in time get significant boosts in ranking from your efforts.
  2. The best sites adhere to the following guidelines:
    1. They have unique content – They offer content that is unique and up to date, with new content coming in at regular intervals.
    2. They are part of a larger community – Connections (including links) with other websites in an existing online community will help your search engine ranking.
    3. They are “link-friendly” – Always use discretion in presenting your content and remember that links are one of the most valuable commodities a site can get, and they’ll last far longer than a pop-up ad’s revenue.

Get Professional Help

If you don’t have the time, ranking for highly competitive search terms will definitely require professional help. Check out our Resources page for a short list of businesses and tools that can make the process easier.