In the latest episode of Hack My Growth, we’re looking at how we can leverage Semrush to find quick-win keywords for our SEO strategies.
In this video, we will be using one of our favorite SEO tools, Semrush. We will show you how to use this tool to find quick wins for your SEO strategy. A lot of people ask, how do I find keywords for quick wins? Often, when we go into an SEO project or start a new campaign, people have these broad terms they want to go after. They have a ton of traffic and competition, and that’s great. But in the meantime, we also need to see the needle move.
We need to see traffic grow. To do that, we need to often look at more of these long-tail terms and other opportunities within the search results to expand our ability to grow meaningful traffic for the businesses we’re working for or our own business.
Therefore, we asked this question: How do I find these keywords?
This is the criteria we will look at for quick wins:
- Volume of those terms
- SERP features available
- Because SEO today is not just about ranking with those blue links. We have SERP features; we have rich features. We have a lot of different opportunities in the landscape, or the real estate available for us with any search result is vastly different than it used to be just a few years ago.
- Keyword difficulty
- Obviously, we want to try to find these terms with good volume and low difficulty so that we have a higher chance of earning or winning that specific query.
Let’s pop over to Semrush, and we’ll look at how we can put all of this together. If you don’t have Semrush and want to follow along with this, we can get you a 14-day full free trial, which means you can do anything you possibly want with the tool using this link: semrush.com/partner/smamarketing.
If you want to follow along with us, go to this link right now, it’s also linked below. That way, you can do exactly what we’re doing to find some of those quick wins. All right, let’s head over to Semrush.
SEO Dashboard Home
We are now logged into Semrush. We’re sitting on our SEO dashboard home for our agency’s website. When we want to look at quick wins, there are a few things that we want to look for. We need to move terms higher in the search results to see a difference in traffic. If we look at the click-through rate for different ranking positions, we can see whether or not we could earn traffic. Semrush does a little bit of that for us with the projective traffic estimator within the keyword research. I’ll show you where that’s at in just a minute, but you can see, and it’s just known that the higher you rank, theoretically, the more traffic you will get.
Moving a keyword from position 68 to position 30 doesn’t matter because there’s no traffic change. The client may be happy, but at the end of the day, they want to see their traffic go up. If we’re only moving into page three, we’re not getting them the results they want to see. That might be the case with these broad terms, but when it comes to quick wins and starting to show that SEO does work, we need to look at terms that are in the top 20, terms that are in the top 10, and terms that are in the top three.
What you want to do is bucket these different groups. We have terms that rank two and three. We don’t earn the first position for it, and we want to try to get that. These are terms that are ranking two and three.
The next group we have are terms that are ranked four to ten. The reason why those top three positions get a majority of the traffic. It’s going to be a bit more competitive there, so we may have to do more strategic optimization. Those terms four to ten, let’s say, if we move a position eight to a position four, there will be a significant change in the amount of traffic you would get for that term. And for that term, it has a lot of volume.
You will notice that pretty quickly. Then we have terms that aren’t in the top 10. So you’re probably not getting any traffic for them, but with a little bit of effort, you may be able to bump those terms from 15 to 10 or from 12 to seven. You will start seeing traffic for those terms. That’s what a quick win strategy is all about. To do this, we want to use the domain overview tool.
We’ll go ahead and type in our domain and hit enter. It will give you a quick overview of your domain as a whole, the amount of traffic they’re estimating for you, the number of keywords your site ranks for, and a lot more. As you can see here, SERP features and all that fun stuff.
What we want to do, let’s say we want to target terms where we’re ranking positions four through ten, and we want to see if we can improve that group of terms and the possibility for us to grow in that specific area. What we would then do after we’ve run this quick domain overview is go over here to organic research.
Organic research will show you all the terms your site is supposedly ranking for. It may not have all of them because this is just a tool, but it has many of them.
Right here, it’s telling me I’ve got about 6.5K or 6,500 terms that we rank for. From the organic trend, I can start to narrow this down, and I can see a graph of only the terms, which are in four to ten, and I have 252 terms that we rank in positions four through 10 on. If I want to go and see what those terms are, I click this positions tab. And again, I can filter this for terms that rank positions four through ten. And here we go, we have that entire list.
And remember, we talked about our criteria. We want to see things like intent and SERP features. This is the estimated traffic they think we’re getting from this term. The amount of volume that specific term has and how difficult this term is to rank, and the URL that we’re currently ranking for this term?
Semrush will give us a lot of data. There are 252 terms here. What I like to do is then take this data out of here and put it into a Google Sheet, and start to do some organizing. So that’s what we’re going to do next.
Getting Organized on GoogleSheet
Go ahead and hit export. You can go ahead and add it as an Excel file. Then head over to sheets.google.com. You can start a new sheet. There are a few ways to do this: you can copy and paste this data over, or you can use the import function here, upload the file we just downloaded and tell it to replace the sheet. And here’s all that fun, cool information.
We now have our keywords. We have the positions they’re ranking in. We have all that other fun data. I’m going to try to make this more legible for us. There we go. And we can zoom in, that way everybody can see.
At this point, I’m not super worried about where we rank position-wise. I do want to look at it long-term. Like we have been in position three for this. That’s okay. The ones that I care about the most right now are; intent, search volume, keyword difficulty, and then the search features or the SERP features. What we can do right now to make this easier to work with is we’ll go ahead and hide all these columns that we will not be working with right this second. I need the URL, but I don’t need it right now.
1. Filter and Sort the Data by Keyword Intent
The first thing I want to do is start to filter and sort this data. I want to look at keyword intent because this will tell me what type of content I’m typically working with. In most cases, informational content is going to be blog content. Informational content is a little more relaxed in most cases. It’s where people are going to learn. They’re going to investigate. It’s that top-of-funnel content, and it tends to be on blogs, which tend to be a lot easier to optimize, change, and tweak because it’s not the main site page. You do not have to rewrite a commercial copy. You’re looking at blog content, typically top of the funnel content, where you have more leeway to play around.
The first thing I like to do is go ahead and clear this and let’s focus solely on informational queries. We’ve now taken this large list down quite a bit just by doing that. The next thing we want to do is we want to sort this by the search volume.
2. Filter and Sort the Data by Volume
Which one has the most volume?
3. Filter and Sort the Data by Keyword Difficulty
Then we want to go and sort low to high by keyword difficulty. Which of these terms have the most volume but have the lowest amount of difficulty. When it comes to search volume, this will be something that you will have to play with. There are some brands that don’t want to touch terms that are 50 search volume. That doesn’t make sense to them. There are some brands that are brand new and 50 searches a month is good. It will depend on your site, traffic, and whether or not you’re going to go after these.
My thought process is that I will go after some of these terms, especially if they’re in groups. If it’s like only one term that’s worth 50 search volume, I probably won’t do it. But if there’s a bunch of terms within a group that are all around 50, and that group starts to add up to more volume, then it might be something to go with.
Right now, we have a good idea of intent, the volume, and the difficulty. That doesn’t mean we should just, okay, planning schema, go after that. It has to make sense. Like ‘Mardi Gras ad’ doesn’t make sense for my business. My name right now, I don’t care that much. The purpose of this is super broad. We can start to go through and say, do these terms make sense? Behavior flow and Google data studio make sense. We have some content on there, and maybe it’s something we want to do. ‘The future of search’ is something we might want to target. Using ‘Google My Business’ service updates as semantically related words. Interesting that this query has so much volume.
There’s probably a lot more to it than that so we’ll keep it in there for now, but we can go through this list and start looking at it. The other thing we want to look at is the opportunities we have within the search results. Right here, we can see which ones have more SERP features or not. And some of these SERP features we have direct access to and other ones we have to do more work on.
For image packs, we know that we can add alt texts. We can mark up our images. For reviews, we know we can do aggregate reviews. For video, we know that we can embed that, add that, and add schema. For People Also Ask, we know that there are more questions than we could potentially answer right within the search results. For FAQs, we know that we can influence that too.
This term ‘planning schema’ has a ton of opportunity because of all the extra SERP real estate available to us. However, I have a hunch that there’s a lot more to this term than just planning schema, but it’s something that we can start with and start looking at.
4. Remove Irrelevant Keywords
What I want to start doing is narrowing this list down by getting rid of anything that doesn’t make sense.
Then look at the SERP features. If you want to count how many SERP features, you can do this using an Excel function:
I will go ahead and copy and paste it here. I’m not an Excel wizard. Again like I’ve said before in many my videos, I’m just good at copying and pasting. Here’s the function. We had to make couple of edits because this is looking at cell one and what we need here is P3 because that’s the one we’re looking at.
Go ahead, P3, change this to P3. As you can see, there are five additional SERP features that we can target. It’s pretty cool because we don’t just have the blue link. Theoretically, we could have our blue link. We could have an image pack. We could make our link even more robust by adding reviews. We could show up within a video carousel in the search results or a video block. We could possibly own one of the People Also Ask. And we could extend that review listing with FAQs. Potentially with our blue link, we could have four or more instances of our brand within this search result, which is pretty stinking powerful.
Now that we have the intent we want to go after, the volume, the last thing you do, as I said, is just going through here and getting rid of all the ones that don’t really make sense to your business and then start to organize your plan of action.
5. Organize Your Plan of Action
What do you do to earn visibility? Well, you will start to look at the pages themselves. We have all these pages here, and they’re all blog pages. I can go into these blog pages, and I can start to look at what are the pages ahead of me doing? I can also look at some of these missed opportunities over here. Do I have reviews on this page? Do I have a video on this page? Am I using FAQ on this page? If I’m not, those are quick things that I can do to start earning more visibility. Does my title tag have a good target keyword in it? Am I using it in my meta description? Am I following SEO best practices? But the real big start here is narrowing down this keyword list, using our intents search volume difficulty, and the SERP features available to us.
Then we can start to make a list of terms we’re going to target. At the end of the day, we put all of this together. We’re talking about potentially thousands of more visits per month just by making these small adjustments.
Thanks for checking out this video again today. I hope that it was helpful for you. I hope that you learned something new. If you’ve got any questions, please comment below. We’d love to continue that conversation with you. And I want to remind you if you don’t use Semrush and want to check it out, go ahead and try it for free for 14 days using this link here and let me know what you think of it. What tools do you like? What do you not like? What’s your favorite SEO tool? Let’s continue this conversation.
I appreciate you guys checking this out. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share it with a friend who might also need some help when it comes to SEO. Until next time, happy marketing!