How To Rank & Monetise Your Site

Recently in my Facebook group and email list, I talked about ranking and monetising your website in 5 steps. Today, we’re going to look at how you can get started with step 1!

First though, a recap on the 5 steps I recommend to get started:

1) Keyword research (critical step and today’s topic). What you want are medium-high volume keywords, with low-medium competition in terms of competitor sites!

2) Content development – look at page 1 Google results. What content can you do bigger and better?

3) Link outreach (should also be kept in mind for step 2) – research where your competitors are getting their links from, and make a plan to get similar links (guest posts, manual outreach, broken link-building)….

4) Monetise, capture emails on your site, keep your email list focused, fresh and regularly updated.

5) Continue to execute. Persist, track, test and optimise….and if you get the above steps right, you will start to see results over time!

So, keyword research then? What I’m NOT going to do here is give you a few general techniques for keyword research, because you’ve likely heard them all before and you’ll probably just think ‘great’, and then move on with your day!

What seems to work better is to let you know how I do it, and even if the techniques will be similar or the same, you’ll probably relate to it a lot more and feel you can do it too.

And I am launching a course soon that will cover all of these steps and MUCH more, and you’re going to hear about it first!

Anyway, so how do I do keyword research?

First of all, what you need to know is that the competitiveness of your niche or sector will play a big part in terms of the approach you take.

For example, I have a site in the elementary school education niche. It’s not all that competitive and even though there are lots of competing sites to mine, there is no real commercial focus and so it is fairly easy to rank, once your site builds up some authority via inbound links.

It would be much different if my competition were big name brands, Ecommerce sites, or Amazon. When that’s the case, you need to go long tail and you need to find a way to be nippy and scrappy to compete with the big guns.

There’s little point trying to rank on page 1 for ‘shoes’, or ‘web design’, but you CAN look to focus on longer tail terms like ‘shoes for {insert demographic}’, or ‘{specific brand name and shoe type}.

Likewise, you can rank more quickly for ‘web design for {insert niche}’, where the niche is B2B companies in X industry, or restaurants also offering a takeout service, etc.

The key is knowing which keywords and topics are valuable to you and your business. It’s ok if search volume is low for these terms too, if you know you are going to be hitting the right kind of customer or searcher..

Anyway, my approach to keyword research involves using tools like Long Tail Pro, the Google Keyword Planner, the ‘related searches’ section at the bottom of search results, and tools like VidIQ which show you the tags and keywords that video publishers are using for their videos on YouTube.

I only installed that one last night – it’s a very handy Chrome plugin you can install with one click!

LTP even gives you a colour-coded score for how difficult it will be to rank your keywords on Google. This means you know which keywords to avoid, and which ones have potential.

I start my keyword research using these tools, and focus on keywords that are low to medium competition. You get a score for these with LTP, and with AdWords you get a ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ competition rating for keywords, as well as a minimum suggested bid.

If the bid looks high (say over 2 or 3 dollars / euro), it’s going to be tougher to rank for (again, depending on the competition and niche you’re in).

That said, that’s ok if you can find keywords RELATED to those tough competition ones, and focus on those instead. So never be discouraged 😉

Next, I take my preferred keywords and google to see what content is coming up on Google for these keywords. I want to see what content is ranking, and what gaps there are in terms of MISSING content.

As in, are there obvious content gaps that can be filled, where I can do something content-wise to fill those gaps…?

And that’s where the next lesson will start!

Until then, stay tuned. 

P.S. no matter how tough you think it might be (on Google, YouTube, or elsewhere), the great thing about the internet is how vast it is, and how there really is room for everyone (provided you are willing to work at it, of course)!

So remember that, even if you are realising you are going to have to go really niche and long tail 🙂

Got a question? Post it below!

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This summer I went on a sunny solo trip to the south of France, and spent some time in the beautiful town of Biarritz. I also spent a few days in even more beautiful San Sebastian in the Basque Country. It was a holiday, but I also worked a little on my side hustles….as ever!