Everybody wants free traffic fast that keeps on coming with no additional work.
I know I do.
That’s why like targeting long tail keywords.
The thing with long tail keywords is I have more control over the entire SEO process.
I have control over the following:
- which keywords I target
- the content targeting those keywords
As long as there isn’t much competition or no competition I can rank for those keywords quickly.
This system works like gangbusters.
When you target competitive keywords you have less control because of the links required element which is not easy to control. While you can build links you still don’t have 100% control over those links (unless using a PBN, which enhances risk). You also can’t control how many links you’ll need to rank #1 in Google. It could be 10 or 30. It’s very hard to calculate investment with the unknown link building variable.
I analyzed a handful of posts published since December 2017 and I quickly found 19 posts that as of April 18, 2018 are ranking #1, #2 or #3 in Google for the targeted keyword. They rank for many other keywords as well. Many of these posts were published in February and March, which means they ranked inside of 2 months.
The total monthly search volume of those targeted keywords is 21,000 searches.
It’s remarkable actually.
19 posts are getting decent search traffic inside 4.5 months without building a single link except for some social media promotion (which aren’t links in the SEO-sense).
- Content cost: $760 USD
- Revenue from that traffic: $210 USD per month
- Months to break even: 3.6 months
- Total revenue year #1: $210 x 8 months (took 4 months to rank) = $1,680
- Total value of those 19 mosts (in a site sale scenario): $1,680 x 2 years = $3,360 (conservatively).
Net result: excellent investment.
- There are also posts I published at that time that don’t rank as well or don’t get as much traffic. But then I have posts published before then that rank for even more competitive keywords.
- The above ROI analysis does not include traffic from Pinterest, which is also significant for a lot of my content.
The point of this is to demonstrate that long tail keywords with little search volume can generate a nice ROI even when paying content.
I have one advantage though
The only advantage I have that many aspiring bloggers don’t have is I have site authority. I know this counts for something so it has to be mentioned, but that should spur you on even more to build some site authority. The fact is, the better and bigger your site, the easier it is to make faster gains.
How did I do this?
I spent a lot of time doing unique keyword research followed up with excellent content targeting those keywords.
I primarily use Ahrefs for keyword research, but Ubersuggest will work as well.
Metrics: Several of the keywords I target have very low monthly search volume (i.e. 20 to 50), but when I publish the extensive content targeting those keywords, I target many other keywords.
You don’t have to restrict keyword selection on high search volume. I love going after low search volume keywords as long as they have little to no competition.
Ahrefs also provides a great keyword difficulty measurement. I filter this to KD of 0 (the lowest KD level). Yes, that’s right. I look for keywords with a KD of 0. While this doesn’t guarantee I’ll rank quickly, the odds are quite good.
Should you avoid high search volume keywords?
No way. Of course target higher search volume keywords but the lion’s share of your daily content should target longer tail stuff. Over time strive to rank higher search volume keywords, but in the meantime let’s get some traffic to your site, even it it’s just a bit to start. Each little bit you add with new content adds up to a lot over time.
Remember, less competition means you’ll have less competition coming after you too. It’s all well and good to rank high search keywords, but once ranked, you must defend which means ongoing work.
The content lover’s dream
If you love publishing content every day in pursuit of evergreen search traffic, this strategy is for you. I’m a content guy and can’t click “Publish” enough each day.
The only up-front work involved is mining 100’s of really good keywords with little or no competition. Once I have my list, it’s off to the races.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.