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In this video I discuss:
- What USED to make for a perfect keyword
- Why that isn’t the case anymore
- How to turn this tradition and outdated teaching to our advantage
- A strategy for building a successful website in even the most competitive niches or industries
Please direct all questions and requests for support to the FIMP Facebook group (free for registered members).
5.2 Transcript Below
Okay, let’s do this. Let’s talk about what we are looking for in a keyword.
So the anatomy of a perfect keyword and what makes a keyword more desirable than another is… traditional teaching (that goes back years and years in this industry) is you want something that has as high search volume as possible – something that is searched every month as much as possible and we can pull that data very dependably from several different tools. We’ll get into that later as we start looking at specific keyword tools later in this section.
But you want something that a lot of people are searching every month and that doesn’t have a whole lot of competition – and that can mean a lot of different things. There are a lot of metrics that determine competition, and again, we’ll cover those very extensively later in this section. But the traditional thinking in this industry that’s been taught for years (going back almost to the birth of affiliate marketing) is you want high search volume + low competition and that is a unicorn. That is the perfect compensation. That is what you want to find.
My experience is… especially as the internet has become more and more saturated and more and more competitive… you know, of course, there are probably billions… well, without out doubt there are billions of webpages… at least hundreds of millions of websites… well yeah, at least tens of millions of websites I’d say… but probably more in the hundreds of millions. So as time has gone on and the internet has been packed with more and more content, it’s become more and more difficult to find those really high search volume keywords that would be really easy to rank for without some pretty complex knowledge for search engine optimization. So in my experience and in my opinion, this mindset is very much an artifact of the old days where you would build like a three- or five-page website and you would try to optimize it for one very specific keyword, two very specific keywords, three very specific keywords that were really high in search volume.
Modern-day websites typically have a lot more content. We’re posting content much more regularly; we’re blogging two or three times a week, if not more (a lot of us at least once a week); and even that within a month, you’re going to outgrow kind of the average size of an affiliate marketing or internet marketing website ten years ago.
So everyone knows that internet marketing changes very rapidly. From one year to the next even, there can be a lot of changes. But certainly, every two or three years (and really every five years beyond a shadow of a doubt), things almost get turned upside down and revolutionized – and are completely different than they were five years ago.
So the reason I refer to this as kind of an artifact of the old days is because everything else has changed. Search engine optimization has changed dramatically, of course. All different kinds of marketing, pay-per-click advertising… everything’s been revolutionized. But we still have a bunch of people teaching, and as a result, a bunch of students looking for these really high search volume keywords with as low a competition as possible. And back in the day, I mean even pre-2012, you could probably get away with that because search engine optimization was more of a question of quantity than quality – which can technically be argued there are ways to do that today that are still possible. But again, that’s getting really, really advanced. Just know – for the advanced people that are watching – I know that there things like PBNs and all these other things that can be used to kind of circumvent the changes that were put in place since 2012 but without getting super, super overwhelming and getting just way down a rabbit hole.
2012 is when Google released Penguin 2.0. So Penguin 2.0 was technically their second release (big release) of Penguin which is an algorithm that they used to punish websites based on over-optimized anchor text, way too many links, et cetera. So again, probably even getting too thick into the weeds here… but the long story short is once Google did that, it became much more difficult and much more complex (to the point that you almost need a really sophisticated understanding of search engine optimization) to beat Google at their own game. So you can either play by Google’s rules which is focused on high-quality content and our algorithms will take care of the rest; or you can get really, really, really deep into how to game Google. But again, that takes a ton of technical understanding and it’s a very, very difficult thing to learn. So you have those kind of two options and it’s also much higher cost – much, much higher cost.
So you have those two things and… I’ve ended up down a rabbit hole even though I didn’t want to. But it’s good to know, because essentially – pre-2012 – you could just build a bunch of links that said ‘laser tattoo removal’, right? The link was laser tattoo removal so that was it’s anchor text. So if you wanted to click on that link, you would be clicking on the words ‘laser tattoo removal’. And I could just go get a ton of those. I could just go get hundreds or thousands of those linking to RueTattoo.com, and in time, I would rank for that term. So even though it was a really competitive term, I’d be able to get ranked for it. No problem. I would just have to spend a lot of time and invest in teams (which typically could be hired very easily out of India) to get a really high quantity of links.
And quality didn’t really factor in. Well now, Google looks very extensively and very thoroughly at the quality and the context of those links as well. So you get punished when you try to abuse it that way – which, back in the day, that’s just how you got ranked. Now, it’s how you get a website buried and never found again. Unfortunately.
So I say it’s an artifact of the old days because you could get ranked for those high search volume + low competition (as low competition as you could find terms) fairly easily. It was just a matter of who could get the highest quantity of links really quickly. And as long as you could keep adding that quantity of links, you were probably going to get ranked in the top three. It doesn’t really work that way anymore. And as a result, ranking for a high competition or high search volume keywords because they’re so desirable has become more and more difficult.
So I’ve probably spent way too much time on this, and hopefully, none of you were just like your heads are just like spinning. If they are, take a deep breath… don’t worry about it… because a lot of that’s going to make so much more sense as we continue through the other sections. But just kind of to really explain why I say this is kind of an artifact of the old days, we don’t have to do it this way anymore. We really don’t. It’s really kind of swimming against the current compared to what today’s search engine climate looks like compared to what it looked like five years ago.
So, moving on. People are probably just like fast-forwarding like, “Oh God, finally!”
So higher search volume keywords (like I’ve mentioned briefly) are usually dominated by high authority established websites. So websites that have been around a long time have dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of pages of content that’s really, really high-quality. And so, as a result of these higher search terms being more desirable… obviously, they’re more desirable because if you get ranked for them, you’re going to get more traffic; if you get more traffic, you have more opportunities to make more money… so the more desirable they are (it goes hand in hand), the higher competition they are these days. You can still find some gems that may have a few thousand searches a month that are technically still somewhat low or moderate competition, but that is super hard and you just can’t depend on building a business on that anymore these days.
So after just kind of vomiting all of this all over you (which I apologize for, for the record), what is the solution? How do we get around all of this?
So the solution to this is to kind of flip the script. Instead of going for low competition + high search volume (which doesn’t really exist anymore in today’s search climate), you can build your site’s weight by kind of picking up the scraps that all of the big boys are leaving behind. A lot of these super authoritative sites want nothing to do with a keyword that has 30 searches or 100 searches or 500 searches a month. They just don’t target those because they have the authority.
Think of it as kind of like a championship boxer. Like they’ve already trained, they’ve already built up all of their weight, they’ve eaten healthy, they’ve exercised – now there’s this champion with this giant belt on. And when they write a piece of content, a lot of the time Google goes, “Hey! Yeah, you. I trust you. You’re going up towards the top.” And they can do that for keywords that get thousands of searches a month.
When you’re getting established, you don’t have that advantage. But what you can do is you can kind of build… that’s why I said build your weight… you want to kind of eat up all of the scraps that these guys are leaving behind that may have 15, 30, 45, 100 searches a month. And then as time goes on, your website’s authority will build on those kind of little scraps and then you will be able to compete more and more as time goes on. And you put out more and more quality with those heavy weights and contend for some of those really desirable spots. But that takes a lot of time to build up to. The good news is you can start seeing traction before then just with lower search volume keywords.
So I kind of refer to this as “Scraps today, feasts tomorrow.” And of course, that’s a simplification because when I say ‘feast tomorrow’, we’re talking about at least six to twelve months of really hard work here before you start seeing some noticeable results – if you’re doing everything according to the training here.
So the idea is if you turn out a higher volume of really high-quality content directly targeting lower search volume keywords that other guys are overlooking, this really adds up over time. So instead of spending the next eight months trying to get ranked for a single keyword that gets 5,000 searches a month, you can spin those next eight to twelve months focusing on dozens of keywords that have 100 searches a month, 200 searches a month, 30 searches a month. And you’re going to end up with a much better shot in today’s search climate of getting ranked for a lot of those tiny keywords, rather than ending up eight months down the road and still not even being on page five for that main keyword you were going for because it’s just so hard to go at internet marketing from that approach these days.
So over time – as you start getting a lot of these lower search volume articles ranked – your authority’s going to build, people are going to link to you, people are going to talk about you in forums because you have really high-quality content. And as time goes on from you kind of (like I said) picking up these scraps and eating them, you’re going to build your weight because people are going to start noticing you, people are going to start talking about you; and as that happens (you get more engagement on your site, et cetera), you really kind of start to gain that credibility and build that authority. And then, as time goes on, you can use this authority to rank for moderate competition; and ultimately, even high competition keywords.
So we kind of focus on these phases like a brand new site – you’re a newborn. And it’s going to be impossible to go beat Mike Tyson in a boxing match; but you can (like I said) eat up those little scraps, get the nutrition you need, start building a little weight. And as time goes on, it almost becomes… I’ve mentioned kind of exponential… but there’s a tipping point where you kind of start to see a little success. And once you start to see that little success, typically it’s followed with a really tremendous growth curve because those are little kind of early signs of gaining authority. I mean, you’re almost kind of there to breaking through a wall. And typically, those happen within… I don’t know… three to six months of one another.
So it takes a while to get to that tipping point, but once you get to that tipping point, it becomes much easier from there to begin ranking for a lot more keywords. And the really nice thing is that this… I’ll mention later in the training… this kind of happens retroactively. So what you’ve written in the past also begins to rank because your authority begins to build.
So this is why frequent publishing of high-quality content has become so pivotal for early stage blogs especially when they don’t have a large marketing budget. (Excuse me, I’m getting a burning in my nose like I need to sneeze. Very distracting.) So this is why this path you hear talked about a lot and some people go, “Ah, that path’s a load of crap. Just do what I say,” and then they charge you several hundred dollars for this path that is totally outdated and requires thousands of dollars in advertising and marketing is a coin toss at best. If you do this correctly, if you stay this course, and you pay attention to the training, and you’re willing to work hard; this is as surefire as a business (a low cost business) gets in this industry. You just have to be willing to stick with it.
So I mentioned this isn’t what everyone else is saying. Internet marketing has evolved so dramatically since the golden years and only aiming for desirable search terms that have a few hundred or a few thousand searches plus every month with no marketing budget is going to result in disappointment in today’s search climate. That’s all there is to it. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. It just doesn’t work that way anymore. It’s impossible in today’s search climate (again) without some really advanced knowledge and knowing how to game Google – which is incredibly complex because they’ve gotten so good at optimizing their algorithms to punish people that try to gain their search engine rankings. Outside of that… getting really, really good at that… there’s no way to go about content marketing and search engine optimization and get ranked for really high search volume keywords like you could five years ago. It just doesn’t work anymore. It’s totally obsolete.
So like I mentioned earlier, this is… as far as low cost businesses… this is as fail-proof as it gets in internet marketing if you don’t have a marketing budget and advertising budget where you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and maybe lose it all without really feeling the pain. That’s not true of most people that are trying to start internet businesses. So as far as low-cost internet businesses go, it’s a lot of work in the beginning; it takes a lot of studying – which is all here in the Free Internet Marketing Project for you for free. So if you do everything correctly, this is a surefire of a shot as you’re going to get in this industry with a low budget.
So this is what we’re going to focus on. These efforts are what we’re going to focus on for the next few months. But first, we have to find some keywords.
So now that we’ve talked probably a little bit too extensively about the backgrounds of keywords and what we’re going to aim to do, we’re kind of flipping the script on traditional keyword teaching that is totally outdated and from 2005 to 2010 up to 2012 when it really got kind of cut off at the head by Google but for some reason people just kept teaching it. I think it’s largely due to the fact that a lot of people in this industry – a lot of coaches in this industry – are just frankly out of touch and they don’t realize how hard that is because they have existing authority websites and they’re not trying to build out new websites. I’ve probably tried to build out a dozen new websites in the past three years – most of which have failed. And so, I’ve learned this the hard way that this is absolutely the best way to approach a low-budget internet business that’s built around content and content creation and content marketing.
So, now that we’ve talked about all that (probably, like I said, way too in-depth)… but now you’re a pro, we need to talk about exactly how to find keywords. So I’m going to talk a little bit about exactly how we use keywords… I mentioned in the last lesson how do we use them… we’ll talk about that later. Well, that’s next lesson.
And then, we’re going to start looking firsthand at how to find these using free keyword tools. There are some really good free keyword tools out there as well as some premium keyword tools that are totally optional – and I’ll make that very clear once we get there.
So if you have any questions, feel free to post them to the Facebook group. As always, that is free for registered members. And I will see you over there and I’ll see you in the next lesson.