Today I’m going to explain how I rank for navigational keyword phrase “blogspot” which gets 127,000 searches per month (according to Ahrefs).
Gotch SEO has hovered between the #2 – #5 spot for a few months now.
First, I’ll explain how I reached the first page.
Then, I’ll explain the one action you need to take BEFORE you rank to ensure that your rankings actually stick.
Here we go:
Step #1 – Extract Ideas from Your Competitors
My favorite way to gather keyword and content ideas is extract them from competitors. The best way to do this is use Ahrefs or any backlink analyze tool.
For this case, I extracting the keyword idea “blogspot” from Shout Me Loud’s organic keyword footprint.
I figured this keyword would be too competitive because A) it’s a head keyword and B) it’s a branded keyword with navigational intent. But since I enjoy analyzing SERPs (strange, I know), I decided to dig in.
Step #2 – Identify “Weaknesses”
Most SEOs spend their time thinking and comparing about metrics.
I do that as well, but there’s one thing I do differently: I study the SERPs and try to find weaknesses on a qualitative basis.
It’s easy to eliminate keyword targets because they’re too competitive using traditional quantitative metrics. But sometimes these metrics can lead you astray.
For example, “blogspot” has a Keyword Difficulty (KD) of 72:
Most “rational” people would avoid this keyword right off the bat.
But I decided to dig deeper and realized that all the non-branded results targeting this keyword were about “how to start a blogspot blog”.
Sure. I could have create a super epic guide on how to start a blogspot blog, but A) I’m super over those types of generic guides and B) it wouldn’t perform as well because it’s missing the most important ingredient, which is to:
Step #3 – Create Something Different
Different doesn’t have competition.
But jumping on the vicious cycle of trying to create longer pieces of content on the same topic makes your SEO life much harder.
With that said, it was easy to identify a unique angle because I already had experience with blogspot. Mostly a negative experience.
So, what did I do?
I decided to outline the reasons why someone SHOULDN’T use blogspot.
I used a combination of storytelling and practical SEO information without being overly technical. But another big reason why I wanted to create something “off the wall” was CTR reasons.
Step #4 – Build for CTR
Before I explain this, I want to be clear about a few things.
First, I don’t always structure content for CTR at the onset. Lastly, I don’t always let click metrics dictate my keyword targeting decisions.
With that out of the way, my decision to structure this page for maximum CTR was based on data. According to Ahrefs, 81% of searches for the keyword phrase “blogspot” result in a click.
That’s because it’s branded and has navigational intent. I also knew that ranking for navigational keywords produces low CTR compared to other types of intent.
So, I wanted to create a page that could counter these effects as much as possible.
That’s how I decided to do an “oppositional” type of content.
After the content was completed, I then moved into link acquisition.
Step #5 – Use This Anchor Text “Hack”
I’ve said for a very long time that you need to be extremely selective with your anchor text selections. My favorite way to “hack” anchor text optimization is isolate my exact or partial match anchors on the best opportunities.
Using that thought process I acquired a contextual link on a relevant DR 63 website.
Then from there, I just waited.
I say this frequently to the members of Gotch SEO Academy, but I only push for more backlinks when my page has stalled. I try to go as far as I possibly can with only content development, on-page SEO, UX optimization, and internal linking.
These efforts (along with patience) can get you to the first page, but in most cases, you’ll need backlinks.
The page went live on 7/10/2018 and it reached the first page (for the first time) for “blogspot” on 8/7/2018.
It’s held pretty strong since August 16th though. Here are the organic traffic numbers:
And here’s some CTR and traffic data from Google Search Console:
One big takeaway from this data is that keywords with navigational intent produce low click through rates. I’ve seen this demonstrated across many keywords I’ve ranked for.
I should mention that low CTR is only for the non-branded result.
Branded searches have incredibly high CTR when it’s your brand. Here’s an example:
The last big idea I hope you’ll take away from this is that writing more words isn’t the key to ranking well.
One of the most effective ranking methods you can use is to produce content that’s different than what exists. You essentially eliminate competition when you do this.
That’s all I have for you today.
I hope this SEO case study was helpful for you. If you have any questions whatsoever, please leave a comment below.