It’s good to have a few trusted keyword research tools under your belt. Our teams at Content Refined are currently using two in conjunction: SECockpit by SwissMadeMarketing, and Ahrefs. We started using Ahrefs a while ago when SECockpit stopped returning results in certain fields and niches (i.e. we stopped getting results for cbd oil related keywords). Ahrefs has a ton of detail in their results, and I really like the way that they suggest alternatives.
So here are the basic steps for using Ahrefs to determine whether a keyword is competitive. For our purposes, we are looking for a few key metrics:
monthly search volume over 500
keyword density under 30
most of the other top competitors have a low domain authority
These are the tried and true metrics that Content Refined usually sticks to (unless there’s a unique site that needs something slightly different). We’ve talked about this before in an article about SECockpit. For that article the monthly search volume filter was set to ‘over 1000’. We’ve since found that over 500 is a valuable metric with more opportunities for a lot of sites.
Search for the keyword. In this example, ‘ketamine infusion’.
Scroll down to ‘also rank for’ and click on the ‘view all #’.
Click on KD and put ’30’ in the “To” section. Click ‘Apply’.
Click on Volume and put ‘500’ in the “From” section. Click ‘Apply’.
Now you’ll have a list of keywords with good metrics.
Click on one that looks good, in this example, ‘ketamine infusion therapy’.
In the new page, scroll all the way down to the ‘SERP Overview’ section. There you’ll be able to see the Domain Rating (“DR”) of the top competitors’ websites. Make sure that the majority of these are under about 35. In the example ‘ketamine infusion therapy’, most of those DRs are low, which is good!
Determine whether this is a good keyword for your needs, and copy the details as needed into your keyword research plan.
Begin search again with a new keyword, as much as needed, to complete your keyword research.
I love finding new strategies and tricks for finding the best competitive keywords in any niche. For Content Refined we also go back once or twice a year and run some data analysis to see which tools are working the best. We did that last year around this time, and are currently in the process of running a new set of data analysis (I’ll be sure to share the findings for you guys).
Keep me updated about what tools and strategies you guys are currently using in the comments below!
Solid and concise keyword research is arguably one of the most important and crucial process for any money site. This is why we’ve spent a lot of time and resources trying to execute the best procedure possible to ensure that we are using the best tools on the market to help with finding keywords. Although it’s not perfect, our keyword research process is getting more refined as we use and test many different tools. We have done many case studies on the different tools we use and the predictability of ranking for that keyword given a few data points, that article can be found here.
Although SECockpit is one of the slower tools, it gives a good variety of keywords and also shows the details of the top 10 sites that are ranking for that keyword which is good when you are doing a competitor analysis for that keyword to determine what it would take to beat them (more on this below). I usually don’t just use one tool when determining the keywords I want to rank for but rather take the keywords and plug it into multiple different tools (LongtailPro, SEMRush, CognitiveSEO as well as SECockpit) and see which ones hit all the preset metrics I have chosen in each tool. This usually takes a very large list of around 300 and brings its down to under 10.
Step by Step on How to Use SECockpit
To get into the nitty gritty of how SEcockpit works, and how we’ve used it to systematize our keyword research, check out step by step procedure how SEcockpit works.
Step 1: Dashboard
Login to SEcockpit and go to the dashboard and click on the key symbol to search for your first keyword.
Step 2: Setting Criteria
This is where it gets interesting. Type in a keyword of your choice that is relevant to the your site and look at your options.
I instruct my team to select the Google Adwords ideas that are closely related and to select ‘Append’, ‘Prepend’, and ‘Add Words in Between’. This increases our chances of coming across a great related keyword. We also change Min Monthly searches to 200 but if you are going after bigger priced items that don’t get as many searches then you should adjust this.
Step 3: Full list of Keywords
Make sure you’ve inputted your keyword and that you’ve selected your search criteria and then click on Save and Close for the search to begin! This tool can sometimes be slow, so be patient, go make a coffee and some food and come back 🙂
Step 4: Competition Score: < 30%
We like to set the competition score to less than 30 with this tool. Ideally if you can get to under 25 that would be great.
Then, as you can see here below, we have our comprehensive list of keywords that meet our metrics:
Step 5: Competitor Analysis (Unlikely)
So this is where you need to do some more digging. With this view, it looks like all of these keywords are great, but you need to click on the keyword to view a full keyword analysis which will give you more information on the other sites that are ranking for it, which, will help you determine if it’s a viable keyword for your article and whether you think you can beat those other articles.
Let’s look at the Keyword “Charcoal Pills” which has 40,500 monthly searches and only 17.25% competition score. This generally looks like a pretty golden keyword and at first glance it looks like a no-brainer to go after it.
With this comprehensive keyword analysis, the top 2 things that we look at is theDA (Domain Authority) and the Top 10 websites. As you can see below, the DA is really high, which means that the competing websites are ranking very well and getting a ton of traffic according to google. You can also perform a backlink analysis as well on your site and compare it to those other sites to see if you can beat them.
If our site is not an authority site in it’s space (which in general, most are not), then it would be a bad idea to go after this keyword because our domain will not be able to compete with the authority domain in that space. For example in this case WebMD and other very well known sites in the space.
Step 6: Competitor Analysis (Likely)
Let’s try another keyword on the list, here I’ve chosen a Keyword that was provided to us by the tool based off of the “closely related words” function of the search criteria.
Keyword:Activated Carbon Filter – which has 5400 Monthly Searches and has a competition score of 27.39.
When we click on it for the Analysis, we can see right away that this will be a more viable option to go after than the last keyword as the DA for the competing sites are lower in general (usually is you can find 3-5 sites that have a DA less than 30).
Here, I have checked a couple of the domains and I have determined that I can definitely compete with a few of these sites as their DA is low, and traffic to their site is relatively low on SEMrush. This isn’t to say that they won’t be hard to beat, but they are not out of our reach and they are a similar site as the one we have. I’m confident that with the use of SEcockpit, I’m able to find the best keyword using its rankings, but also it’s analysis on who/how others are using this keyword in their niche.
Now that we have our Keyword (Activated Carbon Filter), we want to make sure that we have a good title for the article. Now I’ll create an article title called “Best Activated Carbon Filter for Tap Water”.
Place the competitive keywords and all of the metrics that you’ve found into the spreadsheet for that site! You can download a template of the spreadsheet here.
After I have a bunch of keywords that meet the criteria set above, I like to cross verify with a few other tools before I get the article created. No tool is ever perfect but if a keyword meets the metrics that I have set for the different keyword tools then I find that it’s very likely that I will be able to rank for that keyword with hopefully not a lot of effort. If you have any other tools we haven’t talked about or haven’t tested that you would like us to try out, please let me know!
After many years of getting content created, I have had my team work on getting a great outline on what we expect in our review articles when we send them to our writers. There are many ways that you can create the articles, however, this format is one that I use with my sites as it’s one I see that has had great results in both ranking and click through rate.
The following steps will outline a more in-depth the process of creating a stellar review and getting the results you would expect from including them on your website and other online platforms:
Choosing a Niche and Keyword Research
Clients that approach us already know their niche and what products and topics their website and business will be focused on; however, they may have not already completed the keyword research that is needed to come up with the right titles and reviews for their websites.
When choosing which product to review, it is important to fully understand the niche that you will be covering. Keyword research will help to streamline search engine optimization (SEO) and bring in more targeted results, which, in turn, generate improved profits.
Keyword research helps to build up a list of relevant and important topics for the niche. When using a keyword research tool or program, it is likely that you will be presented with an extensive selection of potential keywords that could lead to generating increased traffic and sales. However, you want to narrow down this massive list to a select few keywords that are highly targeted to the particular niche to be presented. It is these keywords that will provide more inherent value for the website and drive more traffic to your website.
When narrowing down the list of keywords, you need to determine how competitive the niche keyword phrases are and narrow down the intended audience; this can be done based on the client or audience and the location in which they feel is more relevant for their rankings.
Once the list has been narrowed down, it can then be customized to more specific metrics. Keywords we select will have over 500 monthly searches and are under 30% competition. The keywords used should be able to generate more sales and should be optimized to rank higher in searches. This is an effective way to determine which products are most the in-demand and the best to be reviewing. If you are looking for some great keyword research tools to help with this process, please read our in-depth review that we did here.
Choosing the Products to Review
Once the keywords are acquired, there will be a greater idea of what products will need to be reviewed. Once the title has been generated, it is then the time to conduct some thorough research online to discover some of the best coffee makers there are currently available.
Amazon, for example, has countless assorted products to choose from and they already include a lot of the relevant information that will be needed to complete the article. However, it is never recommended to write a review based solely on the information provided on the Amazon link.
Instead, do some research, check other reputable sites, including the manufacturer’s sites, to acquire additional information that may prove to be useful in the product review article.
It is best to limit your reviews to the products that have received the most reviews and most stars. It is easier to find information for these products as well as user-generated testimonials highlighting the specific pros and cons of each—remember that very few products are perfect for everyone.
All the information gathered through the research process will then help create a more convincing, compelling, and accurate review with trusted and reliable information the reader can count on when making a final purchasing decision.
Hiring a Writer
Once you have determined the niche, the keywords, and the title for the review, it is time to find a writer that is up to the task of completing the article. If you missed my article on the best places to hire writers, you can find that here. Take into consideration the type of review that will be written, the purpose the review will serve, and what you want the review to ultimately accomplish.
For the example article of the Best Drip Coffeemakers for At Home Brewing, we are looking for a knowledgeable writer who understands the importance of keyword use and SEO and will be able to research a product thoroughly to dissect its value and key features. The review should be compelling and able to better position the website to be higher up on the go-to list of similar niche websites and it should also attract and entice visitors to visit the page, click on the links, and discover other products and services that the website has to offer.
Providing a Template
Providing the writer with a template is a good starting point for the article process so they are sure to touch on each element that is needed to create a well-rounded and complete review article. You can review the template we send to our writers here. For our coffeemaker review, we want to make sure to include all relevant information including the price range, key features of the product, and any pros and cons that there may be. The content should also be in a readable format that is easy to skim.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://docs.google.com/document/d/19kIAe9mPUul7kIIXGxcDXexrVTUpOZJ9z8pMN9wfv4U/edit?usp=sharing’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Download the Template We Send to Our Writers![/thrive_link]
Long paragraphs will most likely be skipped over by a reader. Rather, smaller paragraphs, tables, and bullet points with appropriate headings and subheadings are an easier and more straightforward way to complete an article. It provides an easy-to-read format that can be quickly read by the potential customer and provides a clear and valuable comparison of each product that they can keep going back to without having to search within a wall of text for the information.
The following is an example of a good template to follow when completing a review article. It includes a breakdown of each section that should be included and provides an easy to read format and layout that will appeal to a reader interested in the product.
Provide a Brief Introduction
As with traditional-style newspapers, the introduction should immediately grab the reader’s attention so they continue to read—headlines sell. The tone should be more conversational, as if you were talking to a friend, and provide valuable information that answers the initial question of the article. For the coffee maker reviews, we are looking for the best coffee makers for home brewing and we are using the article to present this information in a meaningful and valuable way.
Begin by creating a connection with the readers
Show understanding of the problem
Provide a viable solution
Introduce the Product
Next, you will be introducing the products. For this review article, we provided a link, image, and relevant information of the product in the beginning so the reader knows exactly what was being discussed. We then go on to discuss a few more elements including:
Who makes this product
Use bullet points to discuss the key features
Explain the purpose of the product
Share any pros or cons associated with the product
Describe the Results
In the first paragraph of each reviewed product, it is recommended to describe the product in detail and describe the results you will achieve from using the product. The paragraph should be short but include all relevant information pertaining to the product that you may not be able to find just through the key features and pros and cons.
Testimonials will typically include the pros and cons of the product and why the user would or would not recommend the product. However, it is best not to be too negative and instead provide a solution to a con or a feature that may help overcome this small downfall.
A helpful review will generally include a small list of pros and cons that include three to five bullet points each.
The following is a representation of how the customer reviews are displayed on Amazon. It provides a mix of one to 5-star feedback that can be used to better determine the product’s pros and cons. It can be used in addition to other research from other reliable sources.
Buying advice can be included following the product reviews or at the beginning to accompany the introduction. If it is placed at the beginning, then the reader will have a better idea of what they should be looking for regarding the products. Likewise, if it is placed at the end, it will provide a refresher and a reminder of what they already read.
For the conclusion, you should write one to two final paragraphs that summarize the content of the product review article.
The summary should be a brief retelling of what was discussed and explain why the review article will help make buying decisions easier. Finally, the second concluding paragraph can include a recommendation section in which a product is recommended based on the reviews.
Other Relevant Information
As you can see from the example article, the format includes the introduction and buying advice, the introduction of each product including relevant information, the name, and the link where it can be found along with general and useful information. We then go into the bullet points of key features and then the pros and cons that can be expected from each product.
The format is repeated for each of the products being reviewed. A good review article will provide between three and five different product reviews to provide the reader with a plethora of information to help with their purchasing decision
A Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a brief statement at the end of a product review article that engages the reader and invites them to do something. Key phrases can be used for this including:
Find out More
Visit our site today
Contact us for more information
Click here for more buying options
The CTA will entice the reader to engage in a specific action as directed by the writer of the content and will make a compelling and creative addition to your content. Keep in mind the placement, the design, and the copy of what the CTA says.
There doesn’t have to be only one CTA per article. They can be strategically placed within the article to persuade the reader to continue for more information. In review articles, for example, you can include a “Click Here” CTA that will lead the reader to other information about the product or will provide them with the link they can use to purchase the product that is being discussed.
The design of the CTA should be appealing to the reader and can even be colorful to draw their attention to it. Finally, it should be noticeable on the page and stand apart from the other text.
The text of the CTA should be brief, straightforward, clearly written, and concise. Do not be afraid to be bold and compelling here; you want results and improved sales on the products you are marketing. Make the CTA stand out and serve its purpose.
Receiving the Completed Article
Once the writer completes the article and sends it back for review, the content can be edited and then upgraded, if needed, using MarketMuse.
MarketMuse is a content planning tool that helps content marketers and content creators maximize the value of the articles they are writing. The article is pasted into the box, the keywords are typed in and the title is included. Once all this information is entered, the content is analyzed to see what changes or improvements need to be made and offers ways in which the content can be upgraded to make it a more thorough and informative piece that will do better in searches.
MarketMuse offers three scores for the content. Under Content Analyzer, you will see the Content Depth Score, Average Content Score Target, and Best Content Score Target. Next to that information, you will find the approximate word count of the content, the average word count target, and the best word count target.
The Content Score will stack the content we have provided against other content that includes related information and will then be able to identify and provide topics that will be the most relevant to the page for the site and the competitors.
It will also be able to show how similar content ranks on search engines and the average word count and content score the other sites have generated. It provides a foundation on which can be built and improved on to produce higher quality content.
Steps to Improve Content on MarketMuse
Enter the focus topic for the content
For this review article, we were targeted in on coffeemakers so that is what I will put in the space provided
Next, enter the title of the article you will be analyzing
Best Coffee Makers for At Home Brewing
Paste the content of your article in its entirety in the space provided under the Content Window
Click on Analyze next to the focus topic box on the top right
Wait for the information to generate including all scores, related topics, mentions, target, and competitor information
Finally, use this information to plug in changes to improve the article and its content score. You can simulate the change to the score under the related topics box by clicking on the blue box with the + symbol next to the related topics
For even more ideas on what you can include to improve the score, click on the lightbulb image, and it will provide you with several other keywords. Keep in mind, however, that some of them may not actually be related to the content you are creating, they are just offering suggestions
Complete the article and the improvements and analyze the content one last time to be sure that your score is above and beyond the Best Content Score Target
How to Publish the Article
After the article has been written, edited, and plugged for improvements, it is now time to begin the publishing process. To publish the content to the client’s site, you will have to have access to their login information. Once you are able to sign in, you will then see the Dashboard.
Once into the dashboard, hover over the Posts icon and then click Add New to input the new article that will be published.
After clicking Add New, you can then upload the post. The Post Title or Post Heading should also be added in the red marked area and then you can place the content.
The heading options will then be provided so you can select the proper heading to use for the content and then follow up by clicking on Paragraph as you can see in the example below.
During the publishing process, you are also able to edit the content, add all appropriate headings and subheadings, include images or media, and then input all the SEO Information as shown below:
Next, choose the appropriate category for the post, add any relevant tags, and the featured image
Finally, you can post the content as Draft by clicking on Save Draft or you can go ahead and publish the post right away after review by uploading the post as Publish by clicking on the Publish Button. You will then be able to view the post to see what the final product looks like after it is published.
Knowing what kind of images to include and where to get them from can pose a challenge. When looking for images, make sure that they are relevant to the content you are publishing are of superior quality, original, and will appeal to your target audience.
The images for a product review will be of the actual products so the reader will have a better idea of the style and look of the product they are about to purchase. In the case of our Coffeemaker review, other relevant images could include a cup of coffee, a travel mug of coffee, or anything related to the at-home brewing process.
Avoid lower quality images that cannot be correctly sized or appear too blurry. These types of images can actually detract from the quality of the writing. High-resolution images are best and will make an impressive and professional appearance on the site.
Just as you would include a CTA at the end of the product review, the images should also invite a call to action. The image of a steaming cup of coffee may be enough to inspire the reader to crave that cup of coffee, making it more likely that they will read on to learn about the coffeemaker options they can purchase for their own home.
Writing a compelling and informative product review article, while time-consuming, can lead to greater success online in terms of attracting the target market, improving search engine results, and increasing sales generation and traffic.
Hopefully, this article helped highlight the various steps involved in the process from start to finish.
It is never advisable to underestimate the results that can be achieved by writing a detailed product review article. Even statistically speaking, a consumer is less likely to purchase a product if they are unable to read reviews on the item. Reviews are especially practical for online and other web-based sources because the consumer cannot try the product before purchasing. They are relying solely on the information being provided and the reviews.
Readers will look first at the product ratings for various items and will most likely ignore any products that are rated below three stars. They will then click on the product with the higher ratings to learn more about it and then begin to compare the available reviews.
Therefore, a product review article definitely is an essential tool to include in your arsenal when it comes to improving sales, generating traffic, and seeing continued success within your niche.
If there anything you think I missed that should be included in the review post I would love to hear about it!
Just about a year ago I sent you the first email about Content Refined, the content marketing company Maddie Taylor and I founded off of the back of my own content creation process for my money site portfolio. Happy Birthday Content Refined!
The company started with a tiny production team; a manager, two writers and a publisher. Our goals were to hit $10k monthly recurring revenue within 6 months. We quickly realized that this was a really cute goal. In January 2017, we started growing at a rate of 10% per week! This didn’t stop until we hit a bit of a plateau in July and August, but it has picked back up since, due to a few different marketing efforts, finding our ideal clients and word of mouth sales.
What makes Content Refined different from any other content marketing company is that we are very Data Driven!
Our mission at Content Refined is to push the science of Content Marketing forward by creating online content that is optimized to rank on search engines. We do extensive data analysis tests on the effect of different metrics on the performance of our articles in Google. This includes analyzing keyword metrics, word length and the use of various Content Marketing tools. Our tests continue to refine our Content Marketing strategies that will help you – and your business – succeed online.
Content Refined has grown into an agency of 4 full time Project Managers, and about 60 contractors! We’re publishing about 170 quality articles on a weekly basis!
With this being said, we have added a lot of value to Content Refined over the last year…. we’ve improved our systems,
Built a team of reliable, professional, experienced writers,
Manipulated and crunched data to help your content rank,
Hired dedicated management teams to personalize your experience,
Invested in a ton of content marketing tools
Just completed our first technology focused acquisition ferzy.com
We have done all this, having only raised our prices once over the last year, keeping it budget friendly for our clients.
In addition over the next months we will be rolling out a custom backend client dashboard that will allow allow all our customers to know exactly the status of all their orders at any point.
Well… we’ve made the business decision that we are at the point where we need to raise our prices in order to keep up this level of intensity across the board.
On Tuesday, we will be officially raising our prices, so if you would like to be grandfathered in to our current pricing structure, check out the prices and order before Tuesday!
We have all been there… needing to get more articles created for our sites and not having a clue where to turn. It can be frustrating trying to squeeze more juice out of a keyword research method you have already used extensively. Whether you are looking to create a sitemap for a site or find another unique keyword for a huge site typical keyword research strategies can struggle to have you come up with a MASSIVE list of keywords/content ideas! (more…)