Running a website can be easy, fun and very low cost. If you have no idea what to write about, or why your competitors outpace you in the search engines, consider some of these free (or very low cost) tools that will completely change the way you approach blogging to secure your top spots online. You will have more ideas, more time, less stress, valuable customer insights and are certain to get more traffic to your site if you follow some simple tips.
Analyze Competitors Easily with BuzzSumo
You've heard the term "going viral"? Of course you have. What does that mean in real life? Let's check with our free tool, BuzzSumo under Content/Web. Type in either a competitors website or a search term. I started with "zillow.com" to see what was popular. An article about Solar Panels is their most shared content to date (never would have guessed that!)
You can see what content was shared and on which social applications. You can even check for your own site. Play with lots of different search terms like "phoenix real estate" or "denver foreclosures" or whatever. Just try and focus on terms your customers will be searching for, and not industry terms. Also plug in your local competitor sites. If they have a super popular article, do yours better!
Keyword Keg (aka Keywords Everywhere)
Keyword Keg was totally free until a few weeks ago, and it is, by far, my FAVORITE tool for publishing a website that ranks. It now is a paid tool, but it probably won't cost you more than $10 over six months. There's no ongoing subscription or hidden fees and the developers are just covering their cost. It takes 5 minutes to install the extension (on most any browser) and set up your account @ KeywordsEverywhere.
Here's the difference between when you do a google search and when I do one. I searched "santa monica real estate" and of course, Zillow and Realtor hold the top two spots. However, look to the right of the search results.
The first box is "Related Keywords" and tells me the Monthly Search Volume (Vol), CPC (cost of a Google Ad per 1000) and Competition Level. This stuff is GOLD! Let's say I was going to write a new article and was choosing between "santa monica condos for sale" and "santa monica beach houses" as my keywords. I would definitely start with santa monica beach houses because it is searched 720 times per month (vs 880), but has half the competition level of santa monica condos for sale. Ultimately, I'll do articles on both, but I have a better chance of ranking higher and faster with a lower competition keyword.
Alternatively, if I were paying for Google Adwords, I would go for the term "santa monica condos for sale," because it's almost half the price per 1000 with a larger search volume.
We'll get to using Yoast (a wordpress plugin for SEO) later, but just know this is how I would structure my meta info.
I used all the top phrases that made sense from the Related Keywords and People Also Search For boxes and combined them in a way that reads fairly human. You are not robots, and this is an art as much as a science, so use your humanity and expertise here. I also clicked on "santa monica beach houses" from the first box and analyzed their search results. The same zillow, realtor, vrbo, etc came up top, but there is also an FAQ section there, so I grabbed some key terms from there.
More on Free and Easy Blogging Tools for SEO Rankings
I think I'll stop here for now and make this article a series. There's a few more things I would do before writing this article. Like go back to BuzzSumo and search for "santa monica beach houses" to see what, if anything, went viral.
I'd get a fantastic leaderboard photo (the top of the page).
I'd write at least 1000 words with lots of section breaks.
And I'd figure out how to integrate my current listings into the article, which gives me a nice a mix of static content (which will always rank better, faster and longer), while also promoting my dynamic content (listings).
These tricks are, of course, how I make my living. If I can compete with the NY Times and New York Magazine (and win sometimes!), with my site NYCInsiderGuide, (and my 2 other sites about Film and Tennis), then you, too, can slay your dragons.
Interested in a follow up article? Please let me know...comment , ask some questions or suggest future topics. I'm even thining of doing a public site audit for some (un?)lucky real estate site out there...any takers? Comment with your website link below (a separate domain, not an AR blog).
PS - This article was completely inspired by Liz & Bill, 7 Blogging Productivity Tips