As you create content on your website, you will begin to organically rank for keywords that are created from the content you have written. By reading the HTML code of your website pages, Google can use this content to rank your website for keywords that are semantically related.
Continuing to create content for your website is the best way to rank for new keywords and hold ranks for your current keywords.
Analyze your Current Keyword Ranks
Most people don’t even know what keywords their website currently ranks for.
To analyze the organic ranks for your website you will need to:
- View your current rankings
- Analyze how your website got there (year-over-year)
- Optimize for valuable keywords
Viewing your Ranks
There are tools like SEMRush that can connect directly in Google Search Console and display the keywords that your website is ranking for organically. SEMRush can also look at historical data and show you how your keywords have grown or declined over time.
This is an effective tool for competitive analysis as well since you can see how their keywords have grown organically through the history of their site. You can see what keyword clusters they targeted and how it was effective for them.
Audit Year-Over-Year Keyword Ranks
Once you are able to view the keywords that your website is ranking for, you are now able to take action and start working towards developing an SEO strategy for your website. Using SEMRush or Google Search Console, you will be able to compare year-over-year how your keywords and traffic have been doing.
Here is an example breakdown of keywords over 12 months of tracking. As you can see for this website, we saw a consistent decrease in the number of keywords we were improving and gaining on, while consistently losing large groups of keywords.
In this case, we noticed a significant drop in keywords and asked the web development team if there had been changes made to site structure within this time frame. We found that hundreds of pages were deleted from the website, without 301 Redirections set in place. This led to its massive decline in organic keywords and overall traffic.
It was essential for us to be monitoring the keywords of the website to be able to work with the client on solutions for fixing this. Through viewing your keywords and doing an audit of your organic keywords and traffic year-over-year, you and your team can get an effective methodology for fixing technical website errors that affect crawlability.
Plan Your Website SEO Strategy
As you discover which keywords you are already ranking for and search other semantically related keywords that have high intent users, you will need to create a strategy for moving forward to effectively target those keywords. When it comes to ranking your website for more keywords there are a few key elements: on-page content, internal and external linking, and backlinks. There are many more elements to ranking for more keywords, but this in tandem with writing high-quality content will be an effective strategy.
Optimizing on-page content for SEO
On-page website content will be your most effective tool for focusing on your organic SEO. Start by doing research on competitors that are currently ranking well and analyze for groups of keywords that they use to succeed.
Tools like the SEMRush Writing Assistant will do this for you automatically by scraping for top performing articles and give you a keyword web that helps you touch on every relevant keyword. Simply mentioning keywords in ways that make sense and relate to the content will help you rank better.
Heading tags are one of the best ways to organize on-page content in a way where Google can understand and display your responses effectively. If you can use heading tags to answer important questions or sum up paragraphs with quality content that people are searching for, you can start driving impressions and eventually traffic to your site as you start ranking.
The Importance of Internal Linking
Whether you are creating service pages or simply focusing on your blog, it’s important that you are consistently linking to pages that are internal to your website. If you are referencing a topic that you have touched on in a previous article, ensure you are linking to that page to point Google’s bots across your site to relevant content, but also start funneling users at the same time.
Adding internal links from high ranking pages to pages that are new is a great way to start directing some of that SEO power and increase new keyword ranks. If you’re using WordPress, you will also have access to your sidebar and footer menu links as options for adding new internal links across your entire website, just know that adding links in navigation is less effective for SEO than using in-text links that provide context and anchor text to Google.