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SEO Keywords: How to Rank in Google Using Keywords That Matter

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Good morning, Stephen Woessner here. I’m the CEO of Predictive ROI and the host of our daily podcast for business owners called Onward Nation.

It’s time to talk SEO keywords, or how to rank on Google using keywords that matter.

Since the advent of the commercial Internet, over 20 years ago, I’ve collected tens of thousands of data points that have given me the ability to identify what I call the 8 Money Draining Mistakes. These are the things that cause a business website like yours to leak serious money every single day. Cash is being sucked right out of your business if you are making any of the 8 mistakes.

If you haven’t yet checked out my guide for how to stop making these mistakes (linked in the previous paragraph), please do, but today we’re going to dive deep into Money Draining Mistake #4: Search Engine Optimization Done Poorly. We’ll be talking “Predictive Keywords,” or more specifically, how to rank high in Google for keywords that matter to your business because they increase website traffic, leads, and sales.

We’re in the business of selecting what we call “Predictive Keywords.” You know, kind of like Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’ character in Wall Street, one of my most favorite movies of all time. One of the best lines is when Gordon tells Bud Fox, “I bet on sure things, kid.”

We do the same thing in the keyword business.

We’re looking for proven performers. We call these proven performers Predictive Keywords because we have a formula that can predict leads and sales from each keyword. But in order to use the formula, we first have to find keywords that are used every single day and will lead to conversions because they’re related to your business and relevant to your business.

For example, oftentimes business owners celebrate being ranked high in Google for an industry buzzword or jargon. But unless your customers and prospects are actually using that keyword to search each day — the #1 ranking in Google is worthless. You could go out tomorrow and develop a number one ranking for “purple feather boas,” but you’re not in the purple feather boa business so it doesn’t really matter. Instead, you need to focus on what will move the needle for your business.

What you need to do is find SEO keywords that actually matter. How can you do this? It’s surprisingly simple.
 

Step #1: Check If Your SEO Keywords Are Being Searched

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Luckily, there are great tools available to help you find the right SEO keywords. A real quick easy tool that you can use is SEO Book, a free resource owned by Aaron Wall. His glossary is in the back of my book The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization, but I have no financial affiliation with SEO Book. It’s a great, free tool, and it’s the very same one we use here at Predictive ROI.

It’s rock solid awesome.

The part of SEO Book that you’ll need to use is the Keyword Suggestion Tool. The tool will show you the number of times every single day that a keyword is searched on in Google. Now, that might in and of itself not be novel, but before you optimize your site content using a certain keyword, you must determine if the keywords are even getting daily searches.
 
SEO keywords tool
 
The keyword tool is located in the “Tools” section of SEO Book. You’ll need a free account to use the tool, and let me tell you from experience, it’s absolutely worth it.

Type your keywords into the search box. If your search doesn’t come up with a number greater than or equal to one in the daily searches column (NOT the monthly searches column, this number will be much, much bigger), go back and start over. Your SEO keywords have to have daily searches, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time.
 

Step #2: Check Your SEO Keywords Competition

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If you’ve made it to step #2, you have validated your keywords are getting daily searches. Great. The next thing you have to do is find out what the competition is like for those keywords.

Now, go into Google and do an exact match search, meaning the keyword or phrase is in “quotes” when you search. And as long as there are 1 million or fewer competing pages, you know it’s not very competitive (even though 1 million sounds like a lot).

So now you know the keyword is used every single day, that it’s relevant to your business, and that it’s not very competitive. Now is the time to create a content page around that keyword.
 

Example

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I want to show you the process in action. Let’s assume that you’re in the financial planning business and you want to design a content page around the topic of financial planning. Let’s see what SEO keywords would work for this. I’m going to start with the keyword financial planning.
 
SEO keywords financial planning
 
After doing my SEO keywords search on SEO Book, I’ve found that the keyword financial planning is a very popular search term with 484 daily searches, 403 which come from the all important Google. This more than satisfies step number one.

Moving on to step number two, remember that “financial planning” has to be in quotation marks. Doing an exact match search is an absolutely crucial part of this process.
 
SEO keywords financial planning google
 
When we do an exact image search of “financial planning,” we find that there are more than 33 million competing pages for the keyword financial planning. This is far too large to fit our 1 million or less cutoff for rule number two, so it’s back to step one.

Go back and look at our SEO Book financial planning keyword search. As I’m sure you’ve noticed already, There are numerous other search terms we can search from. Let’s assume that part of your financial planning business focuses on financial planning for retirement. Let’s check how many times each day financial planning for retirement is searched.
 
SEO keywords financial planning for retirement
 
Financial planning for retirement isn’t nearly as popular of a search as the unspecific financial planning was, but its six daily searches and five daily Google searches satisfies our requirements for step number one. Now let’s move to step number two and see if “financial planning for retirement” is too competitive for us to use.
 
SEO keywords financial planning for retirement google
 
When we do an exact image search of “financial planning for retirement,” we find that there are only 274 thousand competing pages for this keyword. This is less than 1 million and fits our parameters as described in step number two. Awesome!
 

Interview With Darren Hardy

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Watch my interview with Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine (see below) for more on SEO keywords and how to rank on Google using keywords that matter, including some of the other 8 Money Draining Mistakes that cause websites to leak money. One of the other money draining mistakes Darren and I cover is how to combat high bounce rate. Onward with gusto!
 

This article was originally published on Medium.com. Find Stephen’s other articles on Medium.com here.

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.
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