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Over the years Google has implemented many algorithm updates to squash sites with unnatural backlinks. Thanks to this many websites that have used blackhat SEO techniques such as Private Blog Network (PBN) have got penalized.
This is a large opportunity for small website owners like us to gain significant foot step in ranking on Google.
Ranking on the first page of Google without backlinks might sounds unreal but it is doable. Many websites have discussed this including this blog post on Moz.com.
In this post, I will share with you a proven method to rank first page on Google.
As a small website owner, we don’t have the resource to carry out everything from keyword research, create quality content, optimize the site, then build backlinks.
Having worked with large enterprises, it became clear to me that the large guys do not care too much about certain keywords especially keywords with low search volume. This means there are a lot of keywords out there that are not targeted by the large guys and potentially have relatively low competition.
Additionally, many people misunderstand how to measure competitiveness of a keyword and ended up choosing to target keywords that they need to build substantial number of backlinks in order to rank.
After experimenting the theory of ranking a website without backlink building on my websites, it became clear that this is indeed possible!
This means we only need to focus on creating content and think about user experience of our site without building backlinks.
What kind of results can I expect?
This depends on many factors such as the age of your website, the industry you business is in, the quality of the content created etc
Generally speaking, it takes sometime for Google to process the new articles so it might take 2 -3 months to really start seeing the effect.
Example 1): A brand new site
This website was newly created in March 2015 and it took approximately 4-5 months to really start ranking on Google.
The site had approximately 40 articles in April and 10 new articles were added throughout September.
Example 2): An established site
This website has been around for 2.5 years and approximately 10 articles were added from Aug-Sep using the method described above.
Sounds good? Let’s get started.
Step 1) Persona development
The first step in keyword research is to understand who our target market is.
If you are targeting teenagers but communicating them with a 40 years old woman’s tone, obviously it’s not going to work.
We need to know what resonates with them and what kind of words they use for the topics you want to discuss. As you can see this will not only help our keyword research step but also content creation step.
So the most practical way to start the process is to come up with a persona and create your content as if you are talking to this person.
Step 2) Identify which purchase funnel to target
By understanding the purchase funnel, we can better target potential customers at different purchasing stage by creating more suitable messages on our website content.
For example, if you run a Yoga studio and want more people to know about your studio through your website, focusing on informational keywords makes sense.
On the other hand, if you want people to buy your Yoga videos, focusing on purchase intent keywords will benefit your business more.
Most savvy marketers mix content that targets at a different stage of the funnel then directs the traffic to the final destination -> purchase, signup, subscribe etc
Video: What is a purchase funnel?
Step 3) Find long-tail keywords
Longtail keywords are essentially keywords that contain more than 3 words (though some consider 2 or more as longtail keywords also).
By targeting long tail keywords with low competition (generally speaking competition for longtail keywords is much lower than the head keywords), your website content can potentially rank on the first page of Google without any backlinks.
Longtail keywords are also more descriptive and contain user intention. For example, someone searching for “32 inch flat screen TV review” is likely closer to buying a TV compare to someone searching for “Which flat screen TV is more energy efficient?”.
The key to long tail keyword research is to come up with a system.
In this video I will show you how to use Excel and Keyword Planner to come up with a list of seed keywords for finding longtail keywords.
Video: How to use Excel and Keyword Planner for longtail keyword research?
Video: What tools are available for longtail keyword research?
In addition to Excel and keyword planner, there are various tools out there that can help you carry out longtail keyword research more efficiently.
By using these tools will give you the edge over your competitors.
Step 4) Ensure the keywords have low competition
The key to rank on Google without backlink building is to find low competitive keywords. As you saw earlier, it takes a bit of planning to actually find the keywords that will benefit your website and ultimately your business.
Now that we have a good list of keywords, it’s time to see how competitive these keywords are.
Video: How to tell if a longtail keyword has a lot of competition or not?
This is a critical step in the longtail keyword research process. Just because it is a longtail keyword, does not mean it has low competition.
In fact, depending on the industry / niche market you are in, it could be very competitive.
For example, “WordPress SEO Best Practices” is a longtail keyword yet it is pretty competitive.
Watch this video to find out how you can easily check on how competitive a keyword is.
Ready to create some content?
Now that we have a list of low competition keywords, it’s time for us to sprinkle these keywords in the content.