I often find myself jumping down SEO optimization rabbit holes in hopes of finding new ways to improve our clients’ overall organic performance. It was during one of these excursions that I found a new way to quickly identify keyword ranking opportunities across a given domain that could easily be implemented on a rolling basis. Similar to the page-specific semantic analysis process implemented at 97th Floor, the low hanging fruit keyword audit — as I’ve come to call it — is based around the principles of semantic/keyword relevancy. Here’s a breakdown on what this process looks like:
Low Hanging Fruit Keyword Audit: The Process
To do this analysis (domain or page-specific) I’ll need to be somewhat familiar with the following tools:
- Ahrefs (I absolutely LOVE this tool!)
- Google sheets
For demonstration purposes, I’ll focus on the current running shoe I’ve been using lately, the Brooks Ghost 10 men’s running shoe found on brooksrunning.com.
In order to ensure the success of our optimization efforts, I like to isolate the keywords that have the following attributes after pulling a keyword report of the brooksrunning.com domain in Ahrefs:
- Keyword difficulty between 1-30 (this is a keyword difficulty range most domains can win in).
- Currently Ranking in Positions 4-20 (The bottom number on this range can vary depending on how quickly I’d like to see a return from a keyword rank increase. For the purposes of our demonstration, I’ll open it up to spots 4-50).
- Search volume above 100 monthly searches (This bottom limit is meant to focus our attention on keywords with high enough search volume that they are worth going after. It can also be higher if the data set is big enough to withstand that stricter filtering).
Typically, I ensure attributes 1 and 2 are in place within Ahrefs before I download the data set. I then sort the search volume A-Z in Google sheets to remove the keywords with an average monthly search volume below the bottom limit (In my example, it was 100).
Now that I have a clean data set, I can begin the process of identifying which URLs are missing the keywords listed per URL. As I ctrl/cmd + F each keyword listed, I mark down with an ‘x’ the missing relevant keywords that would make sense to add into the copy.
I’d recommend hiding the keywords that won’t be added into the target page then sorting the search volume by A-Z (If this is being done on a domain level, sort the URL column by A-Z in order to group the keywords you’ll be adding in, from highest search to lowest, by their respective URL).
Building the On-Page Optimization:
Now that I have the low hanging fruit keywords grouped by their respective keywords, it’s time to build the on page optimization recommendations per URL. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by simply copying and pasting the page copy for each respective landing page or URL into a new Google doc, adding in the keywords where it makes sense,, then highlighting those keywords so it speeds up the turnaround time on approvals from clients or the content manager. In the case, that this is being done for a domain. The process will need to be repeated for all the URL batches listed in the audit with missing keywords to add in.
Once these have been proofed and approved, replace the old copy with the new and have Google recrawl each page via Search Console’s ‘fetch as Google’ tool and request re-indexing in order for these changes to take effect sooner rather than later.
Once these changes have been implemented across the site, Google will have more evidence that each LHF (low hanging fruit) optimized page is indeed relevant for the keywords it was ranking it for, thus opening more relevant organic keyword opportunities.
The main thing to remember with this audit is that it’s simply reaffirming Google’s keyword suspicion regarding a page’s topical relevance. Pairing this audit with semantic analysis, strategic link building, or any other on-page optimization is a surefire way to keep rankings up and to the right.
Let me turn this back to you; how have you seen these types of optimizations improve your traffic? What are some cool new ways you’d recommend optimizing your page for organic wins?