By Andrew Dennis published October 21, 2019

Will This Real-Life Search Turn Up a Keyword Ranking Opportunity?

Rather than simply telling you how to conduct keyword research to find a great content opportunity, I want to show you.

Let’s do a keyword analysis for Wild Willies’ website. With No Shave November around the corner, the beard-related products company seems like a good choice.

Wild Willies has a blog, but it hasn’t been updated since February. Clearly an opportunity exists for the brand to invest more in content and grow organic traffic and its site overall.

Though it’s not optimal for organic search that the blog is hosted on a subdomain (https://blog.wild-willies.com), I’ll focus on keyword elements that present opportunities for Wild Willies to earn more traffic.

A subdomain for your blog is not optimal for search, says @AndrewDennis33. #SEO Click To Tweet

Keyword research often starts with competitor research. Let’s analyze how a competitor, Live Bearded, earns organic traffic.

Using SEMrush, I analyze the top pages on Live Bearded’s site. Immediately, I notice that one-third of its organic traffic goes to pages about beard barbers:

These beard barber pages are driving over 23,000 visits to Live Bearded – over four times more than the home page. I’m interested to see if Wild Willies covers this topic. Let’s search for the term on its site:

Based on the results shown, it doesn’t look like Wild Willies covers beard barbers on its blog. There might be a content opportunity here, but I have more research to do.

First, I review the search engine result page where Live Bearded’s beard barber pages are ranking (according to SEMrush):

Use a tool such as @SEMrush to analyze top pages, says @AndrewDennis33. #SEO Click To Tweet

Based on the appearance of a local map with barber listings, it’s clear Google has concluded the intent of the “beard barber” query is commercial.

Scrolling down, I see Live Bearded’s page at the bottom of page one results:

It’s interesting to see that Live Bearded ranks among the top results because it’s not a barbershop. I’ll investigate further. Here is what Live Bearded’s page looks like:

Now the high ranking for a commercial intent query makes sense. Live Bearded provides a map of recommended beard barbers. This is helpful content for someone looking for a beard barber. Wild Willies could invest in similar find-a-barber content and likely have a chance at ranking too.

However, this type of content requires more investment than a typical blog post. Let’s see if I can find lower hanging fruit by analyzing Live Bearded’s next highest organic traffic page and its search rankings:

OK, this is a standard blog post. While the information is useful, the layout and design aren’t anything spectacular.

After reviewing this page, the potential opportunity for Wild Willies to create content that can rank on this topic seems better. However, I still need to go back and analyze the SERP to confirm that this query has informational intent, and that the competition for the keywords isn’t too high.

Here is the first results page for a search on how to find a beard barber:

The first two results are informational-intent pages (including Live Bearded) followed briefly by the commercial intent content of a map and pack of local results. Going further down, more information-focused pages appear:

Only three of the results (including Live Bearded’s page) are specifically about “how to find a beard barber.”

Among the informational pages is a carousel of video results. I make a note that if Wild Willies creates a page on how to find a beard barber, it might want to create a video.

Don’t forget to think about video opportunities in your keyword research, advises @AndrewDennis33. #SEO Click To Tweet

Scanning the results, I don’t see any major brand names ranking here. And when I look up the referring domains for the sites, outside of Beardbrand and Beardoholic, the backlink numbers are modest:

  • Beardbrand – 2,337 referring domains
  • Beardoholic – 1,115
  • Stubble + stache – 162
  • The Beard Club – 357
  • The Beard Struggle – 100
  • The Brighton Beard Co. – 85

Given that Wild Willies has 96 referring domains, it should be able to compete here with a quality page.

My last research step is investigating what kind of search volume brings about 7,000 organic visitors to Live Bearded’s “how to find a beard barber” page.

How is that high traffic possible when SEMrush reports such low volume for those keywords? Ranking for a head term usually translates to ranking for the associated long-tail terms as well. Together, they add up to significant volume.

Going back to SEMrush’s report on Live Bearded’s page, I see that’s the case here. The page ranks for many other associated keywords:

With all my research complete, I have concluded that Wild Willies has a viable opportunity to increase its organic rankings and traffic – by creating a well-designed, information-filled page (with a video if possible) that focuses on how to find a beard barber.

And there you have it – a real-life example of how to find a content opportunity for your blog that can boost your rankings for a valuable-to-you keyword and drive more traffic to your site. Now, what will your next opportunity be? Please share in the comments.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used). 

Learn what your fellow content marketers are doing to grow their website traffic, expand their audiences, and increase their brand’s investment in content. Subscribe to the free weekday CMI newsletter.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Andrew Dennis

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan, and you'll find him watching them every Saturday during football season. You can connect with Andrew on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Other posts by Andrew Dennis

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