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SEO Case Study – How To Rank Your Site To The Top of Search Results

SEO Case Study – How To Rank Your Site To The Top of Search Results

It was around April or maybe May of 2013.

A friend of mine asked me if I could "still" rank websites to the top of the search results even after the recent Google Panda and Penguin updates (if you don't know these terms, they are the recent search engine algorithm updates that wiped out a lot of SEO traffic for small businesses and website owners)

And my answer was this blog.

I told him that I'll rank this new blog within a couple of months for highly competitive terms. 

Terms that would result in revenue and sales (affiliate commissions).

Then I ranked this "new blog" within a few months, after that sales started pouring in. It didn't take long before I sold over 5 figures each for the top 3 products I've promoted on this site.

So the quick answer to my friend if he'd asked me today is YES.

We could still rank (and continuously ranking) websites to the top of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. And that's mainly because we are quick to adapt to changes in the algorithm, while still focusing on the search engine's main concerns: a user and search experience that matches the search intent.

And I'd like to share what we did to get to the top of the search results for several keywords on the blogs we've handled. We follow a unique system and process (that we've developed internally) that increases our organic traffic in a predictable and consistent manner.

We call this process our : SCORE™ SEO framework.

1. First, we looked at the site structure and architecture of the website. Are there lots of 404 errors on the website? Are there broken links? Does it load quickly? Does the site architecture make sense?

Can the Search engines crawl the website? We ask and identify several key website issues then create a plan to resolve them in a timely manner.

2. Next, we create the good foundation for SEO: Content. Without content it's nearly impossible to rank for a keyword because if it's not in the index of the search engines, then there's no way that it would rank.

Content doesn't necessarily mean that it's only text and words. Now, content can also be audio, images (infographics) and video. 

3. Once our content is created and published, it's now time to reach out to other people who might be interested in your content ideas. If they responded positively, then an invitation to build relationships is extended. 

This process definitely involves a lot of time, but the dividends and payoff is huge.

4. Next is to continue tracking the rankings of the website for the terms we've optimize them for. 

5. And finally, it's time to reevaluate everything and do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

What's the next step?

I strongly urge that you run a FREE SEO Audit on your website using our tool. Click here to get started.

How To Find Profitable Niche Keyword Ideas and Untapped Niche Markets

How To Find Profitable Niche Keyword Ideas and Untapped Niche Markets

If you ask most business owners and entrepreneurs who are their target customers, they usually respond with this...

"It's everyone who would need our products and services"...

You are probably here because you're looking for unsaturated markets and niche opportunities or maybe you'd like to know how to find profitable niche ideas like the next "cryptocurrency". Sorry no bitcoin and ethereum niches here 🙂

Though they have been one of the most profitable niches in 2017 until the latest nosedive of Bitcoin.

But honestly, the first step in finding your niche is by finding out who is your target customer.

And when researching for your ideal customer, it pays to be specialized in one area or topic than become generalized and target "everyone".

Think of it this way.

If you need specialized heart surgery, would you go to your family doctor or a cardiac surgeon for operation?

You'll choose the cardiac surgeon, right?

It's the same way when building your online business. You need to find a niche, become an authority in that niche and then that's how you carve your name in this industry.

I know it's easier said than done. But I've realized that there's a methodology for getting it done properly.

And it all starts with finding a profitable niche. If you've picked the wrong niche, then it will be an uphill battle for you and your business.​

Do you want to start your own online business?

Are you struggling with where and how to start your blog or online business?

What I’m about to share with you is what worked for me and my online businesses in the past few years and I'm hoping that you'll be able to take action and apply it to your online business.

​What is a Niche Market and Why it's Important?

By it's definition, a niche market is a small market segment, a part of a bigger "market".

An example of big market would be "weight loss" and within the "weight loss market" are smaller sub-niches like "weight loss by juicing", "weight loss by eating whole foods", etc.

​By targeting a "niche market", you'll be able to identify your "target customers" more easily.

You'll be able to create content that speaks to them and provide more "targeted products and services" that they need.

​Because if you're trying to be an "expert" in everything, then you'll most likely end up "diluting" your resources and time, to the point that people will just see you as a "jack of all trades" instead of an expert.

This is what I did for many years and it was a very costly mistake...

​Niche Market Ideas

You might think that all the good and "killer" niche ideas out there are taken.

​I thought so as well, but I was wrong.

​"Killer niches" and "new niches" emerges everytime.

​Here's a quick example. Just think of "wearable gadgets" like the Apple iWatch.

This niche didn't exist a few years ago. 

But as more and more people wanted to become mobile and still be "connected to the digital world", wearable gadgets become a reality (and a lucrative niche as well).

So, ​If you're starting an online business, where do you start? Where do you find a niche idea?

I would start with the BIG 4 Markets...

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    ​Money Market (Financial, Investment, Internet marketing, Real Estate, Consulting, Services, etc)
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    ​Health Market (Weight Loss, Supplements, Healthy Eating, Paleo, etc)
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    ​Relationship Market (Dating, Marriage, Retreats, Personal Development,etc)
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    Career Market (Education, Profession, Careers, Professional Services, etc)

Pick one from these BIG markets based on your interest, passion, expertise and experience.

It's NOT a pre-requisite to pick a "niche" based on your passion.

But picking a niche that you're interested and passionate about will definitely HELP your online business in the long run.

How to Find a Niche Market (Step by Step)

​Here's a step-by-step process in helping me find niche market ideas.

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    ​I'll look at the Big Market (Choose from one of the BIG 4 Markets)
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    ​I'll look at a particular "Audience Segment" within this Big Market (groups of people)
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    ​I'll look at Competitors selling products and services to this "Audience segment"
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    I'll build my online business around the needs, desires, and wants of this "Audience Segment"

​Big Market - Choose from one of the 4 Big Markets

Let's dive into the details...

For this article, let's say I've chosen the Health market (one of the Big 4 markets).

Under the Health Market, I've chosen the "weight loss market".

​But the weight loss market is still huge.

Because under "weight loss" there are people who wants to lose weight by surgery, while others through diet and exercise, while others through gym memberships, etc.

​So I'll need to dive deeper and find a more specific "Audience Segment" or group of people.​ *An Audience Segment is simply a more targeted "Group of People" within a bigger market.

To help me define my "Audience Segment" I'll start with an Age Group and Gender Demographic.

Do I want to target a Male or Female Demographic?

Do I want to target​ Females between the ages of 35-55 years old?

Do I want to target a specific location? specific country?

Don't be tempted to target everyone. Because if you do that, your content and articles will be TOO generic that it won't appeal to ANYONE.​

After you've identified a particular "Audience Segment" it's now time to check if other competitors are already providing relevant products and services that addresses the needs of that segment.

If a competitor provides existing products and services to that Audience segment, that's a good sign.

​If a competitor is also running existing advertising campaigns to promote their products and services, that's a great sign as well.​

(Especially if it has been running for a few weeks or months, you can use these "spy tools" to know what ads are running for a long time.

Once we've identified our target "Audience Segment" and found out that competitors are actually offering (and advertising) products and services to this audience, you can now start building your online business to serve the needs of this Audience.​

​You'll probably have multiple "Audience segments" within your Niche.​

But start with one Audience Segment, then expand as you grow.​

​Now the next question, is where do you find your "Audience Segment"?

Where do you find pockets or groups of people that will be interested to purchase your products and services?​

They're everywhere. Think of "groups of people" congregating together "virtually" on a common topic or idea.

They'll be in forums. Which is why you'll find forums in almost every interest, passion, business, topic, hobby.

Just go to and type in: [Your Keyword/Topic] + forum

and Google will give you list of forums that you could join and become a member of.

Contribute in this community, reach out, help others, and find out what they're biggest needs are. Solve those problems and that's how you start building a profitable blog.

Go to facebook and search for groups. Join these groups and like forums, become a contributor, regular commenter and that will help you get started.

The important thing here is to find out if this "group of people" are willing to buy the products and services that you'll be offering. That's another topic, which I'll discuss more later on.​

​Tools and Software

These tools (both Free and Paid) have helped me find profitable niches. The Paid tools are optional but powerful ways to help you identify the competition of your chosen niche.

Of course, if it's too competitive you can run the risk of never getting enough traction to launch your online business. If it's too small, you also run the risk of spending a lot of time and resources into something that just doesn't have the "volume" to become a viable long-term online business.

  • SEMRUSH (Read my full review of SEMRUSH) - this is a very powerful competitor research and keyword research tool. It can find out what keywords your competitors are bidding on and how long are they advertising for a particular keyword. 

    The longer they are advertising on a specific keyword, the theory is that it's probably giving them a positive ROI. 

    This will help you a LOT when it comes to which "niches" and "keywords to target" for your online business.
How To Use SEMRUSH For SEO – Ultimate Guide For Success

How To Use SEMRUSH For SEO – Ultimate Guide For Success

Have you ​tried using SEMRUSH?

But if you are already using SEMRUSH (free trial here) and are searching for tutorials on how to use it, then you've come to the right place.​

This Ultimate guide on how to understand and utilize SEMRUSH will help you navigate the competitive SEO and PPC landscape in 2018. 

So let's get started.​...

There is a BIG Reason why SEMRUSH is one of the favorite SEO tools of the top internet marketers...

It's because it offers a unique perspective on your competitor's search engine optimization and pay per click advertising strategies (more details below).

​How does SEMRUSH Work?

​SEMRUSH is a paid subscription (monthly or annual) and delivered as a web service (SAAS - software as a service). The free version does offer some type of keyword and competitive research, but on a very limited scale.

I recommend that in order to get the most out of this tutorial and training, ​grab a trial of SEMRUSH and follow along.

​How to use it for keyword research?

After Google limited the search data it provides for people who are using the Google Keyword planner, marketers had to find other ways to do their keyword research.

Previously you can check the search volumes for keywords, but now you won't be able to do that with the keyword planner unless you're using Google Adwords.

That is why some resorted to using Bing Keyword Planner to get the *search volume data that they need. While I tried that, it didn't provided me with the keyword data that I was looking for.

*Search Volume is the measure of demand for a par

So I went to SEMRUSH for all of my keyword research needs.

Doing Keyword Research in SEMRUSH is like market research on steroids!

​The fastest way to get started is to enter any seed keyword into the SEMRUSH search box.

Let's try to use "SEMRUSH" as the seed keyword, and these are the results that I got:

SEMRUSH Overview

​In this screenshot, you'll be able to quickly see an overview of this keyword. SEMRUSH provides the trending data for this keyword, the organic and paid search opportunities, as well as phrase match and related keywords data.

After analyzing the overall picture for this keyword, I'll then move towards the phrase match keyword data for a deeper dive into it.

​View Full report for the Phrase Match keyword data

In this full report, I'll be able to identify relevant and important keywords that have search volumes. Targeting a keyword with search volumes is one way to do keyword research. The only time that I don't consider search volumes when doing keyword research is if the keyword I'm targeting is for something in the future.

Let's say I'm anticipating that the keyword phrase "best seo tools for 2017" will have search volume in the future, I might not be able to find search volume data for this yet because not a lot of people are searching for these phrase yet.

Phrase Match Report

​With the Phrase Match Report, you'll also be able to find out the KD (Keyword Difficulty), the suggested CPC (in USD), the Competitive Density (PPC), the number of Results (in Google), the Trend for this particular keyword and if you would want to quickly just to the SERP results there's a link for that as well.

​SEO Keyword Magic Tool to Group Keyword Data

​This is a beta tool from SEMRUSH. You can still use it for free while it's in beta. It provides a quick way to organize and find groups of keywords for your research and analysis.

Keyword Magic Tool

Remember, doing keyword research is first all about looking at the search volume and the keyword difficulty for a particular phrase. If there is little to no search volume for this particular keyword, try targeting multiple phrases in one article.

Keyword difficulty is another way to assess if a keyword is worth going after. This is not set in stone but rather requires a little bit of art than science. I've seen my sites to personally get to the top of the search results with keywords that have a KD of 80+, while for some keywords with a KD of 70+, I wasn't able to rank for those keywords.​

For me, it's not just about getting those top rankings. It's also providing my website with tons of great value and information. Even if it doesn't have enough search volume, or if the keyword difficulty is too high, but the content that I'll be able to write from this keyword is going to provide tons of value to my readers, I'm still going to optimize for this keyword.​

​How to do SEO Competitor Research

Would you like to know what keywords and phrases are driving traffic to your competitors?

Would you like to know the exact keywords and ads that they are trying to bid on?

Would you like to know where your competitors are getting their backlinks from?

I'll teach you and show you how to do all of these things in this section. Let's get started.​

I'm really excited to share this strategies with you because this will allow you to gain that competitive advantage by "spying" what's already working for your competitors.

Doing competitor research on SEMRUSH alone is already worth the investment for this SEO tool, and I'll show you how the PROS perform competitive research.

It all starts by knowing who your top competitors are. I'll assume that you probably know who your top competitors are. Start with the Top 5 competitors that are directly competing with what you have to offer. Then look at the Top 5 indirect competitors. indirect competitors are those who offer different products and services to the same customer demographic.

Just in case, you don't know who your top competitors are, you can use SEMRUSH to find out they are.

The way that I do that is by entering my OWN domain in SEMRUSH. And then I go to the Main Organic Competitors Section of SEMRUSH. Here's what it looks like for my site.

Organic Competitors

SEMRUSH quickly shows my top competitors based on the current organic traffic and rankings for my website. This is really powerful because this data provides me with information on keywords that I'm already ranking for and the exact competitors for these keywords.

But you still need to do some manual checks here. What I do is I manually choose the top 5 competitors in this list. I look at their current website (their design), their current SEO Traffic (the higher the better), and what they have to offer (what works and what doesn't). 

Armed with this data, I can then formulate a plan of attack for content creation and link building. ​

Let's analyze one of the top sites in my niche: Nichehacks​

Increasing Organic Traffic

​The organic traffic for Nichehacks is going up steadily in the past few months. That's a great thing. Now let's go to the next step: looking at your competitor's keywords.

Competitor Keywords

You can then take note of these keywords that are driving traffic to your competitors websites. If you think you could create a better article and content for this particular keyword and it would make sense for your business, then I recommend that you go after that particular keyword.

Our competitor research is not yet done. We're just at the tip of the iceberg, there's more.

Another great way to "legally" spy on your competitor's strategies and keywords is by looking at the Pages report under Domain Analysis.

The Pages report gives you a quick overview of all the pages of your competitors that are getting traffic. This is huge, because you've not only discovered their BEST keywords, you'l also discovered their best content. It's a huge goldmine that is waiting to be tapped.

​I look at both the traffic percentage (an estimate of the percentage of traffic from organic search results), and the number of keywords (the higher the number, the better).

Now, how do I use the information that I've just learned?

Simple, I create a "better" article on my own blog.

As part of my content calendar strategy, I have a list of upcoming and published articles​. This is where my readers can see a full list of what they can find on my website, grouped in a nice way

​How's the backlinks? Analysis for Higher rankings

​Backlinks are still considered as one of the most important factors in getting a site ranked to the top of the search results. 

And if the top competitors are already ranking in the first page of Google, then it makes sense to look at their backlinks. SEMRUSH makes it very easy. 

When looking where your competitors are getting their backlinks from, it's equally important to sort it based on the Trust Score of the domain and webpage where they got the backlink. The higher the Trust Score the better.

Getting backlinks and ranking higher to the top of the search engines will be discussed in a different article. If you're interested in SEO, make sure you're subscribed to the newsletter.​

There's another cool backlinks feature of SEMRUSH. The indexed pages will allow you to see which pages of your competitors has several backlinks.

Would you like to know the most profitable ads and keywords that your competitors are running? You could use SEMRUSH to do that legally.

SEMRUSH allows you to "spy" on the exact keywords that your competitors are bidding on as well as the exact ads (text and display) that they are currently running.

Note: This technique will only work if your competitors are running Adwords or Pay Per Click Advertising. In this example, I'll use for this analysis. They are one of the biggest websites when it comes to product reviews.

Ads Research

​You can find out the Ads History for the keywords that your competitors are bidding on. Here's a quick tip, if a competitor is bidding for a particular keyword for several months, it can be a safe bet that it's a profitable keyword for them. Why would they continuously run paid traffic to this keyword if it wasn't profitable for them.

​Analyzing Amazon's Top and Bestselling Items

​Amazon has tons of 1st page rankings for product keywords. If you plan to build an amazon affiliate website, then looking at the keywords that Amazon ranks for is one of the best places to start. 

SEMRUSH Alternatives

If you've tried SEMRUSH before and you're still looking for alternatives, here's a list of similar SEO tools that does the same thing.

  • Long Tail PRO - Helps identify long tail keywords
  • Market Samurai - Helps you analyze long tail keywords, identify keyword search volumes (but data is from Bing Keyword Tool so search volume is also lower).
  • Ahrefs - is another similar tool that works like SEMRUSH.

​Huge Discounts and Deals

​You can get up to 20% discount on SEMRUSH if you get the annual option (that's a great deal if you have the budget). Click on this affiliate link to get the best deal on SEMRUSH.

​Grab your 2 weeks Free trial of SEMRUSH

You can do competitive research, market research, keyword research and more with SEMRUSH. There's no other tool out there that's like it. SEMRUSH created it's own database to create these results. Try it for 7 days so that you can see the results for yourself.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me here. Happy hunting!