5 Proven Strategies for Improving Keyword Rankings

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Table of Contents

Why is Keyword Research Important?

  1. Target Broad Keywords

  2. Identify Long-Tail Keywords

  3. Optimize Title Tags with Keywords

  4. Research Top Ranking Websites in Your Niche

  5. Use Keyword Suggestion Tools

Key Takeaways and Next Steps


Why is Keyword Research Important?

The main objective of keyword research is to understand the search intent behind a user’s query. It will allow you to identify which terms people are searching for while looking at your website, influencing how they navigate and find content on each page.

For example, if someone searches “pizza delivery near me,” their primary concern might be finding food within close proximity rather than an extensive analysis of pizza toppings available in that area. Consequently, all pages with similar titles would need to list top-rated local restaurants offering pizzas as part of their menu (including name and address).

Additionally, the more exciting and unique keyword-driven content you have on your site, the higher it will rank in search results, thus attracting a bigger audience. Quality content is crucial to earning backlinks from other sites, which helps to boost rankings for keywords related to that specific page or post.

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1. Target Broad Match Keywords as Well as Niche Ones

Understanding what search terms your ads can match against is important for businesses of all sizes. Broad match keywords are one type that you might want to pay attention to when creating campaigns, as they allow Google's algorithms and other relevant searches to identify the most appropriate matches between user intent and ad content.

Reverse funnel showing broad match to exact match

With broad match terms, your ad is eligible to appear whenever a user’s search query includes any word in your key phrase. For example, if you use the keyword term ‘hats for sale’ with broad matching enabled and someone searches for “blue hats” or even simply “hat store near me,” then that person may see an advertisement from you.

One way to prevent broad match keywords from depleting your ad budget is by spreading them out among separate campaigns. This prevents the broad matches from competing with more targeted keywords, allowing you to reach a wider audience without spending as much money. For more tips on creating a budget for your marketing strategy, check out my article here.

2. Identify Long-Tail Keywords With High Search Volume, Low Competition, and Good Conversion Rates

Some examples of long-tail keywords can include: "hotel in Seattle" or "hiking shorts." These phrases and terms tend to be more specific than terms like, say, 'shoes' or even a phrase match such as 'where are the good hiking trails,' resulting in lower search volume.

Because of their specificity, long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for than general head terms. However, because they're less competitive and cover smaller niches on the web, it can take years before you eventually surpass your competitors in search results who've been there since day one or have a more established website.

To find the best long-tail keywords for your site, first list out all of the related terms. You can do this by brainstorming and researching to uncover what people search for related to your business or industry. Once you have a few words written down as potentials, try using Google Trends (or another tool) that will show you which phrases are more popular than others over time and how many searches they get each month on average in different countries around the world. The next step is identifying how these would be the most effective.

3. Optimize Title Tags with Keywords

The title tag on a webpage is the first thing that users will read. This text has to be enticing enough for visitors to stay on a page and give it their full attention; otherwise, they'll go somewhere else where more exciting content awaits.

Example Screenshot of a Title Tag

The title tag is an essential part of the user experience. Users will be more likely to engage with a product or service if they can understand its value immediately upon landing on your site's homepage, so it's crucial that you optimize your title tags to keep users engaged and drive conversions.

A good way to improve your search engine ranking is by including the primary keyword in all titles. To increase clickthroughs from relevant users as well, try adding a long-tail variation of the same term if possible.

4. Research the Top Ranking Websites in Your Niche and See What Keywords They’re Targeting

An effective way to gain a competitive edge over others in your niche is knowing the keywords your competitors use. This will guide you in a successful digital marketing strategy and potentially allow you to outrank them on search engines.

By researching your competitors' keywords, you can see what's working for them and discover new keyword ideas that will improve the SEO of your site. Additionally, it lets you create content based on popular industry topics to build up more organic traffic from Google searches.

Tools for Identifying Your Competitors' Targeted Keywords

Competitive keyword analysis can give you a huge advantage over your competition by identifying their best keywords and what they're ranking for on search engines like Google or Bing. If you want to gain an edge, here are some tools that can help get you started.


Digital marketers can use SpyFu to gain a competitive advantage in their marketing campaigns. When you need the best keywords for your campaign, this tool is helpful with keyword research and analysis of competitors' strategies. For more information on SpyFu, check out my Top 10 SEO tools list.