SEOs, God love them, can sometimes follow each other around like a herd of sheep. It’s very easy to get the mentality of just targeting keywords with the greatest search volume. Sounds logical, right?
Some other SEOs don’t follow the sheep herd but go off into the pasture alone on some ‘hot’ keyword chase that the CEO’s sister said is cool. Both very understandable tendencies, but not always the best ways to go.
One strategy that the rest of the herd may not be thinking about is to target keywords that are in striking distance of page 1. Those would be the keywords that rank on page 2 of Google. Getting placement with those keywords is not as difficult as those on page 1. Plus, the keywords on the second page are still in ‘the minor leagues,’ true, but they are well positioned to get ‘called up to the majors’ soon! Those page 2 keywords, if they move up a bit, can mean big hikes in traffic for your website.
Let’s show you how this can work. Let’s say that you have a keyword that is searched for 500,000 times each month, and you’re currently ranking #11 for it. If you were able to move up five slots from 11 to 6, this would give you whopping 273% boost in traffic. But, if you moved up from 21 to 16, you would only get an increase of 50% or so. This big difference in gains of traffic for identical movement in rank is because of the uneven way in which users will click search results. This is a groovy phenomenon that smart SEOs can use to their advantage.
Not all SEO keywords are equal, so it may be a trick to move a bunch of keywords from page 2 onto page 1. You might want to take some time to really analyze which page 2 keywords matter the most to you, before you start making efforts to boost them to page 1. You can use Google’s keyword tool to find out the volume, competition and traffic levels of the keyowrds.
How does one go about doing this? If you are using regular rank-tracking software, you will have to put in some work. You’d need to do some fancy work in Excel to achieve the appropriate segmentation. This is because there are some limits to what a basic rank tracking program can do.
On the other hand, SEO technology is out there to deal with the larger sets of keywords, and good marketers can more effectively hone in on sets of target keywords by utilizing automatic segmentation. If you are using an enterprise system with access to an SEO platform with all the bells and whistles, you will be able to do automatic keyword segmentation of search rank. Then you’ll have those keywords in striking distance of page one right at your little fingertips.