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How To Use Free Data To Instantly Improve SEO Results

If you’re like me, you’ve got 50 things going on and when someone comes along and says “Hey, now what? If you do XYZ you could really improve your SEO results!” your reaction is “Oh yeah? I’ve already got 100 things I know I need to do on my to-do list.” That’s especially my response if the suggested action takes much time, money, or energy. But I’m all about things I can do with a minute here or there, especially if it’s free. So here’s a quick and easy SEO tip that is free to implement and which will generate instant, or nearly instant, results.

Tip: Find keyword rankings that are easy to improve and will generate big results quickly.

Ok, that sounds great, kind of like “just make sure the ball always goes in the hoop whenever you shoot, and you too can be an NBA all star!” But really, this is easy. Here are the steps.

Step 1 – Find the keyword rankings that are easy to improve. To do this, go to Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t have your site set up here, set it up. Once it’s set up, take a look at “search queries” and sort by “impressions.” Understandably for MWI, we receive the most impressions for “MWI.” Next in line is “utah seo.” We also rank high for these terms, and as a result we get a lot of clicks from people searching for these terms. For “utah seo” GWT shows that we rank, on average, at 3.6. You can look at this for your own site by scanning over to the right in the “avg. position” column. Whenever I check manually in Google we rank #1, but different people in different places get different results, so I’ll accept that there’s room for improvement, even if I haven’t seen us below #1 for years.

But it’s hard to improve when you’re already at the top. I could spend a lot of time working on improving things for “utah seo” and see barely a nudge in that average position. If I want to find keyword rankings that are easy to improve, they need to be keywords that aren’t so competitive. Targeting just “SEO” by itself would be hyper competitive. I don’t even try to do that. “Utah seo” is competitive, but within the realm of possibility, as already demonstrated. If I add one more word then I’ll be finding words that are not so competitive, and therefore easier to improve rankings for. That means in Step 2 I’m looking for keywords that are “utah seo + something.”

Step 2 – Identify which keyword rankings, if improved, will generate big results. If I’m already ranking at 3.6 on average for “utah seo” that still means there isn’t much room for improvement. If I were to get the average up to #1 it’s doubtful I would double or triple the traffic I get from that keyword, if I saw any increase at all. Sure, I’d like to improve it, but I don’t think it’s worth a lot of time and effort. If I want to see serious improvement quickly, I’m going to have to look at the keywords that have an average position in the range of 10-20.

So now instead of sorting by search queries I’m going to sort by average position. Now, are there any keywords in the 10 to 20 range that are “utah seo + something?” Yes! One of the keywords that shows up there is “utah seo company.” It’s highly relevant to MWI, because MWI is a Utah SEO company. Someone searching for that keyword phrase is very likely looking for a company just like MWI. This will yield a big improvement in traffic and leads because once you move beyond the 10th ranking or the first page of Google search results there is a huge dropoff. Most people don’t click past the first page, so the difference between ranking #11 and #10 can be huge. The initial goal I’m going to set is to move MWI from around #15 to #5 for “Utah SEO company” within the next month. If you want to know the results, either comments below or just use the “subscribe” link to subscribe to the comments. Then I’ll comment on April 3rd once I measure the results. The results will be based on manual results, rather than the average, since the average will be skewed.

Step 3 – Optimize for the keyword(s) you’ve identified. First off, I’m not going to cheat. That means I can’t harm other rankings just to meet this goal. The title tag on our homepage is “MWI – Utah SEO.” I’m not going to change that to “MWI – Utah SEO Company” which might hurt our #1 “utah seo” ranking. But there are easy ways I can introduce the word “company,” especially in conjunction with the word “SEO,” into our code and copy without hurting anything else. For example, on the homepage we have big text that used to say “We help clients use online marketing to get more customers.” But nobody is searching for us using the word “client.” The sentence has now been changed to “We help companies use online marketing to get more customers.” In other places on the site I’ve used the word “firm” a lot, so I can change some of those out to be “company” instead without worrying too much about the rankings for “utah seo firm.” And I can through all my content and see where I might be able to interject the words “utah seo company.” Those are the low hanging fruit. I’ve already done some of that, and I’ll do more.

The next step is to create content where I can use that word. This blog post is a prime example. But I’ll create more. Maybe a press item or two.

And I can engage in off-site optimization. I’ve already got some of that going on. If you do a search for “utah seo company” you’ll find that a Forbes article I wrote ranks #2 for the search, and of course that article has my profile attached to it. That may not have a huge effect directly on SEO, per se, but I am getting the traffic. I could also reach out and get some local citations from Utah companies.

When it comes to Step 3, you will need to use some creativity. But I’m sure if you work at it you’ll be able to find a lot of small, easy things you can do to optimize for the keyword you’ve identified. You’ll have to wait a month to see how my experiment pays off, but there’s no need to wait to reap the benefits yourself. Follow these steps today, and in almost no time you’ll be seeing better results, and more conversions.

Are you interested in growing your business through SEO? Learn more about our search engine optimization services here.

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Written by

Hi! I'm Josh Steimle, and I started MWI from my apartment while a college student in 1999. I'm based in Shenzhen, China and responsible for MWI's overall strategy and marketing. I've written over 200 articles for publications like Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, and Time, and I'm the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work. I love speaking to corporations and at marketing industry events. I was recently recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of 50 Online Marketing Influencers To Watch in 2016. Read more of what I'm writing on my blog.


  • Ok, let’s see, what was that goal? To get to #5 by April 3rd? Well, nevermind, because today the site is already at #4. Didn’t I say the results were instant? I guess I wasn’t kidding. Now the trick will be to maintain that ranking.

    • And for the record, as of today we’re showing up at #2 for “utah seo company,” at least on my computer. My ranking tracking software says #10, so results may vary.

  • Wow, nice one Joshua. Gonna try this with webmaster tools myself. Thanks for the article 🙂