Is your website well-optimised? Got rid of all that pesky thin and duplicate content? Resolved any worrisome crawl issues? Implemented a strong site structure, with lots of juicy links pointing at your key category or service pages? Then it’s time to think about leveraging onsite SEO to take your sales (or leads) to the next level.
Once your site is up to speed, the focus of your organic search strategy should switch toward identifying the next big opportunity. In the first of a series of clumsy and poorly informed sporting references I’ll be making throughout this article, think of it this way: a football manager doesn’t just build a good team then sit back and expect brilliant results for the next five seasons. Instead, (I’m led to believe) they’re constantly tinkering with their playing squad, training regime, tactics, and… other football things.
But brilliant opportunities are, by their very nature, not always easy to spot. For one thing, there are no guarantees in organic search. What’s more, if fantastic ideas were so easy to come by, everyone would have them. And if everyone was having them all the time, they wouldn’t be brilliant ideas anyway. You get my point.
Fortunately, help is at hand if you’re struggling to identify your next big organic search opportunity. Casting an eye over your current keyword rankings should provide all the inspiration you need.
Why page 2 keywords are a big opportunity
It almost always takes a lot of time and effort to build a new page from scratch and start ranking strongly (i.e. in the top 10 or higher) for a term with decent search volume.
However, analysing page 2 keywords can give you a shortcut. These are terms for which you’re already ranking pretty well, which presumably means you’ve got a page that’s targeting them fairly effectively. They just need a bit of a nudge to bump them onto page 1.
Of course, some of these terms will be nonsense. This very website ranks for some pretty esoteric keywords, including the entirely useless “david haye reddit” (he’s a boxer! Another sporting reference!). But some will be nuggets of SEO gold that are well worth pursuing.
How to find your page 2 keywords (with Ahrefs)
To identify opportunities lurking within the depths of your existing rankings, you first need to find out what you’re actually ranking for. There are a few different tools to help you do this (SEMrush and SEO Rank Monitor, to name a couple), but our favourite happens to be Ahrefs.
Grasping wildly around for a topical hook to give this blog some added relevance, I noticed there is some football happening this weekend. From balls and boots to sticks and hats (check this later), it turns out you can purchase a wide array of football-related products on the internet.
For the purposes of this blog, I’ll now adopt the persona of a digital marketer working for one of these football-based ecommerce sites (specifically, these people) and walk you through the process of identifying – and being inspired by – your page 2 keywords:
- Enter your domain in the Ahrefs search box
- Click “Organic Keywords” in the left-hand menu to see a list of all the terms you rank for organically
- We’re only looking for page 2 keywords, so use the “Position” filter to limit your search to positions 11-20
What’s left is a list of terms for which you’re ranking on page 2, some of which will be just itching to move up to page 1 with a little TLC.
Using your page 2 keywords to drive traffic and make money
So you’ve found your page 2 keywords. What next?
As we’re all about identifying the easiest – and most potentially profitable – opportunities, your next step should be to identify the terms that are being targeted by the “right” pages. For instance, it’s reasonable to assume that “mamba ball” – up there in position two on our list of results – is a legitimate target keyword for this page.
While this is a matter of personal preference, you may find it easier to export this data as a CSV file. Either way, follow this process to identify the biggest and best opportunities:
- Delete any terms that don’t relate to your business, or to products or services you sell (after all, this is about making money, not just driving traffic for the sake of it)
- Filter out terms that are being targeted by the “wrong” page (i.e. a page with a different product on it, or a category page rather than a product page)
- Filter your remaining list by search volume (bear in mind that Ahrefs can only estimate search volume. For a more accurate figure, run your list of keywords through Google’s Keyword Planner)
You now have a list of terms that are ripe for the plucking. My list, produced for my imaginary football client, looks like this:
As far as I’m aware, these could all be made-up products (as if a “shinpad” is a thing), but they’re certainly all being targeted by specific, relevant pages. More importantly, they’re ranking well, but with room for growth.
Now you’ll need to perform a bit of competitor analysis to find out what needs to be done to coax those keywords up onto page 1; perhaps they need some more links pointing at them, or maybe the content is too thin?
Either way, what you’re left with here are plenty of opportunities to focus on, with a direct link to your products and services – or in other words, to your bottom line. In SEO, a brilliant opportunity can be almost priceless; using this methodology, you can generate a whole list of them!
Want to find out more about how to drive conversions through organic search? You’ve come to the right place! Get in touch with us today.