You’ve already experienced it… SEO is becoming harder and harder.
As time goes on, it takes longer to rank and you have to spend more money to get the results you want.
But the reality is, you can’t wait forever to get results. And you have no choice but to leverage SEO as a tactic because everyone else is doing it.
So, what should you do?
Well, the first thing you need to do is adjust how you think about SEO. SEO isn’t only about rankings. To be honest, I don’t even track them for my own site. It’s about getting the right kind of traffic.
You know, the visitors who are ready to buy.
So, instead of teaching you how to rank for competitive head terms, which is going to be even more difficult in 2019, I’m going to break down a formula that will give you much faster results and sales in this ultra-competitive environment.
And best of all, I am going to break it down into 4 steps as I know you don’t have the time to do everything.
Here’s the 4-step SEO strategy you should follow in 2019:
Step #1: Attract customers before they are ready to buy
The most expensive keywords to go after are buyer intent keywords. You know, the ones where someone types in a keyword and is ready to spend money right then and there.
And that will always be the case. Not just from an SEO standpoint, but even a pay per click standpoint.
So, what should you do… not go after these lucrative keywords?
Of course not. More so, you have to go after them no matter how long it takes to rank. You just have to be patient.
But in the short run, there are other keywords you can go after that aren’t as competitive and don’t cause a sale right away. But they do cause a sale to happen… it just takes a few weeks from when that person first lands on your site to when they buy.
So how do you find the keywords that aren’t as competitive and cause people to buy (as long as you are willing to be patient)?
You use Google Correlate.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s say you are selling beard oil but you know the term is competitive and will take you a lot longer to rank for than you have.
So what do you do?
With Google Correlate, it will show you all of the terms people search for in Google before they search for the term “beard oil.”
In other words, these are the same people who buy beard oil products… but now you are going to attract them to your site before they are even ready to buy.
Type in “beard oil” or the term you want to rank for in Google Correlate. Then, shift series to -2 weeks, which means you will be given a list of terms people search for 2 weeks before they are likely to type in “beard oil.”
And then you will get a list of terms:
As you can see from the image above, people type in terms like beard products, best beard oil, beard balm, what is beard oil, and how to make beard oil.
If you write blog content that is super in depth about those phrases, you’ll appeal to people who also search for beard oil.
The cool part about Google Correlate is it works differently than Google Suggest or any other keyword tool because they are showing you what people search for before they are ready to buy.
And similar to how you put in -2 weeks as the shift series, you can turn it into a positive number and see what people search for weeks after looking up beard oil:
You’ll notice a lot of people who search for beard oil search for oils related to coughs.
Most people who sell beard oil probably don’t think about offering oils for coughing, but it is a similar audience and it’s a great way for you to generate extra revenue from the customer base you already have.
Step #2: Land and expand
Everyone focuses on ranking for new terms. But there is an issue, it’s hard to rank for new terms.
Even though SEO has a huge ROI, it’s a strategy that requires patience.
But here is the thing, you can get results faster if you use the land and expand strategy.
Here’s how it works. Log into Google Search Console. Next, click on “performance” and you will see a list of terms that you currently rank for:
Then I want you to click on one of the most popular terms you already rank for and then click on pages. You should see a report that shows you the URL that ranks for the term on Google. You need this URL because you will be modifying this page.
Step #3: Build a brand
Google has been placing more emphasis on brands. In other words, if you have a strong brand, you’ll rank faster.
When I really started focusing on brand building, my traffic went from 240,839 in June 2016:
In other words, if you want to succeed on Google in the long run, you have to build a brand. As your brand grows, your search traffic will as well.
The way to monitor your brand growth is Google Trends. Type in your brand name into Google Trends as well as a few of your competitors to see how you are stacking up.
Sadly, there isn’t a quick hack to skyrocket your brand. There is, however, a formula that works for both personal and corporate brands.
So, what is the formula?
You do something that is bold!
Sure people can tell you to blog, speak at conferences, run ads… but none of that helps you build a brand that has a loyal following because everyone else is already doing the same things (or trying at least).
But what your competition isn’t doing is being bold. If you want a brand like Tony Robbins or Apple, bold is the way to go.
So how do you do something that is bold?
Well, lets first start with a personal brand (although I recommend that you build a corporate one instead).
Do the opposite
When it comes to building a personal brand, you’ll have to take the opposite approach of most people in your space. Whatever is working for them won’t work for you.
No one cares for the copycat, especially when they are satisfied with the original solution.
In other words, if you do exactly what your competitor is doing no one will care to follow you.
Let me give you examples of how to do the opposite of your competition:
- Genuinely help people – a lot of people blog and participate on the social web, but how many people take the time to respond to their community? As far as I can tell, less than 1%. Just look at me. For years, I’ve responded to comments on my blog, Facebook, and even YouTube. I am so engaged with my community on LinkedIn that they honored me as one of their Top Voices of 2018! Most people are too lazy to do this… doing the opposite has helped me build a connection with you. And if you are wondering why I do this it’s because when I started out I had no money and people helped me. I’m just trying to do the same.
- Writing 10x content – when I got into blogging, everyone was doing it. So I had to find a way to separate myself. I did this by writing in-depth guides… not those 5,000-word blog posts, I am talking about 30,000-word guides. On top of that, I spent money on the design so they would look beautiful.
- Creating video content – when I got into the digital marketing community, there were already large conferences that had thousands of attendees. I thought speaking at all of them would help my brand… and they did to some extent, but I was just another speaker. But very few people in my space were creating video content… so now instead of giving speeches at conferences, I give them on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I’m able to reach more people without having to travel and the content lives on forever (and is available for free to everyone!).
That’s how I stood out from my competition and built a personal brand. And then I did it for years as brands aren’t built overnight.
If you aren’t sure on how to do the opposite of your competition when it comes to your personal brand leave a comment and I’ll try and give you some ideas.
Now let’s go into building a brand for your company… It all comes down to one thing…
No matter what you are selling online you have competition. It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B or a B2C business… you have competition, which means it is going to be hard for your brand to stand out.
So, how do you differentiate yourself?
You do so by being bold.
Let me give you an example. In the United States, there are tons of options when it comes to cell phone carriers. So how do you stand out when everyone offers the same phone and competitive pricing?
Well, T-Mobile separated themselves by offering free Netflix, unlimited data, and free roaming.