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Understanding Keywords (Discovery & Sitemapping Prerequisite)

This is a premium training for Inner Circle members only.

More about this video

You can’t be effective at SEO without understanding the concept of keywords, keyword relationships, and topic clusters.

It’s also extremely helpful if you can make sense of all the data that surrounds keywords when doing keyword research (hint: it goes well beyond volume and difficulty).

In this training, which is a prerequisite to my forthcoming keyword research and sitemapping training, you’ll learn the fundamentals of keywords, keyword metrics, keyword relationships, topic clusters, search intent, commercial viability, and content types.

## Tools Used

Even though SEMRush has a lucrative affiliate program, I exclusively use [AHREFs]( (which doesn’t). That should let you know how much I believe in AHREFs as the industry standard tool. 

## Resources

I would also highly recommend studying the content on the AHREFs YouTube channel. Their trainings came out long after I got into SEO, but I’ve vetted them as being a top-notch resource for anyone getting into SEO.

My goal with SEO trainings going forward is not to re-invent the wheel when it comes to “classroom” content. I’d like to focus on what teachers and companies like AHREFs typically don’t do, which is show you LIVE SEO work so you can learn more like an apprentice would versus a student.

So, now that I’ve published some basic prerequisite stuff, we can get more into live training.

Video Transcript

In this training, we’re going to talk all about keywords, understanding concepts surrounding keywords, data surrounding keywords. This is really a prerequisite to the training I’m going to create on keyword research and site mapping. I don’t want to have to combine all of these trainings together. We’re on trying to teach you about keywords, while I’m also trying to teach you about keyword research and site mapping. It really, really helps if you just understand the concepts related to keywords before we get to that kind of live, interactive type of training. So we’re going to go ahead and dive right in. As always, if you have any questions on this content, on this training, leave it down in the comments below and I will jump in and help you out. All right, so I’m going to go ahead and share the presentation here. It’s the quick and dirty guide to understanding keywords.

So training goals here. By the end of this training, you’re going to understand basic keyword metrics. You’re going to have the ability to determine whether or not a keyword is relevant to a business’s goals. And you’ll understand how keywords fit into topic clusters. These analysis skills are required to do effective keyword research and site mapping for a client. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to start with a head term. A head term is a broad term associated with the business or a core product or service. We purposely don’t want to get too specific yet. The specificity of these terms is going to be revealed in the actual keyword research. You don’t have to worry about brainstorming all of the very long tail specific keywords. The software is going to do that for you. What you have to do is know what a head term is, which that’s what we’re about to cover.

And then from that head term, you’re going to be able to generate everything else. But you also have to be able to understand the metrics. So we’re going to cover that as well. So the first thing you’re going to want to do is type in the keyword in a program like HREFs, A-H-R-E-F-S. And specifically inside of HREFs, there’s a tool called keyword explorer. So we’re going to center this entire training around the term roof repair. We can talk for a second about HREFs versus other tools. There are other keyword research tools out there. HREFs, in my opinion, is the industry standard. It is what you should be using, the only other tool that I think kind of is an industry standard. Is SIM rush. But I feel like SIM rush is better for PPC people. So if you’re more specifically doing stuff with PPC versus SEL, you might want to check out SIM rush.

Other than that, I would use HREFs. That’s all I’m going to say on that topic. So first things first, we type in the keyword. What are we looking for? Well, we want to check basic keyword metrics, all right? And you have to understand these tools like HREFs have an extensive keyword database. And they have a bunch of different metrics related to every single keyword. These metrics, and this is, I underline this, combined with manual analysis. So you cannot, what is that telling you? It’s telling you that you cannot rely on the software, on the tool itself. You have to do manual analysis. These metrics are going to help you determine the relevance of a keyword. And it’s going to help you discover how these keywords are related to other keywords, which is very important as we go. So we’re going to isolate a bunch of the related or the relevant and important metrics related to a keyword.

The first one is the search volume. This is a metric that a lot of people really hone in on. Beginner level SEO people will hyper focus on search volume. If you watch my other tutorial on the top 10 things you need to know about SEO, then you know that search volume is not all that important. But it is a metric that you should understand. But in HREFs, this is the number of searches per month in the target country. So you can choose which country you want to look at. So most of my clients are in the US, so we look at US terms. If I had a client in Australia, I would switch the targeting to Australia. And that’s going to tell you the number of searches per month in the target country. And really any number from 10 searches a month up is relevant, but relevance is relative. Okay, you got to understand why you’re grading a number the way that you’re grading it. If it’s a very long tail specific term, but it’s highly commercially relevant, but it only has 10 searches a month, hey, I’m going for it.

Okay, you just have to know why you’re going for a specific term based on the volume that you’re seeing. And it says down here, head term should have higher relative volume to be deemed viable. If it’s a broad term, very low volume, that’s kind of a red flag. Broad term should have pretty solid volume. Keyword difficulty is next. This is the difficulty to rank for this keyword, and it’s based mostly on the backlink profile of the top 10 results. This is another one of those metrics that is, it’s not foolproof. Let’s say that, okay, you really have to do a lot of manual analysis around these terms. I’ve seen keyword difficulty be 40, and I ranked for it in a month and a half. And then I’ve seen it be nine, and it took me six months to rank for it, right? Now, there’s a lot of factors that go into that, but just understand that you can’t just look at keyword difficulty and make some sort of determination on how difficult this keyword actually is to rank for. It’s just a relative metric. Cost per click. So this is the average cost per click via something like Google ads. The higher the cost per click, the more commercially relevant the term typically is.

So if a lot of people are bidding on the term, it’s typically because that term converts. People don’t, you know, businesses don’t typically like to just throw money down the drain bidding on irrelevant terms. They’re usually getting a return of some sort on these terms, which means that they’re pretty valuable to go after with organic. Next is the volume trend line. And this, the only, you know, really, the only way I really use this trend line is to determine seasonality. So if like you’re in lawn, like you’re client to lawn care customer, I want to understand like where the seasonality is. Or is this something that I can see that people are searching for year rounds. That’s really the kind of insight that I’m trying to gain from from that. Next is clicks. This is the average number of clicks on the search results. This is just an engagement metric, really. But if the volume is 40,000 searches, but there’s only 20,000 clicks, what does that tell you? Well, half the people that search for that don’t click on anything, which means that 40,000 isn’t really the metric you should be focused on. It’s 20,000 visitors are being generated from this term, not 40,000. Okay. So it’s just putting the numbers into perspective. It’s letting you know, okay, yeah, 40,000 searches, but realistically, the top 10 results are, you know, the results in general are sharing clicks between the 20,000 number, not the 40,000 number. All right. So next is paid clicks. Paid clicks shows the percentage of clicks that go to paid ads versus organic results. The higher that percentage is, the more people clicking on paid ads, the fewer people typically are clicking on the organic results. So this comes into play as well. But what I also do when I notice that a term has very high percentage of paid clicks, I set it off to the side and I market on my PPC game plan. And this is what I’m going to go to my client with and say, hey, you’re not running PPC on these terms. These terms get a great share of clicks on the ads. We need to be targeting this with PPC and all of a sudden I’m selling PPC services. So keep an eye on that metric for sure. Next is the without clicks metric. I mean, you could do this manually by seeing, hey, it’s 40,000 searches, but there’s only 20,000 clicks. So it’s roughly 52% of searches without clicks. But you can also just glance at the searches without clicks metric.

And it’ll kind of give you an idea of how viable this term is in terms of driving actual traffic. Because you can rank number one all day for a term of 40,000 searches. But if it has 1,000 clicks, you’re not going to get that much traffic, right? And you’ll see this all the time on a term where it’s a question and Google just answers the question with like a rich snippet of some sort. And so lots and lots of people ask the question, but they never end up clicking on a result because Google just gave them the answer. So that’s an example of things you would want to avoid. Next is parent topic. This one is a little bit difficult to understand. So the parent topic is the typically broader term that a keyword is associated with. Number one, the reason why this confusing is because it’s not always accurate. You can see here that roof repair is not a child of roof leak repair. Right? Roof leak repair is not the parent of roof repair. Roof repair is obviously a more broad term. Roof leak repair is a longer tail term. So roof leak repair should fit under roof repair, not the other way around. So sometimes this just is off. Now there are certain reasons why HREFs does the association this way. But feel free to ignore this in certain cases where it just doesn’t seem to make sense or this might actually change in the future. And you already know enough about the industry to know that roof repair is the broader term. But the other reason is because we’re going to, well, we’ll talk about it in a minute where just because something is listed as a parent doesn’t mean it also isn’t a child. So what we’ll get there. Next is SERP position history. So this graph is actually quite important. It shows the volatility of the top five results and more volatility is typically better. And the reason more volatility is better, if you think about this, what this is showing is it’s showing pages moving into and out of the top five results.

All right, so here are the top five results. And you can see which ones have maintained their position for a long time. So like this orange one right here in July 2019 or August, it started to show up in the top five. Then it made its way to the top and it’s really stayed there across the top the entire time. What does that tell you? It tells you that Google really likes this page for this term. If we look at the blue one, the blue one came in more on like August 2020. And then it immediately got towards the top and it stayed there since. That lets you know that Google really likes that page as well. Then we have this red one that keeps dropping in and out, in and out, in and out of the search results. Okay. So when there’s all of this volatility, it’s letting you know that Google’s not completely satisfied with the available pages. And if Google’s not satisfied with the available pages, it stands to reason that if you create a really awesome page and bring it to Google’s attention, better than these pages, Google’s suddenly going to say, hey, you know what? Here’s this new kid on the block that showed up. I think we’re going to go with this one. And it’s going to put you into those top five and you’re good to go. Now, if the opposite is true, so you see all of the top five are at the top and they’re locked in across the board and there’s really no volatility. What does that communicate to you? It communicates that Google is really, really satisfied with the results that it’s currently showing for this term, which means it’s going to be very, very difficult to break into the top five. You have to have strong domain authority. You have to create much, much, much better content. And it’s probably going to be a lot longer before you actually get there. So this chart is important in helping you understand how realistic is it for me to get a top five placement and how soon is that going to happen?

All right. Next, I didn’t change the title on this, but this is just the top 10 search results. So the bottom of the HS page for a term, it’s going to give you the top 10 results. This is also going to show you really important stats that go along with these results. Namely, how many referring domains does this particular page have? Not the domain in general, but this particular page. How much traffic is it estimated to be getting every single month? Sometimes you’ll see here the top 10 pages, but the traffic is super sparse. Like, it’ll be 100, 200, 300 on a term that has thousands and thousands of searches every month. That would be a huge red flag. The fact that this second page right here, really the first one, the people also ask is technically position number one. So this one is the practical position number one. It’s getting 8,000 visitors a month. That tells you, hey, this is really, really solid from a traffic standpoint. And then you can also see the distribution. So you can say, hey, look, I don’t need to be like number one. The number six result is getting 3,300 visitors a month. It’s actually getting more than these two, but those are still getting really healthy traffic. I’d even be happy with 800. So I can be anywhere from position one to seven and get really relevant traffic for this keyword. That’s a really, really good sign. So you can see that this column is very important to look at.

It’s also good to see what is the top keyword that these pages are ranking for. Sometimes they’ll be different from the term you are actually targeting or searching for. And this gives you an insight into what you may need to be targeting instead. And then the referring domains, this lets you know, like, okay, if I’m going to break into the top five of the top 10, what do I need in terms of backlinks? And the reason I’m not looking at the backlinks column is because the referring domains column is more important. Google really cares about how many unique domains are pointing to that page, not how many backlinks. If you get a thousand backlinks from the same domain, it doesn’t carry nearly as much weight as a thousand domains unique domains pointing to your page. Okay. So I always look at the domains column. But this is good because you’re seeing, all right, well, it’s against the top. Like I’m going to need a lot of referring domains to my page. But there’s still potential to get into the top 10 because these two results only have three referring domains. I can beat three very easily, which means I can break into the top 10 fairly easily. Breaking into the top three, that’s going to take a while. But breaking into the top 10, I can easily do. So that’s kind of how you look at that domains column to determine viability there. All right. Now, but before metrics, before we really, really dive in and start analyzing metrics, it’s a good idea to just make sure you qualify the keyword as being commercially relevant before you move forward and really, really study the term itself. So again, too, and there’s going to be a lot of overlap in these trainings, and that’s by design. I want you to hear these terms and encounter these principles over and over and over again. So they really sink in. But a keyword is commercially relevant when the intent of the searcher is clearly understood. And when the keyword is likely going to result in meaningful engagement, which means like a conversion of some sort, or the keyword is necessary to target for the purposes of topical authority. So you’re building, like you know that, all right, I’m probably not going to get a lot of leads by ranking for this keyword, but I am going to let Google know that I’m an authority on this topic. And that’s going to help me in general.

All right, so best way to determine commercial relevance is to just Google the term, go to Google and see what you see. And we’ll cover what we’re going to see here, okay? So I went to Google, I typed in Roof Repair. The number one question is do you see ads? If you see ads, you’re on the right track. You’re most likely dealing with a commercially relevant term. If you don’t see ads, that’s a big red flag. It’s not a complete disqualifier, but it’s a big red flag. The next thing is, do you see a map pack? And if you are doing service-based terms, you are very, very likely to see a map pack unless the service you’re searching for is completely like not local, which is very, I would say you’re not going to see that very often, okay? So if you see a map pack, that’s another indicator that number one, this is a commercially relevant term, and it has a local relevance and local intent. So, and this is critical to understand that you might be working with a national company, but the keywords are still all hyper-local. Like Roof Repair, nobody cares to find a national company. They’re looking for a company that services their specific area for Roof Repair. So the map pack is going to show up to let you know that this is a locally relevant term, and so even if it’s a national company, we’re not trying to rank nationally for Roof Repair. We’re going to have to rank for Roof Repair in all of the relevant service areas that this company serves. So keep that in the back of your mind. Next thing is you’re going to look at the top 10 results, and you’re going to see what type of result am I looking at here? So does any specific type of content stand out? Because you’re going to need to mimic this content type. So if you see on Roof Repair, well the first thing is a list of the top 10 Roofers or Roof Repair companies.

The next thing is a service page. That’s a really good sign. When there’s a service page, that’s a really good sign because we’re creating service pages. Next is an article. Okay? So, that’s kind of iffy. Like, all right, well what’s Google trying to show here? Well, Google is not really super satisfied. It’s recognized that this term Roof Repair has a lot of different intents involved with it. We can identify those intents, but there’s multiple intents. When there’s multiple intents, it’s a complex kind of situation. It’s harder to deal with. Okay? But if we keep going down, we see another article here, and then we see another list of Roofing companies, and then we see another article, then we see another Roofing company, an individual Roofing Company service page. So we can actually target this with articles. We can target this with service pages. We can target it. We probably wouldn’t target it with lists. Only in a specific situation, would we do that. We might do it. We might do it. But it probably would not be the first strategy that we would go with. Okay? But you need to know like, what is Google serving up to people? Because you have to create this kind of content. If you don’t match the intent, if you don’t match the content type, you’re just not going to rank. It’s as simple as that. All right. Next thing you’re going to do is look out for traps. Because it’s easy to fall into keyword traps. There’s a lot of different keyword traps, but I’m just going to give you an example of one. And you’ll learn these as you go. A lot of this stuff is experienced based. All right. So it’s not stuff where you can just have a checklist and check all the boxes and you’re good to go. Depending on the keyword, depending on the industry, depending on the type of term you’re targeting, whether you’re doing research for articles versus research for service pages versus research for products, the traps are all different. All right. So I just can give you an example. Keyword, the roofing company comes to you and says, hey, we do drone inspections. We need to have a drone inspections page. We want to rank for drone inspections. Okay. All right. Mr. Client. Let’s check it out. So we type in drone inspection. We see solid volume there. 400 searches a month. Keyword difficulty is only nine.

The keyword is its own parent topic. So all that looks fantastic. But wait, wait, wait, wait. Keep looking at the list. So I’ve I’ve shown some things down here. Drone construction inspection, drone pipeline inspection, power line inspection, drone bridge inspection, home inspection, drone, drone tower inspection. Guys, this is a problem. This is a problem. It’s letting me know that, okay, well, it’s not just roofers that are offering drone inspections. And my client is a roofing company. So they don’t do construction inspection. They don’t do pipeline inspections. They don’t do power line inspections or anything. There’s other stuff. So we cannot go with this term. We have to tell the client, well, we can’t just target drone inspection. We have to make it more specific. Cross industry terms are bad. So just by and large, don’t target terms that are used across various industries. Now, how do you solve this problem? You make the term more specific drone roof inspection. However, we can’t just do that out of the box. Because if we now analyze that term, we run into a huge problem here. A manual serve analysis reveals major issues. Service pages are not ranking for this term. There’s only one service page that ranks for that term, all right? The rest is articles. And then there’s a software company ranking number one. They have drone inspection software. That’s not what we like that’s not what we offer. So the likelihood of creating a drone roof inspection service page and just ranking here in the top 10, especially the top three where it’s articles and software, it’s slim to none. Like it’s not worth it. If the client really wants to do it, because maybe in the future, this is all going to change. If we want to be there when it does change because drone roof inspections are going to get more popular.

And Google is going to realize that people searching for drone roof inspections want a drone roof inspection service. Then we can create the page. But in terms of our site map, in terms of our prioritization, this is not a page we’re going to create anytime soon. We’re going to do our other higher level money pages first. Then we’ll get to this later. All right. And the reason being it all goes back to intent. So you have to mask the intent of the searcher and the types of results that Google currently displays. Here’s another trap. Always think when you’re looking at terms, who typed this in? Because you see this term right here, roof inspection checklist. And you might think to yourself, I’m going to create a checklist. I’m going to get easy leads. Look, there’s no competition. There’s decent volume. And it’s people looking for a literal downloadable, which means I can collect their name and their email in exchange for the download. And I’ll get lead after lead after lead after lead. But think who typed this in? Like what a person who knows nothing about like their roof and getting a roof inspection and a roof replacement or roof repair go type in roof inspection checklist or roof inspection report template. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense. If you think about it, most of these terms are probably used by roofers and contractors. Looking for, hey, I want to see what, you know, maybe I’m starting out, maybe I’m a new commercial roofing industry. Right. I’m a roofer trying to make my name for myself. I want to checklist to standardize my process and make sure I’m checking all the right things. Right.

So I want to see what these checklists are saying. I want to see what other types of reports, roofing companies are providing to their client. So I type in roof inspection report template. And I want to see what what people have to offer. This is not a roofing company’s clients searching for these terms. So it will be a trap to target them. We want to make sure that we identify these traps and we avoid them. This is going to be a waste of time. All right. So now let’s look at relationships. We’ve determined that roof repair is a viable term. It’s got viable volume. It’s commercially relevant. It’s locally relevant. It’s a checks all of the boxes. Now we need to get an understanding for how the term roof repair is related to other terms in this industry. If you see this little segment of a site map here, we’ll typically have a category term or a very broad term. Then we’ll have a specific service term. This will be like the head term. The most general version of that service. And then we’ll have subservice terms under that. And then those could even have subservices. All right. But to look at this, you know, more specifically, let’s let’s take a look. So the subservice, remember roof repair is the head term. That’s the service term, the broad version of the service. If we want to see long tail variations in HREFs, we can click on matching terms over on the left. Now, if you haven’t heard the word long tail, long tail is just more specific terms. Okay. And the reason we’re trying to identify these is because these long tail variations often need their own pages in order for you to rank for them. And HREFs, thankfully, that’s why you’re using really good software, just feeds these terms to you. So you click matching terms. You’re going to get an entire list. You’re going to get hundreds or thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of long tail variations. And this is where you really have to do some sorting and prioritization and analysis of the terms to see what’s getting kicked back to you.

But this is how long tail terms will end up relating to the head term. So you have your category term. You have roof repair, which is your general service term. And then under that, you have roof leak repair, flat roof repair, metal roof repair, commercial roof repair, emergency roof repair, asphalt roof repair, slate roof repair, and then it goes on and on and on and on and on and on. Now, a lot of you are wondering, Kevin, how do you go from selling a $2,500 website to a $25,000 website? Well, this is one of the ways right here that typically, you know, if you’re just brainstorming and your clients like, well, we need a page for roof repair, roof replacement, and roof inspections, three pages. How much does that cost? Right? Well, you say, well, hold on, hold on, hold on. Like, what is your goal, right? Mr. Client, are you trying to dominate this industry? Do you really want to pull in tons of organic traffic? Do you want to get leads day after day after day like an automatic lead machine online 24 seven? Is that what you want your website to do? Because if that’s what you want your website to do, we actually have to create all these pages right here. And boom, you give them, you’ve done your discovery, you hand on the site map, and suddenly you’ve gone from, I need three pages to I need 50 pages. Okay? Do you know what that does to the cost of the website? Greatly enhances it. Now, of course, not every client is going to have the budget to say, yeah, let’s do all 50, right? Number one, you’re going to have to sell them on this.

But number two, this is where you sell them on a retainer on continued work and development and say, look, I wouldn’t even recommend creating all these at the same time. We’re going to have to do this over the next 12 months. All right? And that’s, this is what it’s going to look like, a monthly cost for the next 12 months to get to where we want to go. Then you’ll have a site that is as robust as it needs to be to dominate the search results, bring in the organic traffic, bring in the consistent stream of leads, and then you’re going to be set. You’re going to be in a really, really great position. You’re going to have a lot more brand awareness. You’re going to have a lot more market dominance. You’re going to be much more respected in the industry. So that’s kind of the conversation you have. It all comes from this keyword research. It all comes from discovery and site mapping where you can take a client from, I need three pages to know you need 50 pages. And here’s what that’s going to cost. And then here’s how we’re going to game plan that. Okay? So for those of you asking, how do you get to these higher ticket sites? This is one of the ways. All right? You turn a standard ticket site into a high ticket site by doing proper discovery and putting a proper game plan together, educating the client, selling the client on getting this done. Okay? That’s how it works. So one thing you’re going to want to watch out for in this process is non-parent keywords.

And remember, we talked about how this parent term kind of thing in HRF is confusing. A keyword that is not identified as a parent keyword, and that’s a loose definition, typically doesn’t require its own page. Only parent terms need their own pages in the site map. So if you come across this term, RoofShingles Repair. The question is, do we need to create a page for RoofShingle Repair? And actually the answer is no. We don’t, because we’re already creating a page for asphalt Roof Repair. And asphalt Roof Repair is the parent of RoofShingle Repair. So what that means is I can rank for RoofShingle Repair with my asphalt Roof Repair page. That’s a super important thing to understand. You want to always know that, because you do in a way I want to limit the amount of pages that you’re creating. You don’t want to abuse your client’s budget, even though we’re expanding our clients overall investment by showing them all these long tail variations. We don’t want to abuse that. We still want to maximize the ROI that our client is getting. And in order to do that, we don’t waste their money on pages we don’t need to be creating. So identify these, like, or what I should say is what the title is, watch out for non-parent keywords. So don’t just look at this left side of the list and add all these things to the site map and say, oh, we’re going to create all these pages. If it is, if it has a parent that you’re already creating, don’t target it with its own page. Target it with the parent.

And yes, parent is confusing. So in H.S. parent does not mean that there’s nothing above it. It can still be a child page. If a term has a different term in the parent column, that parent is just the primary associated keyword. So you can look here, asphalt Roof Repair, right there is listed as the parent. Asphalt Roof Repair is also a child of Roof Repair. And but Roof Repair is the real parent. Asphalt Roof Repair is a child. Roof Shingle Repair is a child of asphalt Roof Repair. And it’s not such an important child or such a different child that we can’t rank for it with this page. The asphalt Roof Repair page can also rank for Roof Shingle Repair according to H.S. The software is telling us that that is possible. If this right here, because we’re going to get to this, is the target and parent the same? Roof Leak Repair, Roof Leak Repair. If it’s the same, then you can target it with confidence with its own unique page. So if we go back a slide, if this said Roof Shingles Repair, and on the right hand side, it said Roof Shingles Repair. Roof Shingles Repair is getting its own page, but it doesn’t say that. It says that Roof Shingles Repair can be ranked for with the asphalt Roof Repair page. That’s really what this parent relationship kind of field is determining for you. Does this thing need its own page or not need its own page? That’s the question that this is answering. That’s as best as I can explain it. All right. So now what you’re going to want to do is identify real parents of your head term. So what is the parent of Roof Repair and other related head terms like roof inspection and roof replacement? Well, in the roofing industry, it’s just roofing services. Now that’s not true for every industry. In other industries, especially with products, so if you’re doing e-commerce, the category level term may not be so obvious.

And in fact, there may be many competing terms and you’re going to have to figure out which competing term do I go with or do I have to even create multiple categories. So thankfully, in the roofing industry, these sample were using. It’s very obvious. It’s just roofing services. But if that’s not the case, more analysis is going to be needed. So at the end of the day, if you’re analyzing all these terms, you’re trying to figure out how they relate to each other. The hierarchy that’s developing in your mind are really in your notes and in your site map that you’re building. Because when you watch my tutorial on keyword research and site mapping, what you’re going to see is that I actually site map while I’m doing keyword research. Okay? And I’m moving things around as I learn more about the relationships. But I’m doing it at the same time. I’m not creating like this giant spreadsheet and then going into site mapping mode. I’m building the site map as I do the keyword research. All right? And all you’re trying to figure out is does this make logical sense? Like that’s one of the questions that you should be asking yourself over and over throughout the research process, throughout the site mapping process. Is this making logical sense? If the data is telling you, hey, this belongs here, but that doesn’t feel logical based on what you know about the industry and based on what your client has told you and based on some other signals that you’re seeing, that don’t put it there. Don’t just rely on the software. Sometimes the software is wrong. So you should always be asking, does this make logical sense? If it does make logical sense, then go with it. If it doesn’t make logical sense, reevaluate it.

Next question I always get is how do I handle all these near me terms? So if you’re dealing with local clients, local services, things like that, this near me stuff is going to come up over and over and over again. Don’t get confused by near me terms. Near me terms simply indicate strong local search potential. There’s no special way to optimize for near me terms. Don’t litter near me all over your pages. That’s not how this works. You optimize for these terms the exact same way you optimize for any other term, but the near me variation does confirm local commercial viability. So for example, if you’re unsure whether a head term like roof repair has local commercial viability, sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. If it’s not obvious, then just check to see if it has a near me variation with solid volume. Another way that I’ll use this near me variation is I’ll use it in my keyword matching. So I’ll say show me this term, this like really broad thing, like roofing and I’ll type roofing near and then I’ll say match those terms to the phrase. And it’ll say roofing company near me, roofing services near me, roofer near me, it’ll give me all the near me variations so that I can get a really quick understanding and feel for what people are searching for locally. Because when they attach the term near me, they want to find a company, they want to find a service for this thing. So I can easily figure out, what is a broad level like, I’m just doing informational type stuff keywords and then what’s an actually commercially viable service based keyword locally. The near me identifier helps you figure that out.

And when we get into the keyword research and you watch it happen in real time, this stuff will make so much more sense to you. But it’s important to talk about this so you at least have a basic understanding in your mind before we actually start seeing it live. Otherwise, seeing it live, you’ll just be confused like, why is he doing that? Why is he doing this? So it’s going to be a lot easier now. How do I handle article searches? That’s really, really important. So if you come across keywords which are obviously article based and you’re doing keyword research primarily for like service pages and getting leads and sales and that kind of thing, you don’t just throw them away. You build them a separate list basically for all of your article content. And on my site maps, you’ll see I add the entire left side of my site map is dedicated to content in article based terms. And this is the pro tip. Creating a robust content and article side of the site map is how you’ll sell the client on a content marketing retainer. So see how all of our long tail variations help us go from three pages to 50 pages. Well, now we’re going to have, we’re going to be able to show the client and say, by the way, you know, in your industry, there is massive amounts of people searching for all of these informational based article based keywords. And if you publish articles that align with all of these keywords, you can actually rank, you can pull in a lot of traffic. You can actually siphon leads from that traffic. It also teaches Google that you’re an expert on this topic and in this industry. It makes your website more robust. It helps with internal linking. So publishing articles is actually going to help us rank on the service side. Do you want to hear more about a content marketing retainer and how we can actually write these articles for you will publish two articles a month or four articles a month, whatever you’re more comfortable with. And we’ll actually build out that side of your site so that your domain in general is much more powerful. Plus all these articles when they’re written really well, they attract a lot of backlinks naturally, especially when we start ranking. I tell clients, the rich get richer. When you’re ranking number one for an article, it’s going to naturally pull in tons of backlinks because people doing research on this topic, find your article because it’s ranking number one and they link to it. And it just feeds you a constant stream of backlinks as well as visitors as well as general domain, a topical authority. So it’s very important for your clients to have articles. So you teach them all of this and you end up selling them on a content marketing retainer. So now we have a long term retainer related to adding more service pages.

We’re tacking on a content marketing retainer. We already know that we have the ability to sell them PPC services with all the PPC keywords that we’ve identified. You start to see how this really builds up going from, hey, I did a $2,500 one and done website for this client to, hey, we’re in a contract for $80,000 now over the course of a year, right? It’s not $80,000 all at once. But over the course of the year, this client might spend $50,000, $80,000, $30,000, whatever. It’s better than the $2,500 that you were going to sell them one and done, kick them to the curb. Their website doesn’t ever do anything for them because it has five total pages on it, right? Like you see, you see what we’re trying to do here for the client, not just for ourselves, for the client. This is all about results for the client. So article-based searches left hand side of the site map, you want to build all of that out. Okay, so now you’re ready. Let me switch back to camera here. The next training that we will do will be live keyword research and site mapping. You’ll see exactly how I do the full process from start to finish live, like unedited. You’ll see the mistakes. You’ll see me having to move stuff around, figure out a logical flow to it all, put in the data, analyze the keywords, go back and forth between Google, so I can do the manual analysis as well. You’ll see tricks of the trade, how I use the filters, how I use all the various tools inside of A-Traffs, but this understanding of just what are keywords, how do they work, how do they relate to each other, what all the little data points mean, all of that was super important to cover before we actually see it happen live. If you have any questions, let me know.