These tutorials include tools that I, Lori Ballen, use in my every day lead generation strategies. It’s important that you realize it’s not the tools that are necessary for you to use, it’s the concepts that you need to learn. If you have the budget to afford these tools, then by all means, dive in. The tools make our research and implementation easier and faster.
When I first started doing this, I was broke. I couldn’t afford the tools. I had to use every work around I can find. Don’t let yourself get hung up on the lesson plans because of a particular tool. Watch and read. Learn the concepts. Implement however you need to. Sometimes, you just need to “GO” and not worry about all the steps.
Also, although this tutorial does focus on WordPress specifically, the concepts can be used on any blog post, the shortcodes and extras may not function or may function differently. If you need a WordPress real estate agent website, we can help. We also have a lesson plan on building your own. [lesson]
🔍 Part 1 – Researching a Topic
** In this video, we use SEMrush to research keywords. You can also use Google Keyword Planner [Lesson] which is free when you have a Google AdWords account active.
Why write Hyperlocal?
The topic in this video is a Hyperlocal blog post [Lesson]. There are some service niches (such as real estate) that benefit by being Local Experts. While the person searching on a search engine may not be looking for real estate, when they find your blog post and visit your website, it does several things.
- Creates traffic on the website from a searched term (query) which is a positive signal to Google. Fresh content and higher traffic lead to more frequent Google crawls adding to the potential of pages on your website being indexed and ranked.
- Google ranks entities. It learns brands and products as well as brands and services. The more Google learns that your brand is about (City) + (Service/Product), the more likely you are to appear on the search engines when someone uses the location in their query or is IN that location.
- When a person has signed into Google, which many do not even realize (such as when they use the Chrome browser, or log in using Google, or into their Youtube account, or Gmail and so forth), there is a relationship history formed with Google between the website visitor and the website itself. When the visitor clicks around, engages with the website (comments, shares, views photos, watches a video, clicks link, views more pages), Google decides if your website was valuable for that query and to this specific web visitor. This algorithm then allows for future queries from that visitor to show relative pages on your website more frequently, having deemed your pages valuable to that visitor. The more this visitor engages with your website, the more likely they are to see your brand, remember your brand, and see a page higher in the rankings at the point they DO decide to buy, sell, or refer real estate.
If you are making offers on your website [Lesson], you can build a local list of contacts to further work on building a relationship with, like geographic farming.
The Research: Step 1
Type your topic in to the search bar on SEMrush. If you are doing a hyperlocal blog post as used as an example in the video, you will type in your area (city, county, neighborhood etc.).
In the next slide, we will see more data which we will use to determine how valuable that topic may be for us to write about.
Search Volume:This will show us how many times that keyword is being searched every month as it is listed exactly here in the column. SEMrush allows us to search by desktop OR by mobile so you can compare the two. It’s not always the highest search volume numbers that should be targeted, especially when coupled with a high keyword difficulty or high competition. In this example, we are targeting high volume. (On a sidenote, experience shows low competition keywords in about the 200 or less search volume range tend to have the lowest barrier of entry and bring faster results). For a new website, it may be better to start lower and work your way up as you gain search engine visibility. If your website already ranks well and has high search visibility, and you can create great content like this, then go for higher search volume.
Pay per Click Value (CPC)
This one can be a bit tricky if you don’t know how to interpret it. The cost per click is an average of what that keyword has been “auctioning” off for on Google AdWords. Keep in mind this is back data, and today it change based on the advertiser competition. When you earn in search engine rankings and then traffic organically (unpaid), you receive a traffic “value” for your website traffic coming from that set of measured keywords. It’s the value of what you earned compared to what you would have had to spend on ads during that current time frame. It’s a good gauge to see how well your website is doing. In this report, we are looking for how much it would cost to bid on that keyword which could indicate the value of that keyword. Keep in mind though that a few advertisers could just get incredibly competitive and push that bid way up. This is why we also look at the competition column.
The amount of advertisers in the space bidding on that keyword. Note that in this column 1 is the HIGHEST level of competition. The higher the competition, the harder it is to enter the space on Google AdWords. This does not always mean the same for organic earned in, so now we look at the KD (Keyword Difficulty).
Keyword Difficulty (KD)
This column shows organically, based on the SEMrush algorithm, how hard would it be to rank for that exact phrase. This score is 0-100% with 100 being the highest.
To access this keyword report, click on View Report under the organic ranking keywords.
Once you have the full report, you’ll be able to view the columns.
Head Terms vs. Long Tail Keywords
Your “head terms” are going to be the more popular phrase such as [Las Vegas]. These are usually 1 or 2 words long. Your long tail [Lesson] drill down further into the topic and are phrases of 3+ keywords more like [Las Vegas homes with a pool] or [Las Vegas highest temperature in Summer]. You’ll notice the higher search volume keywords are generally more overview of the topic and as the volume decreases, you’ll find more niche focused keywords and longer tails.
In this example, we type in the phrase “Cosmopolitan Las Vegas”. While Cosmpolitan Las Vegas could be considered a longtail keyword on it’s own, as we move further down the report, we see longer tails such as “Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Pool” and “Cosmpolitan Las Vegas Jobs” and “Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Parking Fee”.
Many of the longer tail keywords, you don’t see the data for in tools like Semrush or Google Keyword Planner because they are unique and don’t have enough search volume to track. Google tells us that over 15% of all searches are unique, having never been typed into the search engine that way before.
For our blog, we will be focused on ranking the term “Cosmopolitan Las Vegas” while still strategically using the longtail phrases as paragraph topics. You’ll see this in part two.
💻 Part 2 – The Content Research
After you enter your keyword, you can select a Location you want to measure against (local is best if you are a local business), language, and then desktop or mobile.
Results are then generated and you can export to a .doc file as well.
Click to Create SEO Template
Semantically Related Keywords
The first block allows us to look at the top 10 rivals taking the 1-10 positions on the SERP. If you click on the small blue box with the error, the webpage itself will open in a new tab/window. You can then review the competition directly. You’ll be able to see if they have photos, and videos, and any other rich media.
The next section shows semantically related keywords. Basically, what keywords do these 10 pages share? It’s a good idea to make sure your content includes that as well.
The tool gives you a suggestion as to what backlinks you may want to acquire. Backlinks are earned when another website links to your website (generally through an article, photo, graph etc).
It’s best to keep your URL short and with words only rather than other punctuation and symbols. Dashes – are more appropriate than underscores _ if you are going to use them.
This is the total number of words on the page on average for the top 10 rivals. This means, that if you want to outrank any of those 10 positions for your webpage (blog post), you’ll need to be on par or even better than that count. On WordPress, as you are creating a blog post, you can look down to the bottom left generally and see Word count: #.
It’s important to know that word count isn’t important as a calucated number as much as it is for what the word count does to the content and for the reader. Imagine how in depth an article would be on a topic that is only 500 words long. You aren’t going to cover much. Yet when you truly deep dive into a subject matter, which is what Google expects these days, you’ll naturally be touching on many ideas around that topic. You’ll naturally be using head terms and longtail keywords as you talk about it. You’ll naturally use semantically related keywords naturally because you are covering that topic so in depth.
Does the reader really want to read 2000 + words on a page? Maybe, Maybe not. Yet when you write good, compelling, content, they are encouraged to do so. And, when you include a table of contents (as shown later in this blog tutorial), it allows the reader to go to just where they need. Chances are, they will bookmark the page to come back to later.
In part 3, I’ll show you how to get ideas for what to write about when you are creating this kind of longform content and we will stay working within this same tool for now.
People also ask: What keywords does my website rank for?
📝 Part 3 – Topic Layout and Ghost Writers
In this portion, we are actually going to layout what we want our blog to contain based on the longtail keywords we will pull from SEMrush. These keywords will be used a paragraph headings (h2 tags). While our goal is to rank for “Cosmopolitan Las Vegas”, these individual paragraph headings as longtail keywords have a stronger chance of ranking faster before the main keyword. This is because there will be less competition organically in the longtail. These longtail keywords will then generate traffic to the blog raising the visibility with Google and boosting our chances of ranking on page one for the main keyword.
This is the part where people begin to panic. Thinking about writing 2000+ words, which is what we decided to do here based on the fact that our top 10 rivals are averaging around the 1800 word count, is overwhelming. I’m a writer, and I get overwhelmed thinking about 2000 + words. Yet when I break it down into “chunks”, I can imagine the possibility of it’s completion.
If you don’t want to write your own own content, consider hiring recurring SEO content from Ballen Brands or you can try Crowd Content as shown in the example video. When you choose Ballen Brands to create your content, you get the completed product including research, layout, optimization, table of contents [Lesson] etc. as shown in the video. With Crowd Content, you are buying the text. You can also look into your own blog writers. There are many choices.
When you do the math, 2000 words could break down into many small paragraphs. You could choose 10 Two hundred word Paragraphs, or 20 One hundred word Paragraphs, or 4 Five hundred word sections. If you have a tool like Semrush, the math shows up naturally based on the longtails. (Remember, you can also use Google Keyword Planner inside a Google AdWords account [Lesson] for this which is free).
Notice below, there are many longtail phrases we can choose for our Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Blog post. Since we are writing all about this hotel, these longtail keywords make perfect paragraph headings. In this example, it was easy to find more than 20 making each paragraph 75-150 words long.
🖥 Part 4 – Optimizing the Content
This is a “meaty” section. In part 4, we are going to optimize our blog post by adding images, video, internal links, a table of contents, and shortcodes.
If you have used a ghost writer for your content, you can check for spelling errors and plagarism with .
Step 1: Add your Content to a new blog post. [Lesson]
Your blog post is technically a web page. Whether you select post or page, they are both technically web pages. Pages, however, are set up in a parent page, child page hierarchy where posts are added to categories and use tags (like keywords) to help a visitor find topics on your blog website.
Here’s an idea for how a blog would be structured.
Top Level: Category
Categories are going to be your main blog sections where you will have multiple blog posts covering that subject. For example: In real estate, Buying a house could be a category with many blog posts. Selling a house could be a category with many blog posts. Real Estate Investing could be a category with many blog posts.
A Category can rank on the search engines as a page that is a directory of the posts in that category. Don’t set up categories for what you believe every keyword is that applies. Your categories are the top level of a table of contents of your blog site.
Categories can be created at any time.
Next Level: Post
Your post is your article. It’s about a single idea. Your post will go under a category. Your post can rank on the search engines as a webpage. Be careful about moving posts to another category. Depending on how your permalinks are set up [Lesson], your category may be part of your URL for that page. Changing categories could break the link. Using a plugin like Yoast can catch this creating an automatic redirect from the old link to the new link without you having to think about it.
Bottom Level: Tag
Tags are used to better identify articles that can be searched while still in a single category. For example, if you write a post on ‘How to sell a home during a divorce’, you would put it in the “selling a house” category you created. This blog post might cover topics you write about more than once such as: pricing strategies, escrow, inspections and so forth. Rather than creating a category of each of these items, you can add tags to the blog post itself. A tag can also rank on the search engine resulting in a page that is a directory of all articles containing that tag. This is not a field for spamming the search engines with keywords. Ask yourself if a visitor would specifically research that phrase outside of a category you already have. Will you have more than one blog post ever containing that tag? Would this tag help this article appear on your website and be relevant to the searcher’s intent? If yes, then you would want to add a tag.
Step 2: Make sure your paragraph headings are all in H2 Tags [Lesson]
Get emoji’s from www.getemoji.com if you want to have emoji’s appear next to your paragraph headings, in your table of contents, and in your earned in sitelinks [Lesson].
Step 3: Create your Table of Contents [Lesson]
If you use a plugin such as Table of Contents Plus, this is auto generated from your Htags (whatever you set up). You can do this manually by using anchor tags. [Lesson]
Step 4: Create a Title for your Blog Post
Step 5: Create your URL
You’ll be creating a slug. These are the words that come after the slash and should contain your main keyword.
Step 6: Add in copyright free images.
In this example, shutterstock is shown. If you have your own real images, that’s fantastic. Be sure to add in the alt attribute (also called an alt tag) listed as alternate text in WordPress. This is a description of the image for the blind. Don’t include the keyword unless it’s natural to do so. It’s a plus if it’s natural, a take away if it’s not as Google will see it as spammy. The Image Title is used if you place a link on that image. The title then tells the visitor where they are going if they click the image.
Step 7: Include internal links to related articles. [Lesson]
Step 8: Add in a Video
Step 9: Embed a Map if applicable
Step 10: Add in paragraph dividers.
⚙ Part 5 – Yoast, Schema, and Meta
In part 5, we embed Yelp reviews by finding the review we want, clicking embed and adding to the text section of our page (html). You can change the width of the review by editing the iframe. (2 Minutes in to video).
Embed a Video
You can use a video on Youtube that is not yours as long as they have the embed option on. You can find this at around the 8 minute 30 second mark.
Embed a Facebook Post
Find a business page. Choose a post. In the upper right hand column, find the embed option. You can change the size of it in the iframe as well. 12:49 second mark for instruction.
Create your Offer
In this case, we use an IDX widget to showcase homes for sale near the Cosmopolitan.
Optimize with Yoast
If you are using Yoast, you can optimize the title, URL, and metadescription to improve your snippet on the search engines.
Here’s more on optimizing your snippet for Google.
Markup the post with Schema
Schema.org is a language used by website developers to mark up structured data for the search engines. [Lesson]
SERP = Search Engine Results Page. The page shown after someone types in a keyword into the search bar. It shows the results that the visitor may want to click on and visit
QUERY – The keyword or set of keywords someone types into a search bar
LONGTAIL – 3 or more keywords used together to create a more specific search
SNIPPET – The short description Google shows of a web page on the Search Engine Results Page. It includes the title, the URL, and the 2 line metadescription.
FEATURED RICH SNIPPET – The coveted zero position on a search engine results page. The earned in (not paid) top position generally showing some sort of structured data such steps in a process, bullet pointed lists, pricing tables (row/column), or an answer to a question (similar to knowledge graph).
SCHEMA – Schema.org is a language used by website developers who “code” or markup a website to indicated to Google that the page has structured data elements
URL – Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the address of a web page.