They also seem to be getting this wrong often enough that I've got less confidence that the keywords that make up these groups really belong there. I recently tried to check the volume for the keyword [active monitoring] (the practice of checking on a network by injecting test traffic and seeing how it's handled, as opposed to passive monitoring) and the Keyword Planner gave me the volume for [activity monitor] (aka Fitbit).


I like to start with Google first, because Google looks at more of the words within our blog post and tends to keep content evergreen longer. This method is so simple and I learned it from Lena over at WhatMommyDoes.com. Simply go to Google and start typing in a couple words related to your blog post. It will give you suggestions of what people are searching for – hello, keywords!

You likely have a few keywords in mind that you would like to rank for. These will be things like your products, services, or other topics your website addresses, and they are great seed keywords for your research, so start there! You can enter those keywords into a keyword research tool to discover average monthly search volume and similar keywords. We’ll get into search volume in greater depth in the next section, but during the discovery phase, it can help you determine which variations of your keywords are most popular amongst searchers.
However, this does not mean you cannot topple them. It just takes more of an effort in terms of content as your page has to build the trust. That is why you will see the "Google dance" happening for fresh content from a site that is not yet trusted or is not very authoritative. Google gives your page a chance and measures user click-throughs when it pushes you to certain spots in the SERPs and then measures user engagement levels when the traffic hit your site through those positions in the SERPs.
Its important that you setup your social channels and interlink them and then engage with your users on social with the right content and drive traffic to your site through these channels. Racking up fake signals and fake followers who do not engage or visit your site through the channels, is easily detected by Google as false and it does not help your rankings. 

We’ve discussed the mechanics of search and the importance of link popularity. We’ve explained that that a page is more likely to rank if it is part of an authoritative website and that a website is authoritative if it has many links to it from many other websites. Now it’s time to actually estimate authority of the websites that rank and therefore estimate the competition for a given phrase.
I use Ahrefs to find ideas for keywords to add into content, and content to create around keyword opportunities. I like how Ahrefs shows keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic potential (how much organic search traffic it’s possible to get when you rank #1 for a parent topic keyword) and lets you group keywords together to create lists. It’s really useful.
Once you’re done getting the trust, you’ll want to ensure that your content resonates with your audience and other bloggers. As we know, every of our content on the web is meant for the end user. That said, a good website is bound to see more traffic, better links, higher retention rate, more shares and smaller bounce rates. The bottom line; off-page analysis gives you a better picture of the impression your site leaves on users.
Checking if your site is indexed properly is essential. You can do this inside Search Console. You need to make sure that all your pages are crawled and indexed and that you don't have any 404 errors or other page indexing issues - which includes the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) indexing issues - should you already have submitted your AMP powered site for the mobile index.
This is something I’ll admit that I’ve done in the past – just assumed that ‘these are the keywords consumers must be using’, but keyword research tools have shown a plethora of terms that I certainly wouldn’t have managed to come up with, and I agree that as the language of products evolve, we should do regular checks to ensure we’re keeping up with that evolution.
It’s important to note that entire websites don’t rank for keywords — pages do. With big brands, we often see the homepage ranking for many keywords, but for most websites this isn’t usually the case. Many websites receive more organic traffic to pages other than the homepage, which is why it’s so important to diversify your website’s pages by optimizing each for uniquely valuable keywords.

Negative SEO is basically when someone sends a ton of spammy, low quality backlinks to your site. The goal is to get Google to think your site is low quality because of all the crappy sites linking to you, and eventually devalue your site. There are actual companies that get paid to do negative SEO on behalf of their clients. It sucks, but it's reality.
Note - at this point Google already has baseline metrics from other search results. So, if your site beats them by a factor of say 3x then Google thinks - hey.. this page looks to be way better - so why not stick its rankings in the long term and why not even bounce it up higher and see what happens and measure again how users engage with the site?
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration. 

NAP acronym sands for Name Address Phone. You need to ensure that your are consistent in the way you list your Name, Address an Phone data on your site and on other citation and directory sites. Discrepancies in the way you are listed across various properties including your own site and on Google+Local, Google Maps, Yelp, and all the other directory and citation sites - can result in the Google Local engine to not give you ranking points for the local seo citations.
I use Ahrefs to find ideas for keywords to add into content, and content to create around keyword opportunities. I like how Ahrefs shows keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic potential (how much organic search traffic it’s possible to get when you rank #1 for a parent topic keyword) and lets you group keywords together to create lists. It’s really useful.

Moz Keyword Explorer - Input a keyword in Keyword Explorer and get information like monthly search volume and SERP features (like local packs or featured snippets) that are ranking for that term. The tool extracts accurate search volume data by using live clickstream data. To learn more about how we're producing our keyword data, check out Announcing Keyword Explorer.
Jaaxy analyzes two metric variants to determine the SEO quality of your chosen keyword. The first one is traffic, while the second one is competition. It will then give you a score from 1 – 100. When the number is high, it means that other sites you are competing with have poorly optimized their websites, and you’ll get an acceptable number of visitors. Anything over 80 is really good.

To qualify to appear in the snack pack or the resulting local search pages, your business needs to be verified by the Google My Business service, which involves registering, getting a physical post card from Google with a code, validating the code and setting up perfect NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data across your site, Google Maps, and other citation services and directory listings.
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