In May we noticed a huge jump from 90th to 10th for the keyword “Annual Report Designers”. These kinds of jumps can happen randomly, but often times it happens because of planning. And in this case, it was planning, planning that we are going to share with you so you can do it too.

The strategy we are about to share does not include backlinks. Why? Because when you’re doing a low keyword volume strategy, content > backlinks (yes, I said it, sue me!).

Determining keyword

The first thing that we had to do was determine the keyword we were going to use. We initially reviewed our ‘print’ service page and the keywords it was ranking for. From here we were able to build out surrounding keywords and research for good keywords that were currently missing quality content.

After pulling together a list of keywords, we checked the intent and current rankings to see what Google thought the keyword was really about and, finally, we chose the keyword “annual report designers”. We determined this keyword as it was missing quality content, had a low search volume (so could be easy to rank), had the right intent match and was in the right topic cluster we wanted to target.

Content strategy

We then built a guide around the topic, and we don’t mean a 1000-word not very effective guide. We built a guide that people want to show others, the kind of guide that really will help you produce great annual reports either for your client or for yourself.

When trying to rank on the first page and stay there, it is crucial to have a unique, quality piece of content that you are putting on the first page or after a while, Google will figure out it’s useless and off you go back to the 8th page never to be seen again.

After we built this guide, we then built out a content strategy based on keywords within the same topic cluster. This allowed us to start building relevance around the topic and grow into an authority on annual report designs. These blog posts were not as in-depth as the main guide but still provided unique content that could also rank for its own keyword. The point here is don’t make one quality good and then a bunch of low-quality content to support it or you will fail.

Internal linking

Internal linking is becoming an ever more crucial weapon to have in your arsenal. Internal linking can build relevance, improve UX, and (because of anchor text) tell Google what you are talking about/ want to rank for. And the best bit? Compared to backlinks, you have way more control!

We planned the anchor text and the internal link structure for our main guide and its support content. We have supporting content linking to more supporting content which links to the guide. We also linked the guide to our print design service page as it has been indexed a lot longer than our new guide.

Now it’s difficult to build an effective internal linking strategy. In fact, these things can take such a long time you might end up just creating crappy internal links, so your page is at least linking to something (which is never good). We aren’t going to pass on to you our secret source for internal linking, but we want to introduce you to a WordPress add-on that can massively cut down your time to understanding your current internal link structure and building new and better internal links.

This plugin is called LinkWhipser. Currently, there is a free version and a paid version. Whilst the paid version is great by offering internal link suggestions, anchor text, building links for you etc… the free version does a great job, it shows you what has inbound and outbound internal links and if you go into one of your pages you are able to get link suggestions for that page.

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