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How to write blog content that will rank in search engines

When we release new features to our Insights tool set I feel like a kid at Christmas.  I get so excited to dive into the data and functionality that I generally lose track of the rest of my day.  Today we released a long awaited update including Key Word Difficulty (KWD) scores to each of the phrases we track for our clients.  You can only imagine our excitement to have 1,000s of search phrases with new KWD to sift through.

So what does KWD have to do with writing blog content that ranks?

Search engines and website visitors eat up great blog content.  There is a reason why the sites that consistently publish content consistently outrank sites that don’t.  And that reason plain and simple is targeted content.  And targeted content is content that:

1. Users want to read

2. Search engines can find and index

Number 1 takes good writing and a passion for your topic.  Number 2 requires a little bit of Search Engine Optimization and good data.  Good data can be broken down into:

1.  The opportunity : What phrases do people use when searching for this topic?  And is there enough search volume for these phrases to warrant new content?

2.  The competition : If I write this article targeting this phrase, do I have any chance of ranking?

Finding the opportunity is as easy as looking at Google AdWords search volumes.  You can see monthly search volumes from AdWords in the screenshot from our Insights tool below.

Defining the competition was a little more difficult until earlier today when we released our KWD update!

In the image above you can see our KWD (Keyword Difficulty) score for the phrase “Health Marketing”.

For our purposes KWD is based on these metrics which we will collect from the top 10 results in the Google search results page (SERP)

## Domains in SERPS ##
Listings leading only to a domain with no URI part (i.e. listings for would be counted but listings for would not count)

## Exact Match Domains in SERP ##
Number of domains in the search results that exactly match the search phrase (ignoring any stop words)

## Page Authority of SERP ##
Sum the PA of each listing on the SERP

## Exact Match Titles in SERP ##
Count of page titles in SERP that match the search phrase (ignoring any stop words)

Using those values we blend the numbers together with some coefficients and exponents and out comes the subjective difficulty in ranking for that particular phrase on a logarithmic scale of 1-100.  Meaning increase in difficulty between 1 and 10 is a lot less than the difference between 90 and 100.

Why this is important to you?

KWD will help you to find gems while doing keyword research.  Gems is a term we use to define phrases that are very targeted to your products or services with decent volume but low competition.  Generally gems represent phrases you can rank for almost immediately if you publish quality content.  We love to find gems and KWD will help us and our clients do that more effectively.

Two blogs can each publish five new articles to their site each month.  One blog has data on what to publish and systems to track results and the other publishes only what comes to mind at the moment.  With all else being equal, the former site will outperform the later in every instance.  And that is why we are excited to launch KWD data.

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro and also on Google Plus

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