Geoff Kenyon's Posts

How to Use SEMrush for Competitive Keyword Research

It is not possible to understate the importance of keyword research.

If you’re not writing about yourself and your products in the same way that your customers are talking about their problems, you won’t be found in the search results.

A lot of great posts have been written about keyword research; if you’re not familiar with the process, here are a few starting points:

Keyword Research from DistilledU
Keyword Research from SEO Nick
Keyword Research from Moz

This post will focus on understanding what keywords are performing well for your competitors with data from SEMrush rather than using tools like Keyword Tool and the AdWords tool.

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WordPress Category Pages

I’m not a huge fan of most WordPress category pages. They tend to be duplicate content or thin/template content. On top of that, a lot of people use them really badly (such as bloggers who make up new categories every time they write a post). The result of this is typically a lot of really thin pages on your site. If it gets too out of hand, you can end up playing with this guy:

WordPress Category Pages & Panda

Typically, my suggestion is to noindex these pages so you don’t have low quality pages creating problems for you.

This can be a wasted opportunity though. Category pages could be great landing pages if:

  • You use consistent categorization for your posts
  • You add unique content to your pages
  • Don’t display snippets from posts
  • Make it easier for users to find posts

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Building Relationships

This isn’t a tactic heavy post. Instead, I want to focus on something more foundational. Effectiveness.

Being an effective SEO consultant is about more than knowing SEO and doing the work, it’s about getting things done. Paddy wrote about this in length on his blog. From what I’ve found a lot of this boils down to trust; you need your clients to trust you, or they won’t implement your recommendations and let you try new things like cutting edge link building ideas. Sure, you can do things like show the opportunity associated with a project, but ultimately, they have to trust your data and your plan to execute.

Where Does Trust Come From

Of course, there isn’t a magic formula you can concoct to build trust and credibility.

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Christmas Presents for Your Clients - Fruitcake & Quick Wins

It frequently seems like every new client wants a list of quick wins at the start of the project but they have already done most of the quick wins. They have content, they have page titles that don’t make me shudder, key pages are well linked to internally, their URLs are clean, and they’ve canonicalized the www and non-www version of their site. The good news is there is still a lot on the table; the bad news is that these things can be easy to overlook. If you can do any of the following, you can give your client some quick wins in the holiday season and make them stoked.

301 your cannibalizing/competitive pages

If you have multiple pages targeting the same term, which invariably happens as you grow, you’re splitting your link equity between pages and rolling the dice trying to get the proper page to rank. You should know what pages you have, but if you’re a bit lost, do a site: search for the primary keywords.

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Getting Buy In For Link Building

If you’re working in-house, it can be difficult to convince managers that you should be spending your time doing link building. There are many possible reasons for this, a number of which are misconceptions. Some of the more common reasons that I have heard are:

  • “I don’t want you spending your time on something that has uncertain results”
  • “We are too big of a site to do manual link building”
  • “It’s hard to prove the links caused the increase in rankings”
  • “I’m not convinced that link building has value”

If you’re in this situation, you can either keep trying to convince your manager to let you build links, or you can build links and then show them the results. To be clear, I’m not saying that you should quit or deprioritize the work that you’re responsible for, but frequently hard proof on a small scale will work better than any argument or blog posts you send their way.

But what if you were to try something like the following:

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