by: Gerhild Fulson / Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!
I've been blogging this recipe website for years. As a new blogger in 2009, I was blessed having found SBI as the platform on which to build this site since it made the whole process of building an online business easy to implement. With all of SBI's tools, including built-in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Brainstormer It! (a keyword research process), I could concentrate on cooking, baking, and writing my quick German recipes.
A while ago, I decided to do some deep diving into SEO.
Never wanting to reinvent the wheel, it meant trying to find out the best tools other content creators were using as their keyword research tool. After much research and trying various programs, I happily settled on RankIQ.
I'm not opposed to hard work, but with limited time available to find the right keywords to use, (the ones that have the best chance of being found on the first page of Google), having keyword tools that are easy to understand and use made all the difference for me.
In literally a matter of minutes, well, actually 26 minutes, I was able to understand and start using this new SEO toolset, RankIQ.
That 26 minutes (not hours and hours like other programs) was the length of the onboarding video that shows everything one needs to know to start creating those new blog posts or update old posts. Posts that will rank quicker and higher because they now have the target keyword and the high traffic keywords by using its cool Content Optimizer.
I stumbled upon Brandon Gaille, a top blogger and the host of The Blogging Millionaire podcast. He's the founder of RankIQ, a research and content creation program that uses IBM's Watson artificial intelligence to create one's own blog niche specific Keyword Library.
Using personalized keyword libraries saves much time in writing new posts and is one of the easiest ways to update any old underperforming posts.
RankIQ really is the easiest SEO tool available for bloggers, whether new or experienced. Without needing to know the ins and outs of SEO (or spend hundreds of dollars), it's easy to write and update posts that have great potential to rank well in Google.
Literally ... Brandon is doing the work behind the scenes to make it easy for me to just do what I naturally do ... which is to cook, bake and write my quick German recipes. Easy.
Not only easy, but inexpensive! The introductory price is still only $49/month with NO long term contact, but that will be going up to the regular price of $99/month (not sure when, though).
Let me show you how I use how RankIQ. It'll give you an idea how simple it is to use.
Let's say I have a really, old post, my recipe for a northern German potato salad that not doing very well.
Checking where my post ranks before I do anything new to it, shows Google ranking it at position 13.3. Not too bad, but it's not on the 1st page of Google nor does it get much traffic.
1st page Google search results bring in way more traffic.
More traffic = more income.
So I'm going to do something with this post.
Why did I choose to google for german potato salad with dill as shown above?
Well, RankIQ's Keyword Library shows the best keyword phrases showing competition, visits for year, and time to rank.
These are the low competition keywords, the ones that can compete against sites without a high domain authority (no sense trying to compete with a domain that's way outranking you). Since you outrank these sites, your post can outrank theirs easier.
I found the keyword phrase, dill potato salad recipe, best suited my page and decided to optimize it accordingly.
By the way, there are hundreds of major niches and subniches, with more being added. If your niche isn't there yet, just ask Brandon and he'll add it.
That's what I had to do, since German food wasn't part of the Food library. But it's there now with hundreds (some niches have thousands) of hand-picked low-competition keywords for me to either update my old posts or create new ones.
Of course, I can pop over to other niches to use their Keyword Libraries, such as air fryer and vegan. These are all keywords (or keyword phrases) that have been manually selected that are already getting traffic and are fast to rank. All of them work for my site.
You may be thinking that if everyone who uses RankIQ is using the same keywords, we'll be competing against each other. Nope. Brandon caps how many times each one is used before removing it from the list. This keeps the keyword list fresh, up-to-date, and usable.
The next step is click on Run Report. In less than two minutes, up pops the AI SEO Report.
This part shows suggested Content Grade (I'll explain that later) and the suggested Word Count that's taken from the top 30 competitors for this keyword.
There's the Content Analysis that shows the topics and LSI keywords that Google wants. (In SEO speak, LSI, Latent Semantic Indexing, are keywords that are conceptually related terms that search engines use to deeply understand content on a webpage.)
How do we know Google wants this?
Well, these are what the top sites are showing in their content. If they're ranking at the top and if my page contains these topics, I'll have a better chance of ranking at the top as well.
The Content Analysis above for dill potato salad recipe actually shows 91 of the highest scoring 'topics' listed in range of relevance. These words and phrases are now the perfect way to create an outline of the recipe if it's a new post, or as in my case in updating a post, to have many of these relevant keywords as possible.
Perhaps it means needing to add more content by doing some additional research to create that high-quality content that will satisfy my readers and Google. Or, it's just needing to change a few words or sentences here and there.
The next part of the Content Analysis is to help with crafting the perfect top-notch title by looking at the Title Analysis section.
Again, using the top 30 Google search results for this keyword, the most frequently used keywords are listed in order of frequency.
There were 21 top keywords and 15 highest ranked titles shown for inspiration to use and get ideas from.
Hence the new title of my post to Best Creamy German Potato Salad Recipe with Dill ~ Kartoffelsalat.
Now it's down to the nitty gritty. Let's see what the top sites are posting in relation to what I'm posting (or planning to post, if this were a new recipe).
For me, it's comparison time and to see what I'm missing or should rework.
Hmmm. I've now got some ideas of what I can add and change in my post to compete with these top competitors. This is absolutely not a matter of copying what they have, but a matter of overdelivering and adding more comprehensive content than they have.
OK, it's off to work. Time to optimize my post. If this were a new post, it's starting from scratch, but for me, I'll just copy and paste what I already have on my site and make corrections and fixes.
This is actually the easy part ... and actually fun, realizing that now I have a proven and structured way to update old posts.
Clicking on the Content Optimizer tab and pasting in my current content, this is my result:
Oops ... a grade of D- :(
This grade compares my site to the top competitors that I'm trying to outrank. I've got to get it to A++!
The word count isn't bad, so I don't need to add much extra content. That's easy, so this will be a quick fix.
As I make changes, sometimes it's a phrase change or it's a related keyword, using the Topics to Include as shown on the right side of the Content Optimizer, the grade starts to improve and my word count increases. Here's the final result:
Once I'm happy with the results, I just replace this onto my site and sit back and watch the rankings change.
For my post above, here are the results after only one month. That post has moved onto page 1!!!! From the second page at 13.3 to the first page at 8.6 in just one month.
Normally, rankings can take a few months to change. This is a long-term strategy. It depends on what Google's doing. But using RankIQ is an easy workable strategy that helps in creating well-written posts with comprehensive content that should be able to compete for those coveted first page positions.
Remember, though, this is Google. There are no guarantees. However having a workable method that makes sense is a lot better than just taking a stab at what one thinks will work. To me, using RankIQ is a wise use of my time and money.
NOTE: The example I used above was one of the very first pages I used RankIQ for. It was an old page with little traffic. Ideally, you want to spend your time updating pages that are on page 2. That way, it's a more sure thing that they'll end up on page 1 for their main search keyword.
When updating, following the "When to Update Posts" below, work on those posts that are ranking 4 - 10 on the first page, being careful to follow Brandon's cautions about doing so. However, if you can get a post for position 4 to position 1 - 3, you'll have huge jumps in traffic ... resulting in increase $.
There are cautions to observe when updating old posts.
BTW, these hints come from listening to Brandon's podcasts. He shares so many blogging ideas that are actually easy for anyone to implement.
The best part is that writing your post is made easy. As you write and include any of the Topics to Include on the right-hand side of the Content Optimizer, they get a green dot beside them. That way you know what you still need to include. It's almost a game trying to see how many you can include!
If you're writing a new post, it's easy to write a complete outline by using the Topics to Include to fashion a comprehensive piece of content around the search term you've chosen to be a top performer.
And that's it. Easy. Not a steep learning curve at all.
It's basically just a matter of
Here's Brandon's video that gives a bit more info about RankIQ:
RankIQ is still a new program, having made its debut in March 2021 and it's still evolving. And, as we now near the end of 2022, I'm still using it!
The newest addition among my favorite features is to check where one's post URL is ranking. Not just for one's main keyword, but also related keywords showing up in search.
I've had posts that have the best ranking for a completely different keyword than I thought I set my post up for. That allows me to make changes as needed. Sometimes I see that I've missed the search intent and can make changes accordingly.
Brandon and his team provide quick and personal support for any questions or problems. Their Facebook group is also a great place to connect with other RankIQ users and gain insight how they are using this newest SEO tool that's been created especially for bloggers and content publishers.
My suggestion is to give it a try. There's no long-term contract, just a monthly fee. Right now, it's still at its introductory price of $49 per month. Give it a try for a month. You'll get to run 16 reports. If you get just one moving up in its ranking, it will more than pay for itself.
If you're not sure if RankIQ is a good fit for you, there's a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. So, no worries.
Can you tell that I'm happy using this tool! Drop me a line if you have any other questions about this.
PS: I mentioned above that I use SBI, aka Solo Build It!, as the platform for my websites. If you're looking the best place to build your online business, it's what I heartily recommend. Check it out here. (The company even used me as a case study!)
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