The day-to-day grind for many SEO professionals often involves honing in on the same set of targeted keywords, likely outdated, or pouring over the same analytical data with the hope of making an online presence that much better.
With "traffic harvesting," you can learn to pull the blinders back a little and look at the potential you have outside your predetermined keyword focus.
Traffic harvesting entails taking a look at what terms you rank for on the cusp of the first page of search results (for terms with decent search volume) that aren't showing up in analytics or in your predetermined list of keyword focus. Ultimately, this data is showing the opportunity that is waiting to be harvested.
This process is simple but often overlooked by the keyword obsessed SEO professional who only works from what the data they can visibly see.
Here's how to become a traffic harvester.
- There are a variety of SERP scraping tools to show your complete organic visibility, but SEMrush is optimal for this.
- Input your domain through the tool, and export a spreadsheet of organic keywords. (Granted, you need a subscription to export a full list, but consider the $80 a fee for your harvesting equipment.)
- Once you have this list of all rankings in Google, then sort by search volume.
- Next, sort by Current Ranking. This will help you to see all of the second page rankings with a good amount of search volume that isn't showing up in analytics yet and is also not of focus in our keyword ranking reports. This list shows the ranking term, position and most importantly, the ranking page.
- Now it's time to review the page with this ranking term in mind. We haven’t been focused on this term, so is it featured in the title element, heading, or copy on the page? Is there the ability to create internal links with this term as anchor text pointing to this respective page?
- Finally, it's time to determine if there is an opportunity to create supporting content for this term (e.g., video). Sifting through the exported list, also look beyond the high search volume terms and see that besides an upcoming term if there are longer-tail similar terms apparent in second page rankings. You definitely want to chase the high volume traffic you didn’t know you were ranking for, but there may be a great benefit in the longer tail terms too as it relates to conversion potential of those searchers.
This is definitely basic SEO at its finest but simply a different way of harvesting opportunity of what some may call "accidental rankings" that many don’t take the time to do. Get out there and sow your success.