Don’t dismiss specific keywords with low search volumes. Use them to your advantage!
Earlier this week, I did a post on How To Find the Best SEO Keywords for Your Recipes. The idea to write up this post stemmed from a chat I was having with a blogger about using keywords to make the most of a post.
The approach I apply to SEO is the same approach I take to all aspects of blogging and photography:
Start small, think BIG
Using Keywords – Starting Small, Thinking Big
When you are choosing keywords for your recipe, it’s easy to dismiss keyword combinations that are only searched a few hundred times a month, thinking it’s not worth it because it won’t contribute much traffic to your site. Here’s why I challenge that.
1. The obvious reason is this: Less searched words = less competition = better chances of ranking well in search results. I would rather rank first for words with low search volumes than on the 50th page for highly searched terms.
I explain this more in this post: How To Find the Best SEO Keywords for Your Recipes
2. You need to start SMALL but THINK BIG. Think of it this way:
a) You post twice a week;
b) For each recipe, you choose very specific keywords that are only searched 1000 times a month, which, in the context of this world-wide-web, is low;
c) You have a better chance of ranking well for all your recipes;
d) Each month, you have 8 posts with good prospects of ranking well for keywords that are searched 8,000 times a month (i.e. 8 posts x 1,000 search volume). In a year, that grows to 104,000 per month (2 posts per week x 52 weeks x 1,000 search volume). But not only that. There’s an avalanche effect. As your recipe starts indexing better, the search engines will start ranking you better for less specific word combinations with higher search volumes.
The Avalanche Effect
Here’s a real life example of the avalanche effect that I experienced with one of my recipes. I posted a recipe called Truly Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Honey Garlic Sauce in November 2014.
The keywords I chose were “crispy baked wings”.
It started indexing quite well for the specific keywords I selected and variations thereof e.g. “Crispy Oven Chicken Wings”, “Crispy Baked Chicken Wings”.
And as the post grew in popularity, it started to rise in rankings for broader search terms that are searched much more. Here are the search frequency and rankings of this post in Google for various keyword combinations (Search stats are monthly averages per AdWords, rankings are using Google on Safari Mac in Australia so results will differ depending on location):
- Crispy baked wings (keywords I selected) (monthly searches 7.5K) – #1
- Baked crispy wings (8k) – #1
- Crispy wings (13.5K) – #1
- Chicken wings in oven (15k) – #1
- Oven wings (38k) – #2
- Baked chicken wings (60k) – #3
- Baked wings (80K) – #3
These are the rankings as at May 2015.
The total search coverage just off these combinations of words (there are many others!) is 222,000 searches each month where my recipe ranks 1st, 2nd or 3rd. (PS I do not get 222,000 views from Google for my wings! I am not sure what the % click through rate is from searches but I do know that Google is the highest referrer for this recipe and it is one of my most popular recipes).
When I first posted the recipe, it would never have ranked well for searches like “baked chicken wings” and “baked wings”. But the specific keywords I used – “crispy baked wings” – that is NOT searched frequently is how I built the foundation for this post’s popularity so it started indexing better for more frequently searched words. This post did OK on Pinterest and other social media platforms, but where it “took off” was on Google search.
And as a post gains popularity, it indexes better for broader search terms. ie. The Avalanche Effect!
The holy grail for this recipe? Ranking #1 for the search term “chicken wings” which is searched around 250K times every month! One can only hope 😉 (I’m currently on page 10 or thereabouts!)
I hope this helps gives you some more direction for using and selecting SEO keywords! When I started, I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea where to start, which is why I started out choosing very specific ones and discovered it worked! 😉
Remember: Start small, think BIG!
– Nagi xo
PS If you found this useful, share it with your friends!
PPS In case you missed it, here’s the post for How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Recipes and tag them to your recipes.