5 Easy Steps to Rank for a Competitive Keyword – The Definitive Guide

Website page rank for a competitive keyword is never an easy task and it remains a mirage for many. According to a study conducted by Bright Edge Data, it was discovered that Organic traffic was the driver of the most traffic to websites across almost all sectors you can think of.
Ranking for a competitive keyword in organic search requires lots of work; more difficult for a new website that does not have many backlinks and hasn’t gotten good domain authority, but it is very possible especially if you take content marketing and SEO seriously.
To get found online when your target audience searches for the relevant keywords related to your product or services, your website needs to be well optimized.
Here are the ten steps to rank for a keyword in Google and to ultimately increase your website traffic.

What is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is the common term used to describe visitors that find your website as the result of an unpaid effort. For example, a visitor that finds gets to the “Digital Markets Journal” Blog after searching for “Website backlinks” or other relevant keyword is organic traffic. Visitors who are considered organic find your website after using a search engine like Google or Bing.


What are Competitive Keywords?

Basically, keywords are ideas or phrases that people or searchers use in finding relevant information from search engines. Keywords are also called “search queries.” Keywords are of two types: long-tail keywords which usually contains 3 to 4- word phrases e.g. “how to rank for a competitive keyword” and short-tail keywords which usually contain 1 to 2-word phrase, e.g “keyword”, “competitive keywords”, etc.
Both Long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords are important to SEO and used separately and are discussed extensively in The Chronicles of Keyword – The Definitive Guide
Getting your website indexed by search engines and ranking for keywords for that matter takes times – 6 to 8 weeks sometimes.
What I attempt to do in this “Steps to Rank for a Competitive Keyword – The Definitive Guide” is to show you the step-by-step process of ranking for top or competitive keywords in any niche.
With no further ado, let’s dive in.


Step 1 – Lay the Foundation

Before trying to rank for a competitive keyword, certain things must first be put in place. Failure to do this might result in frustration and disappointment. The first things that must first be looked into are:

  • A strong website – The longer your website has been around, the better. This is because domains acquire and backlinks authority over time. A website that has been around for quite some time usually outperform new ones for competitive keywords mainly because of the domain authority and domain trust they have acquired over time. Are you a new domain owner? Read How to Rank a New Domain on Google Page #1 in 90 Days to learn how to rank a new domain for competitive keywords.
  • Link building network – Google and other search engines associate relevance to backlinks. Search engines believe that the higher the number of quality backlinks you have, the more relevant your content is and indeed the better you will rank for such keywords.


Step 2 – Perform a Comprehensive Keyword Research

The second step to rank your website for a competitive keyword would be to perform keyword research. There is a number of tools you can use for this purpose but I recommend Google Adword Keyword Planner. Google keyword planner is free and comprehensive.
Keyword research can be time-consuming but this step is important to validate the topic you like to discuss in your content. Keyword research helps you see the average monthly queries of the topic you want to write about. For example, searching “keyword research” in Google keyword planner gives the below information.

The above information shows that we have millions of people searching for something related to the phrase “keyword research”.
Top considerations for this step are:

  • High Monthly Search – Low Competition – The trick to this is to find keywords with low competition but high average monthly search. The reason for this is because it is a lot easier to rank a website for low competitive keywords than for a high one.
  • Relevance – You’re more likely to succeed in ranking for a keyword if the term is relevant to your site and your business so you want to look for relevant keywords to your products and services.

Making variations of your keyword is also key to how well you rank for relevant keyword

Step 3 – Determine the Intent

Keyword Intent represents the user’s purpose for the search. It’s what the user is likely to do when searching for a particular phrase. There are three basic types of keyword intent are Transactional – e.g. “buy eyeglasses frames”, Navigational intent – e.g. “Digital Markets Journal website”, and Informational intent – e.g. “List of top SEO blog”
Your choice of keyword should depend on your customer intent. For example, you should use transactional keywords if you’re looking to “sell”.

Step 4 – Create Your Content

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Execute your plan. Search engines such as Google and Bing are looking for high-quality content that would benefit searchers be it infographics, blog, or video. A thing of note while creating your content is keyword density. Good keyword density – 3-5; helps search engines to easily understand and index your website pages.

Step 5 – Publish and Promote Your Content for Backlinks

Step number 5 is where you publish and promote your content. To have a good rank for competitive keywords, you must find people or bloggers to share and link back to your article. Backlinks are one of the major fuels of any SEO effort.


It is important to have a mixture of both short phrase keywords (head terms) and long phrases (long-tail keywords) while creating content for your online advertising strategy. Nevertheless, long-tail keywords tend to attract more qualified leads that hopefully turn into customers. This will give your keyword strategy the right balance.

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