So as I was reading for fun I stunbled across an often cited and well referenced Neil Patel article. So this isn’t my work but I wanted to share the excerpt from his much bigger article on how long it takes to rank.
6. Decide which keywords you should win before building out content based on those keywords.
Some content marketers set out to win ranking for a given keyword, without doing their due diligence on that keyword.
This can be a mistake.
Why? According to our data, websites that sought rank for a given keyword had difficulty ousting a competitor site that had a similar link profile.
Let’s say we have two websites, yours and Mr. Competitor.
Mr. Competitor already ranks in the number one position for “top 10 types of grass to feed your zebra.”
Should you try to rank for this keyword as well?
Yes. Your sites are equal and you have a fighting chance.
But, should you compete for the term “zebra?”
Why not? Because the websites that rank first in the SERPs for this term have a DR that exceeds yours by a considerable margin.
How should you know whether or not to pursue ranking for a certain keyword?
There’s a simple method. It’s the “If they can rank, I can rank” method.
Look at your competitors and ask yourself the following questions:
Are they in the same niche? If yes, proceed to question 2.
Do they rank for your chosen keyword? If yes, proceed to question 3.
Is their domain rating within 5 points of mine? If yes, then you are on a firm competitive footing.
So there is a good take away in that piece. He is referencing Domain Rank which is similar but a different metric than Moz Domain Authority but both attempt to predict how well your content will rank. And thats the take away I wanted to make…pick a keyword or phrase you want. Find out what your Domain Authority is or Domain Rank and if your site is a DA 19 and you want to out rank a site on the same keyword that is a Domain Authority 66 … you need to focus on building your Domain Authority because its gonna be hard to reach that top spot.
Publish Content Often
Another take away which I use already … if you want to rank for a keyword don’t rely on old content to do it.
Web content is NOT like cheese or wine. Think of content as a jello mold at a picnic, the longer it’s out the less likely anyone is going to take a bite, unless encouraged by others. Those encouragements are the backlinks of other sites. So if you want to rank for keyword x and you wrote this content 2 months ago and no one linked to it…you need to move on from that content and post something new thats still relevant. It’s also going to help you in the long run, if your site has 20 articles on say Nuclear Propulsion you’re going to be seen as more of an authority than someone who has 3 articles.
Keep in mind that when you post your first article on a topic seeking that top spot…you’re likely that site that has 3 articles wondering why you aren’t out ranking someone who has published many times more content on the topic. You’re going to have to put your time in and build your authority.
How do you build authority? Well I’ll publish an article on that again here shortly. It really is the secret sauce.