The 5 Step SEO Strategy To Rank For Any Keyword in 2018 & Beyond (With Zero Risk of a Google Penalty)

Last night I was telling a love about a particular PS4 game that I represented a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with.

The game’s graphics, storyline, soundtrack, and, above all, it’s central reputation( a girl soldier fighting against big robots) were just awesome.

But I simply couldn’t recall its name.

So like most other issue, I applied this one to Google.

And there it is, Horizon Zero Dawn.

What a game!

Being a marketing geek, though, I acknowledged something else as well.

There wasn’t a single examination answer on this page with the exact keyword/ search phrase I employed( as you discovered in the screenshot the search phrase i used was “best ps4 recreation 2017 girl warrior robots” with no mention of the name of the game ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ ).

Does that aim keywords are no longer one of the primary ranking factors?

Can’t be true.

Maybe my keyword was just too long.

After all, who would optimize a page for “best PS4 game 2017 girl warrior robots”

I’ll try a more conventional search call “cancer medication fruit”

Strange , not a single ensue with the “cancer medicine fruit” keyword in the name or meta description

And Google even foreground their lists of the fruit in the featured react snippet.

What’s going on?

Does that convey Google actually understanding what I want to search for and testifies me the best reactions instead of ranking keyword optimized clauses?

I don’t believe it.

I’ll try another one, “increase bird-dog appetite”

Pretty high-quality search results, but why isn’t there a single sheet with my pursuing keyword ““increase dog appetite” in the title.

Let me try a most complex investigation like “facebook virtual glasses”

Let’s discover what Google comes up with…

OMG! Oculus VR, Facebook’s virtual reality gear, ranks at the top.

And not a single upshot with that precise keyword ‘facebook virtual glasses’ that I scoured for!

Google DOES understand what I want.

My keyword stuffed clauses, over optimized landing sheets, and keyword specific orbit areas are doomed !!

Okay, fairly of this drama!

I hope you’ve understood the site I’m trying to make.

SEO has moved beyond conventional keyword usage.

Google no longer necessitates the exact keywords or search phrase in page names or in the content form for a certain number of periods to understand what the content is about.

It now understands and ranks sheets based on topics , not only isolated keywords.

This means you can now identify the broad topics that you want to be known for, find out the questions your audience is asking about those topics, and then answer those questions in a better and more comprehensive politenes than your opponents WITHOUT actually preoccupying over useless and outdated metrics like keyword concentration, keyword frequency, precise keyword placement etc.

Seriously, stop thinking about keywords all the time.

Focus on supporting real value to your books and write content based on THEIR needs.

Becuase Google’s smart enough to figure out what’s relevant to its searchers.

In simple-minded names, the rules have changed.

And if you want to build a sustainable congestion steam from search engines, you’ll need to adapt fast.

Keep reading if you want to learn more about how to abuse this on your own website in a sustainable manner that NEVER throws you at risk from a Google penalty…

What You’ll Learn In This Post

How the role of keywords has changed in SEO How to rank for dozens of high transaction keywords without even targeting them Why you no longer need to create detached segments of content for different related keywords How to build an internal association organize that’ll turn your locate into an SEO powerhouse

Do Keywords Still Matter in SEO?

The short answer is yes, keywords still matter.

But not the way you and most of THESE people in NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind think.

Here’s another same question

And another one…..

The problem here is with the mindset.

All these people are just too concerned about keyword placement, keyword density, keyword frequency, keyword this, keyword that!

They’ll NEVER originate locking and helpful content with this mindset

As this mindset means they are focusing on pleasing Google when “youve been” need to focus on satisfying Google’s “customers”( i.e. the people who search for occasions on Google ).

Because when you please Google’s useds you actually satisfy Google.

Think about it; Google wants to show the highest possible and most relevant content to it’s search users.

And Google does NOT want their results to be gamed by deceitful “SEO’s” who use all the latest tricks, hacks, and loopholes to mislead their method to the top of the results.

They simply crave the most relevant content for their pursuit useds at the top of their results and not the content run by the savviest SEO’s who know how to substance it with keywords and play the algorithm.

So here’s the truth.

Keywords still matter but not to Google.

They matter to you.

They give you tack and help you understand the topics your target audience are concerned about. They give you insights into the needs of your public and allow you to structure your material around those needs.

But does that mean you need to use the exact keyword in a certain room in your material to rank?


Google no longer relies solely on keywords to understand the content of a page or judge its relevance to a rummage query.

Thanks to Google’s search algorithm updates like Hummingbird and RankBrain, it can now understand the link between different keywords and topics and use machine learning to determine the best results based on the searcher’s intent.

It no longer requires you to stuff your content with the exact keywords you’re targeting.

Source: SearchEngineJournal

As the infographic advocates, with the Hummingbird update, Google moved away from keywords and became more interested in ranking search results based on what the searcher is trying to accomplish.

This means you can write naturally and use different alterations of your target keyword just like we do in our everyday conversations.

So, for example, if your target keyword is “best SEO tips-off 2018 “, you don’t need to optimize separately for stupid discrepancies like “best SEO tip-off 2018 “, “best search engine optimization tip-off 2018 “, “seo tip 2018 “, “seo tips 2018 “.

Google knows they all entail the same thing, so if you rank for precisely the prime keyword, you’re likely to rank for all the others as well.

Keywords vs. Topics – What’s the Difference?

Google now ranks websites based on their topical relevant and expert instead of only random keywords.

But what exactly is the difference between keywords and topics?

A Keyword is just a word or word issued by a searcher. For example, “blog writing tips”, “get email subscribers”, “traffic generation tips”, “buyer persona”

A Topic, nonetheless, is a group of keywords that are related to each other. And this relationship isn’t consequently limited to synonyms.

For example, you can group the keywords I just mentioned under one topic, “content marketing”

Source: HubSpot

Let’s take the keyword “football” as another example.

What are the things that come to your brain when “youre thinking about” football?

Christiano Ronaldo, Messi, David Beckham Free Kick, Greatest purposes, Football dribbling, Manchester United, English Premier League, World Cup Football.

All of these keywords fall under one topic, Football News.

Since Google now psychoanalyzes the authorities concerned of a site on a topic and ranks content based on its overall relevance to the searcher’s intent.

Therefore a website with higher thematic relevant and jurisdiction will grade higher in search results for all the keywords related to that topic even if it isn’t optimized for the exact keywords( provisioned the content rebuts the searcher’s query ).

If you understand your gathering, know the terms they usually use and have a good meaning of their own problems, “youre going to” target those problems( topics) and write naturally. You’ll not only cover most of the favourite keywords but likewise rank well for the overall topic.

According to Rand Fishkin, detect of MOZ, Google is more concerned about matching the searcher’s intent than according keywords

Source: Moz

In this image, Rand describes how search has evolved over the years.

For SEO 2018 and beyond, he mentions that the main focus while causing content should be on the searcher, instead of keywords.

Which is why it’s crucial to understand the needs of your public and think from their perspective.

What is their purport? What are they looking for? What are they trying to achieve?

If your content pairs the searcher’s message( in simpler words, pays him what he requires) Google will rank you is not merely for the keywords you’re targeting but likewise for other related keywords that match the same intent.

Because it understands how they’re related to each other.

Let’s look at the step by step process to optimize your locate for topics over keywords…

Gradation By Step – How To Optimize Your Site for Topics

Okay now that you know the difference between the issues and keywords and how they impact search results, let’s talk about how you can improve topical relevance and rank for all the relevant keywords in your niche.

This is a proven strategy that is not simply worked well for major brands like HubSpot, Inc ., and Entrepreneur, but too for niche purveyors like Matt Diggity

In fact, HubSpot used it to is not merely rank crowd 1 for most of its target topics and their related keywords but also made it to the featured snippet for many of them.

What accurately is the strategy?

You’ll construct thematic relevant by

determining the broad topics you want to be known for creating pillar sheets for each topic initiates substantiating commodities and blog uprights for each pillar page creating a strong internal tie-in organize for each topic and its supporting blog announces.

Essentially, we’re going to create topic gathers on our site, like this one created by HubSpot.

Source: Hubspot

The image presents clusters of different topics with their own patronizing sections closely linked with one another, but completely separate from the other clusters.

Here’s how you can apply this simulate to your niche site.

1. Identify the Topics You Miss To Be Known For

The first step is to actually identify the topics that YOU want to be known for.

These would be the topics that relate directly to the products you’re selling or promoting, and also have a direct appeal for your audience.

For example, if you have a blog on social media marketing, here are some of specific topics you can list down.

Facebook Marketing Instagram Marketing Pinterest Marketing Twitter Marketing Social Media Monitoring Reputation Management Influencer Marketing

Or if you have an affiliate site promoting Pet food products, here are some of specific topics your public might like.

Dog Food Dog Health Cat Food Cat Health

These are not keywords, you’re not trying to grade for them directly.

These are broad-minded topics that YOU miss your symbol/ blog to be known for. You demand Google to prove your place on the top whenever someone probes ANYTHING related to these topics.

You can think of them as categories in a WordPress site.

So how do you come up with topics for your locate?

Learn From Your Adversaries

The easiest room is to simply help your experience and a little bit of common sense.

If you know your niche, you can identify 5-6 wide-reaching topics/ categories all of your content will fall into.

You can also look at competitor blogs to get an idea.

For example, if you’re looking for broad-spectrum topics for a state& fitness blog, you can get opinions from a popular fitness blog like VeryWellFit.

Source: VeryWellFit

Look at how they’ve categorized their content under vast topics.

If a blog doesn’t have well-defined categories like this one, simply look at their content and try to find the following theme they’re targeting.

You’ll be able to find anywhere between 2-6( or even more) wide-reaching topics depending on the dimensions of the blog.

Get Topic Ideas from Niche Forums

Niche gatherings are goldmines for encountering expansive topics for your blog

Simply head over to Google and use these hunting queries to find gatherings in your niche.

“Niche”+ “forums”

“Niche”+ “vbulletin”

“Niche”+ “discussion board”

Let’s search for baseball pertained forums and try to find a few topics on it

Here’s one of members of the forum I found.

Like most powwow gatherings, this one is also divided into various expansive categories. We can use many of them as topics for our blog strategy

Baseball Photography Baseball Coaching Amateur Baseball Baseball Memorabilia

All of these are good vast topics for a niche locate that’s selling or helping baseball accessories.

You can use the same approach to discover vast topics for your place on Reddit, Quora, and several other argument platforms.

Once you have a directory of a dozen to more topics, shortlist the ones that are the most relevant to your website and connect with your business objective.

Then move on to the next step.

2. Create Pillar Content for Each Topic

Now that you have 5-6 target topics, you need to create pillar sheets for each topic.

A pillar page is a comprehensive and evergreen rich with detailed and in-depth content that treats every major side of your topic.

It is also the centre for human rights of your topic gather around which new sections and blog announces will be added. Every subscribing article that you write about this topic will join back to this pillar page. This will increase its topical relevant and authority.

For example, if we’re creating a pillar sheet for “Facebook Marketing”( a topic we identified in the previous stair) we will cover everything from the very basics of Facebook marketing to the advanced techniques and strategies.

It will be one big rich that will have everything a reader wants to learn about Facebook marketing.

You can call it something like “Facebook Marketing: The Only Guide You Every Need To Read” or “The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Marketing.

Here’s a really good example of a pillar page on HelpScout blog

Source: HelpScout

It’s a big reserve( perhaps 10,000+ utterances) that crosses everything from the very basics of email market to boosted skills like automation and segmentation.

All other clauses about email market on their blog link to this post.

This helps Google spiders understand the appropriateness of the internally associated pages and increase their sovereignty on this topic.

Do this for each topic that you’ve identified.

Once you’re done with this part, let’s move on to the next step.

3. List Down All the Questions of Your Target Audience

You now have pillar pages with epic content on each topic.

It’s now time to create supporting material around each topic which rebuts the common questions of your audience

Basically, you need to find as many questions as possible related to each topic that you’ve identified and the keywords searchers are expending to ask those questions.

Got it?

Here are a few smart ways to find the most common questions of your audience.

Use Google Correlate To Find Related Search Queries

I exclusively heard of Google Correlate just a few months ago, but it has already become one of my favorite tools for audience investigate.

Here’s what it does.

Enter any keyword in Google Correlate and it will give you a roster of other keywords and pursuings that it considers closely related to your keyword.

For example, people who sought for affiliate market too search for terms like SEO, PBNs, Amazon Accompanied, ClickBank.

It’s a great way to perceive related interests of your audience to make brand-new content ideas and organize more well-rounded blog posts

So here’s how you do it.

Head over to Google Correlate and search for a expansive topic, let’s make “Vegan Diet” as two examples topic.

When you search for specific topics, appropriate tools gives you a long listing of correlated periods that often researched alongside your keyword.

It likewise names a linkage rating with each term.

The closer the score is to 1, the more frequently “its by” probed alongside your keyword.

Most of these keywords point towards potential the question put by your gathering applicable to your primary topic. Have a look at the index shortlist the ones that are more in line with your site’s content theme.

From the register above, these keywords inspect promising

vegan diet health feed before bunk supplement for weight loss something healthy

With a little brainstorming, you are able to identify dozens of blog affix hypothesis from this instrument for every topic.

Use Google Related Searches To Find Ideas

This is a simple but extremely effective space to find the most pressing questions of your audience.

Simply search Google for your target topics and scroll down research results page to find other related searches.

For example, here are the referred searches for the keyword “dog diet”

I don’t know about you, but I’m already going commodity themes by looking at these related searches.

But let’s dig even deeper and have a look at the related searches for one of the hinted scour periods “healthy dog diet homemade”

You see where I’m vanishing?

All of the issue is possible material intuitions that come under the broad topic you’ve identified.

Your audience has lots of questions about all of these calls that you can answer with your blog material and rank for a whole straddle of keywords that are related to your main topic.

There are a couple of other implements you can use to identify such keywords


The point of military exercises is to get a feel for the kind of questions your gathering is questioning and then make material theories based on it.

Find Niche Questions With Quora

Quora is a goldmine for anyone looking for content ideas.

Search for your main topic keyword( or any of the related keywords you’ve determined) and you’ll get dozens of the issues which real people are requesting about them.

Click on any of the suggested topics to find dozens of discussion threads

You can literally get endless clause sentiments for your target topic only by browsing through the different weaves on Quora.

Make a list of the most common questions people are querying and think of different essay suggestions based on those questions.

Find Ideas With AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a really handy free implement that can crowd your editorial schedule with hundreds of content ideas in no time.

When you search for your primary topic on this locate, it gives you a bucket loading of questions that people are actually requesting about it.

For example, here are just a few promptings I got when I searched for the topic “Pregnancy”

You can download the ideas in a CSV file, shortlist the ones that are more relevant to your website, and filter out the rest.

Even if you don’t use the exact ideas suggested by this instrument it still gives you lots of new angles to think about your topic.

By now, you should have a pretty long list of questions that all immediately fall under your primary topic.

It’s now time to turn them into value-packed blog posts.

4. Answer Each Question With High-Quality, In-Depth, and Actionable Content

Every search query is a question.

And the sheets that refute those questions better than their challengers tend to rank higher in search results.

Since you now have a long index of the most common questions of your gathering, it’s time to answer those questions with long, detailed actionable and high-quality articles.

Doing so will not only furnish cost to your readers, build authority on your primary topic, but also help you grade for a wide range of keywords related to your topic since all your blog uprights will be based on questions that fall under that topic. It will assemble a topic cluster with the main pillar sheet at the center and the substantiating articles around it.

Another major objective of creating these articles is to acquire associates from related and high dominion websites which will considerably our goal of building topical relevance.

Because although Google has more than 200 search grading influences, the standings mainly come down to two things.

The relevant of your material to the searcher’s inquiry The number of high-pitched approval links to your area from other related locates in your niche

This is exactly what this image illustrates.

Source: OrbitMedia

As the portrait evidences, if you can create content that refutes the most common questions of your public and gain backlinks to it from other high-pitched power places in your niche, you’ll almost always rank for the top keywords related to your topic.

So how do you go about turning questions into blog post claims?

Let’s use the keyword “eat before bed”, which we acquired through Google Correlate in the last step, as an example. Remember, our core topic was “vegan diet” so we have to create titles in its context.

Here are a few I could think of

11 Vegan Food You Can Dine Even Before Going To Bed 7 Scientific Reasons Why It’s Safe To Eat Vegetables Before Sleep 13 Cool Things Exclusively Vegans Can Do( Indicate: They Can Even Feed Before Sleep)

Cool meanings, right?

But how do you turn them into high quality and link-worthy articles of content?

Here are a few tips

Don’t Just Tell Readers What To Do, Indicate Them How It’s Done

Gone are the days when you are able put together a speedy 500 -word article sharing “tips” that everyone once knows.

Searchers “re looking for” terminated answers to their queries.

It’s not enough to tell them what the hell is do.

You need to show them how it’s done, even if it entails writing 2000, 3000, 5000, or even 10,000 -word articles.

The word count doesn’t matter.

What troubles is that you perfectly react the searcher’s query.

Tell them everything they need to know

This has two benefits.

It will restrain books on your website longer, indicating to Google that your area proposals cost to the searcher( which will result in higher rankings) Longer content means you have a higher have opportunities to rank for different long-tail and medium tush keywords.

Research also indicates that longer sections tends to rank higher( maybe because of the two factors I’ve shared mentioned above)

Source: Backlinko

The graph clearly shows a direct relationship between content section and examine rankings.

But again, the focus should remain on asking the searcher’s inquiry in as much detail as possible , not the word count.

Link Out To Credible Generators in Your Niche

This is an often forgot but REALLY important behavior to boost the topical relevance of your content and stipulate added significance to your books at the same time.

As the famous saying runs “a man is known by the company he keeps”.

Google refers the same principle while assessing websites and material for hunting ranking.

This is why it penalizes the websites that connect out to dubious, spammy, and low-quality sites.

But when you regularly link to believable, related, and high-quality websites and resources, Google weighs you as one of THEM, considers your material more trustworthy, and reinforces you in the form of higher rankings.

Here’s what Google Search Quality Guidelines say about citing external sources

A study by Reboot, which tested different outgoing associations for various areas, established that contextual is linked to relevant and high arbiter areas in your manufacture clearly have an impact on your site’s research ranking.

And no, there’s NO NEED to lends the “no-follow” tag to your external joins( unless you’re not really sure about a site’s credibility or you’re associating to an affiliate concoction page or patronized content ).

How numerous external connections should you add to a piece of the information contained?

There’s no fixed list but use them sparingly and only when there’s a good reason to do it because, although external links are important, they’ll potentially take books away from your site. And that’s never cool.

Add Linkable Hooks To Your Content To Get Natural Backlinks

To gain authority in Google’s eyes, you need backlinks from other high permission websites in your niche.

But getting backlinks is hard.

You need to give other websites a very strong reason to link to you.

There must be something in it for THEM.

Something that fixes their contents most credible, more attractive, more authoritative, or more engaging.

This is why supplementing linkable hookings to your content is crucial.

These are frequently eye-catching visuals, graphs, infographics, or embeddable sketches that people can use to make their content examination better. In return, they’d have to connection back to you. You can also add instance considers, original canvas reactions, interrogations or visual paraphrases to that list.

Studies been demonstrated that content with such hits usually comes more backlinks than simple-minded text content( and it fixes smell as well)

Source: Moz

As the graph evidences, the content which includes personas, videos and verse content, frequently renders more backlinks than plain text posts.

Thankfully with free implements like Canva and Pablo organizing such visuals takes merely a few minutes.

Here’s an likenes I’ve created with Pablo just to demonstrate this

You can use these implements to quickly start eye-catching and lock epitomes for your posts.

Look at any section here on NicheHacks and you’ll see that we include dozens of images( often referenced from other areas) to build our content gaze more engaging. We link back to them since we are realise appreciate in it for our site.

The same thing is the case when you add these hookings to your content.

You’ll get a much better response to your outreach struggles and more parties will relate back to your content.

As a answer, your higher-rankings will rise

5. Use a Smart Internal Link Structure To Build Topical Relevance

If you stop right here and don’t implement this stair, you’ll still have a pretty good chance to rank for dozens of relevant and high transaction keywords related to your main topic.

If you already have a website with regular congestion, you should probably skip this gradation since it’s a little bit risky to change the ended arrangement of an existing site and can result in a higher-ranking drop.

However, if you’re starting a locate from scratch, I strongly recommend that you plan your internal associate policy from the start.

Why are internal associations important?

Mainly because of two reasons.

They facilitate readers explore other related content on your site which cures them get more price out of your essays and also increases your site’s median age on locate metric which has a positive impact on your positions. Internal attaches facilitate Google spiders influence the ties between different articles of content on your website. When you internally relation one blog upright to another, Google considers this a relevance signal and give them as related sheets.

The internal join formation for most blogs glances something like this

Basically, as the likenes evidences, there is no fastened attaching design for most places and they link to their internal pages whenever it does sense.

There’s nothing incorrect with this approach.

However, several case examines show that a more compact internal association design, that creates linked to topically associated sheets merely, helps Google spiders categorize content better and mounts the topical relevant of the site.

Let’s take the example of a area helping pet food products.

If the 3 main topics of the site are “dog food”, “cat food”, and “bird food”, the internal tie organization of the site would appear like this

As you can see, in this internal joining pattern, every category and its related articles link to each other exclusively and exist as a separate ecosystem that is not connected with any other category or the articles falling under it.

By attaching to one another and the main pillar content page, all the blog announces under one particular topic move sheet authority to other sheets in their ecosystem and construct topical relevance.

When any of the blog announces get backlinks from other high sovereignty websites, the authority is transferred to all the connected pages in the ecosystem, thus increasing its overall position for all the relevant keywords.

And because every ecosystem exists independently from other topics, the authority remains within the connected sheets creating a closely ligament topic cluster.

Stop Anticipating About Keywords and Focus on Your Audience

Stop asking questions like “how many times should I mention the keyword in my content? “

Identify your core topics, the questions your audience is asking about those topics, and the keywords they’re use to invite those questions.

Then merely write naturally and places great importance on answering the questions of your audience and fulfilling their needs in the most comprehensive politenes. Focus on the broad topic you want to be known for and create articles that flood all aspects of your target topic.

If you do that, you’ll is not merely become an jurisdiction on your topic in Google’s seeings but also rank for dozens of related keywords that your gathering “re looking for”( stipulated your content is great and other expert locates attach back to you)

Think large-hearted, think long-term, think about your audience.

Because that’s the direction Google is moving in and that is how it is eventually going to evaluate sites.

The post The 5 Step SEO Strategy To Rank For Any Keyword in 2018& Beyond( With Zero Risk of a Google Penalty ) performed firstly on NicheHacks.