HOW TO RANK NATIONALLY SEO

TOP 5 TIPS ON HOW TO RANK NATIONALLY SEO

Looking for the SEO playbook on how to get national exposure from search engine optimisation, (SEO)? Great well let’s get started with the top 5 tips on how to rank nationally SEO.

#1 National Keyword Research

Keyword research is the starting point, always. Your keyword research is the compass that will point you towards SEO success. Without keyword research you won’t have that north star to guide you towards national SEO rankings. Let’s breakdown the 3-step process for keyword research in the context of how to rank nationally SEO.

Keyword Research Step 1 - Pen & Paper

Thorough keyword research should always begin with a keyword brainstorm. We need to capitalise on your intuition and ensure we are not leaving anything on the table for your SEO strategy. In the context of ranking nationally let’s begin with creating a keyword list of the cities and towns that you would like your content and landing pages to reach.

If your just getting started with SEO, we recommend focusing on your local and immediate area first. The aim is to become a local authority first and then to expand and build national rankings. We also need a solid list of at least 50 different ways your products or services may be searched in the search engines. For example, as an SEO agency, here are some of the keywords that are important to us at Concourse Marketing.

  • SEO
  • SEO agency
  • SEO company
  • SEO business
  • SEO consultancy

Now this initial list should consider all the services and products that you offer. For instance we also offer web design services, so we should include web design specific keywords alongside SEO keywords. If we also offered videography services, graphic design or social media management we would do the exact same process for each of these services.

To confirm, step 1 will involve carefully considering the different ways that you could be found in the search engine results pages (SERP’s). At this point in time there is no pressure, don’t worry, just build a solid list of at least 50 keywords. Once you have built out your keyword list to a minimum of 50 keyword variations, you can now combine these keyword variations with the list of towns and cities you created right at the beginning that are most important to you in terms of how to rank nationally SEO.

  • SEO Yorkshire
  • SEO agency Yorkshire
  • SEO company Yorkshire
  • Web design Yorkshire
  • Web designer Yorkshire

Keyword Research Step 2 - Google Suggestions

Now we need to expand our initial keyword list even further by looking at the Google suggestions. By manually placing a keyword into Google search, suggestions will be generated in a list format underneath the search bar.

how-to-rank-nationally-SEO-using-Google-suggestions

The next part of the process is to look for keywords that we can add to our keyword list that we haven’t intuitively written down but that Google itself has suggested to us. We can see keywords such as “web design course” and “web designer salary” are suggested.

This process will not only reveal keywords that are searched right now in Google but will also generate SEO ideas, for instance creating a web design course could be an additional way to monetise our business. We could also create an educational piece of content around what a web designers’ salary is and target the keyword “web designer salary”.

It is important we don’t just look at keywords for building landing pages, but we also consider keywords that we can implement to create blogs and educational content. For instance, “web design ideas”, would be a fantastic keyword to add to our list. We could create an engaging blog post on the “top 10 web design ideas for 2022”, that satisfies the demand of that keyword, as people searching for web design ideas are likely to be searching for inspiration and you can be that inspiration!

It is important that you take the time to input as a bare minimum your initial 50 keywords into Google search and manually look through the Google suggestions. Just one keyword idea for your SEO campaign could be the difference between SEO success and SEO failure, so take the time to patiently consider the suggestions that Google offers you directly and leave no stone unturned.

Keyword Research Step 3 - Statistic Software (SEMrush)

You should now be at a minimum of 200 keywords when considering the different towns and cities you want to reach nationally. Your keyword list may have more than 200 keywords, and this is great news as you are less likely to miss opportunities in the development of your overall SEO campaign.

The next step is to look at your competitors keyword list. To progress with this final step, you will need to make use of a statistic software such as SEMrush that will reveal your competitors top keywords that we can take and add to your keyword list. The aim of this is to reverse engineer SEO success.

Considering the key locations that you want to dominate nationally, hand pick 3-5 of the main players in your industry that offer the same products and services as you. If you can’t think of any direct competitors or you are simply unsure, then use your best friend Google. If you Google search, “your service” + “targeted location”, see who is currently in the top positions of the search engine results pages (SERP’s).

Using a tool like SEMrush, look at the keywords that your competitors are currently ranking for and begin to add them directly to your keyword list. You can see bellow a competitor within the SEO industry and the keywords they are currently ranking for.

Competitors List Of Keywords
how-to-rank-nationally-SEO

I can look at these keywords that are giving my competitor success and add them to my keyword list. I can also see the search volume that these keywords generate monthly, and the difficulty involved with ranking for these keywords which is rated 1%-100%, with 1% being incredibly easy and 100% being extremely difficult. The final step is to setup position tracking for our website for our list of keywords. We should be at a minimum of 300 keywords at this stage and should have keywords generated from pen and paper, Google suggestions and directly from our competitors.  

Position tracking will track each of the keywords we have inputted into the statistic software in this case SEMrush and keep us updated on our position in the search engine result pages (SERP’s) for each of these keywords. We will also be able to see the search volumes and keyword difficulty for all our keywords to decide if they are worth implementing into a custom SEO strategy.

Position Tracking SEMrush
how-to-rank-nationally-SEO-using-position-tracking

#2 Location Specific Landing Pages

Now for the exciting part. We are ready to implement our keyword research and begin to create location specific landing pages. It is important to remember when considering how to rank nationally SEO, if you are just getting started with SEO, you will need to focus on local areas. It is important we build local authority first before we enter the big leagues and compete at a national level.

We need to create our first custom SEO strategy that will capitalise on the opportunities revealed to us from our national keyword research. Landing pages will take around 5-10 hours to create, so depending on how much time you can invest into landing pages in your custom SEO strategy the next step is to handpick the optimal keywords for the specific areas you want to target across the nation.

So how do you pick the optimal keyword?… Well, here is an example from our own October 2021 SEO campaign of the optimal keyword for targeting York in North Yorkshire for our web design services. So here are the options we had available to us.

  • Web design York
  • Website design York
  • Web developer York
  • Website developer York

So given the options, how do we know which keyword is best to target?… As a rule of thumb each landing page should target one keyword primarily and have a sprinkle of associated keywords throughout the content for variety, this is best practice SEO.

Well after looking at York specifically we found that web design York has the highest search volume with 390 searches per month. However, the difficulty was ranked 41% out of 100. With a low domain authority (DA), ranking for a keyword of this difficulty will be extremely difficult and would require incredibly unique, well-structured content.

So, after further examination and keyword research we discovered that the keyword “website builders York”, had a search volume of 70 organic searches per month but a keyword difficulty of only 18%. Now although this is less search traffic overall our chance of acquiring higher rankings was much more likely, so we decided to add this keyword to our custom SEO strategy for October 2021. You can see bellow some of the other keywords we targeted for SEO and Web Design whilst targeting the North of Yorkshire.

how-to-rank-nationally-with-SEO-using-keyword-research

This is a potent geographical targeting strategy that will allow you to acquire organic traffic to your website by building location specific landing pages for specific areas you want to target nationally. This process is incredibly important when considering How to rank nationally SEO. 

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#3 Service Or Consumer Specific Landing Pages

Very similar to location specific landing pages with a twist. We are looking to attract specific business types across the UK by crafting pages specifically for a certain industry, service, or type of business. For instance, here are some keywords examples to consider in the context of SEO services.

  • SEO for Dentists
  • SEO for Estate Agents
  • SEO for Doctors
  • SEO for Takeaways
  • SEO for Solicitors 

The first step with service specific landing pages is to understand exactly what type of businesses you are targeting. If you operate in the business-to-business space (B2B), you should have specific industries, categories, and business types that you target.

If you’re business-to-consumer (B2C), this is still an option for you. You will be creating consumer specific landing pages. Consider the different demographics and psychographics of your consumer and how they search for your products or services and how you can specifically lay out landing pages to fit exactly who they are.

  • Vintage Leather Jacket
  • Kids Leather Jacket
  • Men’s Leather Jacket
  • Women’s Leather Jacket
  • Bikers Leather Jacket
  • Designer Leather Jacket
  • Cheap Leather Jacket
  • Keanu Reeves Leather Jacket

After looking over these options for a simple product such as a leather jacket, you can see how these keywords would attract a very different type of consumer. However, because the landing page is consumer specific, your chances of converting that individual are increased alongside your chance of finding them in the search engine result pages (SERP’s) in the first place.

Consider the “Keanu Reeves Leather Jacket” keyword. This has a global volume of 310 searches per month, with 110 organic searches coming directly from the US. The keyword difficulty is only at 7% as of right now meaning it is very easy to rank for this keyword in the search engine results pages (SERP’s).

However, after further keyword research we can see that “John Wick Leather Jacket”, acquires 210 organic searches in the US and only has a difficulty of 7%. This is powerful data, as we know by creating a landing page specifically for John Wick fans specifically to sell the leather jacket, we are likely to reach more people than just a generic Keanu Reeves landing page.

how-to-rank-nationally-SEO-John-Wick-example

However, with the new matrix movie approaching in 2022 the trend may be likely to change, therefore it is important we always consider external environmental factors alongside our keyword research to make the best targeting decision possible, when considering how to rank nationally SEO.

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#4 Off-Page SEO

If your goal is to become the national choice for your product or service, then you need to give it everything, even the kitchen sink. When considering how to rank nationally SEO, off-page SEO is just as important for your success. This is all activity away from your website that increases your national rankings.

Off-page SEO includes, social media, print marketing, radio, leaflets, business cards, anything and everything that can be used to increase your national rankings in the search engine results pages (SERP’s), that doesn’t take place directly on your website. When people think about off-page SEO they often think of link building, google my business (GMB) and generating Google reviews and these off-page SEO factors are incredibly important for your overall SEO success.  

We encourage you to think more broadly, consider anything that can put you front of mind in your niche or industry and directly or indirectly improve national rankings. To introduce you to this way of thinking, If you’re not first your last by Grant Cardone is a great book that explores the mindset of becoming synonymous in the marketplace with the solution you offer.

Considering fast food?… You think McDonalds. Need a new phone?… You think iPhone or Apple. It is having a commitment to become the authority in your space and communicating by any means necessary to drive national rankings and SEO success.

Collaboration with the experts in your industry is a huge part of this process if not at the core of all effective off-page SEO strategies. Podcasting would be a great example, yes you can build quality backlinks for your website, and this will help technically with your domain authority (DA) but more importantly you are sitting at the table with experts, so what does that make you in the eyes of the audience?

When specifically considering how to rank nationally SEO, collaborating with experts across the nation and reaching their audiences to grow your own audience is very potent. You can reach specific geographical areas by simply collaborating with experts from that location. So when considering how to rank nationally SEO, now is the time to network with people in your industry across the nation.

#5 Educational, Informational & Entertaining Content

Content is King! … You need to consider how you can produce video, images, graphics, audio and copy that is educational, informational, and entertaining. This is a qualitative game and a quantitative game, and they are both important!

Distribution of the content is also detrimental when considering how to rank nationally SEO. This is investing time to offer value to your audience, not in a directly transactional manner but just to build authority and position yourself as an expert in your field.

On-page SEO activity such as blog posting is an absolute must, and this content needs to be promoted where possible. Adding video to a blog post that goes over the information can be educational and entertaining and will make the blog post more user friendly in the eyes of Google as the content becomes more digestible.

This video content can be long-form content that can be posted on platforms such as YouTube to be promoted and this long-form content can be chopped up into micro content for platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This is an incredibly potent way to promote your content but remember the key is quantity and quality and you need to be consistent with both.

You can look at resources such as Gary Vaynerchuk’s guide on how to distribute content which is a comprehensive playbook on how to utilise social media right now and reach more people.

Podcasting is a fantastic way to collaborate with industry leaders and experts and reach new audiences. As mentioned you can pick up industry relevant and high domain authority (DA) backlinks during this collaboration process that directly increase your domain authority, which is very important for rankings and overall national SEO success.

It is important to highlight again that collaborating with people across the nation will allow you to become an authority and reach localised audiences across the nation which is necessary when considering how to rank nationally SEO. With all of this in mind, consider how you can become a content king and start producing quality content at high volumes today and collaborating with other experts in your industry.

TOP 5 TIPS ON HOW TO RANK NATIONALLY SEO

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