Perform research for on-page optimization
1. In Google Search Console, go to Performance > Queries to see the phrases you're already ranking for. Export them to a spreadsheet.
Also create a list of keywords you have been trying to rank for and add them to the spreadsheet.
2. Run the keywords through Google search, or an SEO tool like SEMrush and Ahrefs, to see how you have been performing.
Google Search Console doesn’t always show search positions. This will help you know exactly where you rank for those keywords. If you’re in the top position for any keyword, you don’t need to do anything other than monitoring at this point. If you’re not (or your ranking went down), add them to a new Optimization tab in the spreadsheet.
3. Input the keywords into an SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to get search volume data, variations of the keywords, and related keywords.
Search volume data will help you identify keywords with potential – those with high search volume. Add keywords that you are not ranking high for yet, but have substantial search volume, to the Optimization tab of your spreadsheet.
4. Take a look at the first five results on the SERP for your keywords to understand the type of pages ranking for it.
For example, if the type of pages are blog posts and not product pages, it is unlikely you will rank high for that term with a product page.
5. Note the areas covered by your competitors which aren't mentioned in your content.
For example, if your competitors have sections in their content that are relevant to the keyword but you don’t, edit your content to cover those areas.
6. Look at the results on the All tab on Google to see if there are images, videos, reviews, and results from structured data.
If Google is showing videos, it means videos are a good format for your search query. Whatever extra information is provided – such as videos or reviews – add these to your content where possible.
7. For each keyword, do content research with a tool like Surfer or PageOptimizer Pro to get semantic or LSI phrases.
Semantic phrases add context to your content to better help search engines understand your content. For example, if your keyword is “pizza in Los Angeles,” your semantic keywords could include pizza pie, spicy pizza, cheese, and crispy crust.