Using Keywords From Forums – An Update

Several people asked me to write an update on the previous Semrush + Forums = Win post (I wish I’d named it that), so here it is.

For those who haven’t read the previous post, here it is, and for those who haven’t read it and want the TL:DR version, here’s a recap of the strategy I outlined:

You find forums in your niche, then use Semrush to identify the keywords they rank highly for. Doing this essentially gives you a list of easy to rank keywords, since any term that has forums ranking for it is generally an easy target.

 

The added bonus of this strategy is that you find keywords that might not otherwise show up in traditional tools. Double the power!

What Happened Next

At the end of the post, I highlighted some of the keyword positions after posting around 20 articles targeting “forum keywords”. I was pretty impressed by the fact a handful of these articles found their way to page 1 without having any link building done at all.

This was a good sign that the keywords were indeed easy to rank for, but what happens when you actually do build links to them?

The next thing I did was that very thing, link build.

How did it go? Spectacularly well.

No PBN’s And Only One Page Targeted

Note, I did not build any PBN links to these sites. The links I built were not done via white-hat outreach or other long-winded methods, but were also not from PBNs. My attitude for this site is “Try to rank without PBN’s first”.

I also only built links to one of the posts in question, but every single post benefitted (this isn’t surprising, as link building to one post will benefit the entire domain).

In total, about 30 links were built in two rounds, and those links were a mixture of contextual links and text links, with a diversity of anchor texts.

Results

Rankings

Before link building, I had 2 of the 20 keywords on page 1, but none in the top 5.

Now (see below), there are 8 keywords on page 1, 2 of which are in position 2 (yes, one of these was the post targeted). Many of the other keywords crept up as well.

Note on chart below: The keywords aren’t loaded in the same order as the previous post, they are just the total rankings for the 20 or so posts published.

Keyword

Position

1

15

2

18

3

7

4

2

5

8

6

21

7

24

8

22

9

19

10

11

11

2

12

5

13

5

14

11

15

19

16

17

17

12

18

12

19

9

20

18

21

7

On top of that, the posts that are ranking well are also ranking for multiple other keywords that I hadn’t been tracking. The post I built links to actually has about 4 or 5 different keywords that it ranks for.

Traffic

Checking the screenshot below will let you see that since the previous post went live on April 12th, traffic has more than doubled, ranging from 53 visits per day, to around 150. Not quite tripled yet, but close!

Traffic has more than doubled using this strategy.

Remember, these keywords were all buying intent keywords too, so income has naturally increased as well.

Final Thoughts

As I highlighted in the first post, this is a really fantastic strategy, and just a few hours with Semrush allowed me to find 21 new post ideas, targeting buying keywords in my niche. 

Not only that, those keywords were all a lot easier to rank for than normal, but were NOT necessarily low-hanging fruit. Some of these keywords have searches of 1,000+ per month.

Without any link building, the posts ranked well, but when I did some minimal link building to just one of the posts, they all started to climb even higher, and the post targeted hit position 2.

I’m sure if you invest time to do this strategy, you will see similar results. Imagine what happens when you link build to several posts?

  • EducatedDummy

    Hi Dom, You have 21 KW’s, so 21 individual posts? Roughly, what was the extent these posts were linked internally to each other? Or to other pages/posts already existing before the experiment. Did you notice a jump in ranking for pages outside these 21? If so, were these pages which were linked to these 21?

    • There are actually more like 50 keywords because every post will also pick up a few long-tail variations as well. For the sake of simplicity, I wrote 21 posts and just tracked the main keyword for each post.

      A few of them linked internally to relevant existing posts I had, but none of them had any internal links going to them.

      I noticed a jump in rankings for the whole site, which makes sense given that the links I built went to the homepage. As I said in the update, I built links to the homepage and to one of the posts for the 21.

      • dencha

        Dom, so you built roughly 30 links to your homepage & 1 of the 21 post? Were these links Web 2.0 links, Blog comment, etc?

        This is very interesting and a first I’ve seen this strategy implemented!

        • It doesn’t really matter what type of links they were, but they were mostly contextual links, not blog comments.

  • Dom, this is a great strategy to find low-competitive keywords.

    I’ve read a lot of guides on how to do keyword research, while some mentioned searching in forums, they didn’t mention an automation like SEMRush. This can really help finding the needles in the haystack.

    I’ll be trying this out on my next campaign.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Anh

    • Yeah, searching in forums isn’t going to work because you don’t know how well they rank anyway.

      • You can still manually research each keywords, it takes a lot of times though!

        • I’m not sure that you can actually, as you wouldn’t know which keywords were ranking where, and a lot of keywords you wouldn’t find.