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Minimum Viable SEO: How to get your startup blog found on Google


Free Training: Join my free 4 Day SEO Bootcamp to learn the fundamentals of SEO, get found on search engines and grow your blog on autopilot.

As a blogger or online business, traffic is your lifeline.

And if you are serious about growing your business consistently on auto-pilot, then you NEED to capture the huge traffic potential from Google.

With 3.5 billion search queries made on the search engine every single day, organic traffic can be one of the biggest sources of traffic for your business.

Capturing just 1% of a keyword’s high traffic potential can mean hundreds of thousands in visits to your business every month.

Yup, sounds great.

But the problem is – not everyone can rank well on search engines and score a huge win on Google’s search results.

Because there are over 200 ranking factors on Google, which makes SEO one of the most complex subjects on the planet.

So what I want to do today is focus on small wins. I’m going to show you the first 3 most important steps to take when it comes to SEO — your Minimum Viable SEO Launch Plan, if you will.

This should get your brand new startup blog found on search engines, and greatly improve your rankings.

#1. Niche down and target medium-tail keywords

First, niche down and come up with a specific content angle.

You want to create niche content that is relevant to your target audience’s search query.

Every search query is a keyword topic.

The idea is to create a super in-depth piece of content around that specific keyword topic, which your audience might be searching for.

So for example, if you have a travel blog, your readers might be searching for “travel guides”.

You can narrow this down even more and perhaps think about specific destinations:

  • “travel guides to iceland”
  • “travel guides to bali”
  • “travel guides for london”

You can also narrow this down by thinking about specific personas:

  • “cheap travel guides”
  • “budget travel guides”
  • “3 day travel guides”

But instead of guessing which keywords to target, we can use a more calculated approach with Ubersuggest’s free keyword planner tool.

How to find medium-tail keywords at scale

In the next few steps, I’m going to show you how to find juicy medium-tail keywords to target in any niche.

Quick refresher, medium-tail keywords are 2-3 word phrases like “cheap travel guides” or “vegan recipes”. They are not too difficult to rank for and have high search volume.

So first, get the search volume of your main keyword. Simply type in your main keyword in Ubersuggest’s search box and hit enter.

Step 1: Get search volume data of your main keyword


We can see that our main keyword, “travel guides” has the highest search volume of 6,600.

We are not going to try and rank for that because it’s likely to be super competitive.

Instead, let’s look at some medium-tail keywords that meet these 2 criteria:

  • Search Volume: at least 1,000
  • SEO Difficulty: below 30

Ubersuggest provides a list of keyword ideas and there are some very promising ones such as “travel guides japan”, “travel guides to italy”, “travel guides washington dc”.

Now let’s scale this process to find more niche relevant medium-tail keywords for our business.

Step 2: Use the filter option to narrow down potential keyword ideas


Ubersuggest has this really handy feature that allows you to filter down suggested keywords.

We are going to scale our keyword analysis by using this filter function:

  • set the search volume to min: 1000
  • set the SEO difficulty to max: 30


There we go, a list of juicy keywords to target that have at least 1,000 searches and are not too difficult to rank for.


Related: SEO Case Study: How to Rank in the First 2 Results on Google.

#2. Analyse your competition by looking at SERPs

Using ubersuggest, you can do a very quick and effective competitive analysis by looking at who is currently ranking on page #1 for your target keyword.


Click on that arrow box for the keyword you want to analyze, and Ubersuggest provides a SERP analysis on the right.

Super convenient!

You can pretty much do this for any keyword you want to analyze.

What is Domain Score and how does it matter in SEO?

Now on the right, the most important thing to look out for is domain score.

The domain score of a ranking page tells you the strength of that site, or how authoritative that site is.

Authority is based on the quality and number of backlinks pointing to a site. Think about domain authority as a form of street credibility.

The higher the domain score, the more credible it is in the eyes of Google, and the harder it will be for you to outrank it.

Well, that also depends on your own domain score. If your website has been around long enough and you’ve build a sizeable amount of backlinks, then you should have a decent score (above 30 is good) and could outrank your competitors in the same range too.

So for our target keyword, “travel guides japan”, the website twowanderingsoles.com is actually ranking in position #1 on Google.

And the interesting thing is, that website has a pretty low domain score of 24.

That means it shouldn’t be too difficult to outrank it. Let’s create a minimum viable SEO Strategy to rank for that keyword.

#3. Create a Minimum Viable SEO Strategy

A minimum viable SEO strategy helps you determine whether a keyword is worth pursuing, and your chances of ranking on page #1 on Google for it.

So in our case, we will be targeting the keyword, “travel guides japan”.

Is this keyword worth pursuing?

Yes. “travel guides japan” has a search volume of 1,900. That is sufficient search demand. Ranking for a high search demand keyword like that is likely to drive tons of traffic to our site.

What are our chances of ranking on page #1 for this keyword?

We have a good chance to rank for it. The ranking site has a low domain score of 24, which indicates that it wouldn’t be too hard to outrank it.

Analyzing your competitor’s content to see why they are ranking on Google

The next thing we want to do is analyze our competitor’s content to see why they are ranking on Google. In this case, we will be looking at twowanderingsoles.com and look out for their quality of content and other page level SEO factors.

Analysis 1: Long form content


Twowanderingsoles.com has an insane amount of content optimized for the target keyword, “travel guides japan”.

There are more than 30 sub-topics in this single article related to the “travel guides japan” keyword. Thus, making this article contextually-rich and relevant.

Google ranks this page in the #1 position simply because it has the BEST content to answer the query, “travel guides japan”.

Analysis 2: Heading tags are optimized with keywords


Heading tags provide structure to a page’s content.

This page has h2 tags optimized with keywords related to japan travel guides. Note that these headers don’t necessarily include the exact-match keyword, “travel guides japan”.

But they contain sub-topics related to it. Like “best times of year to visit japan”, “how much does japan cost?”, etc.

This article has literally answered all possible questions a user might have when searching for “travel guides japan”.

Related: How to Create a Remarkable SEO Strategy from Scratch.


So despite having a low domain score of 24, twowanderingsoles.com has proven that — with great content you CAN rank in position #1 on Google for a high traffic keyword like “travel guides japan”.

For startups and new blogs, you can use this same methodology to outrank your competitors even when you are starting from zero.


Author: Leanne Wong

Leanne Wong helps bloggers and entrepreneurs grow an audience and make more money online with organic, inbound marketing.

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34 People reacted on this

    1. Hey! Yes certainly, domain ranking is an important ranking factor on search engines as Google looks at that to determine a site’s authority.

  1. Great tips. We’ve been focusing on SEO and really working on keyword ranking. I’m pleased to say that our efforts are paying off. Investing in Keysearch has really made a difference. You are right, SEO is the key to success.

    1. That’s amazing, Rosemary! Absolutely, investing in SEO is one of the most cost effective solutions for any blog and biz.

  2. Leanne, your posts always leave me so much more informed than I was before.. I need to use UberSuggest more often and consistently.. and hope I can become an SEO expert – aspire to be able to write a post like this someday in the future…

    1. Glad to hear this guide was helpful for you, my dear! Agreed, Pinterest is one of the best traffic sources to grow an audience online.

  3. Thank you so much for this great post! I didn’t even know about Ubersuggest, and it is AMAZING! I had to stop everything and get on Evernote to record a bunch of ideas. Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

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