How to Rank on Google with NO Keyword Research

Myths about SEO debunked by your resident weeb marketer

Nobody wants to admit this fact: SEO is too goddamn expensive, my dudes

According to this exhaustive Moz study, “Hourly SEO Costs Vary Across Countries, but $76-$200/hour is Most Common.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to cough up a $6,000 retainer, praying an SEO expert does the Magics with the H1s, Alt Tags, OG, Meta Descriptions, and Backlinks.

Especially since I’ve managed to find a system that works, and all it takes is a bit of time, writing chops, and elbow grease.

Time that maybe you don’t have, if you’re a small business owner trying to make it work.

But if your budget is ‘meh’, and your needs are great, this article is for you.

Let’s begin by breaking down some SEO myths, and ways to help you rank without 3039593 keyword spreadsheets.

Myth: Social Media has no direct effect on SEO rankings, at all

Fact: It absolutely does, why the duck you lyin’?

Social Signals boosting stuff to Google’s Front Page has been a long debated topic by SEO nerds for quite some time now.

I’m surprised that they’re still arguing about it, because the proof is in the pudding:

Hootsuite did a dank study on it in March of 2018, after Google decided to stop talking about Social Signaling:

Since 2014, Google has publicly denied that social has any direct affect on rankings.
There is a positive correlation between social engagements and change in rank.
Overall there were more improvements in rank associated with social engagements than observed ranking losses.

According to Hootsuite’s insane Frankenstein marketing science experiment, social media helped their reach expand by 12% organically.

Using paid social, SEO ranking increased by 22%.

Is this actually surprising?

Are you surprised that Google, which positions relevant, quality content as top dog, would take Social Signals by Humans into consideration for what Humans deem…relevant and quality?

Do you think I actually made any ads to get this invaluable monster to stick?

No, I absolutely did not.

What did I do to reach spot #3 of Google’s front page, exactly?

I posted my article on every available social media outlet that would accept it

Then I waited, and did it again. And again. And again. And again.

If you’re just starting on your blogging adventure, your site probably doesn’t have a lot of traffic and your social profiles probably suck.

Your best bet is to start off somewhere that’ll get you there, faster.

Medium is where you start. Yes, Medium is a social media blogging platform, do not argue with me.

You can absolutely have your blog articles on your own website, but I strongly suggest you import them to Medium.

Inside your Medium articles, you need to link in-line to your landing pages, with a solid Call to Action, or a form at the bottom of each article.

Medium Publications will promote your article on social to a wider audience.

It’s in their best interest to give your articles Social Signal Boosts.

Because they’re not only promoting your work, they’re promoting their publication.

Check out this board by Smedian, filled with top Medium Publications to submit to.

Smedian has a handy article boosting chatroom feature that lets you share your work.

It also has a new feature to put your work On Blast right on the platform itself.

Pretty fancy, huh?

Use Reddit as a social media outlet for distribution

Subscribe to /r/BlogDiscovery and /r/TellThePeople immediately.

If you do not have a Reddit account with solid Karma, go sign up and follow this guide immediately (scroll down halfway, I got too tangential).

Subscribe to /r/Startups, and /r/Entrepreneur as soon as you can.

If you want to make a top-level post in the above two subreddits, copy and paste your entire article into the body, then offer a link at the end.

There’s nothing Redditors hate more than Shills, so don’t annoy them with self promo posts.

Repost your article literally everywhere you can

Sign up for a GrowthHackers account and submit your articles if they’re relevant.

Sign up for Flipboard, and again, try not to self-promo like a blockhead. Flip some things you’re into, then flip your’s. Easy peasy.

Once your article has been accepted for a publication, start distribution using the above tactics.

If you want to go the ‘our own blog is the best blog evarr’ route, just do the above for your own site’s articles.

See? Not rocket science.

What about using Social Signals for SEO on traditional platforms?

Promoting on traditional social media outlets like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Facebook, requires a bitchin’ social media tool.

You can use Lately to automatically generate social media copy, and schedule posts inside the platform.

Buffer is also a top choice where social media scheduling is concerned, because it’s easy to use, and pretty, unlike Sprout Social.

I’ve heard good things about Agora Pulse, but haven’t actually used it myself.

LinkedIn is aces where distribution is concerned, you won’t convince me otherwise.

I’ve developed a whole system to get yourself positioned with maximum impact on LinkedIn, so I’d strongly advise you read this monster, rite meow.

Now that you know Social Signals help with SEO, and how to wield that weapon, let’s dive in a few more myths so you can get your shit sorted.

Myth: LSI actually helps with SEO a lot and you must smash synonymous keywords everywhere

Fact: It kind of does, but not in the way you might think

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It was a technique created in the 1980s for retrieving information from oldskool tech that didn’t know wtf synonyms were.

The cool duderinos of Search Engine Journal have this to say about LSI:

Undoubtedly, Google wants to understand the context of any piece of content. The field of semantics (the study of meaning in language) is a fundamental part of this approach.

Neat. They’re pretty down for LSI and search rankings, right?

Nope.

There is good reason to believe that Google has evolved far beyond this and uses much more sophisticated, machine learning-led technology for document indexation and information retrieval.

Clearly we are not living in the 1980s, no matter how hard I wish to time travel back into the past to attend some dank ‘Til Tuesday concerts.

The great thing about LSI is this:

If you’re struggling with content, and hit a mental roadblock, try LSI for inspo.

Even if Google may or may not care about LSI, there’s no harm in trying to rank for weirder words.

Who knows? Maybe it does work, but there’s just no confirmation via Google, like how they said Social Signals don’t matter.

When they do. Hah.

Of course, please use relevant keywords in your articles and on your website.

Google is not psychic, and neither are people. Writing for your audience inevitably relies on key terminology, which are keywords.

However, you have to distribute. If you don’t, you won’t get anywhere.

Don’t be shy. Be smart about it, of course, but if you don’t start you can’t grow.

No risk, no reward, right?

Myth: Keyword Research wins the Google Ranking Olympics, so go stuff that Blog Turkey

Fact: While keywords lodged into H1s, etc, are helpful, you are absolutely NOT going to rank against the Big Boys

This is from https://kwfinder.com/

Just doing a quick check for ‘marketing agency’ yields the above.

112,666 backlinks. Holy shit!

How in Satan’s good name is my tiny agency going to compete with Pulse Marketing Agency on that keyword!?

We can’t. There’s literally no way we can do it. Inconceivable!

Using Neil Patel’s keyword tool, this is what it yields for ‘social media scheduler’, which I’m positive many of my SaaS bros are trying to rank for:

https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ Neil made a pretty cool tool, but I’m concerned about that 60% chance.

Alrighty, so Neil’s tool is telling me the SEO difficulty isn’t that hard, the search volume is pretty low, the difficulty for paid search is ridiculous, and cost per click is an insane $18 motherducking dollars.

If you’re a newbie Startup, there’s no way you have the cash to smash into $18 per bloody click.

Even if you do, why the shit would you want to?

Also, look at who you are competing with, here:

Do you seriously think you can yare yare daze your way over these peoples?

Sprout Social nabbed $40.5M on an $800M valuation.

Do you have millions of dollars to slog around into the ether that is SEO?

Buffer makes 1.6 million dollars per month, according to Baremetrics. WTF!

These literal bad-asses have more cash, more manpower, more connections, and more backlinks. It’s hopeless, right?

Not quite.

How in the world can you compete with these behemoths on SEO and keyword ranking?

It’s simple…

If you’re at a party, and you need all eyes on you, but some amazing dude in a swanky suit is taking center stage…what do you do?

You make the most brilliant scene imaginable. Who wins at parties? The comedians. The rebels with a heart of gold.

That random guy with an acoustic guitar; he’s got the whole crowd on lock.

In order to get your business on the map with SEO, you need to make better stuff and distribute it. Stand on that table to yell a lot.

You have to go in swinging.

Here’s what I mean where ‘making a scene’ and SEO are concerned:

This is Pulse Marketing Agency’s blog article on Influencers, on page 3 of their insanely agonizing 47 page exodus:

I checked their meta tags but was surprised they have absolutely no keywords listed.

Let’s pop back to my rankings on that insane article, again, because apparently I’ve hopped to number 2 in the span of an hour:

Here’s the article I pulled up from my competitor, who is definitely not really a competitor, because I’m way too tiny to even count at all:

Where are the headlines?

Why are the paragraphs so chonky? This encourages skimming.

I didn’t do any keyword research for this article. The only keyword stroking I did was put hashtags in the little Medium box thingy before I hit publish.

However, you’re seeing keywords highlighted, so why?

People are lazy. They just want to know what’s up with what you’re doing, and fast. That’s it.

This article isn’t some masterwork in keyword research and SEO.

It’s a masterwork in distribution, social media copywriting, writing excellent content, being relevant, and standing on top of a table screaming a lot.

I didn’t intend on ranking for ‘hiring influencers’ in the least bit.

But here we are, on page 2 of Google, and Pulse Marketing Agency isn’t even on the map.

So, how exactly do you Rank on Google with NO Keyword Research?

You play by the new skool social media rules, distribute where the Big Boys won’t, and use common sense

You write the excellent content and yell on top of a table. That’s it.

Google is smart. Google doesn’t need you to hold its hand and tell it what you’re doing in a bloody spreadsheet.

Humans are lazy, they want what they want, and they want it now.

Make it easy for Google by promoting the shit out of your article, and make it easy for humans by writing things in a way they’ll appreciate.

I believe you can get there without all the spreadsheets: now prove me right!


I hope this article was helpful for you.

If you’re finding yourself struggling with all this, know you’re not alone.

It takes time, writing chops, and a bit of elbow grease.

If you want help, you know where to find me.

Now I’m going to go play some video games, TTYS! ❤️


Kira Leigh is a snarky marketing nerd, writer, and artist. See her work here and send her a message if you want to work together with her amazeballs team.

Special thanks to Renato P. dos Santos for his continued support.