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As a Copywriter, one of the most important skills I had to adopt was to be able to write like a pro at any given topic—even if I had no prior experience in that particular field. I actually consider this to be one of the most exciting aspects of my job.

So, when I became the Copywriter of a call technology company known as Phonexa, I had to crack down on several unexplored topics, one of which completely fascinated me and had me spellbound during and after work hours.

While captured in my research and pumping out at least 2,000 words a day on this seducing topic, I noticed that I was slowly consumed by the dazzling world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

I read, breathed, and slept on the topic. I practiced it on my own personal blog site before publishing my findings on forums and professional platforms. I worked day and night, sometimes sleeping at 4 AM on weekends, trying to optimize my content just right so that I could become a thought leader in my field and get my buried website ranking on big search engines like Google.

The Miracle

One day, while trying out my two key phrases on Google search, a miracle happened. I made it onto the first page of Google for both key phrases.

I had literally beat out over 10 million other related websites in the same niche and climbed my way to the first page. I remained in that spot for two months straight. Those were probably the most exciting two months of my blogging life.

That is, until I recognized a disheartening trend.

Despite doing everything in my power to climb onto the first page within a matter of days (and succeeding), I still didn’t earn many organic clicks. If anything, my metrics looked better before I started ranking.

Here’s a chart of what my metrics looked like during that time (I was ranking during September and October):

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Hmm.

This was not the most encouraging sight, but data doesn’t lie. I was doing something wrong.

My Top Failures

I finally went back to the drawing board, this time determined to not let my ego speak louder than the facts. These were my top failures:

I had purposefully chosen highly unsaturated key phrases so that it would be easier for me to rank first page, and I neglected the marketing schedule I was previously committed to.

Google Keyword Planner reported that both my two key phrases have an average of 0-100 searchers per month. That’s close to nothing at all.

It was for this reason that simply adding a more complex link structure, increasing my keyword density, pitching my website to review lists and submitting site maps didn’t work.

I mean, they worked in the sense that I started ranking for the keywords I wanted, but I was cowardly in my approach. I chose ultra-low-competition keywords to make my SEO battle easier.

As a result, I spent more time trying to rank for unpopular keywords than I did trying to guest blog, post regularly, and keep up on my social media marketing.

My traffic plummeted.

It’s Not About the Ranking

My advice to you is to aim higher. If you’re going to rank, make it something worthwhile. Be brave and choose saturated keywords.

By the words of the millionaire blogger, Jon Morrow, “Crowded niches got that way for a reason: they work. […] For a savvy marketer, no niche is ever too crowded. Standing out is a matter of having a more intimate understanding of your readers than the competition.”

This means that the more competitive a niche or keyword may be, the more you’re able to gauge the audiences’ interest in those topics. Alas, it’s not about the ranking. It’s about the keywords that you’re trying to rank for.

Although it was nice to be at the top of the ladder for two months, I eventually swallowed my pride and went back to doing the real guttural work of SEO marketing: guest blogging, consistently producing high quality content, and pitching my articles to authority blog sites.

Now, I’m probably on the third or fourth page of my previous key phrases and on the tenth or twelfth page of my new, saturated key phrases, but my incoming traffic is gradually increasing at a consistent pace. I’m earning organic readers and returning customers. People spread my blog posts on social media on their own without my begging or coaching.

These social media shares and word-of-mouth advertisements might not have any true SEO value, but they are absolutely critical for extra marketing support. If you want to courageously rank for a saturated keyword or key phrase, you will need to rely on relationship marketing tactics like email drip campaigns, word-of-mouth, social media campaigns, and things of a similar nature to help you.

Ranking on big search engines is just another traffic stream. It’s an important stream, but not the only stream.

While you construct your SEO stream and wait for the incoming traffic to flow through, don’t neglect your other equally qualified streams of traffic as well.