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A Simple Way to Find Great Key Terms (Copy the Big Dogs 🐶)

Doug Haines

“What kind of fruit do content marketers like best?”

Low hanging.

Most analysts overcomplicate keyword research.

They present huge spreadsheets with hundreds or thousands of rows 😱😱😱

It would be like a professional sports scout saying, “Here are 500 players you could sign for your team.”

At Kalium, I ask our analysts to choose the best terms—ones that tick many boxes:

✅   High volume

✅   Low competition

✅   High user intent

✅   Relevant to the service

✅   Brand enhancing

✅   Relevant in-house expertise

I want a short, targeted list.

Today I will talk about a seemingly obvious but often overlooked strategy: copying the big dogs.

The Tough World of Sales (Money Never Sleeps, Pal)

We’re going to use the sales market as an example

Selling into sales teams can be challenging. There is a ton of competition and lots of verticals—software, training, recruiters etc.

Also, your sales tricks are less likely to work.

So, how do we find great terms?

We take a closer look the big dogs do it. And in the sales/marketing world, there is no more giant dog than Hubspot.

The site has 1.5m monthly visitors, according to Ahrefs.

So, let’s look at their top ranking pages and see if we can compete. Surely a small site can’t compete with Hubspot?

The first non-branded page is about follow-up emails. It generates 12.1k monthly visits and ranks for 1070 keywords.

It’s also valuable and relevant to salespeople.

The #1 term the page ranks for is how to write a follow up email.

This is a great term with a nice Clicks per Search (CPS). But, the 59 keyword difficulty score looks tricky…

It’s not simple, but getting on page one should be very doable.

Here’s why:

  • The SERP is a little confused by user intent – Different situations require a follow-up email—sales calls/job interviews/networking/meetings. In anarchy comes opportunity because often other sites give it a miss or don’t commit great content resources.
  • The quality of the content ranking is poor – We can do better.
  • There is a site with a DR of 43 ranking on page 1.

So, if you can create some really strong content you can rank. I’m sure many of the readers will be sales professionals that you want on your site.

Here’s the plan:

Step 1 

Create a guide that looks at follow-up emails for different scenarios

  • Sales.
  • Networking.
  • Job interview.

Step 2 

Dig into the research on this.

There are tons of books, academic papers and articles on sales and influence. Ask a researcher to dig up a few interesting and relevant sources

Step 3

Speak to experts in the field.

And I don’t just mean put out a HARO request—I mean approach professionals that will have genuine and unique insights.

There are many!

Step 4

Create a test.

This is super hard and probably not for version one. But, create a test where you use different emails. If you have a sales team doing this work anyway, capture it.

We don’t need double blind placebo randomised trials but some meaningful data will help a ton.

Step 5 

Build downloadable samples.

For each email create a Google Doc or Word Doc with the email template.

Step 6 

As we’ve said before, the user intent is a little bit mixed here. Once you have them on the page create a link to your page more specifically on sales follow-up emails.

You could target sales follow up email directly but it looks harder to rank for so I prefer this route into the topic.

If we were doing this for real we’d look at Hubspot’s top 100 articles and cherry-pick 🍒 the best terms to compete for.

If you do that across three main sites you will have a ton of ideas.

Article by:

Doug Haines

Meet Doug, the mastermind behind Kalium’s success. Learn how Doug applies SEO strategies to turn this SA travel site into a million-dollar company.

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