Striking Distance Keywords: the often over-looked SEO tactic with the biggest payoff

Leverage Striking Distance Keywords in your Search Engine Optimizations

Most SEO audits are very thorough, cover all the important SEO factors, and the payoff can be experienced for years to come.  Our SEO audit clients are continuing to have year over year SEO traffic increases of 30%+ from audits done over three years ago.  But they can be costly. 

If you can’t yet afford a soup-to-nuts SEO audit, auditing your “striking distance” keywords – keywords that have the potential to rank on page 1 – and  improving those can have a nice payoff, bumping up revenue steadily.  To audit these keywords:

1.       Go into Google Search Console, Performance Report

2.       Add in Impressions, Clicks, Avg Position and CTR

3.       Download the Report

Sort the report by impressions and filter for all keywords in position 9 through 13.  These are your striking distance keywords.  They represent the biggest opportunity to get on page 1 with a bit of elbow grease, thus increasing your traffic.  Go through this report keyword by keyword and visit the pages that are ranking for each of those keywords and see what optimizations you need to make to improve rankings.  Often the optimizations with the biggest payoff are the following:

1.       Build more internal links to that page.  Blog posts, footers, navigation, and product descriptions are examples of places that can link back to the target page.

2.       Optimize page titles to include the target keywords

3.       Improve meta-descriptions for your target keyword.  This in and of itself won’t improve your rankings, but it can help improve your Click-Through Rates which gets you more traffic while your other optimizations take effect.

4.       Improve on-page text to include more of your target keyword.  Readability and flow is the first priority, so don’t use keywords too many times that they sound unnatural.  But sometimes a bit more keyword usage can help.

Doing this practice once a month will begin to have steady, noticeable improvements in your SEO traffic, which then allows you to invest more in paid media traffic and channels that grow your brand over the long-term. No time to manage this? Drop us a line at and we’re happy to talk strategy.