So, SEO is DEAD.

Yeah freaking right!

But, there are a lot of solid considerations that force those of us who self-identify as SEO’s to take a closer look at what we’re really doing…

One thing is for damn sure, now is not the time to give up on search rankings, and for one big reason – search rankings still equal money.

There are a lot of ways to identify opportunities at the keyword level, including relatively complex approaches, and more simplified ones. All of which serve their own respective purposes.

But now, thanks to SEMRush, there is a much, much easier path quickly find out where you should be focusing your SEO dollars.

Find High Search Volume Keywords You Already Ranking For

Then optimize from there. Sounds simple right?

Well to be honest, the analysis is really simple, but increasing sustainable organic rankings, ehh not so much.

But let’s take a look at how SEMRush gives us all the data we need to at least identify and prioritize these keywords.

Go fire up your SEMRush account, don’t worry if you don’t have one – it’s free to create and use (up until a point).

Once you get there (and have created and account, and logged in), enter your domain in the search box:

For the purposes of demonstration I’m going to look at my friends website;


Click Search, then scroll down to the “organic keywords” section, and hit the “Export” button:



Once clicked, you will get 3 format options > Choose XLS (Excel):



Now it is going to download the data, and once this has finished – open up your new file in Excel.

Initially it is going to look like this:


Not the sexiest of files, but with a couple formatting tweaks we’ll be in good shape:

  1. View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Top Row
  2. Highlight Row 1 > Bold + Underline + Data > Filter
  3. Delete column C (Previous Rank) Since this is important for this exercise
  4. Sort new column C (Now Search Volume) ‘Largest to Smallest’
  5. While column C is highlighted > Conditional Formatting > Color Scales > Green – Yellow – Red
  6. Highlight column B > Conditional Formatting > Color Scales > Red – Yellow – Green

Your file should now look like this:


Notice anything in Column B?

Those are your biggest opportunities, from top to bottom, color coded by current ranking; the darker the green, the higher you currently rank.

So looking at the screenshot above, we can very quickly see that my friend’s biggest keyword opportunity  is to increase her ranking for the keyword washington dc tours, where she currently ranks 7th in Google, for a keyword with over 12,000 searches each month.

How Freaking Easy is That?

Stupid easy right?

So if you haven’t yet – go create an SEMRush account right now and run through this process.

Next Steps

Once you have identified which keywords are both qualified and deserving of your time, i.e. they have sufficient average monthly search volume (I like to use 1,000 searches/month as my baseline), next you need to figure out the SERP level competition, develop your keyword-level content strategy, and begin the process of acquiring high value (*cough* contextually relevant *cough*) links.

Leave us a comment if you have any more questions, tips, or hacks on how to improve this 5 minute analysis.

Nick Eubanks
Nick Eubanks

Nick is the Founder and CEO of From The Future. When he's not elbow deep in data, he's spending time with his wife, his dogs, or his cars.


  • Avatar Paul says:

    If you have a free account, they only let you see the first 10 results. But, it’s still a quick and easy way to get that info.

  • Avatar mike says:

    Nice! Very cool. However, when i type in my domain, I get no data. I have had the domain for a couple years, so I am not sure why there is no data

    • Nick Nick says:

      Hey Mike,

      That *is* weird, I get some data when I type in just, but you’re right – not much. From what does render it looks like your site took a major hit in February vs. January; Jan: 1,499 to Feb: 69. Does this line up with your current traffic? Any crawl notification in WMT?


  • Avatar Granit Doshlaku says:

    It forces me to upgrade my account, i can’t use it for free. However, it’s very useful to look for competitors and what are they ranking for. Until now i have been using which offers 5 top keywords that are bringing traffic to a site, but seemrush looks even better.

    Thanks for the tip 🙂

    • Nick Nick says:

      Hey Granit – Yeah to really get all of the good data out of it you need a subscription, but IMHO it’s also the best rank tracking software on the market.

      Thanks for reading – Cheers!

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