Writing blog posts is hard. It’s even tougher when you put in a lot of effort (and money) for a number of months and you end up with tumbleweed.
Monetized pages need web traffic to earn. It’s as simple as that.
Usually, pages that are optimized well for low-competition keywords will eventually bring in decent traffic. Believe it or not, this can even be achieved without building any backlinks.
I learned a ton about all that from taking the Fat Stacks course bundle.
Every so often, a good SEO tool for optimizing content comes along that saves both time and money.
Let’s say hello to RankIQ from Brandon Gaille.
RankIQ Review – The AI SEO Tool At A Glance
The Elevator Pitch: RankIQ is an AI-powered on-page content optimization tool that is designed to help your content rank on page one of Google.
The Cost: $99 per month. Currently available at an introductory rate of $49.
The Pros: Super easy to use, a comprehensive list of low competition keywords for the main niches is provided.
The Cons: No significant cons of note. It’s a brand new tool so there are not many reviews available yet.
The Bottom Line: Overall, I’m happy to recommend RankIQ for bloggers at all levels.
Before we get stuck in, who am I and why am I writing this review?
Hey, I’m Keith and I’ve been running my own businesses on a full-time basis since 2006. While I’ve been playing around with websites since the year 2000, I’m relatively new to the world of monetizing niche websites. My focus is on targeting low competition keywords so that I can avoid the risk (and hard work) of link building.
Nobody asked nor paid me to write this review. I discovered RankIQ when listing to the Blogging Millionaire podcast which is published by the founder of this new tool.
Being curious, I decided to check it out and see what was on offer. I wrote a draft post and then later reached out to the founder Branon Gaille to ask a few technical questions I had.
Let’s dive in.
Introduction to RankIQ
I must admit that I’m a fan of SEO tools that were developed by people to solve an SEO-related challenge that they themselves were experiencing.
These people are usually in the trenches trying out different techniques to improve their own (or their clients’) sites ranking within Google.
Some notable examples include Spencer Haws’ Link Whisper plugin for WordPress, Kyle Roof’s PageOptimizer Pro (POP), and now we have Brandon Gaille’s new AI-based SEO tool.
You may have stumbled across this review because you’re wondering is Rank IQ worth it?
To save you from reading all the way to the end, I can tell you that it is indeed worth it.
Why? Well, I guess you’ll have to read on as we take a deep dive in to see what this new AI-powered SEO toolset from Brandon Gaille is all about.
What is RankIQ, exactly?
RankIQ is a software as a service tool that uses AI technology to provide SEO optimizations to help content rank higher in Google. RankIQ makes suggestions for the ideal word count, page title, and topic keywords to help content rank on page one of Google.
How does RankIQ work?
RankIQ was developed to help bloggers and content publishers achieve first-page rankings on the Google search engine. The founder, Brandon Gaille, recognized that most content publishers find it difficult to get their websites’ pages ranking on page one of Google for their target keywords.
A March 2020 study from Ahrefs that found almost 91% of content gets traffic from Google. Another key finding in that report is that only 1% of pages receive between 100 and 1,000 monthly visits.
According to the study, a target that many clued-in bloggers aim for, i.e. 1k monthly visits and above, is achieved by only 0.21% of the one billion-plus pages contained within Ahrefs’ index.
That statistic creates a lot of opportunities.
Brandon wanted to create a tool that gives bloggers a very simple technique to help every blog post they write to achieve a high Google ranking. That in turn will bring in organic traffic.
Each blogger who wants traffic will have a different goal. Some will want to monetize all that traffic with display ads, affiliate links, info products, or eCommerce products. Others will simply want to provide high-quality content that helps readers to solve a particular problem.
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The creator, Brandon, describes RankIQ as a market-disrupting tool. The SEO analysis tool makes use of IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence. Their AI computes in excess of six thousand mathematical equations in under two minutes.
The results are presented in a very easy-to-understand format that lists the exact steps to take in order to give your post the best chance of ranking high in Google searches.
It sounds almost too good to be true, right? As this tool is currently brand new, we’ll have to wait and see how real-life tests in the wild work out in the long term.
Who is RankIQ for?
The software is aimed towards bloggers, content creators, publishers, and anybody who writes content for the web and wants it to rank high on Google. It is intended for use by beginners as well as intermediate and experienced bloggers.
The software can be used for new posts as well as for optimizing old posts to improve the level of organic traffic they receive.
OK. We’re down to the meat of the review.
Let’s get into it.
RankIQ has a very clear and easy-to-follow graphical user interface. Here’s the home screen you’ll see when you first log in.
You might find that your eye is drawn to the tutorial video on the right-hand side. This is a highly informative 26-minute onboarding video that Brandon has created to welcome new users and to get them up and running straight away.
The instructions are well presented in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step format.
I really like the logical workflow that is presented. The recommended strategy is as follows:
Step 1: Go into the keyword library for your niche and review every keyword in the library, line by line. RankIQ was not designed to be searched keyword after keyword like the way ahrefs and SEMRush are.
Step 2: Add the keywords you like into your library.
Step 3: Schedule articles to be published (based on your selected keywords).
Step 4: When ready to start writing, run the AI SEO report. This is to ensure that you get the most accurate and most up-to-date analysis data from the AI. This report is processed in real-time.
The Keyword Library – What’s That All About?
This is a unique feature that I haven’t seen before in an SEO/SERP tool of this nature. It actually took me by surprise. Within the tool, Brandon has supplied a huge list of handpicked low competition keywords for over 60 different blogging niches.
This is an absolute goldmine for beginner bloggers who are not yet proficient at keyword research. It will save them so much time. (By the way, they should still learn how to do proper keyword research – that’s such an important skill to have as a blogger).
Careful selection of keywords will likely set them on the right path and give them a better chance of ranking well in the SERPs. Especially when their website is new and doesn’t have any domain authority yet.
RankIQ currently contains hundreds of carefully researched low competition keywords grouped into the following niches:
- Airmiles Loyalty
- Binoculars / Scopes
- Career / Jobs
- Electric Rides
- Facts About
- Financial Crimes / Scams
- Frugal Living
- Graphic Design
- Homesteading / Composting
- HR / Workplace
- Immigration / Citizenship
- Medical School
- Mental Health
- Non-Toxic / Eco Friendly
- Organization Ideas
- Personal Finance
- Project Management
- Real Estate
- Remote Working
- Solar Panels
- Special Education
Wow, what a list! I took a quick look into some of the niches and it would keep me busy for a decade if I was to go through them all. While most libraries have less than 1,000 keywords, the travel and recipe niches have around 5,000 keywords.
Good news for food and travel bloggers! It’s a shame I’m not in either of those niches.
These huge keyword lists are a huge timesaver. The only issue I see is what if thousands of users sign up to RankIQ straight away and start using the keywords. Surely the keywords will eventually become more competitive?
I think that might take considerable time to happen and Brandon did mention he will be continuously adding keywords to the niches. He will be a busy man for sure.
Brandon promises that he’ll create a list of low competition keywords for any niche that is not listed. All you need to do is reach him on the support chat which is is personally monitoring. Brandon promises that he’ll create a list of low competition keywords for any niche that is not listed. All you need to do is reach him on the support chat which he is currently monitoring personally. I was impressed that the tool’s founder was a quick chat away when I had questions.
Realistically, Brandon won’t be able to provide that personal support forever. The tool will eventually grow to a point where there won’t be enough Brandons to go around!
The keyword phrases are neatly presented in a table that shows data from three different data arrays:
- A competition score,
- An estimate for how many visits each year,
- The estimated time to rank on page 1 of Google. This metric uses historical ranking data based on posts in the SERPS that have zero backlinks. In other words, validated low competition – or as close to it as you can get.
I don’t think the estimated ranking times are unrealistic either – “average” equates to about 6 months which is what I would tend to see myself in my own niche websites where link-building is not a tactic I employ.
After a report is run for a particular keyword (or keyword phrase), there is a choice of two tabs:
- AI SEO Report
- Content Optimizer
AI SEO Report
This report can take about 2 minutes to run because it is running a lot of algorithms in the background and pulling live data analysis from pages that are currently ranking in the top 30 results. For the queries I ran, I found it usually took about 30 seconds.
Once the report is ready, it is presented in a very clean and elegant format. The report is split into 4 sections:
# 1 – Summary Targets
This section simply shows the word count and content quality score that an article or blog post needs to possess to have the best chance of achieving a first-page rank on Google for a particular keyword.
# 2 – Competition Analysis: Highest Graded Content in Google
This section of the report contains links to the three posts that show the most thorough content for that particular keyword. The idea here is to click into the top 3 posts to get an idea of how they’re presenting the content in terms of layout etc.
You should especially pay attention to see if the posts are matching the search intent of the keyword.
# 3 – Title Analysis: Keywords Google Likes In Titles
Title Analysis – looks at the keywords used in the page titles of the top 3 pages. This is the Title Analysis section where it looks at the keywords used in the page titles of the top 3 pages / top 30 results for the target keyword phrase within Google.
Just slightly out of the screenshot there is the word ‘bloggers’ so I was able to very quickly come up with a simple blog title of “13 Best Keyboards for Bloggers and Writers in 2021”.
The page title, or SEO title as some like to call it, is one of the most important on-page signals that tell Google what the page is all about.
In terms of CTR (click-through rate), crafting the right title can really help to make or break a blog post. RankIQ helps to create a perfect page title by grouping the most frequently used keywords from pages that are currently ranking for any given search term. Neat!
# 4 – Content Analysis: Topics Google Wants You to Cover
What’s sweet about this particular section is that it removes the complex workflow that other SEO tools have. You’ll be presented with suggested topics (sorted by order of importance) to include within the content body. This is handled automatically by the IBM-powered AI algorithm.
The topics are organized in a way that will in turn provide a strong outline for any article that you are writing.
This process will save so much time. Without this tool, it can take hours to manually analyze the search engine results pages (SERPs) within Google. RankIQ’s AI handles this within minutes.
The goal is to organize the top 40 into one theme to be used in the post outline The goal is to organize the top 40 topics into one theme to be used in the post outline.
The goal is to organize the top 40 into one theme to be used in the post outline The list will include variation keywords that are important to cover.
There are also The goal is to organize the top 40 into one theme to be used in the post outline LSI keywords that Google uses to understand your posts. They should be mentioned in the post if you’d like to rank for many secondary keywords.
Brandon’s recommended workflow for this section of the report is as follows:
Step 1 – Organise the top 40 topics into one theme.
Step 2 – Identify the variations of the core theme topics.
Step 3 – Identify the LSI keywords.
In his onboarding video, Brandon Gaille quite rightly mentions that it is vital to avoid keyword stuffing as it will hurt you in the long run.
Content Grade Optimizer
The next tab of the report is the Content Grade Optimizer. This takes the form of a WYSIWYG content editor. As you type and make changes to your draft content, you’ll notice the content grade score and word count updating in realtime.
On the right-hand side of the screen, you’re prompted with the key topics that should be included to have the most complete content for the keyword you are targeting.
Forgive my boring writing skills, I was only testing and watching those green checkmarks getting checked off in real-time as I wrote!
Your post will be ready to publish once you reach the target content grade and word count. It’s at this point that Brandon claims RankIQ will have helped create the most comprehensive content on the chosen topic combined with a CTR-optimized page title to boot. Sweet!
The bonus of course is that you’ll also have content that should end up ranking high for all of the secondary related keywords and phrases that are associated with the topic.
RankIQ’s Recommended Writing Strategy
- Create a great outline.
- Write a comprehensive post.
- Add more naturally written content to improve your content grade.
Pros of RankIQ
- Simple and easy to use.
- Hundreds of handpicked low-competition keywords on a niche-by-niche basis are presented to you.
- Suggested keywords for title generation are based upon currently high-performing content.
- Suggested word count removes the guesswork.
- The topic suggestions ensure you are covering all important angles to produce a comprehensive article on a given topic.
- Reasonably priced.
- Great support. Brandon is currently handling support personally so he can gather customer feedback directly. He’ll use these insights to guide the tool’s development
Cons of RankIQ
- It’s a new product and needs more time in the wild to assess in more detail.
- It doesn’t write the article for you! OK, I’m kidding with this one, but no tool will do everything for you but RankIQ will give you a very good starting point.
Verdict – Is RankIQ legit?
Well, is RankIQ any good? Is it the real deal?
Based on what I know so far, I believe RankIQ is legit and the real deal. I’ve been following Branon Gaille for some time now via his podcast and blog. He is well respected within the blogging community.
He offers blogging courses for sale but at the same time, gives away a huge volume of highly actionable content for free.
I didn’t get to do an in-depth test of RankIQ over a few months. Instead, I had the opportunity to test it for a weekend and I’m happy to report that I was impressed.
The tool is very easy to use and well suited to beginner bloggers who cannot afford the likes of MarketMuse, ClearScope, SurferSEO, and POP. Only a very long-term test could determine how all of these tools would stack up against each other.
However, on the face of it, if you want to quickly hit the ground with highly optimized on-page content, I recommend that you give RankIQ a shot.
- Powered by IBM Watson’s AI.
- More than 6,000 equations are performed by the AI in under 2 minutes.
- Elegant and easy-to-follow workflow.
- Build a blog post outline in mere minutes.
- Quick competitor analysis.
- Real-time grading as you write optimized content.
- A hand-picked low-competition keyword library for key niches has been provided.
How much does RankIQ cost?
At the time of writing, March 2021, RankIQ is priced at $99 per month. However, for a limited time only, you can get grandfathered in for just €49 per month.
This is very reasonable in comparison to other AI-powered SEO tools.
Most bloggers who are starting out can afford this. Using RankIQ will help their new content rank quicker and if they monetize the content, it should earn higher amounts more quickly.
It’s difficult to compare this particular tool 1:1 to other tools because they are all different. SurferSEO has a very limited tier priced at about $30 per month. That’s only a hobby tier so it doesn’t compare fairly. SurferSEO’s top package is currently priced at $650.
At the other end of the scale, Clearscope starts at $170 per month for their Essentials plan and their next plan up is $350 per month.
MarketMuse, with which I am reasonably familiar, starts at $79 for an entry-level package and goes to $1,499 per month.
Overall, RankIQ is priced extremely competitively.
Alternatives to RankIQ
While all of these tools are different, there is some overlap when it comes to the on-page optimization. Each tool has unique features.
So, I use the term competitors loosely. However, you’ll find that most people will only use 1 tool below. The occasional person might use 3 but that will be rare enough.
- Surfer SEO
- Page Optimizer Pro
Is there a free alternative to RankIQ?
No, I don’t know of any free alternatives to RankIQ. I tend to believe that people usually get what they pay for. If you do know of good free alternatives, please feel free to make contact and let me know.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Rank IQ software.
Who is the founder and creator of RankIQ?
The well-known blogger and podcaster, Brandon Gaille, is the founder, creator, and CEO of RankIQ.
Brandon will be the first to admit that he too started his blog from zero. After just a year and a half, he grew from a mere couple of posts and zero traffic to getting over 1 million monthly visits. That’s an impressive growth in traffic.
His three blogs combined have over 53k page one rankings bringing in over 50 million organic search visitors annually.
Brandon has been very open about the very challenging journey that he and his family have been on for over a decade. Their turnaround has been nothing short of inspiring and they deserve every success with their new SEO software venture.
Is there a RankIQ free trial or discount coupon code?
At the time of writing, there is an introductory discount of $50.
Is there a RankIQ demo?
No, there is no demo publicly available at this time.
Does RankIQ have an Affiliate Program?
Yes, there is an affiliate program for RankIQ. More information is available here.
Is RankIQ only for WordPress?
No. The Rank IQ app can be used for content that has been published on any platform or CMS. It does not require WordPress. In fact, you just need access to the web.
Is RankIQ safe to use?
The changes made by the tool are to improve the quality and informational content of your posts. It is safe because no black hat SEO techniques whatsoever are used. It is a completely white hat SEO tool.
Are there tutorials for RankIQ?
The software itself is very easy and self-explanatory to use, even for beginners. There is a very informative step-by-step induction video visible as soon as you log in.
Is there a RankIQ Chrome extension?
Not at this time as everything can be done via the web app itself.
Is there a RankIQ API?
Currently, there is no public API for the software and it is unknown whether there will ever be one. The software is still new so this might all change in the future. We’ll keep you updated.
Will RankIQ integrate with Google Search Console?
Although this can be somewhat controversial, some SEO tools encourage integration with Google Search Console. It is not known yet whether it will provide GSC integration for a future release.