Sharing my experience using RankIQ as a niche food blogger (Asian recipes with a test kitchen approach) in 2022, and its impact on my Google traffic & rankings.
- What is RankIQ?
- Brandon's Credentials
- What to expect from this review
- How much does it cost & what do you get?
- Impact on my blog: Google clicks & rankings
- New posts: how quickly do I rank?
- (Content Optimizer) updating old posts: increase in Google clicks
- Customer service
- What I don't Iike
- Who I don't recommend it for
- Who I recommend it for
- Why you should sign up now
Note: I am an affiliate of Cooking with Keywords SEO keyword research for food bloggers and RankIQ: I receive a commission when people sign-up through my link but at NO COST to you- please do use it (if you think the course will be useful for you after reading my review) so that I can recoup some of the blog expenses! 😛
Thank you for using my links, if you do!
I heard about RankIQ from a fellow food blogger a few months ago- she has 200,000-300,000 monthly visitors and highly recommended RankIQ, crediting it with helping her to find low competition keywords and build traffic very quickly.
Then, she told me the price and so I put RankIQ on the backburner as currently my blog is draining money like nobody's business 😛
However, after seeing the surge in traffic I got after signing up for Cooking with Keywords and learning how to do proper keyword research, and the improvement in my Google Page Speed & Core Web Vitals after setting up the Feast plug-in (click here for a review of Feast) I realised that some programs are worth investing in.
For a full review of the Cooking with Keywords course, along with Google Analytics graphs showing how my user stats changed, click the link.
What is RankIQ?
If you're not familiar with RankIQ, it is an AI-powered "SEO (search engine optimisation) tool made just for bloggers" by Brandon Gaille, the blogging millionaire, that will "help your blog post rank on the 1st page of Google." (I'll cover how this works below.)
RankIQ's blogger-focus is opposed to other tools, such as SEMRush and AhRefs, which are very comprehensive, but more expensive, full-suite tools that may be better suited to marketers/ SEO professionals than bloggers on limited budgets. (You pay more and get more with SEMRush & AhRefs)
FYI: Click here for my Keysearch vs RankIQ review comparing the 2 tools' effectiveness. (Keysearch is a more affordable alternative to RankIQ, SEMRush and Ahrefs.) As of May 2022, having tried Keysearch, RankIQ and SEMRush, I am currently using RankIQ and SEMRush to do keyword research for my food blog.
Note: all the words in " " are directly taken from RankIQ's video and so Google rankings & clicks will be the metrics by which I measure the effectiveness of RankIQ. I previously invested in KeySearch after taking the Cooking with Keywords course, as it is 1 of the most affordable keyword research tools around (click the link for a full Keysearch 2022 review) but cancelled my subscription 1-2 months ago, to ensure that there was no overlap between my RankIQ and Keysearch usage.
What Is SEO?
If you're familiar with SEO, or search engine optimisation, feel free to skip this section. But the basic gist is that SEO is about what website owners & bloggers can do for their websites so that search engines (by which we almost always mean Google) like them and thus send them lots of traffic.
I don't claim to be an expert- which is good as "expertise breeds ignorance" (according to my horse riding instructor and something I find so true- when people are too good at something, they forget what beginners don't know/ understand!)- but click here for food blogging SEO resources that I've found useful in increasing my Google traffic.
Before I start my RankIQ review, let's discuss Brandon's background first. I mean, who is this person and why should we trust him with our money?!
- hosts the most downloaded podcast on Apple (very catchy name, I must say)- The Blogging Millionaire.
- is a blogger whose blogs have, over the last 3 months, had 16.6 million sessions from 123,000 1st page Google rankings
- managed to build traffic to the coveted million figure in under 2 years from his 1st blog post
What to expect from this review
The reason I decided to create my own RankIQ review specifically for food bloggers is because:
- When I read other reviews, they focused on what they liked and what they did not like about RankIQ. Whilst those points are interesting, to me they are not the most important. As a blogger hoping to monetise my website, the main KPI (key performance indicator) of any SEO tool is: " What impact has using it had on my visitor traffic and Google SERP?" I will be addressing this question using data from my Google Analytics and Google Search Console in this post
- Most of the reviews are for generic blogs. As an Asian food blogger, I am not only blogging in 1 of the most competitive blog niches (food) but am also considered to be non-mainstream. "Would RankIQ be relevant for a minority blogger such as myself?"
How much does it cost & what do you get?
At the time of writing, RankIQ was $99/month BUT if you watch a short introductory video, the price reduces to $49/month, which gives you:
- access to the keyword library (where you can check out the low-competition keywords for your niche then run your post through the Content Optimizer. If your niche is not covered, Brandon will personally do the keyword research for you.)
- the ability to run 16 keyword reports per month (this would cover ANY keyword, even if it's not in the library) and to run them through the Content Optimizer (more on this function below)
- access to the Rank Tracker (which gets its info from your Google Search Console. I LOVE the rank tracking function on RankIQ- will share more on why below.)
- membership in the RankIQ Mastermind Facebook group, where you can ask Brandon questions.
Note: If you don't need to run so many reports, you can "downgrade" to 8 reports a month which will cost $29/month.
RankIQ Facebook Group
Personally I've found this personalised access to Brandon helpful. There are tons of questions that have been asked but I've selected 3 that I've seen in the FB group, to give you an idea of the support you can expect.
- "I wanted to write a post on X but X and all its variations appear too competitive after checking Google. Any insights?" (Brandon personally found a low-competition keyword from the keyword library for this user)
- "How do we optimise our best performing posts for ads?" (Brandon directed the blogger to a Mediavine resource.)
- "My top posts have fallen in the Google rankings. How do I know if I should update them or leave them alone?" (Brandon tells the blogger what to do based on who is currently outranking her site in Google.)
If you want to know how RankIQ works, I'll cover this in a separate post- I used to talk about it here but it made my post waaaay too long.
Impact on my blog: Google clicks & rankings
I usually look at traffic (Google clicks) more than I do rankings, as traffic is what brings me closer to my target of earning ad revenue.
However, for now, I'll be focusing more on the speed of ranking for the new posts created using RankIQ, because these 2 posts have only been up for a week or so. (I will update about the traffic once more time has passed.) As for how effectively RankIQ can be used to update old posts, the key metric will be Google clicks (as optimising a post can mean no longer ranking for irrelevant keywords/ keywords with no search volume, hence I don't focus on rankings here.)
New posts: how quickly do I rank?
Honestly some of the keywords don't look like they'd be easy to rank for, but let's try and see! So far, I've created a few new posts using suggestions from the keyword library and both ranked on Google's Page 1 within 24 hours. (They were ultra fast, very fast and fast posts.) Obviously, a few is not a huge data set so I will update this post as I go along but I'm already very encouraged! I will try to share the results for Average posts soon.
However, 1 thing to note is that these keywords are very specific ones- so, for example, if you wanted to write a Christmas recipe, you may not be able to find a relevant keyword in the library as Christmas recipes can be quite competitive (I've not checked for this but am just giving it as an example!) If you focus is on targeting more competitive keywords with higher search volume, I would recommend the Cooking with Keywords course instead.
Note: according to Brandon: "while many RankIQ users have received a first page Google ranking in 30 days. However, it typically takes between 61 and 182 days for a new blog post to rank on the 1st page of Google when choosing a word from the keyword library...As a point of comparison, Ahrefs did a study last year and found that 94.3% of pages/ posts currently ranking on the first page of Google took over a year to get there."
Before taking the Cooking with Keywords keyword research course, I had ranked for many #1 keywords that nobody was searching for, which is obviously no help! Well, 1 of these 2 new posts is currently amongst my Top 10 posts (with the most traffic) so that's a great sign! As for the traffic these 2 posts have brought me, currently it's about 700-800 views per week.
(Content Optimizer) updating old posts: increase in Google clicks
Overall, I'm very impressed with the RankIQ content optimizer's effect on my old posts and I think this is where RankIQ truly shines! Just look at this incredible 26,900% increase in Google traffic after I used it to update ONE post!
In the last week of February, I updated 13 of my old posts and:
10 of them increased in rankings & traffic
2 remained constant - these were among the last posts to be updated so the impact may not have kicked in yet. Or perhaps they were too low down in the SERP for the update to be useful (they weren't even in the Top 5 Google pages before being updated!)
1 decreased slightly (by 6 clicks) - I believe this is because the keyword I selected doesn't actually fit my post very well (my content didn't fit the search intent)
These results are based on comparing the number of Google clicks for the same time period before and after the post was updated with RankIQ (i.e. if I updated the post on Feb 28, I would calculate the total number of clicks it received after being updated (March 1-9 I.e. 9 days) and before being updated (Feb 20-28 i.e. 9 days). As each post was updated on a different date, the time range for each comparison differs.
All in all, the 13 posts increased in Google clicks by a whopping 89% and 3 of these posts are now in my Top 10 posts (based on overall visits). (They didn't rank before being updated.)
How quickly can I produce these posts?
As all bloggers know, there's just not enough time in the day to do everything you need to do for your blog! If RankIQ really makes it easier to find low-competition keywords, then I should be able to produce more posts a month than I did before. Well, in case you were wondering, I used all 16 credits in a mere few days (mostly updating old posts)- and this was despite spending more time playing Worddle & Quordle than working on my blog! (I was burnt out from the least 6 weeks of frantically producing new content for Chinese New Year & Super Bowl.)
Unlike Keysearch, you get "live" support with RankIQ as there is not only a Facebook Group for RankIQ in which you can post your questions (and Brandon will reply) but also a "Click for Help" button within the tool itself. When I asked a question, I received a reply within 24 hours.
What I don't Iike
- 1 hiccup I did notice is that the same keyword sometimes appear in the keyword library with slightly different statistics. I messaged RankIQ about this and Brandon's wife, Natalie, explained that sometimes when the library is being updated, the old keyword doesn't get replaced. In this instant, if you click the "Help" button on the page, they'll direct you to the more recent statistic.
FYI: Natalie replied in less than 12 hours and the difference between the 2 stats was marginal.
- In addition, your 16 (or 8 reports) are for the calendar month. So if you sign up on 27 March, you will only have 3-4 days to use your 16 reports, which could be a bit intense.
Personally, as an Asian food blogger who's been using RankIQ for 1 month, I've found it very helpful and can't imagine creating new content or updating old posts without it. You can see the change in my Google traffic JUST from using RankIQ in my post.
Who I don't recommend it for
- If you are a very successful blogger, with a high DA, and thus no longer need to go after low-competition keywords, I am not sure if RankIQ would work for you as bigger bloggers tend to go after keywords with much more search volume. For example, "roast chicken" is a very competitive search term, and I'm not sure how RankIQ would work for it.
- If you're going after keywords which are very competitive, but need help with how to do keyword research, I highly recommend Cooking with Keywords which I've personally found super useful for creating new recipes and updating old ones. (Click here to read my review of this SEO keyword research for food blogger course.)
- If you have a very fixed idea of posts that you want to write and will not consider writing any other types of posts. (Again, this is where Cooking with Keywords can show you how to work with what you have in mind.) For example, maybe you want to document your family's historical recipes which are extremely niche- I don't know if you would be able to fully benefit from RankIQ in this case, and you'd be better off emailing Brandon with the kind of posts you have in mind & checking with him directly.
- People who ONLY work off a mobile phone- RankIQ is not meant to be used on the mobile (I've not tried, but that's what the introductory message says.) Actually, it also says that it's meant to be used with a Google Chrome Browser, but I've been using it on a Safari with no issues.
- Anyone who has just started blogging and expects to make it to Mediavine (50,000 monthly views) within a month or so. Everything takes time! RankIQ is an amazing tool to help you build your Google traffic but it - and Cooking with Keywords- won't be overnight!
Who I recommend it for
- Any blogger that wants to work more efficiently and free up time for other stuff: by this, I mean spend less time on writing new posts that also rank on Google's Page 1 more quickly
- To quickly recap, the 2 posts I've written based on RankIQ's keyword library suggestions for "ultra fast" keywords ranked on the 1st page of Google within 24 hours.
- Any blogger that values value over cost: Keysearch is a little cheaper but I personally find it less cost-effective (I will share a detailed comparison of RankIQ & Keysearch in a few days.) Ideally, I'd like to have both tools but, if push came to shove, I'd keep RankIQ and not Keysearch (which is what I am currently doing.)
- Think about it: how many blog posts do you actually write a month? If you're like most of us, 8 posts per month is more than you normally can manage, so the $29/month RankIQ plan should be sufficient and that's only $12-$15ish more than Keysearch, but in the process you save SO much time and energy. With Keysearch, it took me a good 2 days+ to write a post, but now I can finish 1 or more within a day, depending on how hardworking I feel.
- A food blogger that has a lot of old posts to update that are not currently in Google's Top 3 search results (most SEO experts say you shouldn't touch posts ranking in the Top 3):
- Updating 13 of my old posts has increased my Google clicks by 88%.
Why you should sign up now
If you plan to sign up for RankIQ, sooner is better than later as the keywords will only keep getting more competitive as more and more bloggers write posts on them! Moreover, posts take a while to start ranking/ reach their peak ranking.
I hope this my 2022 review of RankIQ, specifically for food bloggers, has helped you make a decision on this SEO tool. Personally, I find RankIQ to be 1 of my best blog investments and just regret not using it earlier to update old posts.
If you do decide to go for it, I'd be super grateful if you would use my RankIQ affiliate link 🙂
If you have further questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help you out! In the meantime, I'm off to pick another keyword from the RankIQ keyword library as I've been a bit lazy this week!