The Idea

Getting to the front page, much less first position in search engines most often takes over a year and thousands of dollars when working with an SEO agency. A good trick is to look for good keywords that you want to rank for and find sites that have ranked with a “best¬† _____” list. If your product or company is actually one of the best then reaching out to the person that made the list and asking to be considered can work.

Note: “Top 10” just means a list that collects the best products or services of a certain category. It could also be “best of”, “the most amazing” etc.

Best cat toys” Google keyword example

10 Best cat toys site example
Screenshot from Wide Open Pets

For example, a cat toy business could create an attractive and informative product page for their best product and get it on a list of “the top 20 toys for your cat”. How crafty is that?

These lists target customers looking to buy

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth pointing out that getting on a list like this gets your company in front of customers looking to buy whatever is on that list. How else would you do that? You could pay for ads or get one of your own webpages ranked for a similar keywords. Both of those options are much harder than this tactic.

It makes your brand look good

Who doesn’t want their company or product on a list of “the best”. Since it usually takes 7 interactions with your brand before customers buy, this interaction is powerful. It’s a third-party referral coming directly from search or social media!

Good keywords have a steady amount of trafficGoogle analytics website traffic overview

The amount of traffic top lists can get ranges from 10s to several 1000s per month. The top performing keywords will generate a lot of traffic. Be aware of niches as well, which may be easier to rank for but not produce as much traffic. In our cat toys example, “best toys for hairless cats” could be a niche to explore in addition to the more generic term. The best part is that Google traffic is quite consistent as long as the list stays there. For this reason, this trick is a kind of pseudo search engine optimization tactic, because

How to get on a top 10 list for good keywords

Cat toy ranking on a top 10 list for good keywords

There’s no guarantee the writers or owners of the website that originally created the list will listen to you or even respond. But by preparing well, you can at least improve your chances.


  1. Do keyword research to find 5-10 good keywords: Since this process will take a while, it’s worth it to put time in at the beginning to find keywords that are actually being searched for. It’s the same amount of effort on your part whether the list gets 10 hits or 10,000 hits per month.
  2. Search Google for the top keywords: Now that you’ve identified a good set of them, you can come up with search terms to try yourself. For example:
    1. “Top 10 cat toys”
    2. “Best cat toys”
    3. “Best toys for cats”
    4. “5 unbelievable cat toys”
    5. You get the idea..
  3. Find out lists your competitors are on (optional): There are a number of tools that can help you figure out what backlinks your competitors’ websites have. They may have used software to block spies like you so they may be on others you don’t find.
  4. Make a list of sites that fit the bill: This step is obvious – make a list of lists. You’ll want to note the contact information of the website itself or the person who wrote the article if it’s listed. Look them up on social media or Google their name to get in touch if you need to.
  5. Get your content ready: Prepare images, a description, testimonials and links that will help support your plea to the list owners that your product is indeed worth it. You’ll want to have a good explanation for why they missed you the first time around (it’ll help them justify it to themselves). You’ll also want to make sure the webpage for your product or company looks good and is running smoothly.
  6. Reach out to the list owners: The final step is reaching out to list owners. This can be done by email or social media but you don’t want to come off as spammy, so take time to write a nice, short intro for what you’re trying to achieve.
  7. Sign up if it is a hosted directory: If the “top list” that ranks for good keywords is a review directory that collects companies or products in your industry, you’ll have to earn your place here. This involves signing up, taking control of the profile and then asking your customers to review you there.

3 Best Lawn Care Services Example

3 Best lawn care serviecs in Ottawa
Screenshot From Three Best Rated


  • Ease: Tough
  • Cost: Free
  • Scope: High
  • Speed: Slow
  • Reach: Global