Who doesn’t want to rank on the first page of Google? Why stop at that? Let’s hit for the top spot!
Just go down to your memory bin; when was the last time you click ‘next page’ on your google search results? It is hard to remember, right? Well, personally, I have set my search results to show 100 results along with SEOQuake extension but that is just because I have to look at the numbers. But as a customer or consumer, seriously, I have never visited even the second page!
imFORZA shows that 75% of people never scroll past the 1st page. Being a B2B or a B2C online marketer, we just can’t lose our position if we are on the first page of google search results, especially if we are among the top 3. And this is the reason why during SEM/PPC, we have neck-to-neck competition for first-page bids and first position bids!
But yes, organic ranking is every digital marketer’s vision and every shareholder’s nightmare (at first)! However, those who have experienced it first-hand, well, they know its potential and are still reaping the benefits!
But Why Top Rank On Google is a Challenge?
There are more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day (from internetlivestats.com). Google web crawler (aka Google bot or spider) doesn’t go through your website every second. Being an SEO expert, we already know it, right – I will not be covering the technical part and the textbook implementation of robots.txt, Sitemap, and schema markups. If you don’t know about them and have a limited or no knowledge of HTML, well, there are free tools and generators that can make these happen. In this article, I’ll be only covering the creative and content strategies and why it is crucial that you do not underestimate their outcomes.
There is 1 common question – Despite having all the “desired” keywords, your blog-post fails to acquire any place on the 1st page. So, what are you missing?
There are millions of domains with high domain authority to compete against, and also you have to face the newcomers who are trying the same as you as well. That means the race has started already, and you are way behind to get to the top. Nevertheless, there are ways to get around and still rank at the top!
SEO requires a lot of dedication, time, and, most importantly (for all the investors), way more patience and less monetary funds as compared to any other digital marketing. I have worked both, as a builder and a grower, for more than 100 clients and sub-clients in total. And if you are also incorporating your SEO strategies, there will be times when you may fall short of your own expectations. Are you wondering why are you not getting enough clicks and traffic?
Not Able to Rank High on Google?
I appreciate and respect your hard work to make a website in view of Content marketing, but you have to understand why, thus far, you haven’t made a single penny.
Did you select the wrong Niche for your content?
You have to realize the ruthlessness of the online market before selecting your genre. Being a small business owner, you don’t want to compete with a large-revenue business in your first take. Yes, there have been many trickle-down businesses that I have been a part of and to be very frank, this tactic has worked for many to keep the lights on and pay the bills, but if you want to go beyond that, you must be a shrewd operator to set a smart business tactic. There is always a chance to conquer the industry despite being a newbie, but more likely, if you want to take on big giants head-on, well, better off, just donate your money, man! That would be better…
If you are trying to get to the audience and rank organically on a top industry keyword like ‘Playstation Gaming,’ your dream is not going to materialize anytime soon.
No domain authority or page authority…
Domain authority matters very much to get the rank of a website. If you are just publishing your content without any authorization in your domain, your blogs will hardly get a single view. If you search ‘PlayStation gaming guide’ in google, you will see the EA PlayStation official website coming out as the #1 link, which has domain rating 90. It simply means your new website, having zero authority points, will hardly be near the #1 link. So, before you start off a campaign, make sure that you are playing in your league. Harsh truth!
Got no backlinks?
Backlinks are created when you or someone adds your website as a citation, when you bookmark your page or post, when the link of your landing page is on different domains that provide ‘do-follow’ (for crawlers) or even ‘no-follow’ links, when any other website uses your documents, etc.
You can see how many backlinks PlayStation domain has generated, a whopping 96M+. As defined earlier, even though you create hundreds or thousands of backlinks, and have a high overall domain authority it is imperative that your content has unmatched value.
Content Strategies For High SERP
Google keeps updating its ranking algorithm. Now the users are getting intent-based results based on location, previous searches and more. This makes it crucial for content developers to pay more focus on content and context authority than ever!
As I started Content Raj from the ground up back in 2018, I made several errors and learned from them. I incorporated multiple changes and then waited for SEO to show its results. Although it’s not a lot, this is the current performance of Content Raj as per Google Search console, from December 1, 2018, to Mach 30, 2020.
Content Raj is right now, ranking in the top 10 for over 250 different queries, and these queries come from across the globe!
I had to scratch the coal more and mine from different angles to get to the diamond, but you guys don’t have to do it. And, my content framework is on the table and up for everyone to grab! So, let’s go through them one by one.
Use more Long-tail keywords…
Long-tail keywords consume almost 70% of web-traffic simply because they are more specific in their genres. You can see the search demand plot depicted by seomoz.org.
You might be afraid that the high-profile domains will always grab the attention, but in reality, people try to find the best fit for their research, so they use long-tail keywords in their search. Carloseo has plotted a nice curve in this context to show the attention of people.
As now you already have decided not to go against the mammoth content builders, you should target using longtail keywords to make your content get a good rank quickly.
Not believing me? An Amazon seller has shared his story in Jungle Scout that they earn 70% of their money as consumers search using long-tail keywords.
If you can give the people the best fit according to their requirements, they will stick to your content. Short-tail keywords are more general; they don’t indicate much specific information. Any day of the week, I consider Google Keyword Planner the best. Although there are SEMRush and Mongools SEO tools, and whatnot, I use them for competitor research only and rely primarily on Google tools!
Do NOT select GENERAL topics…
93% of online traffic comes from search engines, while Google holds 90% of online search engine revenue. So, it is crucial to adapt according to google search engine crawlers. Google tries to find the best fit for any searched item, which means they find those articles that have the same words or almost the same terms as this one.
Google ranked the #1 link and features it because of its relevance and personalization apart from just the keywords.
You should try to be a ‘big fish in a small pond.’ What I mean is you should be working on a specific genre instead of a general one. For example, you should consider making an online shopping platform on specifically graphics cards, instead of all computer accessories. You should write content like ‘HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SANITISER FOR CORONAVIRUS’ instead of ‘HOW TO REMAIN SAFE FROM CORONAVIRUS.’
My go-to tools for selecting the topics include Hubspot, BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest, and Alltop!
Make SEO-friendly content!
Needless to say, as an SEO specialist, it is crucial that you keep up with on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Even if you are NOT a techie (just like me), you can simply use tools like TinyPng for image optimization, Screaming frog for SEO analytics and automatic Sitemap generation, and Google’s structured data testing tool to implement structured data markup.
FRONTLOAD YOUR KEYWORDS
Always try to put the primary keyword of your content, which should be the topic on which you are writing it, at the beginning of your title tag. Google crawlers collect the words which show up earlier in any content, and most of the time, they put those links in higher preference, which have the best fit keyword at the start of the article.
If you’re using a CDN like WordPress, and editing content in WYSIWYG mode, well, try Yoast SEO plugin. If not, you can also use ‘Content SEO Checker’!
MAKE BULKY CONTENTS
The larger you make your content, the more it get preferred by Google. But to ensure a good rank, you should put ample of information in your article; otherwise, your content won’t get preferred. And obviously, it is a waste of time and all other resources if you do not do your research and ensure that you present sheer information that is actually RELEVANT!
serpIQ shows that for new domains, especially the ones that are not even 10 years old, on average, top Google SERPs have pages that word count in the range of 1500-2100. And for older domains, it has gone up to 2500 words and more. And, you can see why older domains dominate on Google; simply because they produce more detailed blogs to attract public attention. So, the more the information, the better your chances!
Include broad keywords in your permalink
You allow Google to index a brand new page, it is ranking good, and now you are seeing a drop in the traffic. Well, that’s because more relevant content has been indexed by Google and it is gaining more traction. Getting up to the ranks is not easy but staying there is equally important. So, while you upload new content on your website, it is crucial that you optimize your permalink at the earliest. You need. to ensure that your link is as future-proof as it can be. So, do not forget to use broad keywords in the corresponding links. Because if not, you will have to opt for a 301 redirect later on when you update the content, which you should try to avoid as much as you can.
For example: instead of www.mysite.com/uffyjy-gab78-3suyg-ua748ygs, use www.mysite.com/your-keywords here.
Keep the information updated to stay at the top!
Continuing with the previous point, Google’s freshness algorithm ensures that the results it shows are fresh and relevant. Therefore, instead of writing hundreds of content on the same topic an posting it on your domain, you must direct your resources to update the old content, especially the ones that are not performing that well. Our primary target needs to reach the top and to stay at the top! My personnel motto is – What is Working out, just don’t touch it! But you feel the urge to make changes. What you can do is – write a Post status note at the end of the content because you don’t want the search engines to reconsider your rank when you are already at the top!
AdvancedWebRanking shows that as of FEB 2020, on an average, 32% of PC web-traffic comes after the #1 link in any google search result while #2 link consumes 15% and #3 link, 9%. And an exponential decrement can be seen in results after them.
According to Brafton, 95% of web-traffic gets bounded by the first page of Google SERP. You must ensure your site gets a place on the first page; otherwise, you could be left with the other 5% web-traffic.
USE SUBHEADING AUGMENTATION
You must use H1, H2, H3… format headings or sub-headings to ensure your article gets divided into maximum parts. It is an essential part of building good SEO content. The more it gets divided, the easier it is for the bots to navigate through your words; else, your content will get the least preference to get read by the search engine.
Usually, the H1 tag tells what the article is about, and it is essential to put the Key Words in it. Then H2 works as the subheading to H1, H3 for H2, and so on. You can think of this system as a hierarchy based on importance.
ALWAYS INCLUDE CITATIONS
Most of the content writers don’t prefer using any outbound link in their content. Still, from my personal experience, I would suggest you – create hyperlinks and cite as many relevant links. The links can be both inbound and outbound. It’s great if you have relevant content that can be used for inbound links but if you don’t, consider using no-follow tags while giving a shout out to other domains. Here’s what a no-follow tag looks like:
Hyperlinking doesn’t only ensure great user experience but also does relationship management for you and your domain! How? Well, you get to see those domains shouting out to you and well, and you get new customers. Consequently, your trust score increases! Please note that you can create hundreds of backlinks by spamming on the web. But it won’t increase the authority much. The reason being, you need citations from pages that have high page authority. Social media have high DA but comparatively very low PA. Consequently, from the SEO point of view, they do not directly improve your SERP!
Attractive Meta-description goes a long way
Meta-description is an integral part of publishing any content. It provides the prospect of what the readers are going to read. So, you should make it very brief and appealing to the audience so that it can convince your reader to open the article once he/she sees it on Google.
As meta-description always precedes the main content and works as a gateway to your traffic, you must include all the keywords in it so that it also gives a clear impression that it contains the content that the user is looking for!
Never Underestimate LSI Keywords!
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords help search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo to conclude that your content has the answer of the questions asked by the users.
I have witnessed SERP-improvement in hundreds of articles after I started using LSI words. Well, I would advise you to proceed through LSIGraph to find the phrases that fit best for your topic. Just put your primary keyword in the box and click ‘GENERATE.’
You can see, I generated LSI words for ‘Web marketing’ through it, and it showed every detail, including top-performing contents as well.
Mobile responsiveness is what users look for!
According to a Hitwise report in 2016, almost 58% of US overall searches come through mobile. In the same year, Google officials said that mobile browsing shares nearly 51-60% of all searches over the world. Statcounter has depicted that as of FEB 2020, mobile shares almost 52% of all search engine surfing,
According to Semrush, only 13% of all websites could retain their desktop SERP ranks, and most of the others don’t even come out on the 2nd page in a mobile SERP. You can understand how important it is to make a mobile-friendly website to boost its rank. You should also make your site mobile SEO friendly. Googles algorithm changes almost 500-600 times a year and should be able to survive all of those.
To make sure if your webpage is mobile-friendly or not, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just put your URL on it and click on ‘RUN TEST.’ The result will affirm your concern with a list of errors it faces, and you should fix all of them ASAP to make your site a mobile-friendly one.
Keep the Bounce Rate Low!
Google doesn’t want to see people coming back to search results spending just a fraction of second on your website.
What does it mean?
It means that the visitors are not getting the desired information on your webpage. So, Google needs to ensure that users see only those pages which have highly informative content. But if your visitors are not staying on your landing page, well you will see a downfall in the ranking as well!
S0, always give a fair enough outline of your content in Above The Fold section to convince people that they will find the solution they are looking for as they scroll through your article.
To lower down the bounce rate on Content Raj, I have specifically used Table of Contents and have experienced a drastic change in the engagement since then! The quick-link group, apart from providing information, also helps visitors find their answer instantly as they can directly jump to the section they want. So, this makes the headings more important than ever!
More Visuals, Statistics and Images…
From the first line, I have told you that every point I am going to depict is from my own experience but real data is as important. And what could be better than images? Use as many visuals as you can because they are not here to read a book!
The more you give visual descriptions in your content, the more people will feel comfortable to understand your words. You can insert any visuals like pictures, videos, screenshots, charts, etc.
Also, don’t forget to optimize your images. Use Alt Text in your HTML file of your blog to ensure Google crawlers index your images correctly. Alt-text is the alternative text string that will show up on the page when the image is not loading. For web accessibility, it is an important part that can help your website get a higher ranking.
If you are good with HTML, you can also make your own alternative text string like the following.
<img src=”playstation.png” alt=”gaming with playstation_4″>
But if not, you can be a plugin maniac like me and use Yoast SEO to do the trick. Before I convey my concluding statements, I would like to clarify that any day, a code is better than a plugin for optimizing site speed as it also plays a key role in SERP. So, if you can outsource it to a developer, nothing’s better than that, but if you can’t, well, Plugins will be just fine!
Have You Implemented High SERP Strategies?
It’s a very daunting task to get a good rank in Google SERP for your brand-new website, but nothing is impossible. All you need is to research hard about Google crawlers and optimize your page according to that.
It will take time to understand the demand of the audience, but the more you upload insane, and killer content, the more your website jumps to the top. The average uploading speed of bloggers is 15-16 contents per month. But, to make your website more popular, you have to post more often!
There is no magic stick so that once you touch it, you get to the top. Nonetheless, If you follow the framework that I have prepared, it will definitely help you to boost the rank of your website. And trust me, your first content on the Google SERP is not far away!
Is there any specific framework that has worked for you and your domain? If you find this content relevant, do share it with your SEO strategists and digital marketing specialists. Let me know what you think by commenting below or by reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
PS: Read more about digital marketing in the age of coronavirus!