Congratulations on achieving the holy grail of search rankings, i.e. page one of Google, above the fold.
Now, remember that the Google algorithm is constantly changing to provide the best results for different search terms. So now isn’t the time to rest on your laurels and think those rankings will simply stick. If your content is deemed to be a wrong fit or out of date, that page will lose it’s rankings.
There is also the possibility of black hat SEO, where dodgy links are directed at your site by unscrupulous competitors. This can trigger a Google penalty, which will be a hassle to shake off.
So how do you remain agile and stay at the top of the SERPs?
Search and More’s recommended 5 step programme will help you to assess what’s important and offer quick tips to maintain your top spot.
With these tips, organic search rankings can even be improved in many cases.
We recommend you:
1. Know your current position by evaluating your rankings, conducting a backlink audit, and assessing your current site speed. These will give you a rough feel for how humans and the search engine spiders rate your pages. Check your site speed with either WebPageTest or Pingdom Website Speed Test. To see which links are pointing to your site; use aHrefs or MajesticSEO.
2. Now that you know what’s working for you, it’s time to ramp it up. Begin with in-depth keyword research to find out what terms visitors are using to find your site. While you may be tempted to go after the high-volume ‘head’ phrases, you’ll get more bang for your buck by targeting the related long-tail keywords. Using them in blog posts is much easier and the accumulated volume adds up.
Many experts claim you should only create content on commercial ‘buying’ keywords. This concept is flawed as some users don’t know what they want to buy when they land on your site. Creating informational posts that educate them will increase your site’s perceived value, so we advise creation of a mix of information and sales-focused posts.
3. We recommend every business has a blog where the business regularly publishes content. With your keywords in hand, the dual problems of content production and distribution arise. Business owners claim they don’t have time to blog, and they are worried about outsourcing. They feel the content created may not be representative of their voice or brand.
At this point, the business needs to assess it’s marketing process. First off, is creating masses of content the best use of your marketing resources? Not always. Sometimes, less IS more.
Can you determine what kind of content your audience responds to?
Do your data driven, long form posts get the most views and shares? Or does your podcast get downloaded more than that whitepaper you created? Giving readers the content they want in the best format for them will increase your retention and engagement.
To create engaging and useful posts:
- Start with a sharebale headline.
- Make your story relatable; you can tell a story or use your own experience.
- Use data and/or images where applicable.
- Always close with a Call to Action.
4. With these posts created, make sure they are SEO optimised. A keyword rich and descriptive title will attract human eyes and also tell the search engine spiders what the page is about. Remember we recommended writing both informative and sales-type posts? One way to use those long tail keywords is with header tags in your posts. H2, and H3 tags will catch the attention of a reader who is skimming the page. They also help outline the structure of the page for the search spiders.
Images can drive traffic, if they are properly optimised. Remember Google is looking for unique content, so avoid using common stock images where you can. Take unique pictures, draw custom infographics, and label them with relevant alt-text to maximise your chances of ranking for certain keywords.
5. While social media can be a good source of traffic; choosing a platform can lead to analysis paralysis. One way to get around this is to include a commenting system like Disqus, on your blog. By encouraging discussion, you give your site visitors a chance to engage with you.
When in doubt, stick to Facebook and Twitter. Facebook can be used to generate discussion, with short posts, quizzes and contests. Twitter allows you curate content and connect with customers and industry leaders. While you can use automation to get around frequent posting, it is NOT for use as customer support.
Maintaining page one rankings is a dance, as Google can and will change its algorithms. Your site should focus on providing information that helps readers make a decision. This is the first step in creating a brand that is recognisable and not dependent on Google’s changes.
Don’t have time to babysit all the pages on your site? Let Search and More help you; call us today for a site audit and consulting session.