For every website owner, it is a dream to dominate the top search ranking of Google. However, the majority of the popular search terms already belong to the different influential companies with authoritative sites linking to one another. What makes these sites dominate the SERPs is that they can easily pass link juice around and control keywords in just a few months.
Such SEO experts who act on almost every Google update, they optimize their sites down to the smallest detail as soon as updates have been announced. That leaves small-time businesses, brands, bloggers, and freelancers almost no space to rank on the first page of Google especially for sites that have no SEO support built into them.
The good news is, there is a workaround.
There are some processes and techniques to help boost your ranking. But it will require hard work, time, effort and patience. Here are four of authentic ways to outrank your competition and claim a valuable spot on the search engine results page.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research was and still is an important aspect in search engine optimization. For you to rank highly for a keyword or keyword phrase, you need to ensure that you have done your homework.
When you start researching, length should be the first thing to look at whenever you are trying to rank for a long-tail keyword. As much as possible, try to stick to at least four words.
Many authority sites compete for shorter keywords. If you are still building your authority, it is best to cling to more extended keywords. Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a helpful tool in finding out how much competition you are facing.
Another tip in deciding your keywords is to go for something that is not highly competitive but still has a respectable amount of searches. By selecting long-tail keywords, you are not after the volume. Instead, you are centering on the intention, which is discussed below. After all, it is better to have few searches and rank high than to have a lot of searches and not rank at all.
2. Write Keyword-Rich Headlines
Writing a keyword-rich headlines is one of the keys in ranking high because they help real people instantly find what they are looking for. And if it matters to people, it surely matters to SEO as well.
You may notice that authority websites try to put their targeted keywords in the headlines. If you can manage to do this on your posts, go ahead and do it. But if it does not sound natural, move on and do not worry about it.
The goal here is to generate quality titles as much as you can so that you can attract more readers. Play with variations of your headlines and focus on creating titles that are appealing and interesting to users.
3. Study User Intent
Whenever you use Google or any search engine, you will be typing keywords or phrases which will reveal what you need at that specific time. This is what “user intent” is. Studying this concept will help you boost your rank and improve conversion.
According to an article published by searchengineland.com, there are three types of search queries – navigational, informational and transactional queries.
For example, if the keywords are “reviews for omega-3 pills” you can assume that the user is using an informational query to gain information about this topic. When a user enters the keyword “youtube” or “quora,” this person is using a navigational query as his or her intention is to find a particular webpage. If someone uses the phrase “buy running shoes,” you can expect that the user is using a transactional query and is intending to purchase a pair of shoes.
For every user’s search query, always ask the question “why.” Afterwards, you can take the answer and apply it to keyword research. Look for key phrases and their corresponding top three results in the search engine.
For example, you type the keyphrase “social media marketing for your website” to Google. Take the top three or five results and see if you could improve on one of them and possibly publish a content similar to it.
Based on the query used, you can determine if the user has an advanced knowledge or not. Most people who typed the query “social media marketing for your website” is plausibly a rookie looking for answers at a novice level. That gives you an opportunity to write content that can better address the user’s intent for that particular keyword phrase. Doing so will help you rank higher in Google.
Remember that Google focuses on providing the best search results for user queries. If you can successfully meet the user intentions, Google will surely reward you for it.
4. Produce Content Regularly
If your website does not have a blog, you need to start working on one. Publishing content once every two or three months will not generate enough content to help you get ranked. Starting a blog presents the opportunity to publish content consistently. That means you have to get used to writing blog posts or articles that will help answer the “whys” of the user intent.
Writing articles with less than 600 words will not do any justice to your blog. If you genuinely want to be more visible on the world wide web, stick to long and informative articles. The safest word count would be between 800 to 1,500. Embed videos, add photos, use internal and external links and most especially, be unique!
Be cautious of stuffing keywords. This SEO technique might have worked years ago, but today, Google penalizes sites with stuffed keywords without delivering a single notice to the webmaster.
There are no shortcuts in SEO, and these are the white hat solutions you need to follow. By heeding these four processes diligently, you will eventually start noticing the numbers of your traffic and conversion go up. These four methods may take time and hard work, but the rewards are worth it.