When was the last time you looked beyond page one of Google search results?
The click-through-rate (CTR) for search queries beyond the bottom of the page (the 10th link) is around 3%. Although this is higher than ad click rates, the Holy Grail is to rank position one, page one. Or even better, gain a featured snippet.
There are many websites competing for the same keywords. Producing high quality content and gaining a foothold in the keyword battleground of organic traffic acquisition is hard, but not impossible.
With expert SEO copywriting skills, research, patience and re-optimisation, your content can achieve the coveted top spot of Google.
But how exactly can you achieve this?
We've put together seven tips on what to do to improve your chances of ranking on Google's first page:
1. Re-optimise threshold pages
Threshold pages are those that linger on page two from position 11-20. These pages are knocking on the door and with a little push can make it to page 1. Even if they generate little traffic, auditing and re-optimisng them can be the difference.
Use the online tool of your choice to analyse your targeted keywords and then amend accordingly. This may involve tweaking meta descriptions, H1s, adding images or even re-writing the pages with a wider variety of keywords.
2. Internal linking
Link building is vital to connecting your web pages to other relevant pages throughout your website. Topic clusters are a great way to build internal linking.
Google uses your link structure to understand what your website is about. This strategic linking influences topical and page authority, which improves the user experience and ultimately will increase ranking.
3. Competitive research
A lot of insight can be gained from looking at your competitors' web pages. No doubt they're looking at yours for the same insights. If you see a competitor outranking you for the same keywords then they're doing something you're not.
- Is their content better written?
- Is their linking better than yours?
- Are keywords better than yours?
- Are there images, rich media etc?
- Are high ranking pages landing pages?
Examine these pages to see how you can improve your current pages by producing better ones than your competition. But don't copy them! That's plagiarism. And is penalised by Google!
Instead, try thinking outside the box to outrank your competition.
4. Review your page hierarchy
If you have high traffic pages deeper in your site hierarchy consider moving them to a higher level.
For example the page yourwebsite/com/level1/level2/level3 could rank higher if it's moved closer to your home page. Google uses this link equity to gauge the page's importance. By moving it to your/website.com/level1 you have a better chance of improving its ranking.
5. Don't forget mobile
A Statista survey found that as of January 2021 4.32 billion users accessed the internet via their mobile devices. That's a huge amount of people! That's why it's vital to make your website mobile friendly.
Google's recent Page Experience update, which began its rollout in June 2021, means that Accelerated Mobile Pages are no longer applicable.
Instead, Page Experience uses various signals to give pages a page experience score, which is visible in Google Search Console. The signals are:
- Core Web Vitals: Find out more about this
- Mobile usability: No errors on page
- Security: Google will disqualify any pages with security issues
- HTTPS usage: Page must have this protocol
- Ad Experience: Non- distracting advertising techniques that deliver a good experience
We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavouring to a food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavour all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this time period. Google
At Codehouse, our mobile first approach ensures all the websites we deliver are optimised for mobile.
6. Strive for featured snippets
A featured snippet drives traffic to your website. It's a nod from Google that your content is worthy of prominence in organic rankings. Search results are listed as a featured snippet. Content like a table, paragraph, a listing, video or an image is promoted and displayed in organic results.
If your content is out-performing competitors and other authoritative websites (by means of a featured snippet), you're doing something right.
Google determines whether your content merits featured snippet status. But there are some SEO tips you can apply to improve its chances:
- Research your keywords to see if there is an existing featured snippet. If not, optimise content accordingly
- Look at other featured snippets and gain inspiration to the structure of your content
- Improve your top ranked pages
- Ensure your content is clear, concise, and accurately answers the intent of the query. Google likes this
Every piece of content you produce has a lifecycle. The three cycles are:
- Plant: Publish your content
- Grow: Traffic begins to grow
- Decay: Over time content gets buried under fresher content, thus reducing traffic
Performing regular content audits is a great way to stay on top of your content and keep it relevant.
Specialist SEO tools like Semrush can track the organic position of your keywords against your competitors. If you see your content dropping in organic ranking, then it's time for a refresh.
Embellishing your content with additional keywords that reflect changing intent can have an impact. Also, re-structuring it with bullets and rich media for instance, will give it a better chance of climbing those rankings.
You can also consider splicing your content. Let's look at a high ranking blog post as an example.
After examining the article you notice it’s ranking for a higher-than-average number of keywords. In this scenario, identify the lesser-performing keywords with potential. Then splice the article by writing a new one focused on those lesser performing keywords.
If you want your content to rank on the first page of Google then follow these tips. Coupled with a solid SEO strategy, your hard work will pay off and reach the heights of top results.
Our dedicated team will carry out our three-phase approach designed to improve site health and SEO.
To find out more about how our SEO service can benefit your website, get in touch.