The SEO industry is an extremely tough world. Every serious marketer knows that by heart.
And even if you show up on the first page of Google for a competitive keyword, still, you want nothing more than to occupy that in-demand spot - position 1.
Hey, you already have a performing post. Let’s say it ranks fifth. But deep inside, you know you want more.
What’s all the hype about the number one ranking in Google, anyway?
Here’s the plain and simple truth: Your Google keyword ranking can make or break your business.
Just imagine for a moment that you’ve finally dominated the top spot. Your traffic skyrockets. Basically, you attract 33% of all search traffic. Not only that, you become ten times better than your competitors in terms of credibility, conversions, and sales - the ultimate goal.
Probably by now, you’re saying to yourself that increasing your ranking is impossible.
Let get this thing clear: It is POSSIBLE to boost your position for a high volume keyword.
What you need to do now is follow the strategies in this article. Combine these tips with dedication, consistency, and creativity. Sure enough, you’ll get to that winning spot.
‘Nuff said, let’s get started!
1. Know your baseline search ranking.
The first and most important step to actually move your current Google ranking up is to know where you’re currently at. Doing this will help you establish a baseline data which you can act on.
If you don’t have a baseline, there’s no way for you to improve.
For you to “diagnose” the ranking of your post now, you can either:
- Use the manual method.
- Leverage a rank checker tool.
To search for your ranking manually, simply type your keyword into Google’s search box and look for your post. Since you’re already showing up on page 1, this method shouldn’t take a lot of time - unless you aren’t.
I manually checked the current Google ranking of one of the top performing posts using the keyword “best blogging tips.” Google tells me that I occupy the 9th position.
The second method is to use a rank checker tool called SERPS. You can use it for free.
All you need to do is type in the main keyword that your content is currently ranking for. Don’t forget to enter your domain name.
After I enter my keyword and domain into SERPs and clicked “Go!,” SERPs shows me my current position for keyword “best blogging tips” which is 9.
In addition to my Google keyword ranking result, SERPs shows me other details such as my keyword’s average monthly searches and average cost per click for AdWords.
2. Look for variations of your main keyword.
Your main keyword isn’t the only thing you need to focus on. One way to boost your rankings is to find more keyword opportunities.
We’re talking about keyword variations.
Consider LSI keywords and long-tail keywords. Learn more about these keyword variations, how to look for them, and how they can help boost your content below.
2.1. LSI keywords
What are LSI keywords? These are keywords that are semantically related to your main competitive keyword. LSI stands for latent semantic indexing.
For example, if I enter the keyword “best blogging tips” into Google, I’ll simply scroll to the bottom of the page and check “Searches related to.”
These related keywords are LSI keywords that I can use to improve my content.
Why do LSI keywords matter for SEO?
Since they help you state your main keyword in other ways, they help you avoid keyword stuffing. Also, semantically related terms make your content more understandable and naturally flowing.
Because Google can now decipher the context your post better because of this variation in user language, it has a greater chance of attaining a higher Google keyword ranking.
2.2. Long-tail keywords
Next, we move on to long-tail keywords. These keywords are comprised of 3 or more words.
Long-tail keywords easily increase your ranking because they’re less competitive - which, of course, explains why they’re good to integrate with your main keyword.
Though they don’t have a lot of monthly searches, they’re commonly used by people who are close to making a purchase. Hence, their specificity. This means that you enjoy targeted traffic and leads.
When you type a search term in Google, it suggests or predicts possible search terms that you might be interested in. Google suggest is a gold mine for long-tail keyword variations.
Another simple but paid strategy to look for long-tail keywords is to use a popular long-tail keyword research tool called SEMrush.
Integrate your LSI and long-tail keywords in your introduction, H2 tags, images alt text, and basically anywhere applicable. Make sure that you do it in a very natural way.
3. Publish relevant topics to support your cornerstone content.
Cornerstone content refers to any content that performs well. In this case, your cornerstone content is the one that already ranks well.
To make that content attain a higher Google keyword ranking, link similar topics to that particular content. If you don’t have one yet, start tackling different angles of your topic to establish relevance.
Remember to use this powerful internal linking strategy to further boost your already ranking content. Think about the structure of a pyramid. Internal links pointing to that content tell Google that it is important.
The upper part right below the apex represents your performing post while the base represents all other similar topics that point to your main post.
As you create relevant topics, optimize them for keyword variations such as your LSI and long-tail terms.
If you installed Yoast SEO Premium into your WordPress blog, you should be able to use the plugin’s internal linking functionality. So when you write future posts on your blog, Yoast SEO Premium will check if they relate to your top content and suggest that you link to it.
4. Review on-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to all improvements you can make on your blog to rank higher.
Here are a few on-page factors that affect your Google rankings you need to pay attention to and optimize right now:
4.1. Site Speed
Google made it very clear that it uses site speed as one of its ranking signals. A speed of fewer than 2 seconds is the way to go. The reason for this is that Google wants to provide a positive experience to its users.
Basically, pages that load slowly create problems for people completing transactions. A high bounce rate and reduction in the number of your viewed pages pull down your rankings.
A faster site speed also allows search engine spiders to effectively crawl more web pages. To speed up your site, do the following:
- Keep your redirects to a minimum.
- Remove unnecessary characters in your code.
- Reduce your image file sizes while preserving quality.
4.2. Title Tag
Watch your title tag. Your title tag should help Google understand the context of your article.
Not only that, it influences the likelihood of users to click through your post on SERPs. So it doesn’t really matter if you rank 5th because a bad title tag reduces your blog engagement.
Since you’re optimizing for a keyword, Moz recommends that you move your main keyword near the beginning of your title tag.
Remember not to overdo your keywords in your title tag. Do not write a lengthy title tag so that it shows completely on SERPs. Make it unique and descriptive for a positive user experience.
4.3. Meta Description
Beneath your title tag is the meta description. It’s a 160-character snippet that describes what your blog content is all about.
You should know that there is no direct effect of your meta description on your post’s ranking.
But it does contribute to an increase in your Google keyword ranking indirectly by increasing your click-through rate and the amount of time people stay to read your content.
Remember to include your main keyword in your meta description so that Google displays it on SERPs. The keywords in your meta description will also be highlighted if someone searches for your topic using those terms.
Use an active voice to spark visitor action. Think of your meta description as an “advertisement” that should compel users to click through. Including a call-to-action such as “Read more” helps.
4.4. Image SEO
Are your optimizing your images for better search rankings? Your text within your article isn’t the only thing that matters.
Images do not just break up a huge block of text to make your blog content skimmable. When it comes to SEO, images contribute to an increase your rankings since they give Google additional information of what your blog post is about.
Let’s assume that you already have images in your post. Here are further optimization tips to tweak your images for SEO.
- Rename your featured blog post image using your main keyword.
- Describe your image accurately in your alt tag. This displays in case your image fails to load. In the image above, a good alt tag to use would be “blue mailbox against a brick wall.”
- Write a good image title to enhance your click-through rate in Google image search.
- Further describe your image in your caption. People see your caption right beneath your blog post image.
5. Have a good link building strategy.
Links remain to be one of the greatest factors that influence your Google keyword ranking, so don’t miss them. They boost or undermine your authority in the eyes of Google.
In fact, a Google study that was done recently revealed that the power of links has become more important than ever.
If you want success, adhere to a solid link building strategy. Focus on the quality of the links you’re getting instead of quantity. This should be your basis for building a strong backlink profile for your post.
Naturally attract and backlinks to your post by following the tips below.
5.1. Guest blogging
Reach out to other bloggers in your niche to distribute your content far and wide. This is where you’ll need to leverage guest blogging.
Whether or not the blogs you guest post on gives you SEO link juice (if they’re dofollow), guest posting still naturally attracts backlinks from authoritative and trusted blogs given that your content was nicely written.
Be very selective in choosing the sites you guest post on. start searching on Google using the search string your topic “guest post”
Essentially, you’ll want to target blogs that have:
- A significant amount of traffic
- Content relevant to your blog
- Good metrics (domain authority, trust flow, etc.)
- Massive engagement (comments and shares)
- Real social media followers
5.2. Go into detail
Did you know that longer content helps you perform better in terms of Google keyword ranking and conversions?
Whether you write content for your guest post or improve your currently ranking post, go into detail.
Your target word count should be more than 1,500 words. Why not go all in by making it 2,000?
The higher your word count, you get better chances of tackling various angles of your topic. At the same time, you’ll be able to naturally incorporate keyword variations.
Above all, put in mind that quality matters more than quantity. Don’t add fluff to your article for the sake of meeting a higher word count. Long but crappy content does nothing but decrease your engagement and eventually your ranking.
5.3. Social media sharing
Another proven way to attract backlinks is to use social media.
First, make sure that you are present on social media platforms where audiences in your niche are likely to be found.
Don’t just create profiles; link your blog to them. Share your content on all platforms. To amplify your reach, use relevant hashtags that also include your keywords.
Two ways to encourage social sharing are to add sharing buttons to your blog content and stating a call-to-action at the end of the post.
Many times in my blogging journey, I wished there was a magic trick to instantly increase my Google keyword ranking to the number one spot. It’s a wild dream, I know!
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. If you get lucky without doing a ton of work, then good for you. But for the majority, a carefully planned out strategy is needed.
To sum up all the strategies to getting your already ranking content to the pinnacle of Google, they include:
- Knowing your current ranking status
- Using variations of your main keyword
- Writing relevant posts to link to your content
- Implementing on-page SEO
- Good link building strategies
Hopefully, you’ve gained valuable information today. If you enjoyed this post, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.