SEO has changed in many ways, but one thing hasn’t changed: the fundamental value of appearing on page one of Google Search results.
The days of simple links and ads with a few blue links are gone. Despite all the new features in SERPs, rich results, and personalization of the results, it is still true that organic traffic acquisition hinges on ranking on the first page of keywords that matter to your business.
A 2020 study found that the click-through rate to position ten results (typically at the bottom of page 1) is 3.1%. Although it is low, it is still significantly higher than the typical ad click rate.
Although the study did not measure below the tenth result, in the end, it is reasonable to assume that clicks on the first-page drop to almost zero after that. What is the most recent time you clicked beyond the first page of a query?
The competition for page one on Google can be fierce depending on the query. It is possible with the right effort and works in SEO.
Let’s take a look at the most effective and proven ways to help your pages reach their goals.
- Increase Internal Linking
Because it is the most straightforward tactic to implement and can have significant positive results on your ranking, I place internal linking first.
Google uses the internal linking structure to assess what your website is all about.
Google will rank you higher if they have a better understanding of your situation.
Strategically applied linking between pages can also help you build more authority on critical topics.
Strategic internal linking is linking pages together in a way that makes sense to your visitors.
It is also not linking one page to another.
Instead, search for pages that add or enhance information on the page the user is on.
Your users will benefit from having more relevant information. Search engines also appreciate it (and for the same reason: more significant benefit to their users).
This type of strategic interlinking shows Google that you have extensive coverage of the topic. It gives them more confidence that users who visit your site will be satisfied.
These are some more internal linking tips taken from the Search Engine Journal. (See what I did there?)
2. Find your Threshold pages
Threshold pages rank below page one (traditionally, these would be positions 11-20).
These pages are unlikely to generate much traffic, but with some tweaking, they can move up to the “money” positions on the first page.
These pages should be at the top of your priority list as it is easier to rank new content than getting them on page 1.
To segment your pages using keywords ranking between positions 11 and 20, you can use your rank tracker.
Sort by search volume to find the best return pages.
Apply the tips from this article to these pages to get to page 1.
3. Research Competitive Content
There is a simple truth to be aware of if important pages aren’t appearing on page one: The others have something that you don’t.
Although we don’t have all the reasons Google uses to rank these pages higher than yours, cross-examination might reveal many things.
These are questions you should ask about each competitive page.
- Are the contents of the article noticeably higher quality?
- What is the best way to write it?
- Is it rich in keywords/topics that your site doesn’t have?
- Is it better than other pages of their website in terms of internal linking? Does it have links to other pages?
- Are the backlinks (external link profiles) more extensive and/or more valuable?
- Are there any “extras” (images, charts or videos, tables, etc.) that could assist visitors?
Although you don’t want your pages to be copied, knowing what the pages are doing can give you valuable clues about improving your page.
4. Site Navigation: Move important pages higher
Although this technique is not suitable for all pages on your website, it can be beneficial for the most important ones.
Google uses your internal navigation to determine the relative importance of each page.
Your homepage is likely to get the most links from the outside and thus the highest page authority.
This link equity is transferred to other pages linked from your home page. Those linked directly get the majority.
Your most important pages will be moved closer to your home page to increase their authority and their ability to rank higher.
5. Make your site mobile-friendly
This tip should be obvious. However, if your website is not mobile-friendly yet, now is the best time.
We are well past the tipping point, where most searches start on mobile devices.
Mobile-friendliness is a part of the page Experience update. It stands to reason Google will prioritize mobile-ready content when people search on mobile devices.
Google will match your efforts to make your website more user-friendly with the goals it has set for itself in its search ranking algorithm.
6. Earn/Build More Links
Google has given us much more to think about these days in terms of rankability (content quality, relevance, semantic, entity relationships, etc.). Still, good old-fashioned backlinks remain highly correlated to the ranking ability pages.
Earning links is creating quality content so that other sites want to link to it. Building links requires actively looking for links from trusted sites.
This excellent link-building checklist can be found in the Search Engine Journal. To find out more about building and earning more links to your pages, visit this article.
7. Pursue Featured Snippets
Sometimes, however, you can jump to the top of the class.
Featured snippets are a Google Search feature that promotes one of the top search results to a rich text snippet box at the top of the search results page.
Although the rich snippet excerpt might help answer a searcher’s query, it is not the best way to go. However, many SEOs have found that featured snippets drive more traffic than the standard snippet. Users want to learn more about the content.
Although there is no guarantee that you will be featured in a Featured Shortcut, here are some things you can do.
- To identify potential opportunities, look at different variations of your keyword using Google search. These opportunities can be determined automatically by some SEO tools. Featured Snippets will be most often displayed for keywords that have informational intent or are asking a question.
- If a Featured Snippet is displayed, be sure to observe the structure of that featured content. Are you looking for a table, bullet list, table, or another type of format? Although it is unnecessary to copy the design, it can indicate the kind of content Google prefers to use for your query.
- For the query, look at the top-ranked page. You can make it more appealing to Google by adding a Featured Shortcut.
Remember that Google is looking for content that answers the query accurately and clearly in Featured Shortcuts.
8. Refresh Past Performers
It begins to rank higher and increase traffic shortly after it is published.
However, almost invariably, it will eventually start to degrade over time.
This is why it happens. There are several possible causes.
- Other authors have published newer, more relevant, and higher-authority content.
- Over time, the intent of the query changed.
There are many ways to bring back your content and make it more profitable in the SERPs.
Use keywords-rich content to splice.
When your content is performing well, you can use splicing. This can allow the piece to continue to grow rather than fall into decline.
The splice method identifies pages that rank for more keywords than average.
Although it may sound good, this is a missed opportunity because keywords do not rank as high as they should.
You identify lesser-performing keywords that are still relevant to the page. These could be queries that rank the page on page two or low but are highly sought-after.
Once you have identified these opportunities, create new pages focused on the intent of the keywords and then link those pages to your current ranking page.
Google will target a better topic group with its landing pages if you have already been proven authoritative and trustworthy.
Expand and enrich
You may have to kill content that is in its decay phase. This is especially true if the content is not too old or no longer relevant.
However, you might be able to save it by making it more relevant in today’s SERP environment.
This is done by searching the keywords you want your page to rank for and spending time looking at the content of other pages that rank higher than yours.
Ask yourself what these features are that your page does not have. Are there keywords, topics, or features (images and videos, etc.)? You could also add links, photos, and other elements to your page.
This is not a copy of the pages of your competitors, but to get an idea about what Google may see that might make them more valuable than your page.