Making your blog posts rank higher in Google can be a tough task. There are over one billion blog posts that get thrown up on the web yearly. Most are mediocre, providing little to no value to your site in the long term.
But great posts, on the other hand, provide consistent traffic to your website through search. If you create enough quality pieces you’ll eventually get them in definitive “one positions.” This is where Google considers your post so strong that they have an excerpt of the post visible in search. These are SEO gold.
Here’s a post on reading fiction which drives daily traffic to our site because of its ranking.
The key is to look at the types of questions your customers have. Then see if you can provide a better answer than a piece of content that’s sitting in the coveted one position on Google.
Then it’s time to get to work.
In this post, I want to go over some actionable tips that can help your blog posts rank higher in Google.
1. Put In 2X The Time You Usually Do
If your blog posts aren’t ranking high there’s a strong possibility you’re not putting enough effort into your content.
There’s an idea, called “disproportionate results,” where you put two or three times the effort into something and it produces returns greater than 1:1. Look at the chart below for a visualization.
If you’re answering a question for your reader, make sure you answer it completely. This means you need to be informed on your post. Take time and research points and articles that could bolster your blog into a high-quality piece of content.
The most overlooked piece of getting a blog to rank high is the promotional side of it. If you write a post, hit publish and expect people to flock to your content you’re dreaming (unless you’re an established brand). To promote your post make sure it’s put into a social media publishing schedule. The one we use is below.
You’ll also want to look for places where you can reach out and see if people will backlink to your content. This type of content is called link bait. Link baiting consists of you creating content that people would want to use as a source in their own material.
The more quality links you acquire, the higher chance your content has to rank. You can see who’s linking to your content in Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).
Once you’re here, look for pieces of content which are already getting some links. If something has a few links, it’s worth exploring what types of sites link back it. Once you’ve identified them, look for similar sites that could benefit from your content as a resource.
Here are some quick rules to follow:
- Have your blogs be no less than 500 words and no more than 2500 words.
- Be sure to spend equal parts writing and promoting your piece of content.
- Reach out to 10 sites who could benefit from your content either on social media or via email
- Don’t rush your headline, it’s very important
2. Change Your Titles to Exactly What People Are Searching For
We wrote a post on the death of Vine and quickly saw we were getting some traffic from Google for people searching, “RIP Vine Meaning.” At the time our post was titled, “RIP: Vine Closes its Doors” and was ranking fifth in Google.
Once we saw this traffic coming in we changed the title of the post to match the query more directly. This made our blog post rank higher. See below:
3. Use Internal Links to Build Up Cornerstone Content
Cornerstone content is the content you deem to be the most useful and highest quality on your site. Use internal links back to this content wherever you can in other posts for phrases/words relating to this piece of content.
For instance, we run a weekly marketing show, so whenever we mention it in another piece of content we link back to it. This helps tell Google which content is important and gives the crawler another path back to this piece of content. Yoast (WordPress plugin) has a great post on cornerstone content I recommend reading.
4. Update Your Old Blog Posts
If you have a post that’s dated but ranks high, it’s not a good idea to throw that SEO work down the drain. Instead look for ways you can optimize/rewrite the content to fit in with the times now.
Here’s a perfect example from Wordstream:
Wordstream has kept it updated so they keep the high ranking. You can see this, and the internal linking strategy in the screenshot below.
5. Do Your Keyword Research
Use a tool like Google trends to make sure you’re targeting effective keywords that match your potential customer’s search intent.
That was a mouthful.
Basically, you want to make sure you’re picking the best possible keyword to write about. Here’s a quick example showing that people are using the word “blog” more frequently than “article” when it comes SEO.
To do this head to Google.com/trends and examine the popularity of different keywords that pertain to your business. Start with customer service requests you receive in your daily operation and see how you can answer those questions through content.
SEO isn’t rocket science, but effective SEO is hard work. Use these five tips as well as others you pick up as SEO evolves to get your posts climbing in the SERPs(search engine results page).