More people waste money on SEO products than I care to think about. The one thing I want you to understand about search engine optimization is that no one can guarantee rank for any keyword, and even if you slime your way to the #1 spot with loopholes, there’s a slim chance you’ll stay there.
What I want to provide for you in this SEO chapter is two basic things.
- General advice to keep in mind when optimizing your page
- Specific steps that I use to increase my chance of ranking
However, there is no formula that will guarantee a #1 spot, no matter what the sales page of “Amazing SEO Secret Explosion” (or whatever the flavor of the week is) tells you.
For me? The #1 tool in my SEO tool kit is aiming for low competition keywords. Writing high quality content for keywords that very few people are trying to rank for can get you ranked on page 1 within hours of publishing. I do it on a weekly basis. Now, keep in mind that not all those posts drive huge amounts of traffic to my blog. They may only attract a few visitors per day, or maybe even a few visitors per week.
Page Reading Time
If you rank for a super low competition phrase and a visitor spends 5 minutes on the page reading, plus clicks around to other pages on your site, likes, comments, and comes back later, don’t you think that will send some positive signals to Google? Of course! Those positive signals will seep into other places onto your site, improving your overall rank.
Then, let’s say you creep up to page 2 for a competitive phrase. A person looking for a difficult answer is not satisfied with page 1 results, and does the unthinkable…he clicks to page 2 of search results. Wow, he lands on your page and stays for a couple minutes. Then leaves a comment to thank you for such an awesome post. I’m confident that in the next few days you’ll see yourself cross the threshold into front page territory. As more visitors land on your site and enjoy what you write, you can work your way up to that #1 spot.
Of course, this is just a hypothetical example, and it doesn’t always work like this. I’m also guessing as to how the algorithm works, so don’t take it as gospel. But that’s the thinking behind why low competition keyword phrases are so important for not only ranking those individual pages, but for improving your overall (brand new) website authority.
One more thing! Over-optimization is a real thing, and can get you dinged. Too much of any one thing is bad for your site. Too many keywords, too much text formatting, too many backlinks from one place, too many outbound links; they can all hurt your SEO. Keep everything in balance, and most importantly, keep your reader in mind. Google may be an imperfect machine, but they are always working to make it smarter, more intuitive, and better able to interpret your searches like a human.
Write with your readers in mind, and you are optimizing for the future of search. Write for search engines, and you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
So let’s get into how I optimize my pages for search engines.