Blogging is never a “publish and forget it” sort of deal.
You publish a post, you answer comments, you build links to it in hopes of ranking it high in search engines so that you can start getting organic traffic on autopilot.
Then comes the day of publishing a new post – for many of us, it’s the following day.
And what happens to the previous post? Previous 10, 20 posts? That’s right – who has the time?
Last Monday we talked about deleting, yes that’s right, DELETING your stale, outdated content that could potentially drag your rankings down. And that’s not me talking here; that’s what Google said.
Now I promised you to write a post on how to improve Google rankings for your existing content – the content that is already producing some search engine traffic, but could definitely do better with a little help.
Yesterday during my regular Google Analytics inspection, I did find a post in a good position to be moved up the Google ladder.
Right now it ranks #4. My objective is to get it top Google ranking, and these are the four steps I am going to take to get there.
Step 1. Identify the Post Via Google Analytics
The first step is discovery.
I already went ahead of myself and explained what happens in this step: I find the posts that are already ranking in spots #2-#10. Every once in a while, I will consider a post with current rankings on the second search engine page if the keyword is worth ranking for.
HOW I find out whether my post is already ranking for a good keyword is a tough question, because so far there’s only one tool I found (if you know of one, leave the resource in comments, please) that, instead of asking what keywords you would like to rank for – that’s what most of them do, tells you what keywords your post IS ranking for – and it’s not Google Analytics.
However, Google Analytics is still one of the best FREE tools to get this kind of information, although nothing is given to you on a silver platter – you need to dig for it.
So here’s my Google Analytics discovery process step by step:
1. From your Dashboard, click on “Content” and then “Top Content” (in the sidebar). You’ll see your pages sorted by the most visited ones.
2. Start clicking on the top pages, going down. Once you click on a page, you are looking for the phrase “Entrance Keywords”.
3. Click on “Entrance Keywords“. Here you’ll see what keywords people are finding your post through via search engines.
The only problem is it won’t tell you what position your site or that page I should say, is holding in SERPs – you’ll have to look it up yourself.
The best way to do that is described in this post:
4. As you can see, you can learn a whole lot about any particular page this way, for instance the bounce rate (for this particular page, it’s pretty high – higher than my overall blog bounce rate; looks like I have some work cut out for me), exit rate (how many people abandon your blog from this post and not click over to check out anything else), etc.
Here’s a great post on how to decrease your bounce rate, by the way:
Identify Posts via SEMRush
SEMRush is the only (paid) tool I know that does it all.
It checks out your domain and tells you which pages are ranking for which keywords and even shows your ranking position.
Take a look at this screen shot of Traffic Generation Cafe I took this morning:
Made me chuckle…
Guess how hard I worked at ranking #1 for “seems that this” phrase. #1 out of close to 500M results!
Also, I am sure “Dead or Alive” fans are becoming huge fans of my blog as well since I used one of their song titles “You Spin Me Round” in one of my recent post titles. I am ranking on the first page of Google for at least 3 of the keywords pertaining to that song. Oh, joy!
Jokes aside, I am ranking for some good keywords, and this is just a sample of what SEMRush does.
Step 2. Size Up Your Competition
As I mentioned before, if my post landed on the first page without much effort on my part, the competition can’t be that bad.
But it’s always worth checking into it first.
The tool that I love using for this task and the rest of my keyword and market research is Market Samurai. If you want to check it out for yourself, the folks there will be happy to set you up with a free trial via my affiliate link above.
One of Market Samurai modules, appropriately called “SEO Competition”, let’s me spy on my competition for the specific keyword I am targeting.
Feel free to click on the image to enlarge
As you can see, I can easily check up on my top competitors’ standing with directories, their backlinks, PR, and on-page optimization (by the way, I teach everything I know about on and off-page optimization in my free SEO report).
The most important factors I consider though are found under “PR Analysis” and “Anchor Text Analysis” you can see on the image above.
With those two queries I easily find out that my top competitor has 28 links to their post (compared to 6 links going to mine) and the PR for those links breaks down as follows:
PR 0 = 25 links
PR 2 = 1 link
PR 4 = 2 links
Not too intimidating at all.
Basically, all I need to do to outplay them is to get 3 PR 4 links, and I will try to get them all from dofollow blogs, to be on the safe side.
By the way, Market Samurai also tells me exactly where their links are coming from. So I can simply go to all the same pages and get the same links, plus find 1 additional link. Piece of cake.
Since this is not a very competitive niche, I might just do that to save myself some time.
Step 3. Improve Your On-Page Optimization
This one is easy as well.
I already know that both my competition and I use the targeted keywords in our title, URL, description, and header tag.
I can however rework my meta tags so that they include my keywords in the beginning – even such slight changes can tilt the rankings in my favor.
I can also add a few internal deep links with targeted keywords as my anchor text; that’s an easy way to add some additional links without having to hunt them down.
Step 4. Get The Links I Need
Since I now know exactly what I need to do as far as my one way link building to the post is concerned from Step 2, it takes me just about 10 or so additional minutes to complete my post optimization.
Question: do you ever perform this kind of optimization for your blog? If so, do you do it differently?
Comment to show me that you’re alive!