Your Google ranking journey so far.
This post is aimed at you if you want to rank your business in the top position of Google. I provide an easy set of instructions and I even go far as to prove it works by ranking a website that Google has not even deemed fit to be on the first 10 pages for particular search terms and phrases.
I strongly advise – if you have not already done so – you to read the first post in the keyword series before continuing with this one. You can find the link below:
This is not, and I stress this here, a get rich quick and rank at the top of Google in 24 hours post. The advice I offer is based on fifteen years of research, numerous mistakes and more importantly repeated success in placing clients at the top of Google. My process (if followed) can get you to the top of Google. It can take six to nine months for you to get there.
Having said that, there are some quick wins (some covered in my last post) that can get you there much faster.
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Right, let’s pick up where we left off in our last post and jump right in:
Google search console
By now you have a list of keywords. This is a random set of keywords selected from the point of view of the business owner and from that of the business owners’ ideal customer.
As covered in my last post, I will be taking you through the process by using a website that is not ranking, so the keywords I come up with will be specific to that site. You can, quite naturally, adapt the process for your own website.
The next step is to take a look at Google search console to see keywords my failing site already ranking for.
Google search console is a free service that helps you monitor your sites visibility in the Google search results. There are a few useful tools in the search console but we will be using it to access valuable keyword information:
We can see from the above chart that the site pjgreystoke.com:
Has only had 11 clicks since the first of February, yet has been featured in the Google search results 187 times. This produces a very poor click through rate (CTR) of 5.9%.
As you might expect looking at these results pjgreystoke.com is not ranking on page one of Google for the keywords I want to rank for. At the time of writing the average position on Google is 13.3.
I expect this, as I have not optimized this site at all and any keywords I’m ranking for at the moment is more by fluke than design.
Google search console also offers up a couple of other useful stats:
When I click on ‘pages,’ I see my best performing pages.
Position one is my home page.
Why Blogging can help your company rank high on Google
Positions two and three (above) are interesting if you have ever wondered why blogging on a website can be key to ranking high on Google. 85 impressions were made on search terms made as a result of a single blog post. Having said that they only resulted in six clicks through to the site.
Had this site been using a regular keyword rich blogging strategy, in which relevant trending and sought after topics were discussed – providing value to those who used it – then we would expect high Google ranking, high click through rate and ultimately more conversions on the site.
As an example, two blogs I wrote for a client are ranking in positions one and two on Google (above).
TakeAway – If you don’t have a regular blog, get one.
The informal and accessible nature of a blog post means your brand is seen as approachable and often trusted. And you can’t argue with the stats:
Every month approximately 409 million web users view more than 20 billion blog pages and around 77 million of those people interact with the blogs (potentially YOUR brand) leaving comments.
Marketers who prioritize bogging are thirteen times more likely to have a positive return on investment. This could be why 53% of marketers treat blogging as their top priority. Add to this, businesses that blog regularly experience twice as much email traffic as those who don’t.
Finding your keywords on Google search console
When you are on Google search console click ‘performance’ then click the ‘queries’ tab. This will display all of the search terms that people are typing in that result in your site being displayed in the SERPS:
My top-ranking phrase is ‘dark science fiction.’ This makes sense, as the blog (mentioned above) was an informative piece on the psychology of dark science fiction.
As that search term only resulted in one click then it is plain to see that my blog did not match user intent. It is far more likely the users were looking to read, watch or listen to dark science fiction stories. This tells me that the blogs and content produced by this site need to be more focused around user intent to increase my click through rate.
There are a few other keywords here too which I can add to my list:
- Dark science fantasy
- Dark sci fi novels
- Dark sci fi
- Dark sci fi books
Sleeptalker and Black water journals are names of specific books I have already released and it is more than likely, users have clicked on the Amazon link than visited the website as they were probably looking to purchase those titles.
I noticed also that my failing website is not ranking at all for horror and psychological thriller search terms, which I do want to rank for.
Next Stage, find other keywords I’m ranking for
There are many online platforms, which offer in-depth competitive analysis, keyword and blog ideas as well as a way to track your own sites performance over time.
I use Ubersuggest. It is very competitive price wise, very easy to navigate and offers all of the tools I need to help me increase the ranking for pjgreystoke.com.
According to Ubersuggest there are three key phrases I’m ranking for, one of which I have absolutely no interest in as it has no relevance to my site.
Vol (above) relates to how many people are searching for that phrase per month and position relates to my average position on Google for that phrase.
SD relates to how difficult it would be to rank for that particular phrase or keyword. The higher the number the harder it is to rank. The ‘Vol’ tab is useful but it important to remember these figures are based on estimations rather than exact figures.
Low search volume does not mean ignore that search phrase. If the phrase describes exactly what you want to rank for, and describes user intent leading to a sale, then include it in your list. Five qualified leads every month from people who are very likely to purchase your product or service is far more valuable than 100 people who may or may not be interested in making a purchase.
Competitor keyword research
My failing site is not at number one on Google for the exact phrases that I want to rank for but someone is. I thank all of those sites that rank on the first page of Google for my phrases because I can take all of their well performing ideas and use them to improve my own sites ranking.
If Google has seen fit to place them on the first page then it makes sense to take those positive ranking factors and use them myself. Google will never tell you exactly what you need to do to rank at position one (or everyone would be doing it) but by looking at your competitors you will find common factors that you can take and use yourself.
Just a little side note here about WHO your competitors are. If I were to ask you who your competitors are you would probably come up with a few company names. This does not mean that they are also your competitors when it comes to ranking on Google. Look at who is ranking high on Google (and offering the same or similar service to you) when you type in your refined search phrases – they are your competitors!
Pjgreystoke.com is not location specific but if your business requires customers visiting a specific location for example, then you need to make sure that location is included in your keyword list. An osteopath is not likely to travel internationally to help a client, so they would be looking to help people within a certain geographical area.
Double-check your keywords so far…
You may find, when you do this stage that what you thought was a good keyword phrase pulls up results on Google that suggest people are typing in this phrase, not to make a purchase but are looking for something else, entertainment or information perhaps.
If this is the case it is perhaps an indication that you need to modify your keyword / phrase to more accurately describe user intent.
‘Dark sci fi books’ is one key phrase I’d like to rank for. A quick search on Ubersuggest tells me:
The phrase ‘dark sci fi books’ lists an average CPC (cost per click of $0.43) this means people are willing to pay to rank for this phrase. This normally indicates the user intent is a commercial one.
I then type the phrase into Google:
I don’t see individual author websites here. Page one is populated by third party websites who have a range of different authors for people to look at. There are also other listings further down the page such as:
This tells me two things:
- I should have a look at the third party websites and see if the products on pjgreystoke.com can be reviewed / sold / linked to from those sites.
- Perhaps my search term is still to general and needs to be refined to cater for someone who wants to buy a book rather than join a discussion.
I shall leave or journey there for now and will be continued in our next post.
I hope you have found this one useful.
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Till next time
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