I just recently published a series of training at Wealthy Affiliate University and the members there loved it! So here is a really meaty post which will show you how to get top Google ranking!
You can also update your old content using this method and stand a really good chance of ranking old posts that didn’t rank well.
Please note that I may use terms here that you are unfamiliar with, if I go into detail with everything this will land up being a book… so if you are confused by anything here please ask a question in the comments at the end and I will answer you as soon as possible.
How to Get Top Google Ranking
This will take you through what to do before you write a word, what to focus on while you are writing and what you should be doing after you have published your content. This is going to be a lot of information and initially it may take you a long time to complete… BUT I can promise you that if you do this step by step and not leave anything out your rankings will increase dramatically.
I actually have these points in my little black book as checklists and every time I publish new content I tick them off as I go. I suggest you do the same.
Phase One: What to Do Before You Write A Word
So just to explain here quickly that what you do before you write is really the most important step in this process. If you spend a whole day writing an amazing piece of content… but it doesn’t get ranked at all then it may as well not even exist right? So make sure that you put some effort in before hand. It may seem tedious, it may bore you to tears and it may seem silly… but please trust me on this.
This is a crucial step and very often overlook.
Content Topic and Plan
So what are you going to write about and why? You might have a great idea of what you want to write about and why. There are different reasons for writing a specific piece of content. Make sure you know why you want to write this specific post.
Here are some ways to come up with topics:
- Your readers have asked for more information on a topic
- It is a vital piece of information very relevant to your niche that you want to share
- It is closely related to another topic that went viral or was incredibly popular
- It is trending, it is the latest news or update
1.1 Write down what you think you are going to write about and all the points you want to cover.
Yes I did say what you think you are going to be writing about, you will see what I mean later!
1.2 Do Keyword Research, Alphabet Soup and Check Google Trends
Essential to this step is a really good keyword tool. Yes you can use Google Keyword Planner and other free tools… BUT there is a big difference spending an hour on the planning and research phase or all day. If you just can’t afford a keyword tool, you will have to make do with free tools. However if you can spare the money I urge you to use a paid tool, trust me on this, it will save you so much time!
If you’ve been using a free tool, just try out your 30 free searches in Jaaxy and see what I mean!
Your mission here is to check the main topic and each point you want to cover. Find a main keyword and some secondary keywords for each point you want to cover. Check your topic and your points in Google Trends. There is no point in writing about a subject that has no interest in it, or that is a dying trend right?
1.3 Check what your competitors are writing about
Search those keywords you have researched and have a quick look to see what your competitors are writing about and how long their posts are. And no, I have been asked this loads of times, you are not going to write about what your competitors are writing about… you are just checking out the lay of the land and seeing what you could be up against.
1.4 Choose Your Main Keyword and Secondary Keywords
Yes we have done this already, but the point here is that you may be writing down exactly the same things you did in point 1.1 OR you might be on a completely different tangent. You may have found that your readers have no interest in what you were going to write about, but another related topic is incredibly popular and trending. I have often found that what I planned to write and what I end up writing are completely different.
If your topic and main points are completely different you may need to redo your keyword research again too, I usually do at this point.
Choose a few options for your main keyword and for your secondary keywords.
1.5 Do Keyword Competitor Analysis
So now you have some keywords that look incredible and they look really easy to rank right?
Well maybe and maybe not. Think about this, if you don’t rank on page 1 for some of your keywords you may as well not exist right? So you’ve got a nice keyword that has 300 traffic a month and only 20 competition, so this looks great!
What if the top 15 are such strong competitors you will never ever outrank them? Then you may as well not write your post! So here’s what you need to look at and how you go about this step.
Firstly scan page 1 for these types of sites:
- Are there any e-commerce sites? E-commerce sites are just hard to outrank. Fact.
- Are there any social sites? Facebook? Youtube Video? If there are you can jump for joy!
- Are there review sites? Yes, great! There is a good chance you can outrank them.
So now you have an idea of the competition on page we’ll look even deeper. I suggest you use an excel spreadsheet for each keyword and analyse the competition.
Here are the points you want to check:
- Is the keyword in the URL?
- Is the keyword in the meta title?
- Is the keyword in the meta description?
- What is the page authority
- What is the domain authority
- How many external backlinks does this post have? How strong are these backlinks?
- Is this a weak URL?
- Is this a weak domain?
You can use Moz to check the page and domain authority as well as external backlinks.
1.6 Make a Final Decision on your Main Keyword and Secondary Keywords
Now you have everything set out in front of you and you should be able to have a very good idea of how you weigh up against the competition. So the thing here is to rather choose a keyword that you have a very high chance of ranking for that has only 5 traffic a month rather than risk going for a keyword that has incredibly strong competition with 300 traffic a month.
I’m not sure about you but I would rather have 5 sure visitors a month than risk wasting hours of my time writing a post that will never get the 3o0 visitors I want.
I usually choose one main keyword and then maybe two secondary keywords.
1.7 Find Relevant Images for Your Post
Find or prepare an image for each keyword. These must be nice images that will be shareable and catch the eye. You’ll understand why in the next step when you write your content.
1.8 Find or make a Youtube video for your post
If you can make your own Youtube video for your post this will be first prize. Of course realistically you probably won’t be able to make your own video for every post you publish. You can just go onto Youtube and search around for a great video that is relevant to your content.
Make sure this video doesn’t have affiliate links, you want your readers to click on your affiliate links not someone else’s right?
Ok so it must feel like this step took forever, it sure did for me the first time I did this! I thought geez when can I start writing…. here we go, that comes up now in the next phase.
Phase Two: How to Write Your Content (That Ranks)
So this is the part that you’ve been waiting for and a lot of people just write their content without researching any keywords or doing any competitor analysis… and very often just write their content without any thought to what will help them rank it.
Yes content that is original can rank,… but here are the steps to take that will ensure that your content ranks (along with phase 1 and 3 in this post of course).
2.1 Write a Captivating Headline
Ok so you’ve heard your keyword should be in your title right? Well not necessarily this title. The title that counts for SEO is your meta title. I prefer to write something captivating and interesting here, simply because this is what your readers will see on your website and will entice them to read your post. If your post is found but not clicked on what is the point?
I also like to make this different to my main keyword because you will need to put your main keyword in a few key places, if you make this your keyword it will look repetitive. You will see what I mean soon.
2.2 Make your URL your Main Keyword
WordPress will automatically make your post title your url, so go and change your url to your main keyword and save it as a draft.
2.3 Write your Introduction and include your Main Keyword as soon as possible.
2.4 Add Your Main Keyword and Secondary Keywords to Headings and Plot Out Your Post
2.5 Write Your Content Naturally
It probably feels like a marathon until now, but now you can write your post. This is where you must completely forget about SEO and just write for your readers, don’t worry about anything but being yourself and engaging with your audience.
Remember that people read content, people engage with content and people buy things… so write for people.
The only thing I would say to focus on and practice here is to write in short sentences and short paragraphs. Use headings to break up your post. This makes it easy to read and if a reader wants to, easy to scan.
Try and make your post length at least 1000 words. Longer posts have more chance of ranking for keywords that you never planned for, giving you a nice surprise.
The more you write the easier it will become to write long posts. Don’t worry too much if you are new to content writing, you will get there with practice and you can always come back in the future and update your post. Getting comments and engagement on posts can also add to the length (more about this later).
2.6 Add your Main Keyword at the end of Your Post
2.7 Add Your Call To Action (CTA)
Not sure what a call to action is? Very simply put it is whatever you want your reader to do. What is the whole aim of this post? Have one goal for each post and make sure it is added at the end of your post.
You may want readers to subscribe to your newsletter, or sign up for a program or maybe just read another post you have written? So add that in, tell your readers clearly what you would like them to do.
Don’t forget to leave this out, I’ve done that a few times and it really is painful when you realize that all the traffic that came to your post until you remembered to add it in lost out on that CTA!
2.8 Add Your Images and Alt Tags with Keywords
Add the images you prepared in Phase One and remember to add your keywords in the alt tags. Every single image on your website should have an alt description. This is great for SEO juice and very often overlooked.
Make sure your Main Keyword is in your featured image.
Another great thing about images is that people are visual creatures we love images. It makes it interesting and eye-catching.
Images are also very shareable, think about Pinterest!
2.9 Embed a Youtube Video
Posts with Youtube videos rank better and convert better.
If you have made your own Youtube video you also have more exposure than with just a post because your video can rank on Youtube and also in search engines giving you a much greater boost than if you use someone else’s video.
2.10 Add your Meta Title, Meta Description and Keywords into your SEO Plugin
A vital step is now to add your Main Keyword to your meta title and description. If you can add in one or more of your secondary keywords in anywhere here too that is great.. just make sure it looks good.
This section is how you are telling the search engines to show your post when it shows up in searches. So when someone searches online this is how you will appear. Once again focus on adding your keywords in the right places, but keep in mind that people click links not Google!
It is important to get ranked, but if your post doesn’t look appealing and nobody clicks it is pointless isn’t it? So spend some time getting this right.
2.11 Add Tags and Categories to your Post
This will not only help your readers move around your website and find new relevant content, it will also help search engines to rank your content.
2.12 Add Internal and External Links
Read through your post and see where you can link to other relevant content on your website.
Add at least one high authority external link. Try go for a really high authority website like Wikipedia. If you link to a low quality website this could impact your ranking negatively!
2.13 One Last Check
This is another vital step which you should not skip. Please check your post before clicking Publish! The most important thing in my opinion is to double check your url is correct. This is the one thing you should never change after publishing!
But do a quick check over your entire post. Make sure all the links are working, make sure you check it in preview to see it is all formatted ok and looks good… are all the images showing correctly?
I published a post a while back and made a typo in my post headline… oh that hurt when someone contacted me (thank you!) and told me so I was made aware and could change it. Thankfully my url was fine but this was a headline! Ouch, how bad is that?
Yes everyone makes mistakes and yes I make typo’s… but in my title?
2.14 Publish Your Post… if you have another Hour to do the Phase Three!
If you’ve completed your post and want to click publish just make sure you have another hour or so to do some vital things immediately. If you don’t have the time then rather save it as a draft and publish it when you have a little bit of time to do Phase Three!
Phase Three: What to do Immediately After Publishing Content
You’ve come this far and put so much work into your content, so make sure to follow this checklist and give your post the best possible chance of ranking. What you do now can truly make a big difference.
3.1 Internal Linking
Go to old content and add links to your new post where relevant. You can also add your new post to a menu for greater visibility if needed.
3.2 Share on Reddit
Find a relevant Reddit and share your content. Just be careful here because Reddit is very much against “self promotion” and if you are a newbie to Reddit some of the older members can quite frankly be very unforgiving of a newcomer posting their own content! I know because I was flame grilled about 2 years ago and it was very unpleasant.
The thing with Reddit is to really get involved with the community and not just use it as a place to self promote yourself. Spend a little bit of time to familiarize yourself with this social network. Each sub Reddit has its own rules and regulations. Very often you are not allowed to post your own content at all!
Here is a sub reddit that I am going to try out today, it looks safe to post in! I’m going to send this post there and see what happens. If I get flame grilled I’ll let you know. I suggest you carefully read what the reddit is about and whether you can post your own content before going ahead.
Just keep in mind that nobody likes being spammed and nobody likes going to a social network that is just spammed. And if you spam Reddit you will feel it!
Then once you have added your link to Reddit copy the url for the next step… to follow.
Leave a comment on your Reddit link by clicking on “formatting” and changing the info to your post title and your url and save it.
Check here for a reliable SEO freelancer that will share your link on Reddit for just $1 saving you the effort of having to network on Reddit.
3.3 Share Your Reddit Link on Digg
Go to Digg and share your Reddit link, this is called a two tier link and gives extra juice!
3.4 Ping It
Pinging your link simply lets blogs and search engines know you have added new content. There are lots of places where you can ping your link for free. I use Pingoat, just add your link and click “check all” and ping it.
3.5 Make A Google Annotation
This is a note in your Google Analytics. Choose Audience Overview view and then under where your graph is there is a little down arrow, click on this and your saved annotations will come up. On the right hand side click on “Add new annotation” and you can then enter the date and some notes.
I just add in my url or I make some notes if I have done something like a paid campaign or maybe changed my theme or updated old content.
This is exceptionally useful for if you check back in a years time and see a spike or drop in traffic, you can then check to see what you did at that time.
3.6 Share on Social Networks
From my website I share my post to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn. These are the 5 biggest social networks.
Don’t forget to also Pin your Youtube video to Pinterest if you have published your own video!
I write a short teaser and then share my post. After my teaser I add in a hashtag with my website, this adds a citation to my website which can also increase my ranks! So just add #yourwebsite.com to your social post.
I then share my post on my Facebook Page and also some relevant Facebook Groups.
I also use Tweet Jukebox which I love, so I add my new post to my Tweet Jukebox too.
If you have started with email marketing but haven’t set up a blog broadcast then send it out via newsletter too. If you haven’t started with email marketing I suggest you get cracking, this is a massive part of online marketing!
3.7 Fetch As Google
I submit my url to Google to crawl. This is done in Google Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t set up your account with Google Webmaster Tools I suggest you get going immediately. Submitting your sitemap will also help your rankings!
3.8 Get Comments and Engagement
Ask people to comment and get engagement on your post. This is really important because not only does it add new content to your post, it also tells the search engines that readers enjoy your content!
It is also great for your readers to see that others are interacting with you.
Then I suggest you have a rest, because this process is now complete and you have worked really hard!
I hope that you have found this useful and that it helps you with ranking your content. If you have any questions on this post or have any ideas to add how to get top Google ranking please leave a comment.