In this post I want to discuss the question of how to rank high in search engines with all texts. So this is not about any single post or page but about everything you publish in your site. I shall present my basic principles and show how they work for me.
My two basic principles
When I started with my first site I was making many mistakes. This may sound familiar, we all pass through it. This is not an exact science, and we are only guessing most of the time. So this does not mean that I am not making mistakes any longer. The idea is to reduce the number of them.
I read somewhere a nice statement that only a fool learns from his/her own mistakes. So learn from my to avoid your own.
In fact, I was following some online courses, and I was doing what I was told to do. One thing we were told was to stay below 300 with the so called competition. The term competition here describes the number of competing pages/posts with exactly the same keyword. This is also known as ‘quoted search results‘ or QSR.
This was a cardinal mistake. If you aim at such a high QSR you will never rank. With such a QSR you will also have many more competing posts with a similar keyword. Google will throw all this against your tiny site which has no authority at all.
Consequently, many of my posts and pages got lost, never got ranked, disappeared in dark cellars of Google search engines. Later, I tried to rewrite a few of them, with a new keyword, but being busy I did not continue. So those texts are lost.
Therefore I changed the strategy and introduced my own principle regarding the QSR:
1: I stay below 50 competing pages, ideally below 30.
This is my principle number 1. So does it work? The answer is: yes, I shall show some numbers below.
Now a few words about the second principle:
2: I use only long tail keywords.
So called long tail keywords are also known as low hanging fruits. I have a number of texts in this site about keywords in general, like this text about keyword ranking, and this one about long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords are known to convert better. This is easy to understand. When someone searches by using a long phrase, this implies something specific and with purpose. This person has already decided and knows exactly what (s)he wants. So if this is about promoting some items from Amazon, such a person is ready to buy.
There are downsides as well. Such long tail keywords typically imply
- a relatively small number of monthly searches and
- a low daily traffic.
So to generate a high traffic in your site, you will have to write a lot, hundreds of texts. The process may be painfully slow, but you can be almost certain that it will give some results. Not many people are ready for such a long race.
Thinking about strategy instead of tactics
When I was writing my first posts, I used to watch how each of them would rank (if they would rank) individually. This was a wrong tactics. I am not doing this any longer. Instead, I am trying to rank with all my texts.
Using the two basic principles described above, I apply a number of ranking rules which we believe work well with Google and with other search engines.
Of course, when you deal with keywords, it is good to have a good keyword tool. I am using really good ones, one is the Keyword Tool at Wealthy Affiliate where my sites are hosted, and the other is Jaaxy, the most powerful keyword research tool that exists. You can get some idea how it works if you try it (for free, they give 30 free searches). So try it here and you will get some idea how good it is:
In practical terms, what I do is the following:
- I use a SERP checker which is a free online tool.
- Here I make a list with all targeted keywords used in my site.
- I check from time to time my average ranking (you will see below how it looks like), but I am definitely not obsessed with ranking of any particular post or page. So, this is about long term strategy, and not about shortsighted short-term tactics.
How this all works for me
Here is what I have from the mentioned SERP checker in the moment of writing this text, the data are about my site on mountaineering:
- As you see, the average position for all 235 texts is 14.4. This fluctuates of course, but it is typically around this value, in the range 12 – 17.
- I have 213 out of 235 texts in the top 3 pages in Google.
- 77/235 are in the Google first page, so this is almost 33% of all texts.
- 38/235 are in positions 1-3 on the page 1 in Google.
- Some numbers are red (which means reduced from the last periodic check) and some are green (which means improvement). This is not important. They all fluctuate in time. Only what matters is the general trend and average value.
- A few texts are lost, ranked low, but I am not concerned about it.
These are good results indeed. What you do not know is that around 180 of these texts are published in the past 6 months, so the majority of them are very new and their ranking will still improve in time. I see this on daily basis because the number of texts on the Google page 1 is growing, slowly but surely.
Will this work for you
I am not selling you this text, therefore at this point there is no need to expect some nonsense (known as ‘call to action’) of the type ‘apply this now, success guaranteed’ or anything of the kind.
But I am pretty sure this will work in many niches, for example if you are in the business of promoting stuff from Amazon or doing something similar. Of course you never know, and I was lamenting about this in my another text.
So to summarize my out loud thinking on how to rank high in search engines, a) go for very low competition, and b) use long tail keywords only.
Since this is about ranking in general, for everything you publish, it is good to bear in mind the importance of internal linking as well. Introduce relevant links to your previous posts. This will make your complete site a compact entity, with all texts closely connected with each other and interrelated. The authority from more successful posts will spread to less successful posts and they will all get ranked.
This is a slow process, but be patient and give it a time. Good luck.
Thank you for reading. If you find this text useful, please share it with others. I shall be happy to have some comment from you.