We all know that getting onto the first page is important if you want to succeed in search engine marketing – after all, results from the second page onwards tend to drop into single digits and plummet downwards.
When considered from an absolute perspective, it’s easy to think that anything beyond the first page is meaningless to your company – but that’s wrong. Having a ranking keyword beyond the first page could actually be beneficial for your company, and today I’m going to show you why.
Our Common Ignorism Of Ranking Keywords Beyond First Page
Content is King – and most companies make use of one or more content writers to produce their content. Unfortunately, there’s one major problem with this approach, and it plagues a lot of agencies.
In short, content writers should not spend too much time trying to perfectly optimize each piece of content they’re given. Instead, content writers should be able to choose and work with topics that are already ranking beyond the first page.
When they know how things are performing, content writers understand which topics are most likely to rank well – and can write more of that content.
When a single writer can use a ranking keyword and produce multiple articles focused on a particular subject, Google will recognize that writer as an authority in the niche… and the rest of their content will move up the rankings in response.
What all of this comes down to is that creating great content isn’t as easy as it seems – especially if writers are never given the opportunity to see how a given article performs and adjust the content to help it perform better when tied to given ranking keywords. Without communication and feedback, great content is hard to come by.
What Keywords do You Ranking For In SERP?
Are you absolutely sure you know which keywords your website is ranking for and how they’re performing? If not, you should be using RankReveal – one of the best programs on the planet for monitoring the overall performance of your site.
The program itself is simple enough to use – all the content you publish on your site is added to its database, and the program will automatically notify you when your results appear in search engine results.
All of this matters because you can’t improve the position of a ranking keyword until you understand why it’s at a certain level.
Why Keywords Beyond The First Page Matter To You
If your keyword is ranking a page or two back from first, chances are it’s still good content. The problem is that it’s not great content, and there are things you could do better.
This is where most companies get caught up – all they see is a problem that’s not bringing them visitors, rather than an opportunity to do even better and start attracting more leads.
There’s no point in throwing out content and deleting it from your servers just because it’s not on the front page. Instead, take a look at all of the websites that are ahead of yours and try to figure out why they’re doing better. These are some of the most likely reasons:
- Domain Authority : Websites with a high domain authority find it much easier to get results onto the first page – and if your website is small and new, then no, you won’t be able to compete with these sites yet. To solve this issue, you should be focusing your efforts on building your site’s authority – as you do, your content will naturally rise through the ranks, and eventually you should be able to get onto the first page.
- The Moz Toolbar is an excellent way of identifying your competition and figuring out how domain authority affects your ranking keyword. We highly recommend using this – or a tool like it – as part of your overall SEO strategy.
- Measuring Domain Authority: Moz provides this information. Domain Authority information is also included with many different marketing platforms because it’s such a fundamental part of the overall SEO process. Chances are you already have at least one system that can provide it for you.
- Content Quality: Your rankings may also be low because the quality of your content is below what your competitors are offering. A short overview of a subject rarely ranks as well as an in-depth examination, and there’s been a recent trend towards having long-form content on most subjects.
- It really depends on who your audience is. Here, for example, we’re using over a thousand words to explain why ranking below the first page may actually prove valuable for you. On the other hand, many news stories never exceed a few hundred words at most. The length of your content should match your audience’s expectations and be short enough to keep their attention, but long enough to fully cover the subject.
- Measuring Content Quality: Quite a few websites ask for feedback on their content, seeking to better understand whether or not it helped the reader somehow. You can do the same – or use other ways of monitoring activity (such as total conversions into customers) to decide whether or not the content is sufficiently worthwhile.
- Social Signals: Some content ranks better simply because it has a better social status. In the last few years, we’ve seen an increasing trend of attaching share buttons to each piece of content so readers can easily send it to their friends. How much the content is shared can and does factor into its overall ranking. If your content isn’t being shared, you can look into new ways of promoting that.
- One recent technique is adding share buttons by each section of content, allowing readers to tell their followers to look at one particular thing. This is primarily used with Twitter, but could be adapted to other social networks as well. If you decide to try this, be sure to test various positions and button designs to see which is the most effective.
- Measuring Social Signals: Look at how many people are clicking the buttons on each page, then compare that number to your competitor’s page. If you’re using WordPress, you can use Social Metrics Pro to make this easier and determine which of your pages need additional help to get spread on social media.
- Backlinks: The number of backlinks a page has are a significant factor in its overall rankings – and if authoritative sites are linking to your competitors instead of you, then it’s no surprise that someone else has a better page rank.
- One way of solving this is finding out who’s linking to your competition and asking them to link to you instead. This is especially valuable if the content they’re currently linking to is old and out-of-date – emphasizing the ability to provide relevant links to readers is often all the motivation a site needs.
- Measuring Backlinks: Google’s Webmaster Tools give you a detailed breakdown of the sites linking to you, but you’ll need another tool to check on your competitors. Other tools like BacklinkWatch aren’t perfect, but should give you a general sense of where your competitors are at.
Once you’ve examined all of these, you need to determine whether or not it’s actually work focusing on that ranking keyword. Some keywords simply don’t have enough traffic to be worth pursuing – your time would be spent more profitably looking for high-value, low-competition keywords to build your plans around.
Remember, Google Has An Algorithm
Websites do not get high rankings in the results page because of luck. Google – like other search engines – has a specific algorithm that calculates the value of each ranking keyword you’re using and assigns a position to your site.
If you truly want to have a ranking keyword that brings visitors to your site, your goal should be to create content that’s worth putting at the top of a results page. If you understand how others are better, you can work to improve your own content.
Remember, Google wants to improve the user experience of the people who come to it for help. Think about results beyond the second page as opportunities to learn more about what great content and high-ranking pages truly consist of – and the more you work on improving them so they can get onto the front page, the easier it will be to create better pages in the future.
Content Marketing is a long-term project, and it often takes several months to truly succeed. Spending several days – or even several weeks – examining individual pages and learning how to improve them is completely reasonable given the magnitude of the task you’ve undertaken.