The top-ranking short articles: Read through the top 3 to 5 ranking posts. What material do they cover? What questions do they answer? Take inventory of headlines, format, tables and graphics.
Theres no sugar-coating it: The world of SEO can be challenging to navigate– but its definitely doable, even for the latest of newbies.
Its so worth it, too. SEO is a powerful long-lasting technique authors can use to boost (free!) traffic to their sites or blogs.
Sure, you can build an SEO post from the ground up. (Might I recommend this authors guide to mastering SEO?) It does not have to be that complicated simply. You can start by enhancing your existing material.
Ill walk you through my method– as an author myself– to on-page SEO optimizations.
On-page SEO optimizations: What does that mean anyway?
Lets begin with the basics. In the SEO world, there are a lots of technical terms, however do not let that scare you.
When we talk about on-page SEO optimization, were discussing taking an existing short article or page and updating it to increase its opportunities of ranking on Google– aka drawing in more eyeballs.
On-page SEO optimizations can be a relatively simple way to enter the SEO world. After all, you currently have the material out there. You simply need to make some updates so Google will take notice.
How to determine content worth enhancing for SEO
: Its not worth attempting to enhance every single short article on your website or blog. You have to remember various pieces of material serve various functions. Some will work better on social. Others are perfect for your e-mail newsletter audience. And some simply might have the prospective to rank on Google.
So how do you identify which of your existing short articles are worth optimizing?
I suggest beginning with the low-hanging fruit. Using a free SEO tool like Ubersuggest, search your sites URL. Youll see which pages get one of the most traffic through Google and with what keywords. You might recognize a terrific opportunity to enhance whats already working well and climb the (Google) ranks.
If you dont yet have sufficient traffic to your website, or youre not spotting any obvious keyword potential, you can always do a quick DIY survey of your material.
When doing this, I like to think of what folks Google. I try to find articles that take the shape of supreme how-to guides, “best of” lists, item comparisons, recommendations, questions answered … you call it. These posts tend to be more prolonged and all-encompassing in nature. Perfect for Google.
Lets take a quick assessment of some posts on The Write Life and utilize them as examples.
Im seeing short articles about the finest laptop computers for authors, how to self-publish a book, how to get paid to write and a guide to Upwork. I believe individuals are searching these terms, so these all have the potential to make strong SEO posts. (And oftentimes, they do!).
On the other hand, something like “ways writers can recreate the cafe experience” probably isnt something that gets searched a ton, so you probably wouldnt desire to focus your efforts on optimizing it. However, its excellent content for other platforms like social pages, community groups or newsletters.
When you pluck a couple of concepts from your site, its time to dive in with some keyword research study.
A detailed guide to the on-page SEO optimization procedure.
This is the fun part of SEO optimizations (a minimum of in my modest viewpoint). When enhancing an article for SEO, Ill walk you through each step I take.
Step 1: Pinpoint your target keyword.
If you dont already have a chosen keyword, youll need to do some research. Remember, your keyword is the word or expression you wish to rank for on Google.
Use a keyword research tool for this. We love Ahrefs around these parts, however once again Ubersuggest is an excellent (and complimentary!) alternative.
Lets say you want to optimize an article about cold brew coffee. Leave out any unneeded adjectives, prepositions or short articles.
Going back to the cold brew coffee example, when you search that term in Ubersuggest, youll discover theres a high search volume (49,500 when we looked). Thats terrific! That means 10s of countless people are searching the term every month.
Youll see the SEO difficulty (SD) is quite high. (At the time we checked, it was 58.) The SEO problem ranges from zero to 100, and the closer you can get to no, the much better.
Youll discover more keyword concepts if you scroll down. View all keyword ideas to see what related terms individuals search. Think about the various angles.
Keep in mind: Your goal is to discover a relevant keyword with a high search volume and a low SD.
Likewise, keep your reader top of mind. The keyword “how to make cold brew coffee” has a great deal of potential– 33,100 monthly searches with a 22 SD. However if you desire to enhance an evaluation you composed of the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks, readers are less likely to click due to the fact that youre not providing what theyre looking for.
For the sake of this example, lets enhance our hypothetical post with the keyword, “how to make cold brew coffee.” It has a high search volume and a reasonably low SD.
Step 2: Read Googles mind.
Youre about to check out Googles mind. Think youre ready? Its not as hard as you may believe!
In this step, your goal is to better comprehend what Google thinks about top-level material for this keyword. Actually, youre simply surveying your competition.
Heres what youll require to do: Search your target keyword in Google, and take a great look at the first page of results. Start keeping in mind on:.
Sure, you can construct an SEO short article from the ground up. I think individuals are browsing these terms, so these all have the possible to make strong SEO posts. The top-ranking articles: Read through the leading 3 to 5 ranking short articles. Now, this does not suggest you want to jam-pack your short article with every single element you kept in mind from the top-level articles.
Google is constantly shifting its algorithms, and new articles are jumping in to compete for those rankings each day.
Individuals also ask: This box includes concerns associated with your keyword. Consider: Are these relevant questions you could answer in your post? For circumstances, individuals likewise ask, “Can routine coffee be used for cold brew?” You might probably quickly answer this someplace in your short article: “You can utilize regular coffee for cold brew. In truth, you can use any sort of coffee you d like.”.
Once again, the goal here is to just take stock and study your competitors. In a manner, youre entering Googles brain to see what it “likes.”.
Action 3: Beef up your short article.
Its finally time to compose!
With on-page optimizations, youll work with the existing material you have. Theres rarely a reason to erase whatever and begin over. You simply want to intensify your post with additional information, reporting, graphics or sections you noted in step two.
Naturally, you never desire to copy exactly what another top-level site is doing. Make this your own! Maybe one article included a cool graphic, and that stimulated an idea. Or perhaps another short article noted numerous cold brew coffee dishes at the end of their guide. Perhaps you include a couple of your own. Once again, utilize your research study as inspiration and guidance– not your rulebook.
As you work, keep your reader in mind. This is one factor I love SEO writing– your goal is to serve the reader and give them all the info theyre looking for. Now, this doesnt imply you desire to jam-pack your post with every single aspect you kept in mind from the top-ranking posts.
Rather, ask yourself: If I wished to find out how to make cold brew coffee, what would I want or require to understand?
SEO writing might feel a bit more prescriptive, youre not writing for a robotic. Once again, SEO is all about the reader.
Youll want to pay very close attention to your heading (or title tag), excerpt (or meta description), you subheads (or H2) and your image descriptions. If you can do so naturally, include your keyword in these.
Hyperlinks also help enhance page rankings, so find chances to link out to reputable sources. Or, when you republish your freshly refreshed post, see if you can find other pages to connect to it on your site (once again, when appropriate!).
Step 4: Give it a week and check in.
The optimization procedure is continuous, and itll likely take a great bit of exploring.
When you upgrade your content, give it a week approximately before signing in on it. Again, you can use Ubersuggest to peep your top pages and keywords.
After a few months, rethink at whats ranking on Google for your designated keyword, and see if theres anything else you can do to increase your rankings.
The ultimate secret? Perseverance and perseverance. The optimization process is continuous. Google is continuously shifting its algorithms, and brand-new articles are jumping in to contend for those rankings every day. Just keep your fingers to the pulse, and keep working. I have faith youll arrive on the magical Page One ultimately!
Got a post in mind you d like to optimize? Share your updates in the comments below!
Image through franz12/ Shutterstock.
Associated searches: Finally, scroll down the related searches at the bottom of the very first page. See if anything stands apart. You might get some great ideas for topics you can include to your existing content like, “how to make cold brew in a mason jar” or “how to strain cold brew coffee.”.
The featured snippet: For some keywords, Google will populate whats called a “highlighted snippet.” This is package of text that populates at the top of your Google search. Note the content its highlighting. This is Google stating, “Hey, heres the very best response!” If you can rank in this top spot, youll get more views, but fair caution: Its quite difficult.