I’ve learnt a lot building my business & ranking on google. Here’s how I can help you too…
It might sound simple to get your website to rank on google, I thought it would be when I started.
In order for Google to find you, you need to have two primary areas covered 1) Content & 2) Links.
Your content needs to be well researched and you need to have a topical mapping structure that will help google see you as an authority in a certain subject.
You then need links from other websites so google knows your site is important and other people clearly think so too.
While this is simple, it’s not easy, below are all the steps I go through in my business, let me know if I can help you with any of these?
Ideation & Keyword Research
I know my niche well but it wasn’t always that way. When I first started I just wrote content that I wanted to write and while that’s fine it’s not the best strategy for getting visitors coming through to your site via google.
I had to first do deep research in my niche to understand all the different sub-niches and smaller topics that it entailed. I had to blanket the entire niche.
Understand Search Intent
I had to then learn what a customer persona was and determine what mine was – what did my prospective customers want to know? what did they type into google?
I needed to determine my prospective buyers search intent, i.e. what they are typing into google.
Once I understood who my customer was and what I think they are typing into google I had to make sure that this was correct. By using keyword research tools I can see, to a pretty good degree, how many people are searching specific words or questions into google.
I can then determine what keywords I want to be my target keywords for each piece of content I produce. Each keyword needs to match my prospective customers search intent and also have a good enough volume and low enough difficulty for me to be able to have a decent chance of ranking on that first page of google.
It’s good to note that while each piece of my content targets only one keyword, the likelihood is very high that that piece of content will also rank for other related keywords, which is great.
Topical Cluster Mapping
In order for google to start to see me as a topical authority in my niche I need to make it easy for google to see just that when it crawls my content. The most effective way to do that is to cluster relevant and thematically linked content together in clusters. These pieces of content are then strategically linked in later stages to ensure google can easily determine these clusters.
This is how smaller sites can take on the big boys – with enough topical authority and links (we’ll get to that).
Undertake a KOB Analysis
I know have my list of target keywords but which one do I start with? To understand this I would then undertake a KOB (Keyword Opposition to Benefit) analysis so that I could prioritise by giving each target keyword a KOB score based on how feasible I think they will be to rank and their business potential.
I now know which content I need to write and in which order but starting with a blank screen is not the best way to do this.
I then go about research everything I can about the target keyword and the wider subject it aims to inform readers or the main problem it is helping readers solve.
I do this to make sure all the bases are covered and my main goal is to make sure that everything a reader needs to know is on web page. Google’s aim is to help people end their search’ – If I can do this on my site then this is a massive ranking factor.
Basically, make sure you know your subject well and you know your reader and give them the best possible experience so they don;t need to go to another website.
Once I fully understand what I need to provide to the reader I create the outline. I determine headings that are 1) optimised based on my previous keyword research and 2) that the hierarchical structure of the headings makes sense to fully encompass a topic and structure it in a way that is helpful to my readers.
I know create the first draft. I use AI tools and the knowledge I have gained on how to use them properly to create great content, section by section.
It is more about assembling the perfect piece of content, each section is telling it’s own story to the reader and the goal of that section is to make sure readers want to read the next section and so on.
The content needs to also make it obvious to google what it is about so I would then use on page SEO tools to analyse and edit where required to make sure it has the right ratio of keywords, related keywords and LSI keywords.
This signals to google that this content is highly relevant to the keywords I am targeting. It is a careful balance between optimisation and user experience. I need to make sure google can see my content should be ranked high for that keyword but I also need prospective readers to gain value and end their search with me.
The final important step in optimization is to interlink my topical clusters that I determine earlier to make sure google can see I am a topical authority.
Edit & Add Images
Now I will review the content again and add the finishing touches to make it look visually great too.
Each post has what’s called a featured image – I would create a new, custom image that is specific to the search intent and one that I think will catch the eye of my prospective readers. I also need to make sure this image is following my brand colours and aesthetic.
I would then create any other cool images or infographics that I think the content needs to give value and keep readers on my site.
The content is now ready to be published on my site. I know this might sound simple but on any website backend there are quite a number of steps to do this.
Then, click the last button and we are live, I then also give a nudge to google to say this and ask it to index my page 🙂
Imagine the internet as a spiders web, when you are a new website it is like you are sat on the outer edges of the web where no one can see you. As you start to get other websites linking to you you start to get closer and closer to the centre of that web where people are more likely to see you.
It is not enough to just have great content, if you don’t have links to that content no one will see it, that’s where link building comes in.
You may have heard of black hat methods – this is not that, here I am will not be doing anything that could jeopardize my site, instead this is just going to take a lot of work and time. It would be great if other sites just found your content and linked to you and this is the end goal but how can they link to you if they can’t find you?
Here is where I need to help the process on, at least at the start. The end goal is to reach out to sites and companies to see if they would be open for collaboration. Here I would offer to write content on their site in exchange for a link back to my site.
Determine Link Profile
For my site I need to first determine what kind of links do I want to get. I determine what type of websites I think google would value the most linking to me.
Find Potential Sites
I would go about researching other websites in my niche and specific subjects I want to rank for and compile a list of suitable sites.
I need to be able to email the right person on these sites and aksk if they are open to collaboration. THis is not the generic support or helpdesk email, I need to find the right person so that my chances of working together are better.
This process takes time, is frustrating but is very much needed.
Now I would craft emails to each of these contacts I have found. Each email needs to be tailored to that particular person and company to increase the chances of collaboration.
Here I would make sure to research what content that company has already produced and compare this against their competitors to see where I think I can add value by writing great content and fill their content gaps.
I am not gonna lie, the response rates are not great and even getting a reply could be a rate of anywhere from 1 to 3 per 10 emails if you have done great research to much lower if you haven’t.
Write Guest Posts
Once the guest post title and subject is agreed I get to work, following my content workflow I discussed above with one slight change in that I need to include a link back to my website in the content.
These links would be strategically targetted to specific content on my site to increase the chances of it ranking higher in google.
Optimize Content that Shows Promise
Unfortunately it’s not enough to just publish content once and leave it. You need to keep updating and revising content that shows promise to get it onto the first page of gogole.
Review My Analytics
I normally give new content a month or longer to see how they are performing, some content can take months to show signs of promise and some content will never appear on the first 10 pages of google.
This is why it is so important nurture any content that shows good signs of ranking. For example if it is showing on the 3rd or 4th pages then this is a good sign that it is ready for more optimization.
Revise & Optimize
THis step is very similar to the optimization steps in the original creation of the content but here I do 2 things:
- Look on my analytics what other related keywords google is ranking this page for and optimize my content firsther for those keywords.
- How can I further improve the user experience – what have I missed to end their search journey? what new infographic or diagram will help them understand better? how can i keep them on my aoge longer and not leave to another page?
- Do I need to add more internal links to new content to bolster my topical clustering?
I keep doing this for pages that show promise so I can focus my time and effort where it will have the biggest impact.
I have developed specific workflows that allow me to generate great content as efficiently as possible while also staying sane.
Content Creation Workflow
Here, each stage of the content development pipeline is tracked so that I can see where each piece of content is, where bottlenecks are and what I need to do to keep pushing that content train down the line.
Link Building Workflow
This is how I can keep track of all these emails, stages of negotiation and writing of guest posts.
Other Website Tasks
The tasks are endless but there are many things to do to keep your online presence secured.