The competition in SEO is intense. Rankings are constantly fluctuating due to algorithm updates, stronger or weaker competitors, website changes, and so on and so forth. However, despite its hardships, search engine optimization is important, and as bloggers, we’re all trying to make it to that front page as much as we can. To learn how to rank on the first page of Google, or what I specifically did to get there, just keep on scrolling.
For the longest time I found search engine optimization intimidating and in all honesty, it still is an intimidating practice. SEO is a beast of its own and the competition is fierce. However, that should never stop you from learning more about it and putting strategies into place, so the content you worked hard on can be seen by people from all over the world.
Here are some examples of my blog posts ranking on the first page:
How To Rank On The First Page of Google
The first thing you’ll want to do is research for long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are three or more keywords that are more specific than their one or two commonly searched for keyword counterparts.
For example: A 1 word keyword such as “makeup” will have tons of searches on Google, but it’s such a broad and popular term that your content is going to get lost in the masses. However, a more detailed long-tail keyword phrase like “best matte foundation for acne skin” will have less competition in search results and will be far more targeted towards a specific group of audience. This makes it significantly more accessible for that blog post to rank higher on Google.
So, although long-tail keywords may have lower search volume, they’ll bring you a lot of organic traffic once you rank on the first page. It’s far more valuable to have less searches and rank high than it is to have tons of searches and not be able to rank at all.
Another thing to keep in mind is that long-tail keywords have a much higher conversion rate.
For example: When somebody keys in “sunglasses” into the Google search engine, they are aware of the product they’re looking for, however they would like to evaluate alternatives in preparation for a possible purchase. However, when a consumer searches for “tom ford aviator sunglasses for women”, they’ve made up their mind on the product they are looking to purchase and are prepared to pay for it then and there.
Long-tail keywords are very specific, thus they help bring the right audience to your website.
To research the best long-tail keywords for your content, sign up for a Google AdWords account in order to access the Google Keyword Planner Tool. (Note: You don’t have to run an active campaign, but you do need to fully set up your account.)
Once your account has been created, click the wrench in the top right hand corner and select “Keyword Planner” from the dropdown menu.
Next, enter in your keywords. From there, look for keyword ideas that have a low amount of competition, but a decent amount of monthly searches. Low competition will give you more opportunity to rank higher on Google, whereas a good number of searches means that people are yearning for this type of content.
Once you’ve chosen a relevant long-tail keyword that has a high amount of monthly searches and the least amount of competition, it’s time to begin adding it to your blog post.
The first thing you’ll want to do is install and activate Yoast. Yoast is a free plugin that walks you through the necessary steps to fulfill your blog posts needs for excellent SEO. It’ll help you input your headline, your meta description, and will let you know which areas you can improve on. If you’re not already familiar with this plugin, check out my mini beginner’s guide on how to navigate Yoast.
Also keep in mind that with your headline, always make sure that your long-tail keyword is in there and that the title itself is attention-grabbing. Your headline is important because it’s what will draw people to read the entirety of your post, so always make sure to play around with different variations of your headlines to include your keyword phrase.
The second thing you’ll want to do is add the keyword phrase within your blog post. Be careful not to keyword stuff as this is a Black Hat technique and a form of spam. My best advice is to input your keywords a few times into your blog posts, in a natural way.
You should also add the keyword phrase to your picture file names, before they get uploaded to your website. For example, instead of leaving your picture named IMG7177.jpg, change it to your keyword phrase (e.g. best-mascara-for-hooded-eyes.jpg) on your computer.
3. Write more, write quality
Writing a few blog posts a month isn’t going to get you ranked, simply because there’s little incentive for search engines to crawl and index your website.
The more content you write, the more opportunity you have to show up on the first page of Google, thus the more organic traffic will come to your blog.
A great way to start doing this is by establishing a steady routine with an editorial calendar. You can create your own or find a free template (I’ve seen plenty of them circulating all over Pinterest and all they require is an email address in exchange). This is a great way to hold yourself accountable and make sure you’re up to pace with your blog posting schedule.
However, it’s not just about writing more, it’s also about writing well. Do your best to write unique, valuable, and evergreen content.
Content pieces that never go out of style or are never outdated do best because they are always searched for and are always relevant and in demand.
For example: A blog post that talks about current fashion trends has a limited window of usefulness, whereas a blog post that teaches others how to dress for a job interview will always be helpful and relevant long after its publication.
Try to always make sure that you’re not only posting frequently, but also constructively as well.
It’s incredibly tough to rank on Google’s first page when you’re just starting out. The truth is, many industry leaders have very high authority since they’ve been creating content for years, dominate all of the best keywords, and have even spent millions of dollars on ad campaigns. However, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You can still rank high on Google if you put in the extra effort towards your blog posts. Focus on long-tail keywords, input them throughout your posts, write frequently, and write with value — Google will reward your efforts.