When creating a new site, the hardest task you will encounter is trying to rank in Google. You can be creating the best content in the world, but without the right tools and tricks, nobody will ever see it.
Getting to page 1 isn’t impossible though, in fact it may be a lot easier than you think.
The truth is, Google has always favored big, well established sites, in their eyes you can find more informative content there. In fact, a study by Ahrefs, showed that the average age of a page to reach the 10th position in Google, the last position on the first page, is a whopping 1 year and 9 months.
Let’s find out how you can fast track your journey.
On Page Optimization
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your page is ready for Google to love it.
Unfortunately, mastering all the technical side of on page optimisation is really difficult to do by yourself, but with the right plugin, the job becomes a whole lot easier.
My favorite plugin’s is Hummingbird for the back end, technical stuff and Yoast to help write your content. Hummingbird will crawl through your site to find any issues with how the site is displaying and how long it’s taking, then suggest any changes you need to make. Yoast on the other hand, will help you write and format your content in a way that will be picked up the best by search engines.
Long Tail Keywords
The sad truth is, it’s going to take a really long time to rank for most primary keywords. You certainly won’t be able to rank for high traffic keywords with a young site, so how can you make sure you still get traffic?
The key is to incorporate low competition keywords. These are usually longer, more specific
keywords (long tail); for example, instead of just targeting the keyword ‘top survey sites’, aim to focus on keywords such as top survey sites for kids U.K. This way you’ll have a much higher chance of driving some traffic to your site, albeit not a lot.
Long Form Content
When you click on a search result, the hope of Google is that you will find everything you need to know about your query on that page. One of the ways they address this, is by rewarding pages that are simply longer than others.
A study by Ahrefs proved that the average top result in Google searches has over 2000 words and not only that, but the higher the word count, the more backlinks it attracted. For example this article about the top 15 Australian survey sites, ranks higher than the top 5 Australian survey sites, because the content is far longer.
You can also target far more keywords with longer content, so there really is no excuse to not give a complete guide to everything you talk about.
Link Building is going to be both your biggest friend and biggest enemy on your blogging journey. Many sites out there will be more than happy to link back to your website if you provide them with a piece of quality content for their own site. You’ll still be able to get these high quality links without much of an online presence too, but it does require some hard work.
- Search for opportunities
You can easily find sites that accept guest posts in your niche by searching things like: [your niche] “write for us” or [your niche] “submit a guest post” (so for Marketing Apocalypse it would be SEO “write for us”).
- Pitch to them
Reach out to them, whether through a submission form or a direct email. In your pitch you should come prepared with an idea for an article, a brief explanation of the idea and a few links to examples of stuff you’ve written before for both your site and others. Most people won’t reply, so be prepared to send out dozens of these before you hear back from anyone.
Now that you’ve secured the opportunity, start writing your highest quality content. Remember, in the early days, these articles are more important than the ones you put on your own site. You’ll need to write articles that are both captivating and comprehensive. Before submitting it, make sure you’ve proof read it and it’s all grammatically correct, you don’t want to come this far and fall short.
Help A Reporter Out (H.A.R.O)
HARO is with a doubt my number 1 choice for on going link building, but it can also give you a much needed boost when you’re just starting out.
HARO is a free service where you can sign up to receive 3 sets of emails a day; the emails are full of reporters who need your help with articles they plan on publishing. The help they need is most commonly a quote on an area you specialize in or have had experience with, however some will ask for full interviews.
Every time a reporter chooses your quote to be a part of an article, you’ll get a high authority
backlink to your site, from sites as big as Forbes or New York Times.
Paying for ads is not ranking organically, sure, but it can indirectly drive more traffic to your site. One of the key metrics Google uses to determine is user experience, which includes user bounce rates, time spent on page and if they click through to other areas of your site.
Put simply, you won’t be judged on any of these metrics if you don’t have any traffic at all, so setting up ads is an excellent way to kick start that. You can also find vouchers for free ads with Google, which make your first $100 of advertising completely free.
Building up a social following is a major effort in its own right, but having shared articles gain a bit of traction isn’t as hard as you think. Nowadays, anybody can create viral content that the viewer has to click on; if you can incorporate that thought and get your content shared around, your site will soar.
Not only will that initial traffic boost help you rank, having linked social accounts for your page, as well as having other accounts talking about your content, is a key indicator of your legitimacy.
Sponsored posts are essentially the same as guest posts but are always paid for. This means you have a wider range of things you can write about and afford to be overly promotional of your own content.
As well as driving high authority links back to your site, you can also get a pretty decent traffic boost if you’re smart about what content you link back to. Be sure to shop around though, there will always be opportunities to get better deals if you look hard enough!
Having a new website with big dreams but little knowledge can be very painful. Keep in mind though that every big website that rakes in millions once started as something tiny. Minor changes to what you do can and do result in big changes to your rankings. If you follow the above tips, you’ll see your effort turning into dollars in no time.