It's a bright Monday morning. The weekend has inspired you with a fresh new topic to blog about. You pour in hours of passion, perfecting every line and fine tuning the flow.
As soon as you hit upload, confidence is at its all-time high, the spotlight shifts focus and you even expect the world wide web to crash as people prepare make a beeline to read your pearls of wisdom.
The reality unfortunately, is not quite as rosy. The online hustle to get in the good books of the Big G has never been this closely contested. Over 3 million blogs enter the Internet's bloodstream on a daily basis. And that's just on WordPress alone!
So, how do you turn the tables and get Google to acknowledge your shiny new long-form article in a world of heavy-weight bloggers?
Laws of Attraction
If you've just set up a new website, the first step is to get Google to acknowledge your presence on the world wide web. An easy way of finding out if you're site is indexed is to simple type site: nameofyourwebsite.
You should see something like this,
which means all is well and Google has indexed your site.
Indexing is Google's way of gathering data from various pages and sites during its crawl around the web.
A rule of thumb is frequent indexing improves your search results.
A number of factors dictate the frequency and speed at which Google indexes your site:
- Faster servers equal faster crawl rate. Don't skimp on hosting providers if you're serious about your blog/website. Invest in a reputed hosting service. They'll save you truckloads of headache in the long run.
- Google is all ears whenever older content is updated or refreshed. Sometimes, updating an older article or blog can get you higher up the ranks than a fresh new piece.
Want Proof? Here you go!
Unbounce stopped publishing for two weeks in order to go back and update their old content.
Their efforts paid off with 275% more conversions from their 17 highest-traffic posts.
Google Analytics can lend a helping hand to help you identify older content and topics on your page that have the potential to perform better.
A typical page refresh activity would look something like this:
Revisit the article. Look up digital marketing agencies that were set up over the last few years and pick the top from the list. Edit the article to "Best digital marketing agencies (Updated 2019) and add your newfound handfuls from your research.
Google automatically detects the change and crawls your site to index your new content! Smooth. Swift. Seen!
Why Should I Blog?
To some, blogs can be a window where they can vent their views, document their experiences and so on. To some, especially business owners and brands, blogs can be hard working SEO machines. Because blog content gets crawled faster than static page content since they are more dynamic and are updated more frequently.
If you're a business owner, understand that just a static website simply will not cut it anymore! Invest in a dedicated content team to continuously push fresh blog articles and thought leadership posts to stay ahead in the SEO game.
A brand with an active blog increases its chances of showing up higher when users search for relevant keywords in Google, as every blog increases the density of keywords on that site.
Spread That Net Far and Wide
Another trick to get Google to quickly latch on to your new long form article is to share it on social channels. The higher instances of your link on the internet, the higher (and quicker!) the chances of Google picking it up. And once, Google picks it up, the sooner it crawls your site for updated content. Simple, yet surprisingly effective!
Dial D for Directory
Submitting your site's URL to blog directories can help your site "get discovered" by new users.
Submitting to high-quality sites with decent Domain Authority ratings can not only open your content up to a whole new audience but also provide incoming links that can get the attention of search engines to crawl and index your site.
Services like Ping O Matic notify reputed directories that your website has changed, and that they should go index it.
Fill out your blog name, homepage URL and RSS URL (if you have one), like this. Under Services to Ping, press Check All. Hit "Send Pings" and you're golden!
Time taken for the whole activity? 30 seconds.
Over the last few years, you would have gradually noticed Google serving richer and context-relevant keywords without you even having to click on a link.
We're talking about something like this,
Not before long, a search like the above would have listed relevant links. As the user, you would click on each link till you arrive at the information you need.
Over the years, Google has finetuned its search results to give users the best experience. Take the above example. In one swift glance the user is treated to all the information he or she requires without having to waste another click scouting for info.
The same extends to scenarios where you need to convert centimeters to inches. Just type in something to the effect of "54 cms in inches" in the search window and you're instantly thrown the answer!
This is the magic of FAQ-rich results and answer cards.
As you can see from the image above, Google has pulled FAQ rich results from various sites. By incorporating an FAQ styled section in your article, your site too can get pulled by Google if the content is relevant.
And best of all, it takes less than 30 minutes for Google to notice the change and adjust their SERP.
I repeat - 30 minutes!
And here's what's crazy: Neil's team literally crawled 10,000 sites to see how many people have leveraged this SEO technique. The answer? Only 17.
Now's your chance to take the lead by leveraging this Google feature.
Play the Long Game
As a small/medium-size business owner or a blogger, you may not have the authority or reach to rank on the first page of the latest and greatest keywords. Big brands and names have already capitalized on most of them. The competition for the top keywords is fierce.
Try researching and producing content for long-tail keywords. Even if the volume might seem low, there is way less competition. Use it to your advantage.
Dominating Long-Tail Keywords
In order for your article or website to stand out, you need to target the low hanging fruit – the long-tail keyword.
- SEO guide,
There are far too many players competing to rank for that keyword.
Instead, target a long-tail,
SEO guide for small businesses 2017
There's plenty of unconventional methods to get your brand in front of the traffic that you crave. You just have to get a little creative in the kind of keywords people have in mind when they fire up that search box and begin writing on topics along those lines.
Round-ups: The royal lottery to the top
Try getting reviewed in roundup-style posts to get featured on top articles.
You can get your name/brand/product featured in top-ranking content with less than a fraction of effort you put into an article.
How? By getting featured in round-up posts like these,
These are the kind of results users see when they type in "SEO tools". All the results are roundup-style posts where the site authors review, compare and analyse the top tools.
It's literally free advertising!
You can get your name out to thousands upon thousands of consumers a month who are clicking on those top-ranking posts.
Now, you can leverage such roundup-style articles to your advantage. Rank well on these posts, and you'll get tons of traffic in return.
For example, tens of thousands of users are already searching for "SEO tools."
If you're featured on all of the comparison posts that already rank on the top page, you're going to get traffic from each one of those.
A great way to get started on this, is to reach out to the editors/moderators of these sites via a nicely drafted e-mail explaining your interest. This site could be a crafts site doing a top 10 handmade gifts of 2019 (great if you're into pottery or clay figures) or a website that reviews custom cars (if you're into modding).
Simple outreach efforts like these can now save you years of grinding away in obscurity to get your brand in front of eager searchers.
If the deck is stacked against you in one game, just switch the game that you're playing.
Sanjay Kumar is s Senior Creative Strategist at Neil Patel Digital India. With over a decade of experience in mainline advertising, social media and digital marketing, Sanjay is always on the lookout for exciting innovations and disruptions in the field. An avid gamer, board gamer and a gadget freak, he is currently figuring out ways to stop draining his pay check before the first week of every month.