Boosting your online content’s rankings in the search engine results pages can seem like a never-ending battle. And that’s because it often is, especially as competing content comes out and search engine algorithms change. As more content tries to race to the top of the SERPs, you may feel like giving up.
Luckily, there are general tips and tricks you can use to optimize your content strategy and increase your business’s visibility. While many of these require ongoing efforts from you and your content team, the results are worth it. Let’s review four ways your business can triumph in the contest for SERPs domination.
1. Target Search Intent
In the world of search engine optimization, you’ll hear about the importance of using keywords. While keyword research is crucial to getting your content to rank, it’s not only the words you’re searching for. To achieve SEO success, what you truly want to uncover is your target audience’s search intent.
Keywords and phrases represent that intent, but they’re kind of like the surface of a deep ocean. What’s underneath keywords and phrases are the questions your audience wants to answer or the information they need. For instance, someone may be interested in pursuing a wrongful termination case against their former employer. They’d need to determine whether they have a case and what circumstances can qualify as wrongful termination.
Wrongful termination may be a good keyword for a law firm to use in its content. However, the keyword alone doesn’t necessarily address the searcher’s intent. A successful law firm SEO marketing and content strategy will dive deeper into the audience’s questions. Blog posts and online guides may go into depth about what circumstances and evidence make for a strong wrongful termination case. Because that content fully addresses search intent, it’s more likely to rank higher.
2. Keep Content Current and Relevant
You might think you’re done with a great piece of content once you publish it. But that’s usually not the case if you want to keep it at the top of the SERPs.
It’s not uncommon for industries to move in different directions, technologies to evolve, and information to become outdated. A blog post about the digital divide and broadband internet access in rural areas may be relevant today. Yet new government initiatives and last-mile wireless technologies are already beginning to deliver more internet options to remote communities. That blog post posted six months or a year ago may decline in relevance and accuracy.
When online content grows stale or out of date, fewer people read, click, share, or link to it. As a result, that piece starts to tank in the SERPs as organic traffic shrinks. While removing older content is sometimes the right choice, you can often refresh or update it. You may need to recraft it to address changes in your target audience’s search intent. Or you can replace outdated and inaccurate information with current data and facts.
Other approaches include adding depth to a piece or covering more subtopics in it. You might also evaluate and comment on new, competing content. Doing so may help you find ways to make existing materials more distinctive.
3. Build Authority
While joining industry debates can garner attention, search engines won’t necessarily award top slots to content that’s a spin on what someone else wrote. Rather, the content you produce should reflect industry or expert knowledge others may not have. Digital pieces that offer original thoughts and topical authority tend to perform better.
Becoming an expert or thought leader on a particular subject isn’t an overnight strategy. It takes in-depth research, first-party data, a unique perspective, and long-form content. Establishing credibility and authority on a topic also requires creating a content strategy and several related pieces over time.
Say your business offers boarding, daycare, and training services for dogs. Posting videos and photos showing cute dog faces and pets playing with each other might attract attention. But that content doesn’t establish topical authority on doggy daycare, boarding, and behavioral training services. Landing pages and blog posts that discuss why these services help dogs and their owners will. Content that focuses on how specific breeds benefit will build that authority more.
4. Promote Published Content
Blogging is a common content marketing tool for businesses. However, it’s a crowded space, and the number of competing posts keeps growing. Research data on blogging indicates that 7.5 million new posts get published daily. In the U.S. alone, there are around 2 million bloggers publishing posts.
That’s a ton of content competing for SERPs rankings. All those posts might not be about the same topics as yours, but a good many of them are. Getting your blog posts to the top of the SERPs ladder means more than a publish-and-forget-it strategy. Reaching out to others for backlinks, making content shareable, and promoting it can increase visibility and rankings.
You can gain additional traffic when others use your posts as resources or link back to them. Backlinks on credible and high-authority sites also tell search engines that audiences find your content useful or engaging. Posts that spark online conversations and shares will increase your reach and audience engagement. Boosting or promoting posts on your social media pages can have the same effects, potentially increasing traffic, shares, and backlinks.
Notching a SERPs Win
Appealing to search engine algorithms and climbing the ranks is all about creating authoritative and beneficial content. Your business must start with what your audience wants to know. The content you create needs to answer those questions better than your competitors. What will help win the SERPs battle is establishing in-depth authority on topics that match your audience’s search intent.