“The best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google’s search results.” Arnie Kuehn, Vertical Measures
You already know the value of creating great, quality content that helps your customers. Putting out that content for free is part of your strategy to create a body of work that helps potential customers with decision making. But what do you do when that content doesn’t show up in search results and isn’t driving the traffic you’d hoped? Here’s a few tips to go back and improve ranking on existing content you’ve already published.
Improve Ranking on Existing Content: Avoid using the same title tag across multiple pages.
If you’re using a WordPress plug-in like Yoast SEO it will ding you for this. Why? Using different title tags for your pages helps to tell search engines what your page is about. Using the same one, or none at all, confuses the search engines and implies that the page isn’t as valuable as you know it is. If you don’t know what a title tag is, MOZ has a great Title Tag tutorial here.
Reduce page load time by optimizing images
That beautiful header image you downloaded from your image provider, like 123rf.com, is probably slowing down your page load time if you haven’t sized it or compressed it. Page load time is more important than ever, and search engines will rank slowly loading pages lower. Resize that image outside of your website using a program like Canva or even Paint, then run it through a compressor like Compressor.io before uploading it.
Make sure your keywords are in the right places
Say you want to rank for “Content Marketing.” Make sure Content Marketing is in your title, your first paragraph, your header tags, your last paragraph and, if you’re really trying, your image alt tags and titles. Don’t stuff your keywords though. You’ll be penalized rather than rewarded. Including more than one keyword in your content is especially important these days, so use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to help get ideas. See what other keywords are suggested, then go back and optimize your content for those words as well. Hint: you don’t have to be running AdWords to use this tool.
While the keyword meta tag isn’t that useful now, it won’t hurt to include your keywords there either. It’s a good idea to include your keyword in the meta description too, but remember that meta descriptions are not a ranking mechanism, rather a valuable description of the content for the user.
Optimize content ranking on page 2 or 3 of the results page
Do a quick search on the keyword or phrase for which you want your pages to display. Then click through the search engine results until you find it. If you find your content on page 2 or 3, try using these tips on that content first to improve the ranking. Check back regularly to see how it’s doing.
Remember that traffic can also drop due to a site redesign or a poor user experience in general. If you’ve recently redesigned your site, check all these things to make sure you aren’t being penalized. Overall, the search engines want to serve up quality, helpful content to their users. If your content is helpful, answers questions, especially niche questions, and is well written and thoughtful, you’ll be well on your way to meeting the same goals as the search engines.
If you’re looking to improve your ranking on existing content, I’d be happy to advise. Contact me to get started!