ou’ve done some reading about SEO and you’ve implemented the fundamentals on your site, but there are still some pages that just aren’t quite there yet.
Well, assuming the basics are in place, there are a few quick tactics that could help you boost the pages that are so close to ranking.
Identify the ‘Almost There’ Pages
We’re referring to pages that are ranking around the top of page 2 in the SERPs and require a bit of a boost to get to that first page.
These pages can be easily identified using SEO tools such as SEMRush, which will give you a list of the keywords your site is ranking for. It’ll also give you a good idea as to what position they are ranking (you’re looking for pages in positions 11-14).
If you don’t have access to a tool like SEMRush, do a quick search of particular keywords your pages should be ranking for. If you find yourself around the top of page 2, those are the pages you want to focus on.
Now that you know which pages to boost, it’s time to see who is currently beating you and why.
Search for the same keyword that you’re ranking on page 2 for, and take a look at the sites that are beating you.
- Is the quality of their content better?
- Is their site architecture clearer and easier to follow?
- Do they provide all of the information you would expect to find on this page?
Now run their page through a free backlink profile review tool (or use ahrefs.com if you have access to it).
If you’re using Ahrefs:
- Does this website have higher-quality backlinks than your page?
- Is their page internally linked from higher authority pages and easy to reach from all areas of the website?
These are the things you’ll need to identify to stand a chance of outranking them.
Now that you’ve taken a look at your competitors, it’s time to look at your own page. Chances are, the pages that are outranking you are doing something better than you are.
The three most likely culprits are:
- How the page is linked internally
- The quality of content
- The type of backlinks the page has.
Let’s unpack each of these factors and look at what you can do to improve.
1. Internal Linking
Review your current internal linking structure.
Including internal links from your other pages can assist with passing authority around your website and increasing the authority of your target page.
Ideally, you’d like to be able to answer ‘yes’ to these questions:
- Is your page easily accessible from your homepage?
- Do other service or product pages link to the target page where appropriate?
- Do you have relevant blog posts that can link to your target page?
By making it easy for users to get to the page, you also tell search engines that the page is worth getting to.
The next step is to read through your content and make sure it’s high-quality.
You need to make sure you’re writing for users, not just for search engines. This means not including an important keyword in every sentence in an attempt to please search engines and rank for these terms. Google is smart enough these days to realise what you’re trying to do (btw, this goes against their Quality Guidelines on Irrelevant Keywords/Keyword Stuffing). This also creates a bad user experience and will potentially turn readers away.
You need to make sure you’re giving users the best experience possible. This means including as much relevant information as possible, covering all of the important questions they may have, without appearing spammy.
Writing with a logical heading structure is incredibly important here. Your h1 tag should be at the top of your page, letting your readers know what they can expect on this page. Your h2 headings should outline the content found in each particular section. Adding your keywords where they can be included naturally without appearing spammy is also important.
Now that you’ve got some quality content after step #2, let’s go back to the backlinks we found earlier that our competitors had on their comparable page.
What type of websites are linking to our competitors? Assuming they’re relevant to your industry/content, get in touch with the website. They’ve published similar content before because it is useful and relevant to their audience, so there’s a good chance they could be interested in doing so again.
While this is a ‘quick win’, keep in mind that SEO is always a long-term strategy and it can take some time to get to where you want to be. But with the above steps executed correctly, you’re on the right track! Once you’re confident that your website is covering these three points better than your competitors, it’s time to move on to one of the next Quick SEO Wins covered in our infographic.