Ranking high on Google Search Engine Result Page is the primary goal of every content creator. But at every given time, only ten pages (in most cases) get to rank organically on the first page or SERP.
This is even more difficult for indie bloggers. With each content we publish, we are competing with thousands of other sites more authoritative, with more resources, and more experience.
With such a stiff competition, some bloggers just quit. Hopefully, you don’t have to give up that quickly.
I wrote this article with the belief that if my website could rank first on Google SERP without lots of backlinks, a strong domain authority, or a dedicated team only after six months, yours can too.
With hundreds of methods to rank, I am sharing the few that worked for me. They may work for you, too. And if they don’t, this article will motivate you to exercise creativity when working on your own blog.
Create Helpful and Original Contents
Regardless of your topic of choice, keep in mind that a plethora of other writers have already written about it. What can you do?
Differentiate yourself from them.
Contents that help users solve a problem and are original are those that rank high on Google (at least most of the time).
To create helpful contents: think like your readers. Try to imagine what a user would type in the Google search bar and compose your contents based on that. For example, “what are the characteristics of an effective follower” is the type of questions a user might inquire on Google.
This article has garnered around 35,000 total impressions on Google alone to date.
While those articles that address a specific question perform well, those where I share a personal story don’t. For instance, this article where I share my personal love story received a fair amount of visits from WordPress’s Reader didn’t rank well on Google.
Google’s goal is to help users solve their problems as effectively as possible. So, your article’s likelihood of ranking high is significant when it satisfies that criteria.
Get Your Blog on Google
This goes without saying that to rank on Google, you must get Google to index your website.
Indexing is a fancy word to say that Google knows your website exists.
While Google uses different factors to rank websites, three of them remain critical: the popularity, the organization, and the relevance of your website.
The popularity is important, but if you are a beginner, you needn’t worry about popularity. I didn’t because I believe everyone must start somewhere.
If you can get backlinks from fellow bloggers in your industry, do it! But I wouldn’t recommend paying for irrelevant backlinks. Too many irrelevant backlinks may get you penalized by the search engines.
Organize your website properly. For example, if your blog is about cars you could have a section about sedan, another about SUV, crossover, etc. Not only is this beneficial for the human visitors, it also helps Googlebots navigate your website more easily.
The relevance of your website means defining a general theme for your website and sticking to it. If your blog is about life coaching, you can’t be writing about politics.
Focus on On-Page SEO
When I started blogging last year, I had nearly five thousands followers on LinkedIn and Facebook combined. Thus, I was hoping to get a significant boost from my social media following.
But that didn’t help. Each time I share an article, I will observe an uptick in the number of visitors, which will drop three to five days later until I publish another one.
A blogger needs a steady flow of visitors, not those cyclical traffic that social media promotion provides. So, before you think about promoting on social media, focus on optimizing your page for the search engines.
On-page SEO means:
- A descriptive and catchy heading with the main keywords you want to rank for
- Divide your content into subheadings. Include the keywords in the subheadings.
- Place keywords on the page strategically and naturally.
- If your post contains any media such as photos, videos or others, include keywords in the Alt Text.
Obviously, there is a lot more that I could write here, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.
During the first twelve months of my writing journey, I was publishing four to six articles per month. But with a full-time job, daily coaching engagements, and speaking gigs on the weekend, I realized that would be unstainable over the long-term. Therefore, I decrease my posting frequency to twice a month, making it easier for me to remain consistent. When it comes to blogging, consistency is king.
Keep It Simple, Sweetheart
People are looking for quick answers to their problems. Therefore, they will favor those writers who can provide them with the answers they need in the most effective way possible.
Keep your website simple means optimizing for technical SEO, that is avoiding those fancy widgets and flash that slows your website down.
I read an article somewhere stating that blogging is twenty percent writing and eighty percent promotion. I thought that was nonsense.
But after having blogged for a full year now, I realized that was very true. So, I am urging to spend more time on your SEO efforts. Why pay for advertisements when you can rank high on Google organically?
As you continue on your blogging journey, I wish my article motivates you to give your best and to never give up.