There are many blogs on the internet; millions – 570 million to be exact (to the nearest million). Thanks to this depth of competition, trying to get to the top or anywhere near the top of Google for specific search terms is very difficult.
However, if you put in the work and approach your blog posts in a structured and systematic way, it is possible to come out on top in the proverbial “war of the web.”
In this article, we will go through some tips on creating content that is much more likely to rank on the first page of Google.
Research, Research, Research
A tip from Income School’s YouTube channel is to ensure that you have lots of relevant research to back up your blog posts. Research can make content stand out and, in turn, can make it rank well for a very long time.
Another tip is to ensure that the research is original so that the content is unique and original. People love to reference and link back to original research, and links are vital for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Use Tables and Figures
When you have your original research, present it so that it is easy to read and interpret. This may typically mean consolidating the research into a table, a graph, or an infographic.
Using graphics and media provides a much better user experience and is also a great way to create assets that can be shared across social media.
It is possible to consolidate research from other websites, present it with a table or a graphic, and offer something valuable to the user.
For example, if you were looking to get fit and wanted to know about the best punchbags for use at home. You can search online for all the different bags, all the different providers, their costs, the pros, and cons, and present them in a table.
While you may not have had any first-hand experience of the treatment yourself, you can still provide some really valuable, consolidated information for the user.
You could even take this to the next level by creating an interactive table, that allowed the user to select a specific type of punchbag – e.g. choose by type – standing, hanging or dummy style punchbag. The table then populates with a list of providers and links of where you can purchase, or find more information about them.
With the punchbag example, you could create a table and have columns for type (standing or hanging bag), manufacturer, price, dimensions, review score on Amazon, warranty length, and materials.
Bear in mind that with Google’s EAT update, anything medical-related may be difficult to rank for unless you are a medical professional.
Run a Surveyor Experiment
A great way to create some original research and insights is by carrying out a survey using survey monkey or smart survey and either paying participants to fill it in or using forums and people you know to get participants.
Once you have enough survey completions to garner significant levels of data, you can present the findings in tables, graphs, and pie charts to make an interesting blog post.
Experiments can be tricky to conduct to a scientific protocol but can nevertheless be interesting. For example, if you run a digital marketing blog, you could try four different social media post formats – Meme, quote, text and video. Post them on several different accounts and then create a table of results relating to the engagement and reach that each post and format received.
Another way to conduct a poll or survey is to ask on a Reddit or Facebook group within your given niche. For example, a digital marketing blogger could ask a Facebook group – how much do you spend per month on Facebook Ads?
They could also ask people in different roles how much they earn, what their cost per click is with Google Ads – they could gather lots of interesting insights and present them in a table.
Featured Snippet Optimization
You may have noticed on Google’s search results pages that it will sometimes pull through answers from relevant websites, if you ask a specific question. You will also tend to see “people also ask” results near the top, with several drop-down boxes.
For example, the screenshot below, shows a search result page for the query “what is the best punch bag?”
Snippets are showing up on more and more results pages, and as they show near the top of results pages, they get a high click-through rate.
There are four different types of rich snippets, including a paragraph-style snippet. According to Income School’s research, paragraph style snippets account for around 50% of snippets, lists 27%, and video 16%
First, find common questions by looking on Facebook groups and Reddit forums to see what frequent questions you could answer with a blog post.
Then create your answers with some subheadings. The answers should make sense in their own right and should not refer to information found elsewhere in the post or online. Keep answers factual, not opinionated, and Google is more likely to show your page in the snippets.
Improve Your EAT
Away from the specific blog posts themselves, your website should display your credentials, contact details, and awards that your blog or website has received. It is important that Google and any manual reviewers can see that you are a real person, or a team of real people, with experience and credentials related to the topic that your blog relates to.
This ties into other aspects of digital marketing. For example, if your blog is a platform for promoting your eCommerce store, you will need a clear contact address and telephone number if you ever want to use Google Shopping Ads. You could always use a virtual address and a call answering service from someone such as Moneypenny if you did not want to give your real address away or if you work from home and don’t want people to know that you drop ship all of your stock!
Within your blog posts, link out to high authority websites too. For example, find relevant studies on Google Scholar or PubMed, and link out to them. These links show Google that you are referencing scientific material and not random blogs to back up what you are saying or writing about.
Don’t Forget Headings & Keywords
While Google is a lot savvier than it was in 2005, it still helps to include relevant keywords and related terms in headings, in image file names, and when relevant in alt text and paragraph text.
Make sure that you always write blog posts for humans and not for machines or AI bots, but make it easy enough for Google to know what your post is about!
From what most SEO experts report on their blogs and social media accounts, backlinks still appear to be the foundation of gaining traction and traffic from Google. However, the only way to stay on the first page, is to create content that provides a great user experience.