by David Speyer

September 3, 2020

Some time ago, I realized that if I did not "up-our-SEO game," our posts would continue to be in the bunkers. As a social media and lead gen agency, I had seen this time and again with our clients. Their competitors would outrank them on Google search, which is also known as SERP.

SERP

SERP means Google's "Search Engine Results Page." When you use Google, what shows in google search, and the order in which the search results appear, is called SERP. You could show up on page 1 or 5,000.

Over the years, our clients have spent a ton of money outsourcing blog copy or subscribing to monthly blog services. The outcome is the same: low reach and not showing in Google's organic search. The blog was not SEO optimized before it was posted, including page layout and design.

So How Do You Get Better SERP Rankings?

If you use SEO, ask your SEO crew to show you results for your last ten blog posts. Look at the keywords used by your SEO to rank you. If any of the keywords showing in the rankings include 'your company's name' or the 'title' of the blog, then the ranking is worthless. Because unless people search under your name or the post name, your post will not show on page one of Google.

What Part of SEO Can You Control? You Can Learn SEO Content. 

All the parts that go into a website's online presence are like a bike wheel, which includes design, SEO, lead gen, and social media.

A wheel has a hub, then spokes, and then a rim that holds the tire. The hub is your website; the wheel is customers, leads, and your social media audiences. The spokes are all the different ways to bring visitors to your website, such as SEO, ads, social media, newsletters and, email marketing campaigns, etc.

SEO has a ton of spokes emanating from your hub to the rim. The rim is where your audience and customers and leads live online.

Content Seo, Is Something You Can Control and Do.

Google rankings are based on visitor relevancy, and not what "you" find interesting. The better the engagement, the higher the SERP. Google gives each post a page ranking score. Based on that score, Google places your post somewhere in the thousands of search result pages.

Unfortunately, the more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it is to get ranked. I use UberSuggest by Neil Patel and KWFinder, to research keywords.

I also installed this free Google extension, called SEO Minion.

After you install SEO Minion, go to a new Google search page, and enter your keyword. We searched using the term "network security" and looked at the blogs that rank on page 1. Do not look at ads or major/ national brands. Look for blogs from companies you would consider your competitors as if they were in your geographic location. 

Open 7 to 10 blogs from page 1 in new tabs by right-clicking, on the link, and choose, 'open link in new tab.' 

Go to each blog you opened, click the SEO Minion extension, then click "Analyze On-Page SEO," Now look at each blogs word-count, and write down the number of words in the post.

Total the sum of all words from all posts you opened, then divide by the number of posts to get an average sum.

Let us say, as an example, you opened four posts. Remember, I mentioned to open 7 to 10. To keep this example short, I will use four as a reference point. Post 1 has 850 words, post 2 shows 825 words, 3 is 1250 words, and post 4 has 980 words. That is 3,905 words for four posts. The average number of words for a post, for a page 1 Google ranking, is 976 words. That is 3,905 words divided by 4 (the number of posts).

Your post should have about the same amount of words in it (976) with a variance of plus or minus about 5%. Do not over or under optimize your post. If you write too many or too few words, then Google will penalize the post, which will affect the page ranking. These are Googles Page 1 super posts. You want to write better content and follow the Google SEO algorithm for ranking on the first page.

As you go through each blog using SEO Minion, do the same for H2, H3, H4, and H5 headings and write down how many H2, H3, H4's, and H5's the articles use.

Do this for each post. Do an average sum, as you did for the word count.

The last step is to see how often the keyword appears in each blog. We did a search using "network security."


Go to each blog, hold the CTRL-key down, and hit the F key for FIND. Type in your keyword (network security) and see how many times it appears. Do this for each blog and average-sum the keyword. That is how often your keyword needs to be in your post.

You might see something like this: Word-count 976, H2's - 5, H3's - 3, H4's - 3, and zero H5's. Keyword average 5. Part of your game plan when you write your blog is to follow what Google likes to see to rank a blog on page 1.

Final Thoughts

How you layout your post and the way the copy is written also plays a crucial factor in how Google's algorithms rank your page. For instance, your post should always Include a video or image or both. Optimize the image.

Videos should have sub-titles. Videos with subtitles have 40 to 60% better engagement on social media, and 60% higher watch rates than videos without subtitles. More than 50% of the videos watched on social media and websites are during work hours. You cannot watch a video with sound on at work. Subtitles drive higher engagement.

Check page load times. Google penalizes slow loading posts.

Your post must be mobile-friendly. Over 60% of all views are now on smart devices.

Some of the best SEO YouTube explainer videos I've seen are from Miles Beckler, Neil Patel, and Michele Olivieri. I think after a few hours, you will have a much better idea of how to guide your company and questions to ask your staff and consultants.

You can use these same techniques to spy on your competition. If your competitors are not ranking, do not analyze their content or use the results you find.

If you want to be kept informed of our progress, click here, and we will send you our newsletter as we post updates.

I want to read your comments below, or if you would like to discuss this article more in-depth, email me at David@ZootMarketing.com. I will schedule a call with you.

About the author 

David Speyer

David Speyer is a social media and lead-gen guru, coach, mentor, marketing strategist and managing partner at ZOOT Marketing.

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