For most bloggers, they have the one post that sticks out. Maybe you took a screen shot of it – your post on the first page of a Google result. There was something so grand about it, so wonderful. Until the traffic died down and you looked at it was no longer there. Maybe Google changed their algorithm.
Maybe other sites copied it and did a better job of SEO for it. Whatever the reason, that once glorious moment had passed, and the worst part is – you weren’t really sure how it got there in the first place. I mean, you knew it was a great post, but you have no idea why Google liked it one day and didn’t the next.
What you would give to know how to get on the first page of Google, and stay there!
How to get on the first page of Google
Getting on the good page of Google is super easy – just have an authoritative blog that specializes in something, write the best post on a topic, make sure Google can crawl it well, and submit it. Oh, and make sure the KD isn’t higher than your blog can reach, and that there aren’t already 12 blogs with expert posts on it, and that you have enough backlinks to back up your blogs authority. And get lucky too, because you need that to be successful at anything! Sounds good, now get to work and go get those posts on the front page of Google!
Except, you didn’t understand what some of those terms are, have no idea about your blogs authority, and still haven’t figured out what secret leprechaun you have to capture to win the backlinks game. So, where do you start.
Doing SEO so Google sees you as an Authority
The simplest equation for successful blogging is the following:
Consistency + Quality / Time = Success
Do you ever notice the same few websites tend to pop up on the first page of Google every time you search for a recipe? Sure there are a couple of outliers every time as well (hint: they are doing good SEO and you could learn a thing or two from them), but it’s those same damn ones every single time. Why are they there – because they have produced consistent, quality content over time and Google recognizes their authority as an expert. There authority has been backed up by links that folks have shared because they enjoy their content, and that can only happen over time.
We have seen blog with far better content that high ranking ones come and go because they weren’t committed to consistently producing quality content over the long haul. Some didn’t value SEO and could have done much better. But those blogs that view SEO as an crucial ingredient to quality content, and who don’t give up, always make it to the top. The formula is easy, but the race is only for the strong – and the strong have figured out that Consistency + Quality, over time, is how you get on the front page of Google.
Google loves Quality to get on the first page
Rarely if ever do the first few results of Google disappoint you. If they did, they would consistently get the majority of clicks and Google wouldn’t be one of the richest companies in the world. What this means is that the first step to making it to the Google front page is to have quality content. Sometimes, this doesn’t always mean the best designed site, but if that can set you apart from your competition then it always helps. What it does mean is that when someone is searching for content that you have, that your content is as good, if not better than the other content out there. If you are the best baker, and take the best pictures, but don’t write your posts in reader friendly text, and don’t use a Schema plugin for your recipes – you aren’t producing quality content.
So how do you know if your producing quality content based on what your readers are looking for? Just google it and look at what the highest ranking posts are doing. Are they using Alt-tags for their posts that are Pinterest friendly (hint: they are)? Are they using short-form posts while yours are long form (hint: Google doesn’t value one or the other, but let’s it’s searchers inform them by their activity what they prefer for certain topics)? Are they picture or text heavy? What kind of H2s are they using? How are they utilizing Schema? What kinds of reader questions are they answering?
Now, when it comes to quality, the issue is not to be a copycat, but to have your blog always be the best version of your unique voice. So, when you are seeing what Google sees as quality in your content area, don’t just look to copy what is being done well, but ask yourself – WHAT IS UNIQUE THAT I BRING TO THIS AREA? Here;s some examples:
- you do couples photography, but always capture the silliest moments – showcase those
- You are a baker, but have a dirty sense of humor – use that!
- You are an IT genius, but love creative writing. Use creative writing in your tutorials.
- You are a part-time cook, but love using mathematics in the kitchen. Use that!
We aren’t suggesting that you become “The Mathematical Chef” – but Rae Drummond decided to be The Pioneer Woman and found that what made her an authority was to be uniquely herself. What is your unique voice that you bring to your field of blogging, your quality will flow out of that.
Google loves Consistency
Once A Subtle Revelry got a bit of traction we tried to do everything! We went from a DIY Party Blog to a blog showcasing every damn thing party and home related. We wanted to catch all the eyeballs for everything we could think of. If we were doing it at the time, we put a pink bow on it and put it on the blog. We started doing fonts, and blog growth ideas, and consulting, and home renovation, and quotes, and you freaking name it. Spending all this time and resources being completely inconsistent and confusing Google into wondering what kind of a site we even were. Were we a crafting blog? A party blog? A business growth blog? A lifestyle blog? This hurt the ability for each post to rank, because it affected the authority of each post.
What we should have done then, and thankfully we do now, is keep the blog super focused on what it does exceptionally well, and start blogs for all the other stuff we were doing. Now, we have a blog growth site (this one), a party games site, and a quote site – each focused on developing consistent, quality content in it’s niche. Now, you don’t have to create 3-5 websites if you barely have time for one (in fact, we have a running list of the sites we want to create but only allow ourselves to start 3 per year – boundaries, you know?), but you do need to ask yourself the question: what do I truly want my blog to be about?
Once you know exactly what you want your blog to be about – your niche – you have to limit your content to that niche. If you must write about something outside your niche (and goodness, this should only be for emergency situations – like a sponsored post to pay for your vacation that year!) – try as hard as you can to tie it into something in your niche. ESPN didn’t become Google’s expert on sports by writing pieces on politics. In the same way your food blog doesn’t need to showcase your summer vacation – unless you are showcases the amazing places you ate, or the best places to eat at Disneyland – you get the idea. No matter how often you blog (and really, that is up to you and your growth strategy), you need to be consistent with your content. This will help you establish your authority to readers and Google, and will help get you to the front page of Google.
Google loves Time
Okay, Google doesn’t really love time – but time was part of our equation. Google loves longevity. Sites that have consistently been producing quality content for years always get the attention of Google and readers. Now, this is not an excuse not to do SEO (insert link about our story SEO), but it is a call to see blogging as a marathon and not a sprint. We’ve seen countless talented peers bail out after doing 5 posts a week for 3-5 years because they were burned out. Now, a lot of these people didn’t see the traction they wanted because they didn’t value SEO, or Quality, or Consistency, and some just moved on with their lives (which is 100% okay to, you do you boo). This was something we contemplated many times as we struggled to understand the value of SEO and of being consistent in our niche. We did stick it out, and are grateful we did.
Two things happen when you produce consistent, quality blog posts over time – people begin to view you as an authority, and you become an authority. It’s simply the rule of 10,000. You invest 10,000 hours in something and you will most likely be an expert in it. You will learn not to make the same mistakes. You will learn what people (and by extension, Google) want to hear about in your field of expertise. You will enjoy the content you produce, and will find it easy to produce it. If you do this, and see SEO as a invaluable part of quality content, you will have many blog posts on the front page of Google.
I didn’t value SEO for years, now what?
We faced a tough decision a few years ago. After blogging for 7 years we finally learned the value of SEO (yes, you heard that right, we were successfully blogging for 7 years before learning the value of SEO!). After spending a few days having a pity party (which is ok, especially when you run a party blog), we faced a tough decision on what to do with thousands of posts that weren’t optimized for search engines. Do we let it go? Just focus on the future posts. That would take so much work to go through all of those. But, still, the question that remained was – what could happen if we took all of those quality posts and did SEO on them?
So, we hired and trained and friend and got to work optimizing them. Now, we’re kind of crazy and wired to do crazy things like training and hiring and drudging through post after post. And, a couple years later we found we kind of liked it and what we saw happening because of it. It’s also why we started this site. We get that not everyone has time to optimize all their old posts – but we do, and we have a great team dedicated to it.
Don’t let all those years of hard work and effort go to the internet graveyard because you don’t have time or want to do SEO on them. Let us do it for you – and see what kind of authority it can give to your blog as you continue to move forward!