When people talk about SEO sometimes people say “To get great rankings in Google you have to write great content”. But that is blue sky marketing fluff. What does that actually mean? In this talk, I’ll show examples of a blog post written that actually generates traffic, what was done to get it ranking, as well as what occurred when you actually get traffic - the results aren’t what you think!
Get Writing. More posts, more opportunities to rank, and longer posts mean more opportunities to rank on the same subject (I’ll refer to this later) But How Long Is Long?
My post ranks pretty well (50 keywords in average Top 10 position) Has 807 words. Generally 500 words+ works pretty well.
So to go back to my example it ranks well in Google. But how?
Well it comes to the topic really - what should you write about? Predict the future: is there something coming up in your industry that is big and can you write about it. Pivot: Can you apply something to your industry? Find Your “Wow”: Attend meetups, what is easy for you but impresses other people? Curated Content: Resource Lists - good for more established blogs
In September 2016 Google Announced that in Chrome 56 due in January 2017 password & credit card fields on non SSL Certificated sites would be marked as not secure (The Future)
Techcrunch and a lot of big blogs covered the story, but nothing from a WordPress standpoint. WordPress has a password field on it’s login form. I have a WordPress related blog, so I decided to write about it from a WordPress standpoint. (Pivot)
Well I picked quite a long tail keyword as my Focus Keyword in Yoast “WordPress Not Secure in Google Chrome” and worked on getting a green light. The reason for long tail two fold as it’s easier to rank for (no link building was done) and broad range of keyword variations that I could rank for.
Sure enough I ranked eventually number one
Now everybody here (should!) know WordPress is secure so there was a reason for the Focus Keyword. Was a bit of a lucky guess so many people would search for it. But if I’m not sure I use the site https://www.answerthepublic.com Explain Answer the Public
So going back to my post, I was ranking for Google Chrome showing the site not secure, now to solve it. My way was to talk about Lets Encrypt, tell them to speak to their host, and maybe if the host is uncooporative, suggest they can move host. Maybe make some affiliate income - everybody’s a winner.
After a while, it began to rank, and traffic went up quite a bit, but the post itself wasn’t useful to me. Bounce rate was high, and whilst I was solving problems, I didn’t get anything from it. Affiliate income was £0, and there was no subscribers. Began to look at ways of improving it.
Hotjar to get heatmaps and to look at the content again
Sure enough, nobody was clicking on the affiliate links However they were clicking on a link to Let’s Encrypt. First change was to change the “Lets Encrypt” link to go straight to the affiliate table. This was a bad idea (we’ll go into why later)
More content! Content that is based on your cornerstone content that leads to further action - utilising your cornerstone content in another way (such as a white paper, podcast, video tutorial or even a talk). Content that leads to your Cornerstone content.
Affiliate income was still zero, so looked elsewhere. Second most popular link was a HTTP to HTTPS checklist from Aleyda Solis. Very useful, but focussed mainly on sites that weren’t WordPress.
So then a wrote a white paper on how to do a migration from HTTP to HTTPS but focussed on WordPress, and put it behind an email signup. Got a few subscribers, but one problem. People were skipping the signup box clicking on the “Let’s Encrypt” Link to go to affiliate area. So I just removed the link.
Content that leads into your Cornerstone content If nothing else, sign up to Google Webmasters
If you have the new “Google Search Console”, go to Performance > Report Click on the search filter at the top and add the URL of your search console, and make sure your URL is added. Make sure “Average Position” is selected
Scroll down and click “Filter Rows” Make sure that “Greater Than” is selected and add the number 10 Order by position descending
You should get a list of keywords you are ranking for page 2 in Google. Pick a few keywords that get a number of impressions and a few clicks. Focus on writing content on these, chances are if you are ranking on page 2 for them, a dedicated content piece would push it onto page 1 (which has more impressions) Link back to your cornerstone content.
16,000 visitors to the site in 15 months 17 email subscribers in 2 months (since the white paper was launched Finally earned some affiliate income (about £250). Which for a 800 word blog post on WordPress is pretty good.
Forensically analysing cornerstone content
Rhys Wynne (@rhyswynne)
@rhyswynne - @winwaruk
WHAT IS CORNERSTONE CONTENT?
“Cornerstone content pieces are those articles on your
website you’re most proud of. They reflect your business,
communicate your mission and are extremely well written.
These are the articles you would like to rank high in the
search engines. Cornerstone articles are usually
explainers; these articles combine insights from
different blog posts.”
Marieke van de Rakt - https://yoast.com/what-is-cornerstone-content/
@rhyswynne - @winwaruk
MY FIVE POINTS FOR CORNERSTONE CONTENT
2. Ranks Well In Search Engines
3. Solves The Problem it Ranks For
5. Referred To Throughout The Site
@rhyswynne - @winwaruk
AN EXAMPLE OF CORNERSTONE CONTENT