Four Content Strategies To Rank In Google in 2019

Back when I started with SEO in 2006, it was quite straightforward to rank a website in Google.

There were two main variables to this game: On Page Optimisation and… Links!

But Google came a long way since then. And we are not dealing with a silly algorithm anymore…

We are now dealing with a sophisticated self-feeding Artificial Intelligence System (a “Learning Machine” of sorts) that is not easily fooled.

It's quite revealing what Google’s CEO said In February 2018:

“AI is more important than fire or electricity”

Well…THAT's quite telling, isn't it? 

If Artificial Intelligence is at the core of Google, how much do you think the algorithm adapted and changed since 2006?

Obviously a lot.

We are not dealing with a straightforward algorithm that can be manipulated anymore.

What we are dealing with, is a sophisticated self-evolving learning machine with the sole objective of serving the best possible search results for their users.

What does this means for you?

Manipulation is (almost) impossible.

While technically it's not impossible, it is a lot harder and a lot more expensive than it used to be.

It makes A LOT MORE sense to play within the rules and feed Google what Google wants…

Which leads me to the main point of this article:

I will show you 4 SEO Strategies that will boost your rankings in Google and are completely safe and compliant with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

#Strategy 1 –  Deep and Authoritative Content

In 2013 Google implemented an algorithm called “Hummingbird”.

The main thing you need to know about it, is that your content needs to be deep and thorough.

Websites that have a little bit of content about everything, don’t do so well.

Google prefers websites that can be seen as the “Authority” in one particular niche or topic.

This is easier said than done.

A good way to make sure your content is deep and authoritative, is to really understand your User Avatar, and have a really clear understanding of what it is that they are after when visiting your website.

You should have a living document with all the questions that your User Avatar is looking answers for.

For example, if your website is about “Things to do in Auckland” (New Zealand), here are some of the questions that your users might be looking answers for:

What’s the best time of the year to visit Auckland?

What to do when it rains?

What’s the best area to stay at?

Should I stay at a hotel or at an AirBNB?

What can I do with Kids?

Are there beaches in Auckland?

Can I surf at Auckland beaches?

What are the best restaurants?

Should I rent a car or use public transport?

How long should I stay?

What are the iconic things to do?

Are the museums any good?

Are there gyms I can just go for a day or a week?

These are just some ideas.

If you actually know your User Avatar, you should be able to come up with a much more thorough list of questions that your users want answered.

In many ways, this requires a mindset shift: Instead of thinking yourself as a website owner who wants to rank at the top of Google, you should think yourself as a Content Publisher with the responsibility to meet and exceed the expectations of your audience.

Takeaway: Understand your users’ intentions for visiting your website. Satisfy and exceed those expectations.

#Strategy 2 – Ask Google

No matter how well you think you understand your users’ intentions, I can guarantee that you are missing out on a lot of insights if you don’t simply ask Google.

So, by going along with our example, we would go to google.co.nz and type in our main keyword (let’s say it is ‘things to do in Auckland’).

Google will kindly return a list of suggestions, and label them as ‘Searches related to things to do in auckland’.

This is the list:

things to do in auckland for free

things to do in auckland at night

things to do in auckland today

expensive things to do in auckland

romantic things to do in auckland

things to do in auckland without a car

things about auckland

free things to do in south auckland

Well… what do you know? Already I can see a lot of things that we missed in our original list! Thanks Google!

Now I know that people want to know what do in Auckland for free, at night, today, and… they want these things to be expensive and romantic and without a car!

Well… maybe not all of these combined 🙂 But you get the idea.

If this is what your users want to know, you better give it to them, or you can kiss goodbye your chances of showing up anywhere near the top of Google.

If this is what your users want to know, you better give it to them, or you can kiss goodbye your chances of showing up anywhere near the top of Google.

TakeAway: Google tells you what your users are looking for. Publish content to satisfy these queries.

Strategy 3 – Reverse Engineer Your Competitors

Let me ask you something:

If you wanted to know how to rank in Google for ‘Things to do in Auckland’…

Don’t you think that you might learn something from the websites that are ranking in Google for ‘Things to do in Auckland’?

You better bet you will.

A quick glance at this page of results is telling me that Noted.co.nz is doing quite well with a list of ’50 things to do in Auckland for under $20’.

I would take note of this, and thoroughly analyse all the other results as well.

For example, Aucklandnz.com sits at the top with a “Top 10 List”.

This is telling me that Google favours this type of content.

I am also going to take note that Google is featuring their own results, by creating their own list and ranking it at the top.

On this list of ’Top things to do in Auckland’, I can see:

Sky Tower

Waiheke Island Winery

Rangitoto Island

Auckland War Memorial

Wow… thanks Google, I’ll make sure those four make it into my list!

I will also take note of the fact that Google includes a section labeled: ’People also ask’, which shows the following:

What can you do in Auckland for free?

What is famous in Auckland?

Where can I take visitors in Auckland?

What is there to do in Auckland at night?

Interesting… so we already knew about some of these.

But what caught my attention is ‘Where can I take visitors in Auckland?’.

The person looking for this is likely someone living in Auckland, who is about to receive visits from friends or family.

So it looks like I should create content around this, and make sure these types of searches are well looked after.

Takeaway: Google is literally telling you how to rank at the top of your main keyword, by showing you which websites have made it to the top. Analyse these results, and use it intelligently to plan your own deep and authoritative content.

Strategy 4 – Use Google Search Console

If you are not using Google Search Console, you should.

It’s free, and it will give you lots of insights that you can use to increase your search traffic.

My favourite feature is that it tells you which content and keywords are getting impressions.

So take all these keywords, and start adding them to your copy.

Obviously, don’t just wiggle some keywords here and there! Take the proper time to figure out how what is the intention behind each keyword, and what is the best place to make it into your content.

With this technique, over time we have worked through content pages that started with 1,500 words, and we expanded them to as much as 12,000 words.

Which resulted in an increase of traffic of over 1,000%

But don’t get too hang up on the numbers. You will find your own numbers as you work through your content.

The bottom line is your content should be thorough, deep, and leave no gaps.

Strive to create the best content in the world, and you’ll see your traffic going only in one direction: Up.

Takeaway: Use Google Search Console to discover keywords that your content is generating impressions for. Find intelligent ways to feed these keywords back into your copy. Your content will be a living, ever evolving document that strives to satisfy all of your users’ needs.

Additional Tip: Every time that you update your page, make sure you also update the publishing date. You can also keep the original published date and add a line where you say ‘Last Updated: ‘. You will be rewarded (in traffic and rankings) for keeping your content alive!

Implement!

If you implement these 4 strategies today, you will see an increase in rankings and traffic in about 60 days (give or take).

So the challenge for you:

1 – Bookmark this post

2 – Implement the recommendations

3 – Come back in 60 days and tell me how it went!

4 – Questions? Ask below!

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