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what is search engine optimization?

search engine optimization

You wrote a killer post. It’s got everything a reader could want – Inspiration, education, and research.
Perhaps the best post yet.
Yet, there you are only ranking 85th in the SERPs
No traffic coming your way anytime soon. It’s like driving through Death Valley, no traffic in sight for miles.
Unless of course there’s some strange individual who accidentally clicks on your page by mistake on the 10th page on Google.
All that work and research all for nothing.
You sit there sadly contemplating what results your competitors are getting and you notice…
Dammit… They’re in the top 10 on Google.

How could this be?
Well, first your post is new so it’s going to take time.
But, the other side of the equation are links and a few other factors
Thinking that your post will get to the top spot and gain thousands of links on its own is a bit like dreaming about winning the lottery. You’re probably not going to win the lottery, but there is a surefire way to make money and that’s through hard work and effort.
It’s the same with SERP results It’s not going to happen without work and effort. Outperforming your competitors is possible, but it takes a sound strategy and hard work.
If you implement some of the strategies that we’ll talk about then you’ll likely outperform your competitors over time.
You see, if you’re hungry for success then you’ll be willing to put in the work needed to get the rankings you need. Your competition has likely grown comfortable where they are… They may think they are invulnerable and their position won’t change.
But how many champions in all sports have been knocked off of their number one spot by the unseen competition who trained harder and smarter.
Now let’s get down to the business of how to outperform sites that rank higher than yours on the search engines.
First, We have to look back to 2015 which was the year that Google unveiled rank brain. Rankbrain is basically a sophisticated algorithm that looks at various factors that indicate that content is of higher quality.
Thus, a new metric was born, “Dwell Time”. Dwell time measures how long someone is on a page or article. So, the longer someone spends reading an article the longer the Dwell Time. So now Quality Metrics Were introduced and enhanced. The notion being that if someone spends time reading an article and doesn’t bounce away from a website the content was likely of good quality.
So, if Dwell time is a quality metric and Rank Brain is one of the top three most important ranking factors, what are the other two?
The answer came from Google in 2016 from Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist in Google.

The other two are links and articles.

Let me summarize what other people have found, sites such as Backlinko have analyzed the difference between top performing and sites and other sites and found the following: A large difference in the number of links – In fact, a massive disparity between position 1 and 10
So, to rank highly you need links and a lot of them.
It’s just not possible to get to a coveted spot in the SERPs without a large number of links
I’m not going to bore you with all the technical details you can find this kind of information on Kissmetrics Search Engine Land, Neil Patel, and the aforementioned Backinko and check out their conclusions on the subject.
Let me summarize by saying that some high ranking posts have over 15 million links pointing to them… That’s absolutely nuts!

How to outperform sites ranking higher on search engines - SERPS and SEO
So, I wonder how some of those sites got 15+million links?

You can check the number of links on various posts by heading over to Moz and you’ll see when you analyze them that Sites that have been around for years and have high DA and PA are Kings
The content that well-established sites produce when you look at it a certain way is very similar
It’s informative, helpful and in depth.
Links to a post count and so does the word count of a post counts as well, but only in a certain fashion.
High-quality long-form content is the new ruling internet monarch
You can’t just type any old “crap” and have it rank highly. Don’t forget our other quality metric “Dwell Time”
Just creating a long, boring, repetitive post is not going to help.
Just like keywords stuffing doesn’t work, neither does article stuffing if you catch my drift.
Content that answers a question and shows a user how to fix a problem which is interesting to read will get results.
You want interesting content that is going to lower your bounce rate ( which is when a user just clicks right back to where they started after they realize what you have is not for them)
Let’s sum it up…
Here’s your blog post-workout plan:

  • Create Long Form Content
  • Of High Quality That Solves Peoples Problems
  • Get Lots Of Quality Links

This is your plan for success!
Link building is often a tricky subject so let’s explore this in more depth.

Strategic Link Building

Now that you know links are important you need to get a lot more of them.
But, you don’t want just any links…
You don’t want Spammy links that have no relevance at all to your site. Don’t fall for the shady operator on the net who is like a street corner hustler whispering “Pssst, hey buddy I got some links for you…. How much you got?”
Most people forget that it’s not just about quantity it’s also about quality
What’s this mean?
Well, good ‘ole Google the ever-watching deity of the net has decided that when links are easy to get, or come from forum spamming or other means that it will devalue them…
and so, directories and other sites are no longer as highly valued by Google.
Top ranking websites have good link diversity which means that links come from many different places and not just several spammy sites over and over.
In addition, links need to come from high DA websites.
What you need are a large number of diverse links from high DA sites in order to get a boost in SERP results
Let’s talk about some proven ways to get these kinds of links:

  • Round-up style content is excellent for this – That’s a post that sites multiple top influencers in your niche or field.

These type of posts have been shown to get more backlinks.
So, find and publish input from influencers in a roundup style post both to get links and as a way to produce great content.
Here’s another method to rank higher:

  • Write quality content more frequently.

Both quality and frequency play a role in rankings…
According to HubSpot, companies that post blog posts more frequently get more traffic.
In addition, you get more inbound links… The reason for this is that you are creating a reciprocal cycle in which you rank more highly in google and as a result get more traffic and more links.

  • So, if you can’t compete with links compete with posting frequency.

It’s a great strategy to generate more traffic and make up for a lower rank.
Here’s an equation for you:

  • More Posts=More Indexed Pages=More Traffic

As soon as you develop content, it is possible to campaign for links to boost that content.
You can outperform sites with multiple approaches.
You can outrank competition for one article or you can write five articles which can generate more traffic. If I were you I’d focus on generating more traffic.
Now comes quality:
As a strategy to increase profit Google is focused on creating the best possible user experience for their search engine.
They care about quick, effective and relevant content delivery free of Spammy results for their users.
If they don’t do this then one of their competitors such as Yahoo or Bing will eat their lunch.
Googles understands that if someone modifies their search engine results after the first search that the content was not as relevant to the user.
Also, if someone sees your article and quickly clicks away from it google knows about it – Remember the dwell time metric.
This means that you need to care deeply about the consumer experience for your content, in the end, that’s what Google cares about too.
It means stop keyword stuffing and start writing quality content or get someone else to write it for you.
You need keywords in your content, but keyword stuffing is out and you also have to be careful of over-optimization which is when your content looks like it was written for the search engine and not the user.
Look, we’ve all been there we just have to stop going there…
A key understanding with modern SEO and increasing rankings in SERPs, is that now you need to have an understanding of copywriting and writing appealing content.
If you want to see additional factors this graphic from Search Engine Land Should Help…

How to outperform sites ranking higher on search engines - SERPS and SEO
Here are 3 Great tips for you:

  1. When you’re thinking about what to write for your next post idea type the idea into google and check the results at the bottom of the page.

You’ll get keywords that people are searching for that you could combine several of these into long-form content to solve a problem.

2. Revise your old blog posts over time, when you optimize old content you will get better Search Enging Results as this excerpt below points out…

Just like you regularly clean your home, you should regularly clean up your old content. Why? Because old content brings in tons of website traffic. HubSpot almost tripled the number of leads they generated on a monthly basis by optimizing old blog posts. Plus, the company’s organic traffic increased by 106% after they updated …

3. Your website must be mobile responsive. If it’s not, change it. 60% of all searches originate from mobile phone users and as a result, Google Considers the mobile phone user to be the default person for many metrics.
Now Let’s Summarize What we’ve gone over…
To rank more highly than your competitors you:

  1. Have to improve your articles

2. Write your articles to your reader and not the search engine
Let’s conclude with your magic results producing solutions:

  • Write longer articles.
  • Post More Frequently
  • Follow link building strategies like expert roundups.

Keep in mind you have to put in the work to get the results
SEO following this kind of approach is not incredibly difficult, but it does mean you have to focus and consider your talents. If you’re not a good writer, either work on it or hire someone who is good at it.

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