Regardless if the desire to rank for a series of keywords using SEO comes from (a) an impulse (b) knowledge of the market (c) common sense or (d) keyword analysis is not important.
What is important is harnessing the the intrinsic value of content, timing and links and how to transform ordinary content into extraordinary optimized SEO copy.
Grasping the process of how a search result is optimized for maximum efficiency is the first step, then knowing how to implement the process with the greatest impact using quality content, chronology and the introduction of quality links over time are the ingredients for “the SEO secret sauce”.
Planting the Seeds of Future Rankings
Chronology plays an important role in search. Just like the early bird gets the worm, those individuals who set out on a quest to corner a specific range of keywords with an optimization campaign years ago obviously have the jump on a new company with a mere speck of content to support their fledgling SEO campaign.
The good news is, content is scalable and links are abundant, if you appeal to the right sources or quite simply know where to direct your efforts. What may not be clear is (a) the amount of content or (b) the amount of time required to overcome the less optimized pages in the SERPs.
The incubation phase
It takes time to creep up on the authority sites and surpass them as a result of themed content, links or trust. You need to send the right signals to search engines and humans alike.
If you optimize content (strictly for search engines) and humans do not click on the results, then your pages recede down the relevance ladder, as user-engagement is a metric that determines which pages consistently appear in the top 10.
The rules are simple:
1. The greater the occurrence (site-wide for topically related content) the easier it is to rank for related phrases. Many may or may not be aware of semantic similarities that exists between certain phrases, the higher the proximity on a page for search modifiers, the higher the relevance for that page, for the related terms.
The exercise – If you are serious about ranking for a specific type of query, make sure that you have an abundance of material on the subject or leverage authority pages in your site to bring up the new fledgling pages which are created to introduce the content.
If you want to rank for 12 new keywords or key phrases, then use them all in “exact match” on a page or series of linked pages (limit 3 keywords per page over 4 pages for example) then build links back to that page (from both the internal links from your own site and external links from other sites) using those same “exact match” keywords. If you can utilize one of the overlapping keywords in the title as well, this will provide the necessary indicators that your content is consistent and relevant to the phrase.
Once you reach the appropriate balance (of on-page and off-page factors) you should see those pages making a debut in the 40’s to 50’s in search engines. From there nurture them with links until they hit the top 10. How you may ask?
2. Leverage your site’s internal linking power. Many webmasters neglect employing deep links from highly visible pages (like the homepage of highly trafficked product pages) to link to other related pages on your site. If you are not deep linking to your own content, then you are missing various opportunities to catapult latent pages into the top ranking SERPs (search engine result pages).
The exercise – Identify your most trafficked pages and link to the new content you just created contextually (in the context of a paragraph that is related). Just like Wikipedia leads into a more thorough definition when a keyword is introduced in a paragraph pushing you deeper and deeper into more relevant search results within their site, you can apply the same internal linking methods.
After you have identified your keywords, then write a new sentence or paragraph about a related topic and link the keywords you want to rank for (on the target page) from that page as the link / anchor text. This is a great way to add validity to your new content and expedite the authority process for the new pages.
In addition, adding links from aged pages (using keyword-rich anchor text or keyword modifiers) does two things (1) it creates a greater site-wide relevance for the keyword and (2) it provides an authority link to the new page to give it the needed weight to (a) get indexed and (b) garner a topical theme as the links counts as an indicator regarding the contents of that page.
This process also aids new pages in getting indexed as the more popular pages are crawled more often and then the spiders discover the new content muck quicker.
Once you receive enough links (endorsements from the right sources) then search engines will rank the page accordingly in the index. One of the fastest ways to rank in the top 10 for a specific phrase for examples, is getting a backlink from a page already ranking in the top 10 (that is an authority link). Other tips like these can be found by following the links below for link building methods.
3. The third and most important aspect is how you link to the content for the greatest impact. Since that is another topic in it’s entirety, here are links to some of our favorite posts on link building that provide ideas or SEO techniques for building authority for your content.