It feels great to achieve top ranking for your website. After all, that’s what SEO is all about, right? Wrong. Ranking is just half the story. There is still more work to be done.
Dragging your site to the top of the SERPs is a difficult and time-consuming job. You may have done all the tedious “keywording” work in multiple pages, built the best backlink profile in the SEO universe, and fixed tons of technical issues but there is still more work to be done if you want to improve your ranking and attract more traffic and conversions.
What comes next after your SEO efforts have paid off with top positions in the search engines? One of two things will happen. You’ll either work even harder to take your SEO to the next level or become complacent leaving your website or business to run into a plateau and pray that the site will be immune to the next Google dance or update.
Ranking your website well is just the beginning. You’ll need to look beyond your current position and analyse the sustainability of that position. It will be imperative to determine whether the position provides any business value or not. Remember customers who use search methods to find what they are looking for often have lots of options at their disposal. You are definitely not the only game in town so your top ranking does not necessarily imply that you are generating the best leads in your industry. You’ll need to do a little more housekeeping to optimise your website for more conversions.
Let’s take a quick look at a few things you can do to sustain your top position and get the most out of it.
Optimise your website for more keywords
To achieve good ranking, you must have chosen good primary keywords and spread them throughout the site in back end places such as alt tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions. That was a wonderful job you did there but you still need to find more keywords and repeat the process again.
Once you have ranked well for your primary keywords, you’ll have to branch out further and get even more keywords and phrases to take your SEO to the next level. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by ranking for additional keyword phrases.
A good branching out strategy is to create additional pages for your website. An additional landing page is a good start. Building more pages will involve creating fresh content that focuses on the new keywords and spreading the new links on social media or your link building campaigns. Optimising for additional keywords is particularly helpful when you already have high rankings but the traffic you are getting is still low. Spread your sails and go after more targeted keywords to attract more traffic.
Apply the Next-Level Keyword Strategy
One thing you should always do after your site ranks high is to start using next-level keywords. What is a next-level keyword? This is basically a keyword or keyword phrase that goes beyond the basic direct keyword your business uses. For example, “Accountant in Melbourne” is a basic and direct keyword for accounting services in Melbourne. Every local accountant in that area is gunning for that keyword. It is a highly competitive phrase but quite lucrative in terms of traffic and lead generation. However, if you attempt to rank for such direct keywords, you’ll need a lot of resources, time, and determination. A next-level keyword goes beyond the basic keyword and may be easier to rank for. In the case of “Accountant in Melbourne” next level search terms can be:
- How to do an audit in Melbourne
- Tax breaks in 2017
- How to reduce my taxes
- Hiring a CPA in Melbourne
Such topics or phrases provide an opportunity to inform and educate your audience. It is just natural that any customer that you educate will most likely choose your services. You can rank well for next-level keywords and send more potential customers to your main website. The next-level keywords strategy may not be very direct but it is quite effective in generating extra traffic and conversions.
Get a deeper insight of your web analytics
Analytics are wonderful to look at, especially for URLs that are already ranking well. You’ll need to take a closer look at target URLs for pages that are already ranking well for specific keywords to know what you need to improve to sustain your top positions and make the most out of them. Check the following aspects in all your ranking pages:
- Amount of organic search referrals. You must already be getting a number of referrals from your ranking pages. If this is not the case, then something is wrong. It could mean that people are not clicking your links despite your site being highly visible in search engines. Check if you have the right keyword targets and if they match the visitors’ intents. Are you justified to rank for those keywords or is your ranking a fluke of nature? If you are not getting clicks, then it’s time to tweak and adjust your content. Make it more relevant and useful to visitors.
- Check keyword referrals. You can do this via Google Webmaster Tools. Keyword referrals data is one of the most valuable information in your SEO efforts. The data will show you the keywords that are driving the most clicks and which are not.
Do a customer digital journey analysis
Search engine traffic is a very important in analysing your customer’s digital journey. Potential customers will discover your products or services via specific keywords. When you know the correlation between ranking and actual referrals, you’ll have a better understanding of your customer journey and make the necessary changes and investments in your content strategy to increase conversions. For instance, if a keyword is attracting qualified search referrals, why not make that page an authority hub where you can showcase additional products or services? People are already landing on your page with a specific intent which gives you an opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell more products or services. However, check if the additional offerings are increasing or reducing your bounce rate. You could be turning away visitors by selling too aggressively.
SEO may be about improving your ranking on SERPs but you need to look beyond your ranking and ensure that people are actually clicking and engaging with your content. If they are not, then take the time to make the necessary data-driven decisions to improve your potential customers’ digital journey. Do not be complacent once your site ranks well but apply additional strategies such as creating and ranking next-level keyword pages to send more traffic to your main site.