Last week I published my most successful blog post to date.
By successful I mean it was the most engaged post I’ve had in a while. It has 50 comments and counting, it received the most number of page views on a single day of any post I’ve written, the average time on site is over 8 minutes, it’s had the most opens and clicks of any newsletter I’ve ever sent to date and best of all it’s ranked on the first page of Google.
(Note to self. Write about stuff other than SEO.) 🙂
Today I want to show you the exact process I used to get my blog post to the first page of Google so you can do the same. You’re getting a first hand insight that normally only my paid clients get access to.
First here’s the PROOF based on non-personalised search results! (Because everybody wants proof right?)
1. Start with keyword research
In this case, I wasn’t sure which keyword I wanted to rank for. Initially I thought I wouldn’t bother choosing a focus keyword because the post was based on a deeply personal experience I recently went through.
I thought better of it and decided I would choose a specific phrase to rank for. Why not take the opportunity?
The keyword I chose was “landmark manipulation techniques.” I thought about using “manipulation techniques” but I I felt it was too generic. Instead I found my keyword by using the Internet itself.
Here take a look at this:
This is Google’s autocomplete feature at work. As you type in the search box, you can find information quickly by seeing search predictions that might be similar to the search terms you’re typing. For example, as I start to type “landmark manip,” you can see other popular Landmark manipulation related searches.
Some of the signals that Google is using inside of its autocomplete feature is query volume. The fact that these phrases are being predicted means that people are searching for them. This was enough for me to run with this keyword.
This is also a perfect example of a long tail keyword. This is a keyword that individually doesn’t get a lot of searches but if I were to write other posts around this topic then this can add up to quite a lot of traffic to my site. The best part is that long tail keywords have less competition than super high search volume keywords. Remember this. You want to give yourself every chance of ranking for a search term and have people actually find and read your posts. There’s no point writing a post for it never see the light of day on Google’s search results.
Relevancy trumps search volume every time. Having both a relevant keyword with high search volume is hitting the jackpot, but the truth is, that’s very hard to do these days.
This is the WordPress SEO Yoast plugin that I use. It’s great because it can guide you on where you should be using your keyword throughout the post.
So I better explain what I’ve done here. As you can see the focus keyword is “landmark manipulation techniques.” I’ve used the keyword in the page title, meta description and the URL.
These are really important because the snippet you can see above is exactly how it appears in the search results page. You need to write these in such a way that compels people to click on your search engine ad.
You may notice that I haven’t used the keyword in the content at all. This is something I teach and recommend my clients do. In my post, I didn’t do so. If I want to, I could go back and find an opportunity to do so.
The page analysis section indicates other optimization opportunities. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green light on every item. Looking at this, I could have made an effort to use my focus keyword in the first paragraph of the copy.
Remember, I got a page 1 ranking based on what I’ve done so far, which is pretty minimal. If my rankings start to fall, I can always go back and tweak my content with my keyword and get that green light on some of those other items.
In other words, there are a few more optimization opportunities I can take advantage of if I choose to.
Your action item: at the very minimum make sure you write a compelling page title and meta description and optimize these with your focus keyword. Also ensure your URL has your keyword in there too. Let the Yoast SEO plugin guide you on where you can use your keyword.
So how did I drive so much engagement?
On the day I published this post, it received 223 page views. I normally get around 100 page views on the day I publish a new post. The post is now a week old and it’s received a total of 397 page views and 335 unique page views.
What’s more impressive is the average time on page, which is 8 minutes and 8 seconds. This is another reason I always encourage my clients to write longer blog posts than your typical 500 word blog post. You’re giving people an opportunity to stay on your site for longer.
But I believe the real reason this post has been so successful is because I shared such a personal, honest and raw story. I let people take a peep under the hood – to show them that I am completely transparent. People felt angry for me and were being supportive and it showed in the amount of quality comments I received. Running a business isn’t always sipping lattes and glamourous as many people make it out to be. It can be downright hard and sometimes downright ugly as was the case in this particular situation I encountered. I wasn’t afraid to show people my vulnerability. I connected with my audience on an emotional level.
To continue to drive this engagement, next week I’m introducing the Introvert Spotlight where I’ll be showcasing introverted entrepreneurs. Stay tuned for that.
Do you have any audience engagement strategies that have worked well for you?
Your insights may be exactly what someone else needs to drive more engagement and build their brand.
What’s this post that created so much engagement? See what all the fuss is about –My Personal Experience Of Being Manipulated By A Former Landmark Snakeoil