There has been a tendency over the years with search engine optimization (SEO) to chase after rankings at the expense of quality. This was because low-quality links worked surprisingly well to rank a website for a target keyword – even a competitive one. While that’s no longer the case, quality matters more than ever because it’s a significant ranking factor for Google and Bing now.
Here are a few ways to improve your rankings with an eye on quality.
Pick the Best from What Your Competitors Are Doing
Use a sophisticated crawler tool to examine what your direct competitors are doing to rank in the search engines. Some of their techniques shouldn’t be copied, but others can be. Look at the inbound links from other websites that point to their own. Check out the linking website to determine if it’s reputable or not. Confirm that they have traffic and are a decent website to have a link from. See if you can get a link from them too.
Also, examine the keywords that pages rank for. You may be surprised what you learn. Some competitors will rank in Google for search terms that you’ve never thought of before. Think about whether your site currently has content that could rank for those terms if rewritten to include a new section or if a new page is required to target those same keywords.
Guest Posts on Sites with Audience Stickiness & Reliable Traffic
Use guest posting in a sensible way to garner more published content on quality sites. Consider whether the website is respectable and serves its audience well? Do they have active commenters leaving well thought out inspirational comments? Or, does it seem like the site has no real activity? You can use a site like SimilarWeb to get a quick idea whether the site has traffic or not.
Develop a relationship with the site owner. Leave comments that readers will find beneficial. Send them a message through their contact form or track them down on Facebook. Show an interest in what they’re doing. Work on creating a mutually beneficial relationship over time and later ask if they’ll publish a guest post for you.
Revise or Eliminate Any Site Content That Doesn’t Pass the Quality Threshold
Set a bar for quality. Run through your site’s content with a fine-tooth comb. Read each piece to decide whether it passes the quality threshold. If it doesn’t, can it be revised to get it up to grade?
Check the keywords that rank for the page or use Google Analytics to see if it’s a popular page and how searchers are finding it. Make sure to include those search terms in the revised copy to avoid losing ranking position. Before deleting any pages that are too low-quality, consider the traffic loss from their deletion. Maybe an outside writer can take a pass at a better version?
With a quality first approach, both ranking and brand reputation are likely to go up. For site owners, that’s an easy win-win to pursue.