As promised, here is Part 2 of The Simple Blogging Formula for First Page Rankings in Google. We’re going to continue our discussion right where we left off in Part 1.
But First, A Quick Recap:
In the previous post, we talked about the first three steps in creating blog posts that were worthy of ranking among the results on Google’s first page.
The three steps are:
- Understanding What ‘First Page’ Blog Posts Look Like
- Understanding the On-Page SEO Process for ‘First Page’ Blog Posts
- Crafting Epic Blog Posts Packed Full of Practical Value
And now, on to the fourth:
4. Captivate Your Audience Using the ‘AIDA’ Model
You’ve probably come across the AIDA model before in your marketing. It’s not a new concept and it accurately reflects the series of tasks that a marketer uses to try and persuade prospects to buy their products.
The AIDA model is an extremely effective one for writing posts that are engaging and persuasive. And the more persuasive and engaging your blog posts are, the more likely that Google will rank them on the first page of their search engine.
AIDA stands for:
Using this formula increases your conversions and guides consumers smoothly along the user experience funnel.
What you need to do is:
- Attract your audience’s attention
- Create interest
- Increase desire
- Then ultimately, call the prospect to action
This entire process helps to reduce your site’s bounce rate.
So let’s look at these in a little more detail, shall we?
It’s crucial to grab the reader’s attention if you wish to gain their trust.
This is the first step to building a relationship with your potential customers. During this phase, part of your work is to use organic keyword phrases in your page meta title. If you are a blogger, content marketer, or online entrepreneur then you are your own business’s CEO.
This means that no matter what products or services you actually sell, your first responsibility should always be solving your readers’ problems. Attract attention with your post headlines to improve your ranking in the search engines.
Your audience’s search query contains within it something that they want solved, so go ahead and solve it.
Almost 75% of buying decisions made by readers are reached at that point where they come into contact with the headline which is why it’s so critical. 8 out of 10 visitors will read the post headline so long as you make it extremely powerful and totally relevant to them.
Conduct any search on Google right now for any online marketing topic of your choice and you will likely see a list of catchy headlines enticing you to click on them.
These first-page post headlines are undoubtedly a huge part of the reason they were ranked so well in Google for the particular keyword that you searched.
So, rather than waste time trying to figure it out, why not just model these instead?
For example, say you searched the keyword phrase ‘grow email list‘, let’s use that to create a few unique and compelling titles that will attract clicks and move your page up Google’s ranked results:
- 21 Proven Strategies to Grow Your Email List
- How to Get 10,000 New Email Subscribers in Just 90 Days
- Trying to Grow Your Email List? This 7-Step Formula Will Help!
Another element that makes people want to click on your headlines is the use of odd numbers.
Studies show that including odd numbers (as opposed to even ones) in your headlines makes them more attention-grabbing.
On average, they generate almost 40% more engagement than headlines that don’t have numbers in them.
This research also shows that putting odd numbers in your headlines will get about 25% more clicks than headlines with even numbers which improves your rankings (you’ll notice that we use this tactic on our blog as well).
So the bottom line is that in order to attract more people, use odd numbers in your blog post headlines.
You have to build up interest in your blog posts.
Copywriters will typically use the sub-headline as a means of further explaining the headline. They will also use that copy following the sub-headline to stimulate the reader’s interest.
You, however, should use your sub-headings to make your reader understand the benefits that they will receive from reading your post.
Don’t wait for your readers to discover your posts in search queries before you educate them or give them any reason to stay. Use subtitles to clearly restate whatever you promised in the headline, and to expand on it.
This will allow you to pique your readers’ interest in your content.
The next thing you must do is to build up strong desire within your audience.
They won’t share your posts on social media without that desire and the most effective way to build it in your posts is by using bullet points. Bulleted lists are a copywriter’s best friend for boosting search engine rankings.
Copy that is the most persuasive almost always contains bullet points.
But don’t overdo them. Ideally, limit your readers’ options to 3 – 7 bullet points within your post. This is great with regard to social media shares for people who have shorter attention spans. Besides, research has shown that people are far more likely to choose when the options are limited.
So whether it’s between a choice to undertake an optional writing assignment or to purchase a shirt, people need a limited range of choices (for example 6 options) as opposed to a more extensive range of, say, 24 or 36 choices.
In fact, people who are given limited choices experience more satisfaction than those who are given more choices – which goes to show that more choices aren’t always a great thing.
You may have noticed the (smart…) use of bullet points on this site, as well.
When I write posts, I try to break down those complex facts or topics into simpler form and structure to make the content more easy for the readers to digest and understand.
If you prefer to use numbered or ordered lists rather than bullets, that’s fine too.
Call to Action (CTA)
Did you know that our attention span as humans is about 8 seconds (which is actually 1 second shorter than that of a goldfish!)
Shocking, I know, but because of that, only about 4% of all page views manage to hold readers for longer than 10 minutes.
So what does this fact mean for you and your blog posts?
It means you have to make a clear call-to-action for your readers as soon as you can in your posts. Don’t wait to get to the end of your post.
If you’ve been successful in getting the right audience to click on your post headlines and read that all-important first paragraph, and if you’ve gotten them to scroll down the page to further engage with your content, then ensure that you don’t lose them.
A call to action is all about asking your readers to do something in particular.
You have to ask them explicitly and tell them the next action they must take via your site’s content. By doing this you will be presenting them with another way of learning more about what their search query was for.
That’s not to say that you should ask your readers to buy your products immediately after they’re done reading your posts.
At that point, they may not be quite ready for that kind of commitment, instead, you could ask them to leave comments, subscribe to your email list, or share your post.
Any of these will help with your ranking in the search engines.
But how do you drive that message home effectively without annoying your readers?
You don’t have to shout your CTAs or use tricks or manipulation to get your point across. If you are giving your readers value, they will always respond.
Some ways you can get them to act on your CTA is to use the following tactics:
If you’re a SaaS company
Use free trial periods for your call-to-action.
People love to try before they buy and if you can get people’s attention and then show them the advantages of your product, you will have a better chance of getting a positive response when you ask them to buy your product.
A great example of this is GetResponse, an email marketing service that offers a free 30-day trial.
For those who run e-commerce sites
Offer discounts or coupon codes. This is an effective way of structuring your CTA site content.
But this isn’t just for online stores anymore. Bloggers, marketers, authors, and speakers can all use these tactics to sell their stuff as well.
As a serious marketer, you will obviously have a call-to-action strategy which works for you and helps you engage the most with your audience through your posts.
You will attract a lot more clients and it will improve your social signals (which ultimately improves your search ranking).
5. Build Inbound Links to the Posts You Write
Link building (when done the right way) is the backbone of your SEO.
Building inbound links to your posts supports all your other optimization tactics and strategies. While this is something that you shouldn’t obsess over, you shouldn’t ignore it either.
Google algorithm updates have come and gone, but one thing that remains constant is that quality incoming links dictate a significant portion of which content ranks and which doesn’t.
When building or earning links to their posts, most bloggers feel challenged and yet just by creating and effectively marketing great site content, you will generate lots of trusted links.
By combining the right kind of links and useful content, you will get a huge rise in your rankings.
You may be writing and publishing posts on a regular basis, and find that it’s still an uphill battle trying to get links from other bloggers – but it’s definitely worth the effort. When you go about it the right way, external link building boosts your rankings very quickly and that is why almost 60% of SEO experts do it.
Use this proven method of building or earning quality links to your posts:
Make use of the ‘Broken Link’ strategy: Broken links on a site no longer serve any value to that page, and they typically redirect to 404 pages. These links are dead and useless, and unless they are fixed or replaced, an excessive number of broken links could actually harm a site’s rank in the search engines.
This is where your opportunity lies.
If you have a relevant post that you have written and if you can find broken links that aren’t active any longer on other blogs in your niche, you can ask to have your blog post link there instead.
How to Find Broken Links on Sites:
- Finding broken links isn’t as hard as you would imagine. The first step in identifying them on a site is to use the BrokenLinkCheck.com home page to enter the site URL where you want to check for dead links.
- The second step is to analyze the results you get. The software checks only distinct 404 pages, and while it’s processing that, you could check for more opportunities for link building in site content improvement.
You could even find pages that list several sites similar to your post that contain broken links.
Therein lies yet another opportunity for getting your links on that site in the place of the broken ones:
- The third step is to launch your outreach campaign by contacting the blog owner to tell them about the broken link that you found. Just remember that when you first contact someone, address the site or blogger by name.
It’s even better if you could find out their first name, but if you don’t know their name then a simple search on Google will show you their Facebook page or Twitter account.
Or you could just visit their ‘about’ page on the site.
Only Build Links In Natural Ways
Focus on ways to build authority links in ways that are natural. In addition to using the link building strategy outlined above, you can also use targeted guest blogging to achieve the same result.
Something else you can do is to re-purpose your best content by distributing it on platforms such as Scribd.com and Slideshare.net.
The more you spread your content reach to quality blogs that have great domain authority in your niche, the more your blog pages will benefit from valuable link juice and the more you will improve your chances of getting ranked on the first page of Google.
You may already be working very hard to improve your search results but if you have not been promoting your posts actively, then you should start now.
They call it content ‘marketing’ for a reason. So use these strategies to work smarter (not harder) to promote your site content.
Remember that old 80/20 rule?
Well, it applies to content marketing as well. Spend only 20% of your time on writing blog posts and spend 80% on marketing and promoting those posts.
That’s where high search engine rankings come from and that’s how you become successful at content marketing.
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published July 7th 2018
This Post Has 10 Comments
This is one great post on how to get better rankings in Google and one that I really needed to read. I have bookmarked this page as I am going to seriously look into it.
I have not managed to get a single page on website (around 70 pages on a two year old site) and I badly need to get better rankings and much more traffic.
I did not know that links still are that important. I thought links were almost dead when it comes to improving rankings but I guess this only applies to bad or irrelevant links and not high quality ones.
Lots of great advice here I am going to start working on it right now.
Back links still play a big role in rankings. I believe, in time, their importance as a ranking factor will diminish but never totally go away.
Glad you found the article useful and thanks for the comment Jojo!
I must say this post is very helpful to me. I know dead links are very harmful to SEO and ranking but I never know how to find them, I was finding them manually, thanks for recommending the tool that can automatically check dead links, it can save me hundreds of hours.
Good to know I saved you some time and effort.
Thanks for the comment Daniel!
New blogger here and looking for ways to improve on my Google rankings. In regards to link building, is social posting regarded as one of the techniques? I have not yet started on social marketing as I find it to be overwhelming. I don’t know if I should mix my personal social profile with my business profile or keep them as separate entities. Do you have any advice on this area?
Social media links are good for SEO to varying degrees depending on the platform. Some offer DoFollow links, some NoFollow. They are all positive either way and the links are social signals for search engines.
I would create separate business accounts/pages for your blog if you operate under a business name, it looks more professional. You can use your personal/social account if you brand under your own name though.
Thanks for the comment Cathy!
My mind is blown. I can’t believe this is the first time I’m hearing about this odd number secret!
All this time, I thought the higher the number, the better; when I should’ve just picked an odd number.
I am definitely going to try that with my next listed blog post.
I’ve used bullet points in previous posts… I’m gonna have to double check that I haven’t used too many.
Do you think variation is okay?
And I’m also gonna try including a Call to Action sooner rather than at the end.
Thanks so much for the tips!
I’m happy you got something useful from the post.
Thanks for the comment Diana!
Very practical. I love posts of which after reading you know exactly what you need to do and how to do it.
I love 404 link building strategy you mentioned. Next time I see a 404 page I will think of this blog post.
thnx for the info!
Good to know you got some useful information from the post.
Thanks for the comment Rogier!