Good SEO used to be about improving website rankings on search engine results pages. Now, though, it’s not quite that simple — equally important is maximizing your first-page real estate.
To understand why, search for “men’s shoes.” If you’re searching on your smartphone (as most people do), then sponsored listings from AdWords are probably all that you see. Scroll down, and you might see a locator map with shoe stores in your area, followed by a handful of listings with information such as user ratings and hours of operation. You likely need to scroll down even further to reach the organic search results.
Your initial reaction might be, “How will my website ever get noticed with so much competition on search engine results pages?” But if you think about it, a more productive response is, “look at all these ways to get ranked on page one!” Maximizing your website’s exposure on SERPs is critical to boosting organic traffic volume to your website. Here, we’ll review five growth hacks to beat back competitors and meet your organic traffic goals.
1. Improve Your Organic Results Page Share
Organic search results are still the bread and butter of SEO. The impact of a high ranking is somewhat diminished by Google’s inclusion of knowledge graphs, ad extensions, AMP sliders and other elements on search results pages, but good things happen when your website excels in the search rankings.
That said, why settle for just one great search ranking? If you hold the no. 2 ranking but a competitor’s website is ranked in the third, fourth and fifth positions, then are you really better off? It’s just as important, or more so, to claim as many spots as possible on the first pages of search results.
Here’s how to do it.
Start by making a spreadsheet with five columns. In the first column, list the top 25 keywords that bring organic traffic to your website. Then, one by one, search for each keyword on Google. Count the number of placements you have on the first page of search results — that number goes into the second column. Then, look for up to three competitors that also have multiple placements, entering their placement totals in the third, fourth and fifth columns, with the largest number in the third column.
Once finished, you can easily see where competitors are getting the best of you. Those are the keywords where you should prioritize work on your SEO.
2. Don’t Just Optimize for Organic Listings
Sure, you could just focus on organic search results, but that’s like going to an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and ignoring the prime rib. Organic search results aren’t alone on SERPs. In fact, they’re positioned below AMP sliders, knowledge graphs, maps, images and other elements. Why not strive for more organic traffic by reaching beyond organic listings?