In this article, I'm gonna show you how to rank number one, in Google. In fact, the seven techniques in this video have helped me get number one rankings for keywords like 'YouTube SEO', and 'Nofollow Links'.
So my team and I recently analyzed five million Google search results to learn more about what people click on in the search results and why. And as it turns out ranking on the first page of Google, ain't what it used to be. Today it's all about ranking number one, or at least in the top three. That's because our study found that the top three results get 75.1% of all clicks. And the number one result alone gets 31% of the clicks. Ricky Bobby said it best, "If you're not first you're last." And in this article, I'm gonna show you seven techniques to help you rank number one in Google.
1. Find low competition keywords with explodingtopics.com
Let's face it, most keywords are super competitive, that's because everyone and their mom, is using the exact same tools. Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz Pro, the Google Keyword Planner. Everyone is typing the exact same keywords into these tools and getting the same exact results. So to find untapped keywords that aren't super competitive, you need to use tools that no one else is using. And one of my favorite untapped keyword research tools is one that I actually developed called Exploding Topics. This tool surfaces trending topics that aren't competitive yet. And because Exploding Topics focuses on terms that aren't mainstream yet, you can find keyword and topic ideas that most other tools won't show you.
2. Rewrite old content to match search intent
This technique recently helped me rank number one in Google for the keyword SEO campaign. Here's the full story, you probably already know that if your site isn't what searchers want, Google won't rank it, even if that page has a million backlinks. But, if you can align your content up with what someone wants, you can find yourself with higher rankings for that term.
For example, I published this blog post on my blog a few years ago this post was a case study of how one of my readers used a strategy called Guestographics to build a bunch of backlinks. Now, I couldn't find a great keyword for that post, so I just went with SEO campaign, it wasn't a perfect fit, and it didn't really describe the topic of the page, but it was good enough. And for a while it was good enough. My page basically hit the top 10 for that keyword and stuck there for a few months. But one day Google rankings and organic traffic to that page started to drop. So I kind of ignore the problem and hoped it would go away. Spoiler alert, it didn't go away. Traffic to my page, continued to freefall. That's when I realized that my content was a horrible fit for user intent.
I'll explain, someone that searches for SEO campaign probably wants, you guessed it an SEO campaign, but my content didn't give them that. Instead of outlining the steps to setting up an SEO campaign, my post was about one strategy, and using metrics like dwell time, bounce rate, and pogo-sticking, Google could figure out that my result wasn't a good fit, so they down ranked it, which is why I decided to rewrite this post from scratch. This time I made sure to publish a piece of content that someone searching for SEO campaign would love. And within a few days, organic traffic to that page started to improve, and a few weeks after that, the new version of this post hit the number one spot.
3. Ghost posts
This is a new SEO technique that I've been using a lot lately, and it's working really well, let's break it down. So as you probably know, the keyword difficulty scores that you see in most keyword research tools are based on one metric, backlinks. Are backlinks still important for SEO? Definitely, but backlinks are only one piece of the puzzle. First page rankings are also based on
- organic click-through rate
- user intent
- page speed
- mobile friendliness
- on-page SEO
- URL length,
- internal links
- and lots of other factors
That's why I tend to ignore or at least take with a grain of salt, most keyword difficulty scores. And instead of using those numbers, I use ghost posts.
For example, a while back, I wanted to optimize a post around the keyword free SEO tools. And according to Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer, this keyword is quote, "Super hard to rank for." And instead of just blindly accepting that number, I decided to see how difficult this keyword actually was. Specifically, I whipped up a quick post and published it on the fourth page of my blog feed. I didn't email the post to my list or share it on social media, hence the name ghost post. I was surprised to see that my page started to hit Google's first page, for long tail versions of my keyword, like best free SEO tools within about two weeks. It even started to crack the top of the second page for my target keyword, that's when I decided to promote the post on social media and improve the post itself. As it turns out this super hard keyword actually wasn't that competitive. In fact, I now rack in the top three for that keyword, even though my page has way fewer backlinks than the other results on page one.
4. Rank YouTube videos in Google
Ranking a page from your site isn't the only way to rank number one in Google. In fact, you've probably noticed that there are more video results in Google than ever before, especially above the fold. For example, this video carousel ranks above the traditional first result so for this set of results, these YouTube videos are actually the real number one result. As another example, I've been trying to get post to rank number one for a target keyword of mine for a few months now, unfortunately I'm still alternating between number three and number four. So to some real estate in that number one spot, I decided to create a high quality YouTube video on that same topic, and because I optimize my video the right way, it's made its way to the top spot within a few months.
5. Target low competition, high CPC terms
When I used to do keyword research back in the day, I'd focus 100% on search volume. So if I saw a keyword with 100K searches a month I'd automatically think that it was a great keyword. Today, I put a lot more focus on a keywords CPC or cost per click. In other words, how much advertisers spend on those clicks?
This is important for two main reasons. First traffic that comes to your site from high CPC terms tend to convert a lot better, after all people are bidding to pay for clicks on that exact term. Which means that people that search for that keyword part broke tire kickers, they're buyers. Second a lot of high CPC keywords aren't as competitive as you might think.
For example, I recently created a post optimized around the low competition, high cost per click keyword link building services. Now this keyword doesn't get that many searches, only about 350 searches per month. With a CPC of 20 bucks a pop, I know that the traffic is made up of legit buyers.
6. Embed videos in your content
You probably already know that dwell time is an important Google ranking factor. Dwell time is the amount of time that someone spends on your page, before going back to the search results. And the higher your dwell time in general, the higher your page will rank in Google. The question is how do you improve your dwell time? Embed videos on your page?
For example, I recently compared my bounce rate on a sample pages with and without a video. And pages with a video had an 11.2% better bounce rate than pages without a video and that's why I embed videos in pretty much every post that I publish. Sometimes I make the video and entire step strategy or tip, or as a way for people to learn more about something that I'm talking about. Either way I found that embedding videos can significant increase your dwell time.
7. Rank in the featured snippet spot
In many ways ranking in the featured snippet is actually better than racking number one. That's because the featured snippet is above the normal search results, which is why a lot of people call it position number zero.
Well, over the last few months I've been running lots of featured snippet experiments, and I've developed a process that's helped me rank for dozens of different featured snippets.
Here's how it works, first, identify the type of feature snippet that Google's already showing for that keyword. Now, there are three main types of featured snippets to keep an eye out for. The definition snippet, the list snippet and the table snippet. Then add something to your page that would fit perfectly, inside of that featured snippet. For example, I wanted to rank in the featured snippet for the keyword, nofollow links. So I wrote a little that would fit perfectly inside of a definition featured snippet, which helped me rank in the featured snippet within about a month. Now there's one thing I should point out about this approach, according to an Ahrefs' study, literally 99% of all featured snippets are pulled from results on the first page of Google. So if you're not already on the first page for a keyword, you pretty much have a 0% chance of getting in the featured snippet. But if you're already on page one and want to quickly get to the top of the results, this strategy can definitely help.
Before we end this article, I have a quick bonus technique for you, create branded strategies. To be clear, this is an advanced strategy, that's not easy to pull off, but when it does work, it pretty much guarantees that you'll rank number one. Here's the full breakdown.
You may not have thought about it before, but your brand is actually a keyword, a keyword that you automatically rank number one for. For example, if you Google Backlinko, you can see that I rank number one, with a bunch of site links from my site underneath it. But why stop there? You can start to rank number one for lots of different keywords, when you brand your techniques and strategies.
For example, you might've heard about the Skyscraper Technique, my three step formula for building backlinks. And because I branded my strategy, lots of different people search for that keyword every month. A keyword that I totally made up. In fact, according to Google search console the keyword Skyscraper Technique, gets almost a thousand searches per month. And because I ranked number one for that keyword, I get most of those a thousand clicks.
So whenever you develop a unique strategy, technique, or tactic, give it a branded name. This doesn't guarantee that people will start searching for it, but it increases the odds that what you created will become a thing.
There you have it, eight proven techniques to help you rank number one in Google.