5 Steps to Winning the Organic Search Battle
Follow these steps and rise in the SERP ranks.
The battle for top-ranking organic search positions never ends. Many opponents stand on the sides of this enormous battlefield — Google algorithms, core updates, big and small business websites, enormous online retail conglomerates, and more, are always jostling for digital influence.
With so many players in the arena, it can be pretty tough — and intimidating! — to start the push to the front lines of the top SERP spots. And while there’s no magic formula to guarantee positions 1-10, we’ve rounded up five steps that can help you win the organic search battle and turn up the heat on the competition!
Implement Technical SEO Best Practices
The first step in achieving high search visibility is to make sure your site is actually optimized to rank! By implementing SEO best practices across all of your site’s pages, you are laying the groundwork for Google to consider your site worthy of a top SERP spot. Here are just a few SEO best practices you’ll definitely want to utilize.
- Optimize title tags on every page.
- Optimize meta descriptions on every page.
- Add canonical tags to similar pages to help eliminate duplicate content and duplicate URL errors.
- Resolve 404s, 500s, and redirects across the site to ensure each page is indexable.
- Utilize Google’s Pagespeed tool to identify opportunities to improve load time across your site.
- Ensure your sitemap includes all the indexable pages. If you don’t have a sitemap, build and submit a sitemap.
Starting the optimization process across your site can seem daunting — especially if your site has grown into thousands of pages. But getting the ball rolling on a few SEO best practices can help you quickly become a contender in the first-page battle arena.
Publish Local Content with a Purpose
If you operate a smaller site for your location-based business, there’s a chance you are already optimizing your site for local search, you just don’t know it. Including city and state-specific language in your content helps Google favor and understand your site when a searcher is in your area.
But what if you operate on a national level and want to appeal to that same local searcher? You still need to create local content to show Google that your products and services are relevant for every state, city, zip code, and nearby area that you serve (or could potentially serve). That content must be unique and genuinely valuable to a searcher (no geo stuffing!). Speak to your products and services in a way that’s personal, well-researched, and easy to read. Tie your brand to the searcher’s intent and location. Having unique, relevant local content is one of the biggest SERP differentiators for national brands with a big footprint.
(Are you at this step and wondering how the heck you’re supposed to write localized content for your national brand? GPO has the answers you’re looking for. Just ask us how!)
Curate Business Listings
So, you’ve got your site technically optimized, and your local content pages are running full speed ahead. Now it’s time to curate your business listings if you have physical store locations. There are some staggering statistics on the effectiveness of curating your local presence — such as the fact that 88% of searches for local businesses resulted in either a visit or call to the business within 24 hours.
People are looking for you. They want to find you. Make it easy for them by monitoring and keeping your Google My Business listings up to date! Make sure your business hours are accurate, your contact information is up to date, the images of your locations are recent, and that any information that Google sees fit to display on the SERP is 100% correct.
As an added bonus for you, make sure you are connecting your local listings to your local content pages to boost search visibility!
Develop Search-Optimized Content
At the core of every Google search result is content. The words on the page tell Google what that page is all about and why Google should deliver it as a relevant result to a searcher. Gone are the days of keyphrase stuffing and keyword meta tags. Nowadays, the goal is to create high-quality, keyphrase-rich content that resonates with readers and search engines. You have to serve both the person and Google by providing rich, relevant content to truly start winning the search battle. At GPO, that means the content must be:
- Genuinely helpful to customers
- Aligned with the brand, business goals, and audience
- Optimized for search, both technically and semantically
Measure, Analyze, Iterate!
Finally, it’s time to track your progress. As with any marketing effort, it’s crucial to measure your KPIs, analyze insights, and adjust tactics as necessary. Track your progress through detailed monthly reports. Look at month-over-months, quarter-over-quarters, and year-over-years to help paint a vivid picture of where you were and where you are, and use it to determine where you want to be.
When it comes to implementing these five organic search best practices, consider it a “wash, rinse, repeat” practice where you continuously monitor, evaluate, and adjust accordingly. As we said, the battle for organic search is an ever-ongoing fight for the top, with some tactics taking months to show results! But if you’re going to win the battle, you first have to join the fight.