Internet users rarely go past the first page of the search results, that’s why ranking on the first page is important. In order to rank on the first page, we do everything we can. We build backlinks, we write longer articles, we hunt for less competitive keywords and what-not.
All these are fine at their places. But despite doing all these things, if you are unable to reach the first page — the problem lies at the core.
“Overall traffic from my old articles is dropping.”
“My latest articles aren’t ranking well, too.”
If these are the questions you are having right now, then you are at the right place.
In this article, I will explain how you can rank your pages better by revisiting some core SEO strategies from a newer perspective.
Following these SEO tips won’t just increase your site’s traffic but also help you garner more conversions.
Yes, some of these SEO strategies require a financial investment and that can be a drawback for the small website owners, bloggers or those who are just starting out and find themselves on a tighter budget. However, there are also plenty of great SEO strategies that can be done with just a little bit of research and work without any financial investment.
A client of mine, Rizk Casino, started using my advice and they have increased their site traffic and conversion by 60% in the last 6-months.
Why would I just talk about my clients, even gauravtiwari.org’s traffic has gained multiple folds by following the same strategies.
So, these tips are tried and tested. Now it is all up to you on how you can do exactly how it is needed.
Without further ado, let’s see what you need to do!
Try to Rank for Featured Snippets
For those who don’t know, featured snippets provide quick answers in an easy-to-read manner for users who are searching for questions. Since these are user-centric articles, that is why search engines give so much importance to featured snippets.
Featured snippet URLs are called “Position Zero URLs“. These can or cannot appear on the first page besides position zero.
For example, if you will search for a simple question like “How to Start A Blog”, the search engine will provide an answer in the form of a snippet, containing information in the short version regarding your question.
But since search engines put too much weight on featured snippets, it’s not easy to reach position zero and even if you do so, there is no guarantee you will get to keep the spot for too long.
So, why am I asking you to reach for position zero?
It’s a saying in my country, “if you are aiming for a mountain peak — you will at least climb a hill, even if you fail to climb a mountain”.
If you plan for position zero and optimize the content & SEM according to that, you will at least rank on the first page.
How to (try to) reach Position Zero?
You will have to use these two to achieve what you desire. Use a tool like SEMrush that provides both.
As I said earlier, this will take some investment but SEMrush offers a free trial for 7-days (link to trial) if you want to try before you buy. Use the offer and see if you can achieve what you wanted.
Again, no matter what your budget is, if you want to reach position 0, you need to do some research and study the competition.
You will need to understand,
- Which keywords are easy to rank for in your niche?
- Which keywords have featured snippets? (SEMrush and other SEO tools show the keywords with featured snippets using a crown symbol.)
- Which featured snippets your competitors are ranking for?
Once you have your information, the strategy is quite simple and a bit opposite of the one used for keywords.
Instead of high volume, you will have to focus on low competition keywords first. Brands or bloggers on a tighter budget will go for lowest-competition keywords to rank higher.
Unfortunately, with featured snippets, you have to go exactly for the most searched words and topics and there is no way around it.
If you are writing a new article make sure that you are trying to answer a question in less than 100 words. If you are revisiting an old article, optimize the content so that it contains more valuable information than earlier and tries to answer a question in less than 100 words.
It is not up to you to decide what search engines will do. Sometimes Google and other search engines take content from wherever they want from your article. More often than not I see headings listed as numbered or bullet lists.
Use Short, Descriptive URLs
URLs are considered a minor factor when it comes to SEO ranking, however, if you are trying to optimize everything and obtain the best performance you should also take them into consideration.
It’s not yet confirmed just how much the URLs matter in the search engines’ ranking but we know for sure that from a user’s perspective, short, descriptive URLs are the way to go. As we all know, the better the experience the user has, the more likely it is to spend more time on your page, possibly increasing the conversion rates.
There are rumors that Google is trying to tone down the importance of URLs and keywords used in domains. However, until confirmed, this is nothing more than a rumor and should be treated as such.
To understand how we can manipulate URLs for better SEO practices, we need to first understand what URLs are.
An URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is basically a web address. For example, the main address of a website should be something like
domainname.com. Now, to improve it for SEO practices, the optimal format, including keywords should look like
It is suggested to use URLs under 120 characters including domain, subdomain, and extension. You can keep the article slug under 60 characters for more impact.
Remember that URL must be as short as possible but should contain the keyword.
Shorter URLs are not just important for SEO but also more user-friendly.
In the end, there should be a balance between the number of keywords used in an URL and its length.
Don’t Forget Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Among all technical SEO factors, Page Titles and Meta Descriptions have the most impact.
There is no doubt about this.
Don’t expect that title tags and meta descriptions will alone raise your page magically to the first position in search engines, but they surely influence the results.
Title tags and meta descriptions are actually the first things a user will learn about your website before he even visits it. They represent a short and brief description of what your website or page is all about and what kind of information or products can be found there.
You can always include main (and secondary keywords as well) as an encouragement for the user to take action.
Whether you are writing a new article or editing an old article remember to follow the set rules for title and meta description tags. The rules of thumb when writing tags and descriptions are:
- Offer relevant information about the content on the website and avoid click-baits by any means
- While using the main keywords, try to keep things natural and avoid keyword stuffing for the best user experience.
- Use unique content for each page and avoid duplication.
- The title should be between 60-64 characters. Anything above that will show “…” at the end of the text.
- Meta descriptions should be between 150-160 characters or, just like in the case of tags, the search engine will show the “…” at the end
- Always include a call to action when possible in the description.
Study Your Competitors
Studying your competition is a must when it comes to SEO practices. Nowadays, is very easy to do so with so many applications and software available. Keep in mind that the competition will not always do better than you and you shouldn’t blindly copy any action your competitors are making.
Take your time and study what keywords they are using and how well they rank with them to determine low-competition keywords and high-competition before deciding your next action.
Find out how they create their Meta Tags and Meta Description and try to find ways to improve the system or adapt it to your own needs.
At the end of the day, studying the competition can be a double-edged blade. You can find precious information which can help you a lot, but you can also fall into some traps and adopt a worse SEO practice than yours.
Do Heavy Internal Linking
This is the ultimate trick to boost your site’s overall ranking as well as the ranking of individual pages. Use a plugin like Link Whisper to do internal linking for old articles and new ones is the best way to start. The plugin costs $77 per year but is way worth more than that. It saved me over 1000 hours of doing manually internal linking.
It is important, however, to do internal linking wisely. Link only on keywords that are actually the keywords.
Internally linking a casino keyword to an educational article can be harmful. Divide your blog or website into compartments and do internal linking in compartments. If you are looking for a real-life example, see how Wikipedia pages are internally linked with one another.
Remember, internal linking is the key to your success. Forget all the rules that you shouldn’t have too many links on a post or page. If the links are inbound to your website only, have as many you need.
Growing the traffic of your website organically shouldn’t be that hard at all as long as you have your basics right and you follow some simple tips like the ones above. As SERP bots become smarter and take more information and user actions into account it’s more important than ever to always consider the user experience in addition to technical details.