Google is the master of search engines. The free SEO tool called Google Search Console (GSC) is my favorite when it comes to optimizing my existing content for improved search performance.
The truth is that many marketers don’t even know about the simple tips I’m about to share in this post and how this can bring a remarkable increase in their natural traffic. It’s not a click-and-win approach however. There is going to be some simple work and of course some time to start seeing results.
In SEO, there are two things you need to do to increase your natural exposure:
1 – Create and promote fresh content
This is what many marketers focus on and it works big time. Search engines are busy looking for and ranking fresh content. That’s why websites that are constantly refreshed with new articles are often the winners when it comes to grabbing the sweet spot on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
As marketers, we know that publishing fresh content isn’t the only thing that influences our search ranking. This is just an aspect of On-Page SEO. SEO in itself is a complex industry but as you keep reading this post, you will discover something that even the average guy can do to walk away with amazing results.
2 – Updating existing content
Experts in content marketing know that this is a quick exercise to jump on page one of search engines. But it isn’t as simple and quick as your brain is telling you right now. The main reason for this post turns around this very practice. I’m going to show you from the Google Search Console free tool how to take advantage of content updating and squeeze your way to the top of Google search result pages.
Republishing content is not necessarily duplicating content
Duplicating content is a major risk in SEO. To duplicate content means to have the exact (or near exact) piece of content on different addresses or URLs (either on the same domain name or different domain names). But this isn’t what we are doing here. We are principally looking at doing three things:
- Identifying content that can do better.
- Updating and adding some freshness to it
- Changing the date to current date and hitting the Update button
Begin with Google Search Console
If your site hasn’t been added to Google Search Console for tracking, you’ll have to do it first. Fortunately, this is very simple to handle. Sign in to your GSC account and click (top left) to add a property:
On the window that pops up, you will have to pick from the two options that which is easier for you. You will need some basic web hosting skills to go through with this. However, you shouldn’t be frightened as this is very basic and with a bit of reading around, you will be able to handle it. This article can help.
Once your property has been verified, you will need to give it some time to start gathering search and ranking data. But if you’ve already had some data, let’s move on with how to identify content that’s already showing up on SERP.
Select the property you want to track and click on Performance. Make sure to check to show data for Average CTR and Average position. By default, Total clicks and Total impressions are checked:
This will display on the table below the data we need to work with. The next thing is to sort by impressions in descending order. We want to find which keywords are generating the most impressions for out content. We also will be interested in which pages are showing up on SERP for these keywords and the average positions the pages occupy:
On the table above, we have the keyword ‘crypto monnaie au cameroun’ that generates 1,421 impressions with 59 clicks. The average position for the articles involved is 6.9. This is very interesting. It means I can do something with this keyword and improve ranking and clicks.
What about the CTR which is 4.2%? I may also think of tweaking the page Title and Description to attract more clicks. Now, let’s dig deeper and find the page(s) to which this keyword drives traffic:
- Click the keyword row
- Click the PAGES tab
Now, we have the articles to which this keyword drives traffic. If there are more than 1 article, you may want to take down others if they aren’t really doing well. But I’ll recommend you do some more research on these articles before deciding what to do with them.
Updatting the article for more traffic
All we have been doing was to identify the keywords and the articles that are ranking for those keywords. You can go ahead and come with more keywords and articles and spend some time improving them. Here are a few steps to follow:
1 – Analyse the strength of competition
It’s very important you do this to know who you are competing with and what are your chances of beating them. You can use any SEO tool of your choice but make sure you don’t skip this phase.
2 – Update the post
To give the article a fresh look, you’ll have to add some points to it. It’s not just adding text to make it longer. Do more research and add more useful paragraphs. Include images, videos, internal and external links. Keyword stuffing doesn’t help so avoid it at all cost
3 – Build backlinks
This is an important phase to push the article to page 1 of search engines. Earning or creating links has become a serious SEO activity. There are generally whitehat and blackhat techniques to create backlinks.
As a blogger, I always advise against doing blackhat SEO for your business. This is because Google will always find out and the penalties are always devastating.
Whitehat backlinking may be slow but it’s worth it. You do not need to be an SEO expert to build links to your website. Here are my three tips to constantly earn links to your site:
- Constantly create and publish link-able articles on your blog.
- Create powerful content and submit to other blogs in your niche (Guest Posting).
- Build profitable relationships with like-minded marketers who would always link to your content.
These are things I do constantly as a marketer to keep my blog alive and active. Of course there are more ways to attract links and improve your ranking. Nastya posted on ways to use white hat link building if you really want to build a long term sustainable online business.
Submiting for indexing
Once you’ve republished your post, it’s always a good practice to let Google know about the changes. This is done from within your GSC account:
Copy the URL of the republished article, paste in the search box and hit the enter key on the keyboard. On the page that follows, click on REQUEST INDEXING and wait for a few seconds.
For the most part, in a few weeks, you should start seeing improvements in natural traffic from the improved content.
Identifying the content that already brings in some traffic and improving its performance is one of the things that marketing experts do to keep seeing remarkable results. While you work hard to publish new content, you should never forget to look back and refresh the evergreen content you published years ago.