This is a tried-and-true system to grow SEO traffic and results.
Watch the video, play the podcast or read the article below to learn this 6 step SEO strategy.
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First, it is important to note I am not the only one who uses this system. I have spoken with at least 10 other SEO professionals who swear by it. With that being said, let’s dive into it.
As you also know, producing quality content is the easiest way to organically increase your SEO traffic. The trouble is that consistently producing that content is hard work.
But there’s a secret to selectively growing your SEO traffic: A little spy work.
You see, with so many businesses occupying web space and producing content, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel.
You just need to spin it a little.
Which is where the selector system comes in.
1. First Step to Grow SEO Traffic: Export all competitor rankings from SEMRush or Ahrefs
To make this selector system work, you’ll need to enlist the help of a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs.
Both are advanced keyword and competitor research tools that will help you uncover where and what your competitors are ranking for.
For now, let’s take a look at SEMRush.
’For access to the most robust reporting tools, you’ll want to sign up for an account (SEMrush offers a free 14-day trial).
Once you’re logged in, you’ll first want to find your top competitors. Do so by typing your URL into the search bar and running the search.
On the results page, you’ll find a section titled “Main Organic Competitors” about mid-way down. A search for ignitevisbility.com returns the following:
Click “full report” in the bottom right to expand the list. Take note of these domains – they’re the ones you’ll be focusing your research on – and create your own spreadsheet by clicking “Export” at the bottom right.
Note: You’re probably looking at multiple pages worth of competitors, and let’s be honest, no one has time to research the data on all of them. You should, however, focus on the first five to ten on the list.
Now that you have your competing domains on hand, you can do a search to find out what content is ranking best for each.
Navigate back to the search bar and type in one of the domains. Then, locate the menu bar on the far left and expand the Domain Analytics section. Click on Positions.
This will pull a graph that lists your competitors best performing content. The second column, labeled “Position” shows which page that particular piece of content ranks on in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Click on the column to show results in order of the page they appear. Again, export the data at the bottom right, and repeat the process with the next domains on the list.
2. Look For Best Ranking Pages, With the Least Amount of Links For Better SEO Traffic
Now that you know your competitors and how they’re ranking, you can do a dive into how well their backlinks are performing.
As you know, the number of backlinks is one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to Google and other search engines. To be the best, you want as many other pages linking to yours as possible.
Which brings us to another very cool aspect of tools like SEMrush: you can use it to discover holes in your competitor’s backlinks. And holes for them equal opportunity for you.
You can find them in the ranking report we just went over. To get detailed information on the backlinks for a given piece of content, simply click the URL.
You’ll be taken to a new page with detailed analytics, one of which being backlinks. It will show you the total backlinks, referring domains, and referring IP’s. You want to look for the pages with least amount of backlinks.
Take these two pages:
They both rank high on the SERPs, but one clearly falls behind when it comes to backlinks.
That’s the page – and topic – you want to target.
3. Create a Better Version of That Page and Optimize For The Same Keywords
This is where you begin to spin that wheel a little.
You already know what to target based on what has ranked for well your competitors but lacks a good number of backlinks, so take that topic (and keyword) and create a version of your own.
Your job? Make it better than your competitors.
How? By analyzing their content and finding ways to improve upon it.
There are several things to look for:
- Is their content visual or interactive?
Find ways to add in images and, where possible, infographics and videos. Don’t ignore this one: Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
- How’s the headline?
Make no mistake, headline writing is an art few have mastered. Consequently, the web is filled with mediocre ones. One of the best ways to make your content more enticing is simply to write better headlines.
There are plenty of formulas and tools to get you started. And when in doubt, keep in mind the four U’s:
- Your headline should be unique.
- Your headline should be ultra-specific.
- Your headline should convey a sense of urgency.
- Your headline should be useful.
Try plugging your keywords into tools like Impact’s BlogAbout or Portent’s Content Idea Maker for a little inspiration.
- What does it look like?
Is the text chunky and hard to read?
These days, good content should be broken up and easily skimmable, with a good mix of (short) paragraphs, bullet points and lists throughout.
- How authoritative is it?
At the end of the day, your goal is still to produce the best content possible. So look at what’s out there with these questions in mind:
- What gaps can I fill?
- Can I improve the overall writing quality?
- What unique insight do I have?
Of course, part of your job is to make sure that the content is optimized for the search engines. You’re trying to rank for a specific keyword, so make sure it’s included throughout:
- In your headline
- In your URL
- In your H2 tags
- In your meta descriptions
- In your image alt tags and descriptions
- In your Title tag
- Throughout the body of your content (make sure you do this naturally. You don’t want it to sound like you’re trying too hard, so only include it every 300 words or so)
Also, remember to include relevant links in your post. Part of your strategy should be to lead people to other pages on your site, and providing links is a great way to do so.
You’ll also want to include links to other brand’s content. After all, people will be more likely to link to you if they see you might return the favor.
4. Push It Live And Grow SEO Traffic
This is the fun part.
Once you’ve created and fully optimized your new, improved piece of content, it’s time to publish.
Remember, a post is only as good as its promotion strategy, so have a plan in place to put it in front of as many people as possible.
Push it out through your social media channels, your email newsletters, and even promote it through boosted posts.
The good news here is there’s a very good chance it ranks well, as the other pages competing do not have a lot of links.
5. Outreach to Similar Blogs To Grow SEO Traffic
Now that your post is live, the goal is to get as many links as possible to ensure you beat your competitor.
One of the most effective ways to do so is by reaching out to similar blogs and asking for the link.
You may already have an idea of some similar blogs in your niche that may be willing, but you can always identify a few more by going back to your research tools.
If you’re using SEMRush, you can search for domains that already link to your competitor’s content by starting where we last left off.
Go to the URL page of the content you’re mimicking, and select “backlinks”. This will show you who has linked to that post (you want to target the follow links, not nofollow.)
You can perform the same search for any competing domain (or even your own) to find sites that have linked to similar content, making them more likely to link to your own.
It’s also important to pay special attention to the trust score (labeled TS in SEMRush). This shows you the trustworthiness of a particular domain. Google gives emphasis to those with a higher score, so gaining links from sites with a high trust score will have a much greater effect on your SEO and SERP rankings.
Outside of SEMRush and Ahrefs, there are plenty of other tools designed to help find important bloggers in your niche.
Alltop, for example, will pull all relevant blogs in almost every industry. Other tools include Technorati and Followerwonk.
As a sidenote, it’s a good idea to segment your target bloggers into a few categories. Some of the big names and top influencers belong on the top tier, and should be given a little more time and attention when crafting an outreach strategy.
6. Ask Them to Link to The Page in Exchange For a Share on Social Media
Once you’ve formed a list of bloggers to reach out to, it’s time to approach with your offer.
To contact them, your best bet is to find the email address of the actual blogger. You’ll notice that many bloggers and brands now use a contact form instead; if you can’t find the actual email, that’s your next best shot.
If all else fails, try finding them on Twitter and sending a direct message.
When crafting your message, treat it as part of your email strategy: keep it clean, to the point, and intriguing.
Don’t waste time; get to the point and remember, you need to make your offer enticing, so don’t just ask for a link.
Offer an exchange; in this case, a social share is a good idea. It’s a little more direct than a link and will make the deal seem better for your target blogger.
Some of your top tier sites will require a little more work – and that’s okay; a link from them is worth it. So warm ‘em up a bit – share their content on social media, comment on their posts, answer questions, etc.
Get Started Growing Your SEO Traffic With the Selector System
So there you have it – a step-by-step guide to growing your SEO traffic.
Remember, a little research can go a long way. In this case, it can reveal some very real opportunities to not only improve your own content but beat the competition while you’re at it.