Running a small business often means that your resources are limited; no single-purpose teams, no unlimited budgets, and very little help. In these circumstances, the main resource of an SMB marketer is time. But since you pay in this coin for any and all tasks, you have no other choice but to spend it wisely.
The fastest way to deal with content and SEO is to select your best-performing pages and optimize them to bring in even more traffic. This way, you divide the general SEO work into bite-size tasks and reach your promotion goals with a series of short steps rather than rare giant leaps.
PPC and digital PR help you achieve your short-term goals, and while optimizing content plays out in the long run, it can be frustrating to see no immediate results from SEO. But this is how it works — SEO takes time. So, while you launch your PPC campaign or look for PR opportunities, don’t forget to work on your content at the same time. This way, all three ways will complement one another.
Let’s say there’s an organic food delivery service that wants to boost its rankings; how could they do that? As an example, I took peachdish.com, a healthy meal box delivery service. They are featured on a few delivery services digests, and they rank for about 8,000 keywords in organic search. Not a bad result, but here’s how to make it better.
How to Find the Traffic Growth Points
Ideally, to see what pages of your website perform best in terms of traffic, keywords, rankings, session length, and bounce rate, you need data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Since we don’t have access to peachdish.com accounts, I can’t show the full workflow here. However, when you setup the Organic Traffic Insights and connect your Google accounts to it, you need to filter out the pages with the highest session length and take a closer look at them.
- If the page ranks highly but little CTR, it might indicate that there is something wrong with its search snippet. Check your title and meta tags and ensure there is relevancy to the target keyword.
- If the page has a lot of sessions, but a large bounce rate and little time on site, it might mean that people don’t find the answer to their question on your site. The possible reasons could be poor content or the wrong keywords for which the page is promoted.
What to Do When You Have No Access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console Accounts
Don’t worry, there is still a way to find those important pages. In our Positions report of the Domain Analytics section, you can see the big scope country level keywords from the SEMrush database for which the domain ranks in the top 100 positions on Google.
What is great about it is, again, filters. Sorting the results by Traffic you can see what pages bring the most traffic to the website — these are your candidates for optimization.
As you can see here, PeachDish has a lot of branded keywords in first positions. That is great: it means, their brand is popular. They have probably invested in PPC, worked with some industry media, and got themselves good coverage there.
However, it is not enough to be ranking only by a brand name. The content on your website is supposed to be fulfilling the user’s intent, answer a question, help make purchases, etc. In the end, SEO and content marketing are supposed to be helping you rank for something more than just your brand name.
How to Optimize What Is Already Optimized
A simple rule here would be: a) find what performs well and make it great and b) find what is great already and make it even greater.
What this means: when your page ranks on the second page of search results the best way to boost traffic is to take it to the first page. And when you are already on the first page, try winning the SERP features: featured snippets, reviews, videos, etc.
And don’t think that once you have reached this goal, you can forget about the page forever. SEO is a continuous process, and in order to stay in the game, you have to periodically revise your achievements and adjust the strategies.
Goal: Getting a Featured Snippet
A big goal today for many businesses is to get a featured snippet. Not only does it help create trust for a brand, but it can also bring in a lot of high-quality traffic. So how do you figure out what you want to get a featured snippet for?
Using a tool like SEMrush for example, a good way to check is to apply a few filters to see which pages a website has on the first page of search results. To do that, you would exclude all the positions starting from 11th, and then all the branded keywords (for example, anything containing “peach” and “dish” in it).
This way we can see all the keywords, for which PeachDish ranks on the first page on Google and see only those that are not connected to its brand name.
As you can see, they have a lot of recipes on their website. Since it is a meal box delivery and customers receive not the cooked meals, but the ingredients with recipes, it makes total sense to have a cooking blog on the website. Also, if a recipe is unique enough, it doesn’t have a lot of competition, and markup is done correctly on your site, it can be fairly easy to get into a recipe featured snippet.
Most of those keywords have little volume, that means, those pages that are ranking highly do not actually bring much traffic.
The good news is that the competition for those keywords is not high either, which makes it easy to promote them. The ideal solution here would be to find the balance between the keyword volume and the competition level.
Aiming for the Top 10 In the SERPs
Setting the filters in the following way will show you the keywords for which your website ranks on the second search results page: we’re excluding all the positions less than 11 and greater than 20. And, as in the previous example, we only want to look at the keywords that are not connected to PeachDish brand name.
First of all, take a close look at the list. Can the keywords be grouped semantically? How big is the competition? How much search volume do these keywords have? Try out a few filters and gather your own insights. You would be surprised how many good optimization ideas come from a simple semantic analysis.
Most of the keywords lead to the peachdish.com homepage. On one hand, this is a good thing, since the page is ranking for a lot of keywords. On the other hand, it limits the options for content optimization, since the homepage is the face of the business and the content on it is sensitive to changes.
What we spotted from skimming the list is that there are a lot of keywords containing the word “delivery” which have relatively high volume.
Our suggestion would be to create another page around the “delivery” semantics. For instance, pointing out the benefits of the delivered meal kits, or how PeachDish handles delivery.
You can even see how your competitors use your target keywords. For that, you don’t need to Google it and search for the precise word match; the SEO Content Template aggregates the exact text abstracts to save you time.
If you don’t want to split the traffic between two pages, but do want to increase the rankings of the specific page, you can gather ideas on how to do that in SEO Ideas tool.
It provides you insights on strategic, content, backlinking, technical, and other aspects of search optimization based on your domain’s data. From optimizing meta descriptions to keyword cannibalization, the tool provides a thorough analysis of how your content (and partially, website) performs and what can be done to improve it.
Using the recommendations from the beginning of this post, we chose the keyword/landing page pair: airline chicken and https://www.peachdish.com/ingredient/VBMVSScAACYA5QOZ/airline-chicken and added it to SEO Ideas.
If you click the link, you will see that there is barely any text on the page. This is the first thing the tool suggests fixing in the Content ideas.
The tool recommends that we optimize for CTR by using the Recipe markup code. This is smart, since it’s really easy to work with the recipes — easy to rank for it, and easy to add markups, videos and other media that Google loves.
Next, the tool suggests using these semantically related keywords as competing pages use them. Enriching the semantic core of your content is essential for a better user experience. Expanding the content here would be very helpful, and focusing on semantics is just a smart way to go SEO-wise.
There are many other useful ideas in the SEO Ideas tool, but describing them all would extend this post for another dozen pages.
SEO: Divide and Conquer
The rule of taking one step at a time works for almost anyone that is focused on a monumental task; small business SEO is not an exception. And, in the situation of limited resources and highly valued time, it is actually the only possible way to ever achieve the high rankings that businesses of all sizes covet. So, divide up each area you need to grow in, work on each of them with keyword goals in mind, and slowly, but surely, beat out your competition.