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How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

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How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

This post was sponsored by SE Ranking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Whether you run a large website or are launching a simple landing page, your goal is the same – you want it to hit the top spot on the SERP.

To make this happen, you need to ensure that your page quality is on par with its direct competitors – or better.

How Do I Rank Higher On Google?

To claim a top SERP position, the best technique is to offer more value than any other page optimized for the same keywords.

Also, you should make sure that your targeted page doesn’t suffer from critical SEO issues that can affect its performance.

These techniques fall under the realm of on-page SEO.

On-page SEO can be performed easier and faster by using an on-page SEO checker.

Tools like on-page SEO checkers are specifically designed to:

  • Show where your page stands within the competitive landscape.
  • Give you an action plan for bringing your content straight to the top of the SERP.

But for starters, let’s run through some basics.

What Is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing page elements for specific keywords.

When we say “page elements,” we mean things like:

  • Content quality.
  • Keyword density.
  • Title and description.
  • URL structure.
  • Page experience and usability.
  • Media optimization.
  • Internal and external links, etc.

Most of these elements can easily be improved, meaning that the page can be optimized for a particular search query.

While this type of optimization works for any page type, including home page, product page, blog post, or landing page, this post will focus on optimizing landing pages.

Why Is On-Page SEO Essential?

Page elements are the primary points of connection between you and your users.

Improving them helps improve their experience.

It also tells search engines more about your pages.

Well-optimized on-page SEO can help improve page rankings and thus increase traffic.

In addition to improving rankings, these page changes help you to hold a user’s attention and more accurately target their queries, making your traffic more meaningful.

How To Do On-Page SEO Tasks

On-page SEO can include a variety of tasks that you’ll need to perform on many different elements.

They can be easy to miss, so make sure you have a thorough checklist and documentation about how to update each element.

In this article, we will give you insights into what to check for in your on-page SEO strategy and how to better target your keywords.

We’ll also show you a great tool that can help.

Because there’s so much to check, an automated tool can be extremely helpful.

Task 1: Run An SEO Audit

The first step for performing on-page SEO is to run an audit.

There are almost 100 elements to check, and some are more important than others.

Step 1: Check Elements That Impact SEO

For landing pages, some of the most important factors are:

  • Title.
  • Descriptions.
  • Keyword density of your primary keywords.

Other checks include:

  • Heading structure.
  • URL.
  • Favicon.
  • And so on.

Checking each element individually may take a long time, and it can be difficult to identify errors and fixes.

This is why automated tools are so helpful.

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Step 2: Discover Errors & Choose Their Priority

After you uncover changes that will boost your optimization scores, it’s time to decide what to change first.

The weight of each parameter is defined by its effect on your page’s ability to rank on SERPs.

Some examples of important, on-page SEO errors that should be highly prioritized are:

  • Missing elements.
  • Elements that are optimized for an irrelevant keyword.
  • Missing title tags on pages.

Low-priority changes would be minor items, such as a missing favicon, which is less urgent.

How Do I Identify High-Priority Changes?

Tools can be your friend here.

They can speed up the process and help you climb to the top of the SERPs faster.

You want to look for sophisticated tools that can provide flexible recommendations based on individual page types, instead of a standardized list.

The deep analytics that come with more modernized tools can compare target pages with similar search results and calculate the range of recommended metrics.

This way, the recommendations are based on direct competitors’ metrics and take into account niche specifics, instead of offering generalized SEO standards.

Such methodology makes them much more accurate and practical.

One of the more advanced AI-powered tools is SE Ranking.

This on-page SEO checker can help you check and optimize your pages.

How To Use SE Ranking To Run An Audit

To run an audit:

  1. Enter a URL.
  2. Select your target location.
  3. Enter keywords.

Then, let SE Ranking do its magic.

It will check 94 on-page SEO parameters.

Perk: You can choose the depth of analysis – your page can be compared against 3 or up to 50 SERP rivals.

With SE Ranking, it takes only a couple of minutes to run an audit.

Once the check has been completed, you will see the results – every priority change will be listed on one dashboard.

Screenshot from SERanking.com, June 2022On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

Check Your Quality Score

The tool calculates the page quality from 0 to 100.

The better the page is optimized for the target keyword, the higher the score is.

Your quality score gives you a clear picture of your on-page SEO health, helping clarify if off-page factors are the issue and not poor on-page optimization.

Note that backlink-related parameters, which are also located on the dashboard, do not impact the page’s quality score.

Tackle Your High-Priority Issues

Your next step is to examine the list of issues found on your analyzed page.

SE Ranking’s report includes insight into the page’s content quality, keyword usage and density, page experience and usability, links used on the page, and the page’s backlink profile.

On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat CompetitorsScreenshot from SERanking.com, June 2022On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

To help with understanding priorities, your list of tasks is divided into several columns:

  • All: Displays scores against all 94 parameters.
  • Errors: Shows critical issues worth your immediate attention.
  • Warnings: Points to areas worth paying attention to once you have fixed errors.
  • Notices: Shares parameters that don’t necessarily affect SEO performance but are good to keep an eye on.
  • Passed checks: Gives you something to feel good about.

Now, you can start building your workflow and prioritizing fixes.

Task 2: Competitor Research

Power up your on-page SEO repair tasks by doing some competitor research.

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This step will help you clarify what keywords to target and new ways to improve your page further.

Assessing your competitors helps you understand what works and where your page needs improvement most.

Step 1: Look At The SERPs For The Keywords You’re Targeting

A great way to start is to put the keywords you rank for into Google and examine the top results.

What do you notice about them?

Take note of:

  • The words they use in their URL, titles, and content.
  • Their meta description on the SERP.
  • The layout of their page and content.
  • How your competitors approach answering the query.
  • The CTAs and internal links they used on their page.

Think about the ideas they convey, their approach to the content, and what keywords they use and where.

Step 2: Uncover Competitor Flaws

You’re looking to learn how the most successful pages do it. But you’re also looking for flaws.

Are there any areas that you think you can improve?

Do you see any gaps or unaddressed elements of a query?

Try to identify any patterns you can about the most successful results and compare them to your page.

Make sure that you’re not only fixing things that are missing but also looking for opportunities to improve existing on-page elements.

If you want to get more granular, this is another place where a tool like SE Ranking can help.

How To Use SE Ranking For Competitor Research

A robust tool like SE Ranking can help you benchmark your results against your rivals to better understand how they got to the top of the SERP.

You can easily compare important on-page SEO parameters against your direct competitors without having to dig through the SERPs and evaluate each result, one at a time.

For example, on the screen below, you can check which keywords competitors used, study their titles and headings, and assess their technical metrics.

On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat CompetitorsScreenshot from SERanking.com, June 2022On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

All the critical data is at your disposal to ensure that you’re not missing opportunities for improvement.

Quickly See Competitor SERP & Traffic Stats

In the Terms tab, you will see the list of words that were found on your competitors’ pages, along with their search volume potential, count, density, and page elements.

From our experience, using proper keywords on a page while striking the density balance is crucial for landing pages.

The tool shows how many times and in which elements of the page a primary or secondary keyword is used: title, description, main copy, URL, etc.

This helps you identify keywords with real search potential and add them to your page.

You can also fix the keyword density of some search queries that are already on your page.

Leverage Competitor Keyword Flaws

Finally, you can add keywords to relevant page areas that need them.

You will probably notice that SE Ranking makes a distinction between primary and secondary content, just like Google does.

Tools that don’t may unintentionally lure you into keyword stuffing, making you add extra keywords to your main content.

Task 3: Start Updating Your On-Page SEO

By now, you’ve run an audit and performed competitor research.

You should have a good idea of:

  • The errors in your on-page SEO that need fixing.
  • Areas where your on-page SEO could be improved, compared to competitors.
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You’ve made lots of discoveries!

What’s next?

Step 1: Organize Your Workflow

First, create your list of individual tasks.

Start by listing tasks out by priority.

You can either use your own task management system or an on-page SEO tool to organize your list of tasks.

As a rule of thumb, you should prioritize anything that’s missing.

If you haven’t specified things like title tags and meta descriptions, search engines will generate them for you.

You want to be in control of what users see about your page on the SERPs; be sure to add them yourself.

Next, focus on anything that has changed about your keyword priorities.

Did you find new opportunities during your research or discover adjustments you should make to keyword density? These are important too.

Step 2: Get Started

Go ahead and start fixing the issues!

We’re happy to say that most issues with on-page SEO can be fixed from within your CMS.

How To Prioritize SEO Tasks & Track Progress With SE Ranking

If you need help prioritizing and tracking your tasks, SE Ranking can do that all within one tool.

Switch to the SEO Tasks tab.

SE Ranking provides you with a step-by-step plan based on the issues found on your website during the audit.

On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat CompetitorsScreenshot from SERanking.com, June 2022On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors

The tool groups tasks by priority, category, or status:

  • In the By Priority tab, the tool labels all the tasks with high, medium, or low priority.
  • In the By Category tab, all the tasks will be grouped according to the page element, to which they correspond.
  • In the By Status tab, you will see which tasks should be done and which are already completed.

Start with the most urgent ones. This should give the most tangible result.

You can also add your own custom tasks and assign any priority to them.

For example, if you have been examining the competitor’s page and found something worth adding to your own page, just create a new task.

And vice versa, ignore tasks that you consider irrelevant to your landing page.

After fixing an issue, click on the completed checkbox. The tool will reassess the page quality, and you will instantly see the new score.

The more tasks are completed, the higher the score will be.

Make On-Page SEO Easier – Try An On-Page SEO Checker

There’s no doubt that keeping up with the competition and having your pages optimized is hard work.

But with the right tool in hand, it becomes much easier and faster.

With On-Page SEO Checker, you can measure overall page performance, identify and fix issues that could impact your rankings, enhance your content based on what works for the SERP leaders, and keep track of all the on-page tasks on your agenda.

This will help you move up the ranking ladder and beat your rivals.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by SE Ranking. Used with permission.

 

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7 Ways To Use Google Trends For SEO & Content Marketing

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7 Ways To Use Google Trends For SEO & Content Marketing

Google Trends is a surprisingly useful tool for keyword research, especially when using advanced search options that are virtually hidden in plain sight.

Explore the different Google Trends menus and options and discover seemingly endless ways to gain more keyword search volume insights.

Learn new ways to unlock the power of one of Google’s most important SEO tools.

The Value Of Google Trends

While Google Trends is accurate, it doesn’t show the amount of traffic in actual numbers.

It shows the numbers of queries made in relative percentages on a scale of zero to 100.

Unlike Google Trends, paid SEO tools provide traffic volume numbers for keywords.

But those numbers are only estimates that are extrapolated from a mix of internet traffic data providers, Google Keyword Planner, scraped search results, and other sources.

The clickstream data usually comes from anonymized traffic data acquired from users of certain pop-up blockers, browser plugins, and some free anti-virus software.

The SEO tools then apply a calculation that corresponds to their best guess of how that data correlates with Google keyword search and traffic volume.

So, even though paid SEO tools provide estimates of keyword traffic, the data presented by Google Trends is based on actual search queries and not guesses.

That’s not to say that Google Trends is better than paid keyword tools. When used together with paid keyword tools, one can obtain a near-accurate idea of true keyword search volume.

There are other functions in Google Trends that can help dial in accurate segmentation of the keyword data that helps to understand what geographic locations are best for promotional efforts and also discover new and trending keywords.

How To Use Google Trends For SEO

1. Get More Accurate Data By Comparing Keywords

Google Trends shows a relative visualization of traffic on a scale of zero to 100.

You can’t really know if the trend is reporting hundreds of keyword searches or thousands because the graph is on a relative scale of zero to one hundred.

However, the relative numbers can have more meaning when they are compared with keywords for which there are known traffic levels from another keyword phrase.

One way to do this is to compare keyword search volume with a keyword whose accurate traffic numbers are already known, for example, from a PPC campaign.

If the keyword volume is especially large for which you don’t have a keyword to compare, there’s another way to find a keyword to use for comparison.

A comparison keyword doesn’t have to be related. It can be in a completely different vertical and could even be the name of a trending celebrity.

The important thing is the general keyword volume data.

Google publishes a Google Trends Daily Trends webpage that shows trending search queries.

What’s useful about this page is that Google provides keyword volumes in numbers, like 100,000+ searches per day, etc.

Example Of How To Pinpoint Search Volume

I’m going to use the search phrase [how to lose weight] as an example of how to use Google Trends to get a close idea of actual search volume.

The way I do it is by using known search volumes and comparing them to the target keyword phrase.

Google provides search volumes on its trending searches page, which can be adjusted for what’s trending in any country.

On this particular day (September 22, 2022), the actress Ana De Armas was trending with 50,000+ searches, and the American ex-football player (keyword phrase [Bret Favre News]) was trending with 20,000+ searches.

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Step 1. Find Search Trends For Target Keyword Phrases

The target keyword phrase we’re researching is [how to lose weight].

Below is a screenshot of the one-year trend for the target keyword phrase:

Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

As you can see, it’s a fairly stable trend line from September 2021 to September 2022.

Then I added the two keyword phrases for which we have a close search volume count to compare all three, but for a 24-hour time period.

I use a 24-hour time period because the search volume for our comparison keywords is trending for this one day.

Google Trends ComparisonScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

Our target keyword phrase, with a red trend line, is right in the middle, in between the keyword phrases [Ana De Armas] (blue) and [Bret Favre News] (yellow).

What the above comparison tells us is that the phrase [how to lose weight] has a keyword volume of more than 20,000+ searches but less than 50,000+ searches.

The relative search volume of [how to lose weight] is 50% of the keyword phrase [Ana De Armas]. 

Because we know that [Ana De Armas] has a search volume of approximately 50,000+ searches on this particular day, and [Bret Favre News] has a search volume of 20,000+ queries on the same day, we can say with reasonable accuracy that the keyword phrase, [how to lose weight] has approximately a daily search volume of around 30,000 on an average day, give or take a few thousand.

The actual numbers could be higher because Google Trends shows the highs and lows at particular points of the day. The total for the day is very likely higher.

The above hack isn’t 100% accurate. But it’s enough to give a strong ballpark idea and can be used to compare with and validate extrapolated data from a paid keyword research tool.

Related: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO

2. Discover Insights From Time-based Trends

There are two general ways to look at the keyword data: stretched across over longer periods of time and shorter time periods.

Long Period Trends

You can set Google Trends to show you the traffic trends stretching back to 2004. This is valuable for showing you the audience trends.

  • Upward Long-Term Trends: If a trend is consistently going up, this means you need to focus energy on creating content for this trend.
  • Downward Long-Term Trends: If the trend line is steadily moving down, then it may be a signal that audience content consumption is changing.

For example, review this five-year trend for [WordPress] the search term, WordPress the software, and WordPress the website:

An image of Google Trends tool showing a five year trend.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

There’s a clear downward trend for WordPress in all three variations.

The downward trend extends to related phrases such as:

  • WordPress themes.
  • WordPress plugin.
  • WordPress hosting.

There are many reasons why search trends go down. It can be that people lost interest, that the interest went somewhere else or that the trend is obsolete.

The digital camera product category is a good example of a downward spiral caused by a product being replaced by something else.

  • The digital camera caused the downturn in searches for traditional analog cameras.
  • The iPhone started the downward spiral of the digital camera.

Knowing which way the wind is blowing could help a content marketer or publisher understand when it’s time to bail on a topic or product category and to pivot to upward-trending ones.

Related: Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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3. Related Topics And Queries

Google Trends has two great features, one called Related Topics and the other Related Queries.

Topics

Topics are search queries that share a concept.

Identifying related topics that are trending upwards is useful for learning how an audience or consumer demand is shifting.

This information can, in turn, provide ideas for content generation or new product selections.

According to Google:

Related Topics

Users searching for your term also searched for these topics.

You Can View by the Following Metrics

Top – The most popular topics. Scoring is on a relative scale where a value of 100 is the most commonly searched topic and a value of 50 is a topic searched half as often as the most popular term, and so on.

Rising – Related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period.

Results marked “Breakout” had a tremendous increase, probably because these topics are new and had few (if any) prior searches.”

Related Queries

The description of Related Queries is similar to that of the Related Topics.

Top queries are generally the most popular searches. Rising Queries are queries that are becoming popular.

Screenshot of Google Trends Related Queries feature.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

The data from Rising Queries are great for staying ahead of the competition.

4. Short-Term Trends Can Bring Massive Traffic

Viewing keyword trends in the short view, such as the 90-day or even 30-day view, can reveal valuable insights for capitalizing on rapidly changing search trends.

There is a ton of traffic in Google Discover as well as in Google News.

Google Discover is tied to trending topics related to searches.

Google News is of the moment in terms of current events.

Sites that target either of those traffic channels benefit from knowing what the short-term trends are.

A benefit of viewing short-term trends (30 days and 90 trends) is that certain days of the week stand out when those searches are popular.

Knowing which days of the week interest spikes for a given topic can help in planning when to publish certain kinds of topics, so the content is right there when the audience is searching for it.

5. Keywords By Category

Google Trends has the functionality for narrowing down keyword search query inventory according to category topics.

This provides more accurate keyword data.

The Categories tab is important because it refines your keyword research to the correct context.

If your keyword context is [automobiles], then it makes sense to appropriately refine Google Trends to show just the data for the context of auto.

By narrowing the Google Trends data by category, you will be able to find more accurate information related to the topics you are researching for content within the correct context.

6. Identify Keyword Data By Geography

Google Trends keyword information by geographic location can be used for determining what areas are the best to outreach to for site promotion or for tailoring the content to specific regions.

For example, if certain kinds of products are popular in Washington D.C. and Texas, it makes sense to aim promotional activity and localized content to those areas.

In fact, it might be useful to focus link-building promotional activities in those areas first since the interest is higher in those parts of the country.

Keyword popularity information by region is valuable for link building, content creation, content promotion, and pay-per-click.

Localizing content (and the promotion of that content) can make it more relevant to the people who are interested in that content (or product).

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Google ranks pages according to who it’s most relevant, so incorporating geographic nuance into your content can help it rank for the most people.

7. Target Search Intents With Search Types

Google Trends gives you the ability to further refine the keyword data by segmenting it by the type of search the data comes from, the Search Type.

Refining your Google Trends research by the type of search allows you to remove the “noise” that might be making your keyword research fuzzy and help it become more accurate and meaningful.

Google Trends data can be refined by:

  • Web Search.
  • Image Search.
  • News Search.
  • Google Shopping.
  • YouTube Search.
Screenshot of Google Trends showing the different kinds of searchesScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

YouTube search is a fantastic way to identify search trends for content with the word “how” because a lot of people search on YouTube using phrases with the words “how” in them.

Although these are searches conducted on YouTube, the trends data is useful because it shows what users are looking for.

A Google Trends search for how, what, where, when, why, and who shows that search queries beginning with the word “how” are by far the most popular on YouTube.

Google Trends limits comparisons to five keywords, so the following screenshot omits that word.

Screenshot of Keyword Popularity on YouTube.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

If your keyword phrases involve instructional content that uses words like “how to,” refining your research with the YouTube search type may provide useful insights.

For example, I have found that YouTube Search shows more relevant “related topics” and “related queries” data than researching with “web search” selected.

Here’s another example of how using different kinds of search types helps refine Google Trends data.

I did the same how, what, where, when, why, and who searches but this time using the News Search refinement.

Screenshot of Google Trends with News Search refinement selectedScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

The search trends in Google News are remarkably different than the search patterns on YouTube. That’s because people want to know the “what” and “how” types of information in Google News.

When creating content related to news, identifying the correct angle to report a news item is important.

Knowing that the words “what” or “who” are most relevant to a topic can be useful for crafting the title to what the readers are most interested in.

The above is the view of search queries for the past 90 days.

When the same keywords are searched using the 5-year perspective, it becomes clear that the “who” type keywords tend to spike according to current events.

As an example of how current events influence trends, the biggest spike in searches with the word “who” occurred in the days after the 2020 presidential election.

Every Search Type query refinement shows a different help to refine the results so that they show more accurate information.

So, give the Search Type selections a try because the information that is provided may be more accurate and useful than the more general and potentially noisy “web search” version.

Unlock The Hidden Power Of Google Trends

Free tools are generally considered to be less useful than paid tools. That’s not necessarily the case with Google Trends.

This article lists seven ways to discover useful search-related trends and patterns that are absolutely accurate, more than some search-related data from paid tools.

What’s especially notable is that this article only begins to scratch the surface of all the information that’s available.

Check out Google Trends and learn additional ways to mix different search patterns to obtain even more useful information.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock



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