We bet you’ve heard this before: “SEO is a long-term game” – or in other words, you shouldn’t expect any results for MONTHS.
Well, at Jammy Digital, we beg to differ.
It’s true that 95% of blog posts don’t reach Google’s first page in the first year. But that’s typically because of factors that are INSIDE your control.
Yes, you can’t control Google, but you can make it as easy as possible for them to understand what your content is all about. You can prove to them that your content is the BEST content on the topic and worthy of showing to their users.
All of that stuff IS inside your control. You just have to know how, right? Well, that’s precisely what we will help you with in this blog post!
An example? We ranked on the first page of Google in just two days
Don’t get us wrong: NOBODY can guarantee a first-page ranking in just days. But it is possible.
For instance, a client approached our content marketing agency because they wanted to rank for a super competitive keyword – you know, the kind that gets searched thousands of times every month.
When we reviewed the websites already ranking for their chosen keywords, we could see they were extremely popular and with high domain authority. Eek! So we prepared our client for it to take potentially months to get there.
But it didn’t. It literally took us two days to reach Google’s first page for our client.
Plus, they then shared that content with their small email list AND got a sale!
How? By creating stand-out content and avoiding the mistakes we’re about to show you…
Things you need to know about SEO blogging
Before you get started, you MUST understand what works and what doesn’t work for SEO. And if you’re still relying on old advice and ‘best practices’, it’s probably not what you think.
Seriously: what used to be a ticket to Google’s first page ten years ago (like churning out a generic article and repeating the same keyword more often than Draco Malfoy says “Potter!”) doesn’t work anymore.
What are your chances of ranking on Google: the factors you must consider…
For your content marketing to work fast, you can’t just write an SEO blog post and hope for the best (we wish!). There are a few things you first need to consider and, potentially, put in place.
Going through the list below will indicate how difficult or easy it will be for you to rank on Google for your chosen search terms…
When it comes to content, you may have ‘different’ competitors, and there may be more of them!
Competition in content doesn’t just mean the companies that offer similar products and services to you. It’s anyone that talks about the same topics as you.
Here are some things to look out for when figuring out how competitive your keywords are…
- How competitive is your industry? Some sectors are a lot more active than others when it comes to SEO content (think of marketing versus construction, for example). So, you might have more or less competition
- How competitive is your chosen keyword? Some keywords are only searched a few hundred times per month. Some others? Hundreds of thousands. The latter are obviously more difficult to rank for. .
- Who currently ranks for your chosen keywords? Put it this way, if we want to rank for something and HubSpot or Forbes are currently at the top spot, we know it will be more tricky. But if there are websites at ‘our level’, we know it’s easily doable.
2 Existing content: how well are you ranking already?
What blog posts of yours are already ranking on the coveted first page of Google? Analyse them! They may already rank for the keywords you want to go after!
It’s (usually) far easier to re-write an old piece of content and get that to rank higher than ranking a brand-new piece of content. Consider rewriting and re-optimising old posts ranking on pages 2, 3, 4 etc of Google!
Backlinks can make a big difference in SEO. When an external website links to yours, it sends Google the signal that you’re posting interesting and trustworthy content. So, it’s likely that the blog posts ranking for your chosen keywords already have a few backlinks.
The best way to attract good backlinks naturally is by creating stand-out content – people will WANT to link to it if it’s different from everything else! For example, if it includes original research that can be used as a source, such as our research on entrepreneur mental health.
It’s not just individual blog posts you should gain backlinks for; it’s your entire website (including the homepage). Think of good quality backlinks to your website as the ‘tide that lifts all boats’ – the more you get, the higher your domain authority, and the more likely your blog posts will rank individually.
Remember, don’t fall for dodgy black-hat tactics, like buying thousands of low-quality backlinks! Play the SEO content marketing game fairly, and it will pay off.
4. Technical SEO
When creating new content, it’s natural to focus on on-page SEO, like using your chosen keyword strategically.
If you haven’t first sorted out some core problems on your website, though? It’ll be extremely hard for your article to rank – no matter how ground-breaking it is!
Some issues to fix ASAP are:
- Low website loading speed – If your blog post takes longer than 3 seconds to open, you’ll lose over half of your potential readers
- No mobile optimisation – 51.52% of all internet traffic comes from phones. Not to be dramatic, but if your website doesn’t work well on a small screen? You’re doomed
- No sitemap – That’s a fancy term for “making it more difficult for search engines to crawl your website”
- No SSL certificate – Do your URLs start with ‘https’ or ‘http’? Hopefully, the former – because Google doesn’t really trust the latter
- Lots of broken links – These make it harder for Google to crawl and understand your website (and they’re annoying for your human readers)
- Indexing problems – If your pages don’t get indexed, it means Google doesn’t know they exist. So,your audience won’t be able to find them when they look for your chosen keyword. Try googling “site:yourwebsitename.com”: you should see all your website pages and blog posts. If you only get a handful of results, this should be your TOP priority
Now, before showing you how to create SEO content that works and ranks fast (exciting!), let’s make sure you’re clear on what you should always avoid.
How not to do SEO content
- Writing ‘thin’ articles that only scratch the surface instead of delving deeper into your chosen topic
- Not linking to any resources or research to back up your claims, expecting both people and Google to “just trust you”
- Churning out lazy content that doesn’t bring anything new and interesting to the table: it just regurgitates what the other top-ranking articles are already saying
- Posting and ghosting without helping your SEO content gain traction
How to produce stand-out content to boost SEO rankings
Think about it: if you want to become the ‘go-to’ company in your industry and see some content marketing results fast, it only makes sense to create stand-out content.
And by that, we mean blog posts different from EVERYTHING already on Google’s first page.
“But how can I do that in practice?” Like this!
1. Have something unique to say
You can’t expect Google and your audience to see you as a thought leader if you’re saying what everyone else is saying. So, while you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you should:
Go the extra mile – don’t regurgitate what’s already out there. Deliver so much value to your reader. Do things like including examples, templates or your unique methodology.
- Draw from your own experience – Everyone can write a blog post on the same topic, but nobody is you (cliche but true). Use your background and personality to your advantage: tell stories, share examples and include relevant anecdotes to get your point across.
- Use original research and content – Did you run a survey? Turn those results into a report and reference it in your blog posts. Have you got a case study that proves what you’re saying? Link to it. Using original content will make you stand out and attract more backlinks (a win-win!)
- Go niche – Just because plenty of people have already covered it, it doesn’t mean you can’t do so from a fresh angle. For example, you could write an article all about website design best practices, or you could write an article on website design best practices for accountants. Sure, the latter will have fewer searches, but you can guarantee that those people will be your exact audience.
- Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you truly believe in – Take this blog post, for example. Everyone is always going on about how SEO and blogging is a long-term strategy, but we believe it can also bring faster results. Not only that: we’ve proven it by actually doing that for our own clients. So, we wrote this blog post about it, and… look at that: you’re still reading it! Now, we’re not saying you should be controversial just for the sake of it. But if you have a genuine opinion that goes against the grain (and can back it up), go for it.
2. Go in-depth
We don’t believe in making blog posts longer just to hit a specific word count. The right length is… however many words you need to cover that topic in-depth (without waffling).
Statistically, though? Shorter ones – like 600 words – only scratch the surface. Many studies have shown that longer posts (2000 words+) rank higher than shorter ones.
Remember that blog post that reached Google’s first page in two weeks for your client? We did that by analysing the top-ranking articles (all 500-1500 words) and creating stand-out content that went more in-depth. This turned out to be over 2000 words.
3. Make it easy to read
No matter how good your blog post is, nobody will read it if it’s just a massive block of wordy text (sorry!). This is why the way your blog post is designed so important.
So, make it skimmable and user-friendly by using:
- Short paragraphs
- Bullet points
- Bold text
- White space
4. Get smart with your keywords
Don’t put all your SEO eggs in one basket:
- Plan your blog post about a main keyword – This should be a long-tail phrase (at least three words) that describes your chosen topic clearly, like “how to bake a chocolate cake.”
- Target multiple ones, too – Include variations, keywords that complement your main one and some that clarify your angle and industry. For example, since your main keyword is “how to make a chocolate cake”, you should also add “chocolate cake recipe,” “how to make a chocolate cake from scratch”, and “how to bake a chocolate cake step by step”
5. Help your SEO content gain traction
To try and reach Google’s first page (and faster than we get to our coffee machine on Monday mornings), give your blog post a boost by:
- Sharing it on your social media
- Including it in your newsletter with a strong call to action
- Repurposing it into social media content – and linking to the blog post
- Sending it to the businesses and people you mentioned in your article, or tagging them when you share it on socials (some of them will repost it)
Yes, it’s a long-term strategy, but you can get short-term results!
Now you know why “blogging and SEO is just a long-term game” doesn’t sit well with us – yes, it works best when you commit to it long term (as results compound over time), BUT that does not mean you can’t get short-term results too.
Our clients have seen fast rankings, tons of leads and direct sales when publishing content.
Would you like to enjoy those results without doing any of the hard work?
Owner at Jammy Digital, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer of Young-Adult Fiction.