Getting on the first page of Google is every blogger's dream.
But with 2,000,000 blog posts published every day, it's not easy - the competition is intense!
Everyone is trying get those top 10 spots - how do you stand a chance?
But what if there was an approach to creating content that dramatically increases your chances of getting on Page #1 of Google?
That's exactly that I'm going to show you in this article.
Don't get me wrong - this technique won't guarantee you get on Page #1 of Google.
But it will certainly give you a huge advantage over everyone else.
Let's get into it!
But before we go any further I need to introduce a concept that that may be new to you.
A New Way of Ranking Content
Up until now, if you wanted to get on Page #1 of Google you had to invest a lot of time and effort building a strong backlink profile.
But that's all changing, due to something called Topical Authority
Before the Hummingbird algorithm, the search engines couldn’t read or understand content. So they relied on backlinks to rank web pages. The more backlinks a page had, the more relevant it must be.
But with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and the Hummingbird algorithm that’s all changing. Search engines now understand that certain keywords are semantically related to each other.
What do I mean by that?
Here are some examples:
When I type ‘Star Wars’ into Google, it comes up with a number of semantically related keywords:
Google knows that “the force awakens”, “the last jedi”, “latest movie”, “rogue one”, and “episode 9” are all keywords that are closely related to ‘star wars’.
Let’s take another example:
Google knows that ‘bitcoin’ is semantically related to the words ‘cash’, ‘mining’, ‘worth’, ‘gold’, ‘trading’, ‘40x’, ‘code’, and ‘wallet’.
What does this mean for you and your blog post?
It means that if you want to rank high in the search results for ‘bitcoin’ you need to cover as many as possible of the keywords semantically related to ‘bitcoin’.
Now, you may have guessed already that Google measures topical authority not just for individual blog posts, but also for your website as a whole.
And that’s where this technique becomes very powerful:
You’ve probably heard of compounding interest (that’s interest on interest)?
Well, in this technique we’ll be compounding topical authority:
We’ll take a topic for which your website already has topical authority and we’ll write a blog post that intensifies that topical authority.
Are you ready?
Let’s dive in:
How To Get On The First Page of Google
Step One - Find Your Topical Authority
You'll see a list your most popular blog posts:
Cast your eye down the first column (‘Page’) and look for a pattern in the pages that rank highest.
Is there a sub-topic that your most popular blog posts have in common?
Let’s say your blog is about ‘fitness’. Maybe you notice that your most popular blog posts are all to do with ‘fasting’?
That’s where your topical authority is!
The Google algorithm has analyzed your content and decided that you cover the topic of ‘fasting’ better and more comprehensively than most other websites.
The topical authority that Google has given you for ‘fasting’ is resulting in high rankings for your blog posts on that topic.
That’s information you can leverage!
Write blog posts on that specific topic and you know you’re going to have a very good chance of getting on the first page of Google.
Step Two - Research and Write Your Blog Post
Armed with that knowledge, you’re going to write a blog post around a long tail keyword that contains the words ‘fasting’.
Let’s say you do your keyword research and you discover that ‘guide to fasting’ has low competition but good monthly search volume.
For help with this step, see my article on how to do long tail keyword research.
You decide to write a blog post titled: ‘The Beginner’s Guide To Fasting’.
Go to Google and type in ‘guide to fasting’:
You’re looking for results that are blog posts, not book reviews.
Find the top five blog posts that are listed by Google under ‘guide to fasting’.
Scan through them and look for headings, sub-headings, and bullet points.
There’s no need to read the entire article at this stage. All you want is a list of the sub-topics covered by each blog post.
- article #1 has 6 sub-topics
- article #2 has 3 sub-topics
- article #3 has 5 sub-topics
- article #4 has 3 sub-topics
- article #5 has 2 sub-topics
You're going to write an article with 19 sub-topics.
Of course, this is oversimplified because there'll be a lot of overlap between the 5 articles, (as shown in the diagram below).
Due to overlap, there may only be 11 separate sub-topics amongst those 5 articles.
The point is that Google is going to calculate topical authority for all the blog posts targeting the topic of ‘fasting’.
The blog post that covers more ‘fasting’ sub-topics than any other is going to have higher topical authority.
And that post is going to be yours!
Note: this approach is similar to Brian Dean’s ‘Skyscraper Technique’ except that the Skyscraper Technique is about getting backlinks, whereas this is about getting on Page #1 of the SERPs.
Once you have a list of the sub-topics for your blog post, it's time to do the second round of research.
This time you're going to research the sub-topics rather than the main topic.
Go to Google and type in, one by one, those eleven sub topics. Research each sub-topic by scanning though the top 3 blog posts on each sub-topic.
Once you've finished the second round of research, just write 100 to 200 words on each sub-topic.
Always find a way to express the information or ideas in your own words – never copy and paste someone else’s writing, as that belongs to them.
If an idea is original or an article contains original research, always link to the source article and mention the blogger by name.
This is part of the strategy for getting on Page #1, but more about that later...
One way to link to other articles is to have a 'Further Reading' section under each of your main sub-topics.
Here’s an example of a recent post of mine where I linked to source articles using ‘Further Reading’ sections.
Step Three – On Page SEO
You’ll notice in the above screenshot that Yoast flags the keyword density as too low. Don’t worry too much about keyword density – it’s an old-school concept now.
As long as your keyword is in the title of your post, in the slug, in the first paragraph, and appears 4 to 5 times in the body of the article, that’s fine.
Watch This Rand Fishkin Video on 'Using Related Topics and Semantically Connected Keywords In Your SEO'
When you're trying to get on the first page of Google for a particular keyword phrase, one thing you need to think about is "what are the other keywords that are typically found alongside my focus keyword?"
The idea here is that any particular keyword will have a cluster of semantically related keywords that are often found in association with that particular keyword.
If your page contains your focus keyword but none of the LSI keywords typically associated with that keyword, Google is going to say to itself: "This is odd - keyword 'x' is usually found together with these other semantically related keywords, yet this page doesn't have any of the LSI keywords."
In that case Google is very likely going to conclude that your page has a low relevancy for your focus keyword.
So if you want to get on the first page of Google, its important to include on your page as many as you can of the semantically connected keywords that are contained in the other pages that are found on page #1 of Google for that particular search term or keyword phrase.
To find out more about this, watch Rand Fishkin's video below:
Step Four - Reach Out To Bloggers You Mentioned
Remember all those bloggers you mentioned and linked to?
Well, now it’s time to reach out and let them know.
This is how I do it:
It’s quick, time-efficient, and yields almost instant results.
When I’ve finished sending out my tweets I go and check the newly published article and I often find it already has 30 to 50 social media shares.
That’s a great SEO boost for your new blog post!
And it’s going to help get your blog post on the first page of Google.
Step Five – Fetch As Google
The last step in getting your blog post on the first page of Google is to ask the big G to crawl your page.
Log into your Google Search Console (formerly known as ‘Google Webmaster Tools’).
In the left hand navigation, click on Crawl > Fetch as Google:
In the right panel, enter the slug of your blog post and then click on ‘Fetch’:
Once you've done that, Google will prompt you to request indexing of your web page:
Click on the 'Request Indexing' button and a window will pop up asking you to verify that you're not a robot:
Check the box for 'Crawl only this URL' and then click the reCAPTCHA button.
The status on your web page will now change to 'Indexing requested':
That's all you need to do!
Now sit back and wait. My new pages are usually indexed within a few hours. This web page was indexed by Google almost instantaneously - definitely less than 5 minutes.
When I started blogging my traffic was a flat line. And nothing I did made any difference.
Then I started using the technique I've described above.
My traffic is constantly growing, week on week and month on month. Leveraging topical authority for long tail keywords has turned my traffic from a flat line to an upward slope.
And there's no reason why you can't do the same.
Here again are the steps:
- Find the topical authority within the content on your website
- Choose a topic for your blog post that lies within your area of topical authority
- Do keyword research to find a long tail keyword with low competition but good monthly search volume
- Research and write your blog post, ensuring that your post covers more sub-topics than any of the top 5 blog posts that rank on Google for your chosen keyword
- Use the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool to get your article indexed with the shortest delay possible.
Let me know how you go in the comments below. I’d love to hear your success stories!
- Neil Patel - How to Show Up on the First Page of Google (Even if You’re a Nobody)
- David Trounce - First Page of Google and How I Get My Clients There
- Charlie Rose - SEO 101: How to Get on the First Page of Google
- Jon White - How to Feed a Hummingbird: Improve Your On-Page SEO with Related Topics in Moz Pro