Do you want high-converting pages to rank better?
Then you’re in the right place.
Today, you’ll learn:
- The single best technique for improving rankings on any page
- Which tools can help your pages “speak Google”
- Why cannibalization applies to SEO, and how to avoid it on your site
Let’s get started!
What is search engine positioning?
You’re already familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO.
The goal of SEO is to get your site to do better in search engines like Google. Search engine positioning is a type of SEO that focuses on getting individual pages to rank.
Search engine positioning is most important if you have high-converting pages that don’t get much traffic.
(And by the way, if you’re facing the opposite problem—your high-ranking pages don’t get many conversions—see my piece on content optimization.)
1. Get new backlinks
Backlinks are perhaps the single best way to boost a page’s search rank.
When other sites link to yours, it shows Google you have a resource other people want to share.
For better rankings, focus here first. You can’t have too many high-quality backlinks.
The problem is that getting other sites to link to you is tough work.
The best way to build links involves manually reaching out to lots of website owners, journalists, and influencers. It’ll (probably) involve a good bit of rejection along the way.
Read our full guide on link building for specific methods.
2. Keyword optimization
Google and other search engines return pages closely related to what a user is searching for.
Let’s say a user searches for “suitcase sets.” Google will return results that talk about luggage sets, suitcase designs, product reviews, and more.
So how do you get to be one of the top results?
Old-school SEO said you needed to include the word “suitcase sets” as much as possible on your page. Today, Google cares more about what topics you’re covering than the specific words you use.
That’s where you can use a tool to optimize your content. MarketMuse and Clearscope are the market leaders here. In our example, they would analyze other pages that rank well for “suitcase sets” and recommend you cover the same topics.
If you want to rank higher, covering the same topics as top performers is a good strategy.
3. Include better metadata
Metadata is structured information for computers to read.
It might include information like the language of your page, how customer reviews are listed, what the product price is, and more.
Including (or improving) metadata on your page helps Google because search engines can quickly read, understand, and retrieve details about your page. That makes your page more likely to rank higher for relevant terms.
4. Include images, interaction, and embedded media
The media you include on a page has become an important ranking factor.
Adding more images and embedded features (like YouTube videos) can help you rank. You can also include custom interactive features.
5. Link more to your most important pages
While backlinks from other websites are most important, links inside your website count, too.
These so-called internal links show which pages matter most. If you link to a category page from every article on your site, search engines will assume it’s more important than a page without any incoming links.
I’ve shared more suggestions for using this tactic in my article on ranking better with internal links.
6. Don’t cannibalize your search results
Most eCommerce store owners have heard of cannibalization, where you launch a product that grows by stealing existing customers.
An example might be if a new Coke flavor wins over original Coke drinkers instead of Pepsi fans.
The same concept applies to SEO. But instead of cannibalizing market share, you cannibalize search ranking. And it’s incredibly common with eCommerce stores.
Let’s say we have two category pages called “cheap vegetable peelers” and “affordable vegetable peelers.” Google is smart enough to know that “cheap” and “affordable” mean the same thing, and those pages will compete against each other for a top ranking. Not good.
You have two options.
You can redirect one page to another. So you’d eliminate “cheap vegetable peelers,” then direct your internal links and backlinks to “affordable vegetable peelers.” You’ll end up with a single, stronger page instead of two weak ones.
Another option is to make them more distinct. So you could change “cheap vegetable peelers” into “simple vegetable peelers.” You would have two distinct pages that rank for different keywords.
How to work on search engine positioning the right way
Most businesses do search engine positioning wrong.
They focus on SEO for the whole site, create content, and see what works. Then they reactively turn to search engine positioning to fix pages that didn’t do well.
But this reactive strategy isn’t best.
Instead, search engine positioning should be one of many tools you use to keep your site strong. Every page helps every other page, so you should be improving each rank.
The downside is that it’s a lot of work. You’ll need to track every page and know your “ranking toolbox” well enough to choose the right strategy.
If you’re looking for a partner who can take on those responsibilities, talk to us.