What To Do When Your Best Content Isn’t Ranking

What To Do When Your Best Content Isn’t Ranking

Today we’re going to talk about something a
little bit different, which is what you do when you think your content is good
enough, it’s best-in-class, but you still have people ranking above you. See, here’s
the problem. Google is generally going to give search
results for the content that best fits the search. But what does that mean, “Best
fits the search”? There’s different things that go into the ranking formula in
2018 and 2019. Now in 1999, the ranking formula for most search engines was
pretty basic. It was, do you have the keywords on the page, and do you have the
most amount of links coming into the page. And in 1999 or 2000, that would be
enough to make you rank. Now, as we head into 2019, that’s not going to get it
done. Search engines are more sophisticated
than they were in the past. There’s a lot of factors that go into ranking. One
thing that I like to do is, do an analysis of what’s ranking for each
keyword. Why is it there? Why is what’s in the top ten *in* the top ten, and not
something else? The first thing that you should look at when you have a page
that’s not ranking for your content — analyze the searcher intent. Look at the actual first page of Google, see what’s ranking there. Is it
informational searches? Is it comparative shopping? Is it e-commerce? Really analyze
it. To give a little tip, look at the modifiers to the actual search term [words added to the base search term]. I
have a client that when we looked at the generic search terms for a particular
search phrase that they were trying to rank for, we noticed everything on
Page One [of Google] was the low end of the market for that term. Meaning, everything was the
lowest price. But if you added certain modifiers to the search term — if you
added certain words to that search phrase — then they started coming up [for higher value searches], because the results would become very different. So analyze the searcher intent.
Know what people are actually trying to find. And you can do that by looking at what
Google is already ranking. If people are comparison shopping, look at what’s
number one. Do they have more specs [on page]? Do they have
more details on that product page than your product page? You want to be
looking for what’s missing specifically. Look at what’s number one for that
particular search phrase. Is it the biggest brand? Do they have the most
informative content? Are they the lowest price? Are they the highest quality? Do they have the best brand reputation? All these
things can be factors in why Google is putting a certain result number one.
Another thing that I want to address is: everybody believes that their content is
the best. I think, without a doubt, most people have a little bit of bias when it
comes to their own content. They view their content as being better than
than their competitors. But what you want to be doing is looking at
pattern matching, and looking for patterns within the top results. Try
to figure out what you need to have to fit that pattern. That brings me to
the second thing, which is content. Does your content answer all the possible
questions that your customers have? What’s the difference between you, and
what’s above you in the rankings? Maybe it’s links. Maybe it’s as simple as that —
they have more links than you. Maybe they’re a bigger brand. But you’re not
really going to know until you do a comparative study between you and what’s
in the top 10. Speaking of brand, let’s take a look at brand. Brand is a
ranking factor, and if you if you don’t believe that, go back to 2008, when the
then-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt said, Brands are not the problem. Brands are
what sorts out the cesspool, when we have the brands over here in one bucket, and
then we have everything else over here in another bucket. So if you’re not
building yourself up as a topically relevant, authoritative brand within your
space, you need to be working on that right now.
So what things differentiate a brand? Well, they have thought leadership in
their space. They publish topically relevant, authoritative content. They have
branded search — meaning people do searches for them by name. Also, people are
already going to their website. Amazon benefits from this greatly. But there’s
other brands besides Amazon where people look specifically for
products by that brand — or services by that brand. That’s what you should
strive to be within your market. That leads into another thing: what’s
trustworthy out there? Well, design is a differentiating factor. If you look at
things that people hold up as signs that people are satisfied with [a piece of] content —
staying on the page for a long time is one of the things that gets mentioned a
lot. What’s something that would compel people to be on a page longer than website
XYZ over here? One of the things would be the design of the site, the layout of the
content, the way that the content is packaged up. If you look at a brand like
Apple, they spend a lot of time on packaging. They spend a lot of time on
product design. Their product is not a whole lot different from Android, or
Samsung, or any of these other things — but they have something different from these
other brands, in that their design and the entire experience of buying an Apple
iPhone or an iPad or a iMac is totally different than it is for some of these
other products. In the same way, the design of your site, the way that you
frame your content, and the way you package it up, is going to be a
differentiator. So one thing that I want you to take away from that is
information can be statistically correct without being satisfying. What Google
wants is to satisfy users. Proximity is a factor when it comes to what’s ranking
for a particular search. How close are you to the destination [searcher]. This
this is something a lot of people don’t understand in local SEO. How close you
are to a particular business is going to affect whether they come up in the map
or not. If you’re very far away from a person searching for you, you’re less
likely to come up in the map. Pretty much any local business is affected by this
to some degree. Things that are closer to you are going to rank higher than things
that are far away. If you’re doing a local search, or if Google thinks
that the intention is to find a local business. Links [from external websites to your site] still matter. They’re
a proxy for authority, so you should be building links to your site. You should
be getting links from topically related sites to yours. Also, keywords still
matter. You have to have keywords on the page if you want to rank for a
certain thing. You must have the keywords on the page. Regarding a website I diagnosed
not too long ago, one of the problems was they were trying to rank for a certain
search phrase, and one of the words that is in that search phrase, was nowhere to
be found on their page. You must make sure that you mention the
specific things that you want Google to rank you for. Don’t make Google guess. Use
the specific words somewhere in that page that you want to rank for. One of
the last things I want to talk about is task completion. Can people complete the
thing that they’re trying to get done? Now, that could be finding
information. It could be making a purchase. If somebody comes and they want
to order a product, and they want to get it delivered to their home, if your site
does not allow them to complete a purchase and get it delivered, then
you’re probably not going to rank for certain sales types of keywords, and
you’re going to rank below straight-up e-commerce sites for those type of
keywords. So, task completion is very important when it comes to intent and
whether you’re going to rank for certain types of keywords. In essence, does your
page allow the searcher to solve their problem right then and there? If not, then
you should add that functionality to the page, so that people can get what they
came there for. So to sum up, not all keywords are the same. Anything that’s
got a location modifier — city or state — will return something that has proximity. If the keyword search is something it shows buying intent, allow
people to checkout and get their purchase delivered to them. If the
keyword phrase indicates that they’re looking for the highest
quality product, then your page should reflect that [quality]. You’re looking for
patterns in all this. If you feel like you have best-in-class content, look for
something that is different in the other results that are above you. Just look, and
see what’s on page one of Google. Does your content fit that [pattern]? Look for something
that might be missing. Like, if you’re not answering a question, that [a page]
that’s ranking above you does. My name is John Locke. My business is Lockedown
Design and SEO. We help manufacturing companies get more search traffic
through Google and Bing, and as a result they get more RFQs. If you have an SEO
question that you’d like us to answer, go ahead and drop it in the comments below.
We will answer it out in a future video for you. We’re publishing videos at least
once a week, so if you’re getting value from this channel, go ahead and subscribe.
Until next time, peace. [Outtakes: You might notice it’s a little hazy
today. The sky is really overcast. I just want to give a big shout to my people in
Paradise and in Chico. We see you Donna. I see you Malia. Just want to say peace to
all my people in Northern California going through the fires.]

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  1. Did you get new ideas for how to improve your content, or what clues to look for?Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Peace.

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