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How to Rank #1 in Google [New Step-by-Step Case Study]

I’m gonna show you how to rank number one in Google step by step in fact you’ll see the exact process that I used to rank in the top 3 for the keyword list building I’m brian dean the founder of backlinko and today I’m gonna show you how to use strategies like the content Roadshow and the OBP formula to get higher rankings in Google stay tuned we’ve got a lot to cover in today’s video so let’s get started I recently published the post of my blog called 17 insanely actionable list building strategies and my target keyword for that page was list building now the keyword list building is insanely competitive think about it every email marketing company in the world wants to rank for this keyword and I’m a one-man show going head to head against giant companies like MailChimp Aweber and Infusionsoft bring it on bring it on so at first I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to outrank these big brands for such a competitive keyword but thanks to the process I’m about to share with you my post quickly hit Google’s first page for my target keyword and today I ranked in the top three for list building my post also ranks number one in Google for a dozens of related keywords like list building tips list building strategies and more and thanks to all these first page rankings that single piece of content has brought in seventy nine thousand eight hundred and seven visits since I first published it ok enough bragging it’s time for me to show you how I did it specifically I’m going to show you how to rank in Google for competitive keywords so without further ado let’s kick things off with step number one make your content insanely actionable Google recently rolled out a major update to their algorithm called ranked brain ranked brain measures how Google searchers interact with your site in the search results if people like your result Google gives you a rankings boost if not they’ll drop your rankings like a stone and from my own SEO experiments I’ve found that all Google searchers want the same thing actionable content think about it when someone searches for something in Google they don’t want to read some random person’s opinion instead they want tactics that they can use to solve their problem right away and if you can give that to them Google will notice and bump you up a few spots for example when you search for the keyword list building you don’t want to hear why building your email list is important you don’t want my take on the future of list building you want simple strategies that you can use right away that’s why my post has zero fluff and zero filler it’s literally a short intro and 17 bite-sized tips that you can implement within a few minutes and because Google searchers love my result I rank above sites like HubSpot and Forbes even though they have way more backlinks than I do next up it’s time for step number two use the OBP formula i’ve recently conducted the biggest search engine ranking factor study ever and one of our most interesting findings was that sites with a low bounce rate tend to rank above sites with a high bounce rate as you might already know about PSA’s when someone visits your site and then quickly jumps back to the search results obviously if lots of people bounce from your site it sends a strong message to Google that people don’t like your content and like I just mentioned if people are liking your content Google will notice and drop your rankings fortunately there’s a simple way to improve your bounce rate the old BP formula it’s a Content introduction formula specifically designed to reduce your bounce rate here’s how it works first you have the outcome start your intro off with the outcome that your reader wants for example what is someone searching for list building one more email subscribers so I start my intro off with that outcome front and center okay so now that you’ve hooked them with the outcome it’s time for the benefit here’s what you outlined the benefit that someone will get from reading your content for example my intro says that you’ll get access to 17 techniques that will help you get more leads finally it’s time for the preview this is simply where you preview what your content has in store for them for example my preview gives people a peek into my post which makes them want to keep reading and now it’s time for our third step use external links last year in SU agency in the UK ran an experiment to see if linking to other websites helped improve google rankings and they found that pages that used external links consistently out ranked pages that didn’t link out that’s why I always generously link out to other Authority sites in my content for example in my post I use 16 external links including links to Authority sites like the Journal of commercial research now to be clear I don’t think that external links are super important but every little bit helps especially when you’re going after competitive keywords and now that you’ve added external links it’s time to use internal links next it’s time to create internal links that point to the page that you want to rank in other words add links from other pages on your site to your new post those internal links will send link authority to your post which can help your Google rankings for example you can see that I linked from these two pages on my site to my list building posts which funnels juice to the post that I want to rank not only that but the pages I’m linking from are topically related to my list building posts so this tells Google hey these closely related pages are all linking to the same post that post must be important so you should rank it higher okay so now that your links are good to go let’s move on to the fifth step add images visuals and other multimedia imagine that you had two pieces of content let’s call them blog post a and blog post B and let’s say that both pieces of content were exactly the same with one major difference content a looked ugly and content be used lots of nice images which post will do better according to lots of industry research content B in fact a study conducted by Sheffield University in the UK found that people judge content based on design first then they size up that actual written content so if your content is a giant ugly wall of text Google users are gonna instantly bounce but if your content uses lots of images charts visualizations infographics videos and quizzes they’re gonna stick around and read your stuff which can help your ranking in Google for example my post is packed with screenshots visuals and other multimedia that helped make my content look nice now it should point something out you don’t need to go crazy and use a million images in every post our search engine ranking factors study found that content with one image outrank pages that didn’t use a single image so using one image is way better than not using any at all with that it’s time for step number six CTR optimize your title like I mentioned earlier Google pays very close attention to how people interact with your site and they want to see that people click on your site in the search results so if an above average amount of people click on your site it tells Google people really want to see this content and we need to push it to the top of the page this is known as organic click-through rate which is an SEO ranking factor that’s becoming more and more important every day so if you’re not optimizing your site for CTR you’re missing out on a lot of organic traffic with that here’s exactly what I did to optimize my title for click-through rate first I emphasize that people could use my content right away like I mentioned before Google searchers are impatient they want an answer to the question or help with their problem now so it’s important to emphasize that your advice works quickly that’s why I included the phrase that work fast in my title next I made sure to use a number in my title several industry studies show that titles that contain a number get clicked on more than titles without a number and a recent study Bipolar found that odd numbers performed slightly better than even numbers so I made sure to include the odd number 17 in my title tag the combination of emphasizing quick results and using an odd number helped increase my anok CTR which pushed my site over my competitors on Google’s first page moving right along to step number seven which is to optimize your content for semantic SEO you already know that you should mention your target keyword a few times in your content for example you can see that I mentioned my keyword a handful of times throughout my post now I’m not keyword stuffing here and that doesn’t work anymore I’m just using my target keyword a few times to let Google know that my content is about that keyword and to help them understand my content even better I opted Imai zit for semantic SEO this isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds semantic SEO simply means that Google now tries to understand the topic of your page not just individual keywords and to take advantage of semantic SEO all you need to do is sprinkle related words and phrases into your content these related words and phrases help Google understand your contents topic for example let’s say that you just wrote a post about being more productive and your main keyword for that post is productivity tips you just search for that keyword and related keywords in Google then check out the searches related to terms at the bottom of the first page finally add those terms to your content you can also use Google Suggest enter your keyword into Google and see what Google suggests to you again add a handful of these to your article and you’ll help Google better understand what your content is all about in my case I found semantically related terms like list building strategies and how to build an email list so I added those terms to my content where it made sense simple let’s keep it moving with step number 8 generate lots of comments on your blog posts can comments really help your content rank better in Google definitely in fact a Google employee recently said that comments can help a lot with rankings and if you go to my blog you’ll notice that I tend to get lots of comments on every post and these comments are one of the main reasons that I’m able to rank for so many competitive keywords the question is how do you actually get people to comment your content here are two tips that work great first reply to every single comment I’m shocked at how many people complain that no one comments on their stuff and they completely ignore the few comments that they do get so to show people that I respect their take I reply to almost every comment that comes in for example you can see that I took the time to reply to everyone that left a comment on my list building post this shows anyone that reads my post that I read and reply to comments which makes them more likely to leave a comment too and over time Google sees that my content isn’t just a page of text but an active community so they rank it higher that said the hardest part is usually getting the ball rolling with the first few comments which leads us to our second tip make a conclusion or call-to-action to comment let’s face it most people’s conclusions are boring summaries of their posts they say things like there you have it six ways to blah blah blah needless to say a conclusion like that isn’t gonna light a fire under anyone’s butt to actually write a comment instead I recommend making your entire conclusion a call to action that encourages people to comment for example today my post conclusion asks people to subscribe to my newsletter but in the early days of the post where I tend to get seventy five percent of my comments my conclusion looked something like this with that it’s time for our ninth strategy used click to tweet buttons this is one of my favorite ways to get more social shares and traffic I’ll explain how click to tweet buttons work in detail in a minute but the basic gist is that you add a bunch of buttons to your content that people can use to tweet individual strategies from your post in fact my list building post includes 17 click to tweet buttons now I should point something out Google probably doesn’t use social shares like tweets Facebook Likes or Pinterest pins as a direct ranking signal in other words people sharing your stuff on social media won’t help with SEO directly that said social shares can bring your content more traffic and the more traffic you get the better your chances that some of these visitors we’ll link to your site and those links will directly improve your rankings with that here’s how to create click to tweet buttons step by step first find a tip strategy or quote in your content that’s worth sharing for example because my content was a list post I decided that every technique on my list would make for a great tweet next use click to tweet comm to make a click to tweet button simply write the tweet you want and it will create a link that you can use finally add those links to your content you can use buttons like I used here or you can just make the links plain text like this either way it works and when someone clicks on one of your clip to tweet buttons they’ll get a pre-made tweet that they can use to share that specific strategy with their followers and let me tell you these work great in fact most of the tweets that I got on my post are from people that shared using my click to tweet buttons with that it’s time for a strategy number 10 promote your content with the content roadshow here’s the deal if you want to rank in Google today you need to strategically promote every piece of content that you publish in fact this is a mistake I made when I was first starting out when I launched my first website a few years ago I would just publish a bunch of content and hope for the best I call this the publish and pray approach please rank in Google please rank in Google please rank in Google back then I underestimated how hard it can be to actually get people to see the content that you publish so I just published and prayed in one day I read that wordpress powered sites alone put out two million blog posts every single day that’s when I realized that the chances of my content standing out without any promotion was like winning the lottery so I decided to promote everything that I published and over the years I developed a handful of content promotion strategies that work great one of my favorites is called the content roadshow thanks to the content Roadshow I was able to get my post in front of influential bloggers bloggers that shared my post with their audience with that here’s the step by step process first find people that are legitimate interested in your post topic for example for my content I found people that wrote about building and email lists or people that had shared content on that topic you can find these people by searching in Google or using a tool like buzzsumo next you want to email this people to see if they’re interested in reading your content this is key you see when most people promote their content they’re way too pushy in fact I get emails like this all the time emails that ask or beg me to share their stuff and I instantly delete them delete delete Dulli instead I recommend a two-step approach first send the blogger this email that gauges their interest in your content that way you’re not shoving a link into somebody’s face here’s a real-life example and when someone gets back to you saying that they’d like to check out your content then send them a link also note that I don’t ask for a share here again the point of the content Roadshow isn’t to be a pushy jerkface I mean nobody likes a pushy jerkface instead the goal is to get your content in front of people that have the power to share it and these people aren’t dumb if they like your content they’ll share it there’s no need to even ask in fact you can see that many of the people that are reached out to you happily shared my content with their followers which led to hundreds of visitors that would have never seen my content otherwise now before we close out this video let me show you a cool little bonus tip which is to regularly update your content back in the day I’d publish a post promote it and never look at it again and I realized that over time a lot of the content on my blog was out of date for example for my list building post I had old screenshots outdated numbers and tools that didn’t even exist anymore not only did this outdated content hurt my readers but it was bad for SEO too whenever someone came to my site from Google and saw that my stuff was outdated they’d bounce back to the search results to find something that was up-to-date that’s why I set aside about one day per quarter to review my content and update it sometimes my content just needs a new paint job so I’ll replace broken links add new screenshots and rewrite certain sections to make them more current I’ve done this a few times over the past year or so and I’ve noticed that these small tweaks and upgrades help improve my contents long term rankings now sometimes a new paint job won’t cut it my content needs a complete overhaul for example this post on my blog was pretty out of date it was also lacking a lot of detail compared to the other content that was ranking for my target keyword white hat SEO so I went in and completely overhauled and upgraded my post for example I improved my pages readability and structure so that Google searchers could find what they needed even faster I also added a new case study to make the steps easier to understand and implement finally I answered questions that people asked me in blog comments and on Twitter for example lots of people asked me if the ROI of creating awesome content is really worth it so I added some data to show that at least in this example publishing world-class content is well worth it and those improvements helped increase that pages organic traffic by over two hundred and fifty percent okay so I hope today’s video helps show you how to rank in Google .

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