Its time to celebrate.
My blog post got ranked in google search on first page. And the best part is......
It got ranked within one month I published.
And I don't have any backlinks and domain authority yet............
Launched in Last week of September only.............
Finally my SEO efforts are reaping results. And No I didn't use any hack or shortcut. I used traditional SEO techniques to get ranked.
Let me tell you the whole story for this small win.
Update: Now it is in Top 3 as soon as I get rid of AMP implementation issue and the headline tweak (year update). This post is bringing me consistent traffic from Google now.
Why I decided to work on SEO?
So I was making my blog promotion strategy. It mainly includes Pinterest and Facebook as of now.
But I find it to be very time-consuming. There are shortcomings I observed with social media traffic.
1. It requires a time commitment to post on your social media channels.
No matter what, you have to post on your social media handles. And it requires time.
I am doing a full-time corporate job along with my blog. It becomes overwhelming when you have to make pins and post regularly on social media channels.
I use schedulers, but I am on the free version. I understood the importance of a steady passive traffic stream. Even if I go on a premium plan, I still have to make pins and post them regularly.
I started this blog with the goal of time independence in my mind. Hence social media is my short term strategy to bring traffic. For my long term freedom, I require a do-and-forget traffic strategy.
2. Social media algorithms are not controlled by us.
It is a fact. A simple algorithm change can affect your website traffic.
I don't want my website to depend on profit minting algorithm changes.
Fast forward to SEO. I know google and other search engines also have algorithm updates.
But its underline goal is to enhance user experience. And not like social media channels. They do it for their ad revenues and profits.
I studied all the algorithm updates of Google since its inception. Their updates remove people who are tricking search engines. In short, content that provides no quality and works for ad click revenues only.
I studied algorithm updates of Facebook as well. Their updates are more to combat competition from other social media platforms. And after they bought the rival company or beat them in their game, it changed to ad reach, making them money.
That means, if I provide quality to my readers, do not try to trick search engine and work on my SEO strategy, Google will reward me.
3. Diversify traffic
I realised the importance of diversified traffic. That means not depending on only one source of traffic.
I agree we cannot pay attention to all the social media channels and SEO all at once. And you shouldn't when you are a newbie blogger. But put in small efforts in SEO. Your posts should be SEO optimized from start.
Think it like this. If you are not SEO optimizing posts, you have to optimize all the old posts after a year. That is going to be a lot of work.
My current focus is Pinterest and Facebook only. But I am not leaving behind SEO optimization.
4. A conflict in My notion of freedom
I started this blog to become independent of time. That means I should have complete control of my time.
Social media promotions conflict with my notion of freedom. It requires dedicated time to make pins and post.
If my website is dependent on some algorithm updates, I am not free.
That doesn't mean I won't do it.
I will do it till I am independent. Also, as my income increases, I will invest in paid tools to automate these processes.
But SEO traffic is the only long term passive traffic stream I can see for me now.
What I did to Rank my post?
Internet is full of SEO gurus advice. Heck, you type SEO, all the SEO experts will pop in to give you very conflicting advice.
However, Neither can I follow each advice nor compete with big sharks with very high domain authority.
That's what I thought.
You can. Your content can beat others' content too. Sure it will take time. But you have to be in the race of ranking. Simply not paying attention to SEO won't work.
Hence I listed the important things to rank in the top 10 within a month. You can take these as the most significant factors that helped me in ranking on first page on google.
1. Invest in an SEO tool
If you want to be in the race of SEO, you need to invest in a good tool. If anyone says he is ranking in google without any tool, he is lying.
SEO tool should give you correct Keyword Difficulty, Competitive Analysis and Keyword Suggestions.
I use Ahrefs. It is the best tool for competitive analysis and Backlink building. I haven't started building backlinks yet but will start once I have more content for my readers on my blog.
Now, I know Ahrefs is expensive for most of the newbies. You can use another awesome tool, KeySearch. Their plans are very affordable. Their free version is also enough for newbies to do simple keyword research.
I saw a lot of good reviews from established bloggers for this tool. I trust them with their suggestion. If you want a detailed review for KeySearch, let me know in the comments.
Another tool is UberSuggest. It is good for competitive analysis. But do not take its keyword difficulty scores seriously. It is not correct. I used it and its keyword difficulty is not correct.
Learn to use these tools efficiently for maximum results. I separately learned how to use Ahrefs to extract maximum results.
Currently, my game is only competitive analysis. Building backlinks and domain authority takes time.
2. Low competition keywords
You can easily rank higher through low competition keywords in your niche. Focus on Low Keyword Difficulty with good search volume. This will help you rank faster with google.
I used low competition keywords with decent search volume to rank higher. This will give my website a slight boost and few visitors from organic search.
I wrote blog posts around topics which have low competition and good search volume. This helped me in shortlisting the topics in which my readers will be interested and search engines will be happy also.
3. Skyscraper technique
My initial strategy was to make better content than my competitors. When I came to know Brian Dean from Backlinko used a similar technique(Skyscraper technique) for higher rankings, my strategy got validation.
I use this technique to create stellar content, better than my competitors. Quality is subjective. You can write blog posts with good images, infographics and detailed guides. It will be considered better content.
4. On-page SEO
This is by far the best one can do for his/her content. It is easy to do. You can install a plugin named RankMath for it. Its free version is enough to get you going.
It recommends URL Shortening, Headline Optimization, Meta description optimization, Internal links, Outbound links and Keywords Frequency in the blog post. It also gives you a score out of 100. anything above 80 is a good on-page SEO score.
There are more sections in RankMath. The score 96/100 is of on-page SEO. I also have Headline Analyzer(scoring 79/100). RankMath is better than Yoast, as later use obsolete techniques for on-page SEO, which are no longer in use (transition words etc).
Also don't get in impression that if you score high on this, your page will be first on Google. That is the score of On-page SEO only. Page rankings are dependent on Core Web Vitals, Domain authority, Backlinks and Keywords Difficulty.
Apart from this, you must pay attention to search intent. Your content must answer questions people have on search engines related to that topic. It should be unique and add value to readers also.
I suggest using original images, not copied from some stock photo websites. It's easy to make vector images in Canva. It gives a unique position to your blog and enhances User Experience.
5. Follow a trusted SEO expert
Now, I am not an SEO expert. I am still learning. However, when I saw Brian Dean (from Backlinko) blog posts on top of google, I knew he is the right guy to follow.
He tells specific, new and unique SEO Optimization Techniques in his blog posts and YouTube channel. No matter, I got results with his techniques.
My next goal is to follow his advice on link building. This is how the long term SEO game is played.
It is clear why SEO is important for a blogging business.
Invest small amounts of time in it and see your blog growing organically.
Also remember, SEO is a long term game. Do not expect short term quick boost in traffic with it.
I wanted to share my first win with you. Write in comments What was your first win when you started blogging.
Or what is your first milestone to achieve?
Write in comments and motivate others who are just starting their blog.