Everybody wants to rank their articles on page 1 of Google, that’s a fact, but most of SEO gurus are over-complicating the process.
I started this blog six months ago, when I decided that internet marketing is the way to go. I could have written hundreds of articles until now, but I was kinda lazy. Despite this, my blog is ranking pretty well now.
The other day I recalled an article written by a fellow blogger and it gave me an idea for an article of mine, so I wrote this article. Three days later I was checking on Google for the same subject and surprise! My article was on the second position, before Forbes! Not bad!
To achieve this I only used social signals, no backlinking whatsoever. I conclude that this happened solely due to my blog’s good standing in the eyes of Google AND relevant content and keyword optimization for the article in question.
To make things easier for you I compiled a step by step mini-tutorial of the system that worked for me.
1. Make your research. If you have an idea of what you want to write about, make sure that the subject is hot. Try different keyword variations using nothing else but Google search form. When you type some characters, Google suggests you a few possible continuations based on the search volume of the resulting term so far.
You may also use Google Keyword Planner. This gives you a better view of search volume and competition of the keyword in question. Ideally, it is better to choose high search volume and low competition, but there are many other factors involved, including the overall relevance of your website.
2. Produce quality content. Despite some rumors, Google is very smart these days. They say “content is king” and they are right. Google may rank your article fast, but if the people ignore it and the click-through rate is not maintained over time, sooner or later your article will fade out and will be outranked by other more relevant content.
3. Produce social media signals. Share your content in your social media accounts. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Use as many social media accounts as possible. They use only nofollow links, but they are counted as backlinks, though.
To make things easier you can use different services that help you automate the process. I’ve been using Buffer.com for a while. It is also possible to use a very powerful combination between Buffer.com and ifttt.com.
4. Use social bookmarking websites. To make this ranking last over time, you can use websites such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com and others as social bookmarking services. They can produce do follow links, so your article will get the link juice from those highly ranked websites.
As a matter of fact, there is no conceptual difference between social networks, social bookmarks or other types of social websites. You use them basically to spread your content to as many places as possible, nothing more, nothing less. The difference between them is only at structural level. To leverage their power you have to learn the peculiarities of each of them.
5. Submit comments and guest posts on relevant blogs. Use Google to find relevant blogs that accept guest blogging, or accept links in comments or signature. Do not use generic comments, like “Hi, just the info I was looking for”. Create insightful comments, more like mini-posts. Don’t forget to leave a link to your article, which must be related to your comment.
6. Submit posts and replies on relevant forums. The same thing as above. Search for niche forums and create relevant topics. Make sure to reply to comments and maintain a civilized tone.
7. Use article directories. Despite the fact that article marketing these days doesn’t work as well as before, it’s not negligible.
When submitting to an article directory, such as EzineArticles.com, you have to make sure not to use an already published article, even if it’s yours. The submitted article must be unique, otherwise it may end up being rejected.
Don’t buy backlinks! Never! You may experience a short term huge boost, but sooner or later Google will penalize you for poor quality links. You must concentrate on quality, not quantity.
Also don’t use reciprocal links, they don’t work anymore due to Penguin and Panda.
Just follow these simple rules and it will make a huge difference.