It’s been a whirlwind adventure in the world of SEO lately – a journey filled with algorithm updates, AI, and machine learning leading to strategy surprises.
Digital marketers and SEO professionals are struggling to improve the rankings.
But guess what?
Amidst the chaos, if you manage to crack the code: the stage is set for your website to own the search arena.
Whether you’re a one-person SEO powerhouse or a company looking to get higher Google rankings, this post is for you.
Let’s chat, strategise, and sprinkle some optimization fairy dust.
Our secret formula? Mix science with strategy.
We’ll show you a step-by-step SEO process to rank #1 in Google. This SEO process has helped us grow our client’s website to get 2x organic visitors every month.
Biggest Challenges & Disruptors Facing SEO In 2023
Before we dive into the SEO strategies, let’s look at the biggest challenges and factors contributing to the SEO disruption.
As your trusty marketing navigators, we’ve got the inside scoop on the SEO shifts that are turning heads.
3 Biggest SEO Challenges in 2023
- Machine learning and AI (18.7%)
- Google updates (18.0%)
- Third-party cookie deprecation (13.9%)
3 Biggest Disruptors for SEO in 2023
Three standout disruptors took center stage, leaving their indelible mark:
1. E-E-A-T and the Content Conundrum:
SEO professionals are now focusing on content production and strategy. It’s becoming the most challenging area.
Google’s updated rater guidelines introduced E- E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), are pushing content creators to combine mastery with compelling narratives.
With generative AI striding in, content production is getting a boost, but the quest for creating truly captivating content has intensified.
2. Proving SEO’s Worth:
The struggle to validate and trace SEO’s impact persists.
The hurdles? Tight budgets and SERP battlefields.
The increased competition and new SERP features have had a negative impact on click-through rates (CTR).
3. Generative AI:
AI’s unstoppable integration is a continuing disruptor.
The majority of the survey respondents embraced AI’s potential, seeing it as a catalyst for workflow enhancement and business growth.
Tom Capper – Senior Search Scientist at Moz believes that generative AI tools like ChatGPT were not intended for information retrieval. There are appropriate AI SEO use cases such as producing titles, creating metas, grouping keywords, and creating schema. In all cases, though, human oversight is a must.
Now that we’ve touch-based the major challenges facing SEO, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide on how to start SEO from scratch in 2023.
Let’s take the first step towards getting consistent #1 rankings on Google.
10 Proven Strategies for Ranking #1 in Google
1. Leverage Your Competitor’s Weak Points for SEO Wins
Here’s how we make it work:
- Spotting the Underdogs: Head over to the SERP overview in Ahrefs. Here, focus on the DR (Domain Rating) column. Your target? Websites with a lower DR that are surprisingly ranking in the Top 5 results. These are the ones you’re after.
- The Gold in Weakness: When you stumble upon such websites while eyeing a keyword, you’ve struck gold. This indicates that the keyword might just be your golden ticket. These weak competitors might have left a gap for you to swoop in and shine.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a strong website, target keywords for which weak websites are already ranking.
So, next time you’re hunting keywords, keep your rivals’ weaknesses in sight. It’s not just a strategy; it’s your secret to SEO success.
2. Determining Your Backlink Quota
Now that you’ve got keywords on your radar, let’s uncover just how many backlinks you need.
At ConvertBunny, we’ve got a method that’s more than just magic – it’s data-driven finesse.
- Unlocking Keyword Difficulty (KD)
Back in the Ahrefs keyword explorer, cast your gaze upon the KD – Keyword Difficulty. This little number is your guidepost, indicating the number of backlinks required on a per-page basis.
- Peek into SERP Dynamics
Now, shuffle over to the SERP Overview. Find a ranking result with a decent number of referring domains, all arranged under the ‘Domains’ column.
- Let’s Play Detective to Unlock the Potential Referrals
Click on that ranking result with a decent number of referring domains. Voila! Behold the domains responsible for those backlinks, neatly laid out before you like breadcrumbs.
In this real-life detective tale, imagine we spot the competitor gathering links from websites boasting a high DR platform.
This, my friend, is a nugget of wisdom to grasp tightly. Because you don’t want to over-invest in your backlinks.
3. Plotting Your Anchor Text
Time to talk about anchor text – the magic words that guide your SEO ship.
At ConvertBunny, we’re all about making this easy-peasy.
- Back to Base: Go back where you started – click ‘Anchors’ and pick ‘Do Follow’. This is your treasure chest.
- The Secret Sauce: Discover how much exact match anchor text your competitors are using. It’s like spotting their favourite words in a puzzle.
- The Rule of Thumb: Here’s the deal – use exact match anchor text carefully. Save it for your top-tier backlink chances. Trust us, this move can shake up your rankings in a big way.
In short, let your rivals be your guides. Follow their anchor text strategy, but with your own twist.
4. Find Matching and Related Keywords to Boost your SEO
It’s time we delve into the world of supporting keywords – those trusty sidekicks that bolster your SEO strategy
- Back to Ahrefs: Head on back to Ahrefs..This time, click ‘Matching Terms under ‘Keyword Ideas’. This is where the keyword magic happens.
- Setting the Scene: It’s filter time! Max out KD at 30 and set the DR bar at 40. Get ready to watch the magic unfold.
- The Treasure Trove: Behold the list that appears before you — a collection of related keywords that can give your strategy a power boost.
- Doubling Down: Don’t stop there. Head to ‘Related Terms’ and repeat the process. Your keyword arsenal is expanding!
Voila! You’re armed with a treasure trove of supporting keywords. Your SEO journey just got a turbo boost.
5. Sculpting Your Keyword Arsenal
Alright, let’s talk about taming the keyword jungle.
We’re here to help you sort the diamonds from the rocks in your keyword stash.
Here’s how we do it – with a dash of GPT magic.
The Relevance Rodeo
Imagine every keyword as a contestant in the relevance rodeo. Using the following GPT prompt, you can easily organize and tame your keywords.
We’re giving the keywords a score from 1 to 5, with 5 being the “heck yeah, it’s super relevant!” score.
So hang tight, this will be your compass.
Tabulate the Brilliance
Once the scores are in, we’re creating a nifty table. This table sorts your keywords, with the most relevant ones at the top.
GPT Prompt: “Assess the relevance of the following keywords in relation to the keyword phrase [enter your keyword phrase]. Use a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 indicates the highest relevance. After assigning scores, organize the keywords and their relevance scores into a table for reference.”
Voilà! You’ve just curated a top-notch keyword ensemble, handpicked for maximum impact.
6. Dissect the Content With Our Ultimate SEO Content Checklist
At this stage, it’s time to dissect that SEO content and put it to the ultimate test.
Here is how we break it down step by step:
- Google’s Speedometer: First, grab the URL and feed it to Google PageSpeed Insights. If you’re clocking below 70 for Mobile or Desktop, it’s a red flag. It’s time to fix those speed bumps.
- No Buzzkill Pop-ups: Are obnoxious pop-ups killing the vibe? Prioritize value over in-your-face ads.
- Keywords in the Spotlight: It’s time to play keyword hide and seek. Check if your primary keyword is incorporated in the title, URL, Meta description, H1 tag, and sneakily at the beginning and end of your content. If not, then ensure that the content checks this box.
- Unleash Originality: Authenticity rules the roost. Say no to robotic content and yes to that human touch. Quality beats quantity. The cotnent must be original. Meaning, written by humans, for humans.
- Words Matter: Size does matter – in words. Use tools like Surfer SERP Analyzer to nail the word count sweet spot. Outvalue your competition, and you’re golden.
- Natural Talk: Speak like a human, not a robot. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is your content’s best friend. Gauge how you stack up against the competition.
- Grammar Game: Run a Grammarly test. We ensure that the content scores hit 95+; we’re not leaving room for typos.
- Elevate E-E-A-T: Elevate your content’s E-E-A-T game: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
- Experience – When producing content, use ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘me’ to add a level of subjectivity to the opinion. Also, use visual evidence of the use of the product. This helps support your expertise and reinforces the authenticity of the content.
- Expertise – it’s largely driven by backlinks. It’s still critical that you cover the basics through the content on your page. Every piece of content should be written by a subject matter expert (SME). This should be clear at a glance.
Pro Tip: Adding the author’s bio, and prioritize the About page in the main navigation.
- Authoritativeness can be attained by building links from authoritative sites
- Trust is earned by demonstrating experience, expertise and authoritativeness,
- Champion of Uniqueness: Stand out in the crowd. Be the top 1% with content crafted for humans, not bots. Quality trumps all. It’s got to be original, accurate, reliable, safe, updated, and show that extra mile of effort.
Now, armed with this checklist, you’re ready to conquer the SEO arena like never before.
7. Elevate Your SEO Content: A 10x Power Boost
Alright, SEO explorers, it’s time to level up your content game – and we’re bringing the 10x magic.
Ready? Let’s roll.
- Google: Your Inspiration Hub: Start with a simple Google search. Scope out your rivals. The goal? Not just to match but to surpass what’s already out there. We’re building a masterpiece that outshines the rest.
- Craft a Killer Strategy: Brace yourself – we’re crafting an SEO strategy that’s a game-changer. SEO content isn’t static; it’s fluid.
Here’s our ConvertBunny secret sauce:
- Feel the Pulse – Understand what your audience craves. Dive into Quora, AnswerThePublic – listen to the buzz.
- Target the Pain Points – Address their woes, offer solutions. That’s value-driven content.
- Title Triumph – Nail that title. Map out your content elements and weave your unique tapestry.
- Create Your Masterpiece – Craft content that’s as unique as a snowflake. Personalize it to user intent. Add as many related keywords, as you can.
- Unveil the Visual Feast – Think beyond words. Tables, images, videos, and infographics – an immersive user experience.
And the kicker? Your content will be so tailored that rivals can’t mimic it.
Result? You’re not just ranking for months; it’s years in the spotlight. The longer you’re up there, the more you’re rewarded.
You have a killer piece of SEO content that’s optimized for Google. But we’re not done yet. We go all the way, to check all the boxes to make the content rank #1.
8. Power Up with External Links
Add trustworthy external links.
Let me show you how it’s done.
Go to Ahrefs keyword explorer. Punch in broad keywords for your niche.
Now, onto ‘Traffic Share by Domains’. Keep an eagle eye out for domains in your niche – that’s the goldmine.
Niche-Focused Domain Treasure Hunt: Identify those domains with a niche focus. They’re your allies in this journey.
For each domain, hunt for linking opportunities. Link out to these sources from your content.
Wondering why this step?
- Boosting Relevance – By linking to these trustworthy sources, you’re infusing relevance into your content. It’s like adding the secret sauce that Google loves.
- Resource Royalty – You’re transforming your page into a bona fide resource hub. It oozes credibility.
9. Launch, Redirect, and Dominate
Your masterpiece is ready, and it’s time to let it soar.
- Launch with a Roar: Hit that publish button – your SEO content is live, ready to dazzle the digital cosmos.
But wait, there’s more.
- Redirect with Finesse: If your URL structure has changed, bring out the trusty 301 redirect. Seamlessly guide your old content’s traffic to the new and improved version.
- Track the Triumph Ever seen a rocket’s trajectory? That’s your content’s journey. Add your primary keyword to a rank tracker like RankTracker.
Watch your content’s performance unfold over time – the highs, the higher highs, and the ultimate conquest.
And yes, we’re not done yet.
10. Internal Linking Brilliance:
First, scout your battlefield for internal linking gems. Incorporate these links seamlessly into your content, boosting its power and accessibility.
We do this by crafting dedicated service pages for our clients. And then link these pages back to the newly developed content, amplifying its strength.
Once that’s been done, It’s time to grow your content to build topical authority to gain longterm rankings.
Go back to your keyword research and start crafting new content pieces that cater to search demand.
Each piece should hold its own spotlight, shining a light on different aspects of your primary keyword’s universe.
Pro Tip: Avoid keyword cannibalization. Which is when more than one page targets the same keyword with he same intent.
11. Build Topical Authority, Your Ultimate Triumph
Now, here’s our secret sauce – creating 40-50 content assets that orbit around your primary keyword.
Yes, it’s an elite strategy that few dare to conquer. But oh, the rewards are massive.
12. The Power of Backlinks
So, here it is, the final nail in the wall – backlinks. They’re the jewel in your SEO crown. The journey may be gradual or swift, but the destination is the same: #1 on Google
Backlinks are the secret sauce of SEO success. They’re the golden tickets to rank-topping glory. But hold on, patience is the key.
- Time Takes Its Toll: If you’re in it for the long haul, content is your ally. Backlinks will trickle in over time as your content shines. It’s a slow and steady race to the top.
- The Speedy Shortcut: But hey, if quick wins are your jam, here’s the deal. Find niche-focused blogs that resonate with your industry. Build bridges with them, nurture relationships, and aim to bag those precious backlinks.
Pro Tip: Remember, a single backlink from an industry blog is a hundred times more valuable than a generic one. It’s quality over quantity, my friend.
There you have it!
Out 10 proven strategies to consistently rank #1 on Google.
We’ve helped our clients outrank their competitors. Don’t take our word for it. Hear it from them directly: