You want to rank on page 1 in Google? But you don’t want to read a million blogs on how to do SEO? An easy trick is to watch your competitors and copy what they do! That takes a lot of time, right? The good news is, you can let tools do the hard work for you!
We don’t like to make guesses when it comes to something really important. At least, I don’t think we do. Because it would be considered foolishness to invest your hard earned money on mere guesses.
But why are so many people just guessing when it comes to SEO?
Surfer SEO helps you to see what your competition is doing and it helps you to see how you can rank higher in Google.
But why is the Surfer team, me and not too many other people in the SEO industry so data-driven?
The goal is to make wise decisions and base your strategy on things that work!
Ever heard the story of the man who built his house on sand? That, to me, is what most web designers and SEOs do. They build a house on sand, and even worse, they do it without a building plan!
If you build a house it is common sense to stick to the building plan right? The same thing goes for SEO. If you want to be ranking in the search engines, you better have a plan. But what if you are new to SEO? Or what if your ‘plan’ didn’t work out? Of course you could read blogs and do some general things what certain SEO gurus say: write 2000-word articles, add 10 images, add 5 bolded keywords, add 3 outgoing links and add 2 contact forms.
But I’m here to tell you, that doesn’t work! There is no ‘general SEO’ that helps ranking every keyword!
It’s right in front of your eyes! Really!
The answer is: look at your competition on page 1!
There you have your building plan. If you want to be on page 1, you better build a page that matches the other pages on page 1. Because you know, Google is nothing more than a huge calculator (so to speak).
Check your competitors on page 1 and see how many words they have on their page, how many links they have, how many headers they use, and most importantly, where they placed the keywords!
Next thing you could do is to write down where each of your competitors placed the keywords, in the title? In the headings? In the content? In the URL? When you are done with that, you should look at your competitors on page 2, 3 and 4 ... and see which factors correlate. But that takes too much time you’re saying? And you don’t want to spend all your precious time doing just that?
Surfer is a tool that does all the hard work for you. It looks at dozens of factors on the pages that rank for a given query, and shows which factors correlate. All you have to do is convert that data into your web page!
After you run the tool, Surfer will show which factors correlate and which don’t. Then check the factors that correlate the strongest, and there you have your free building plan.
If the tool shows you that the average word count on page 1 is 2500, and you are currently ranking on page 4 with a word count of 700, you know that you need to add more content!
And if the tool shows that you only used your keyword 3 times in the body of the page, while the competitors on page 1 used it 30 times, you also know what to do!
Your personal SEO roadmap
With the data that Surfer provides you know how much work you have to put into optimizing your page in order to be competitive enough to rank on page 1. A very powerful tool inside Surfer is the Audit tool. It summarizes all the factors you need to work on. Once you have that, you are good to go!
- Check the competition before you start writing new content!
Before you publish your article, you can use the tool to check what you have to do to be competitive. Surfer SEO gives you the data, so you can decide whether it will be worthwhile to go after that keyword.
- Run the tool multiple times during the page optimization!
While you are optimizing your content, it is recommended to run the tool a few times. Improving 1 section on your page might influence other ranking factors.
- Compare your data with other tools!
Surfer SEO is mostly concentrated on on-page optimization. Which means that it ‘reads’ the pages that show up in the SERPs. But if you can combine the data of Surfer SEO with data from your favorite backlink-tool like Serpstat, Ahrefs, Semrush etc. you can see how many backlinks you ‘need’ to be competitive for the search query.
- What to do when you are already ranking on page 1?
Google uses some algorithm that can fluctuate your rankings after it has detected changes on your page. If that happens, don’t panic, just wait for it to settle down. Don’t restore your adjustments! Wait a few days (max 3 weeks) and continue with your optimization!
Author: Marco Longmans, Rankify SEO Bureau