If you think you don’t need to maintain your SEO rankings after you’ve ranked at the top for your targeted keyword, you’re wrong.
Once you’ve reached the top, it doesn’t mean you’ll stay there forever. Your competitors can outrank you just as easily as you’ve outranked them.
Ranking in Google’s top ten search results for a targeted keyword is probably every website owner’s dream. Getting there is definitely not easy.
It requires significant time, great effort and a hefty budget. But staying at the top is equally hard.
So, what can you do to ensure your rankings stay safe even after you’ve reached the top? There are certain tactics you should follow and we’ll show you how to do it.
Why You Shouldn’t Stop Focusing on SEO
SEO is a crucial part of your marketing strategy and it needs continuous maintenance. Your rankings can easily slip away at any given moment if you don’t continue with your SEO campaign after achieving your goals.
Just as you once worked hard to beat your competitors that ranked for your target keywords, others will try to outrank you once you reach the top.
To stay competitive and prevent loss of traffic, you need to ensure you don’t lose your SEO rankings. Besides, the more time you spend at the top of the search results, the more credibility you will gain.
People will turn to you as a reliable source of information and this can result in backlinks and website traffic.
You also need to be ready to change and adjust your SEO tactics because Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and the tactics that worked before may not work in the future.
That is why you always need to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in ranking factors.
Knowing the algorithms like the back of your hand is only a start. Read on to find out what else you can do to keep your SEO rankings safe.
Put User Experience First
User satisfaction is one of the top ranking factors. That is why providing an optimal user experience should be your top priority.
One of the most important things to focus on here is the loading speed of your website. This is also a very important ranking factor.
Not only is a slow-loading website bad for search rankings, it’s also bad for you and your visitors. If you have delays in your website speed your visitors won’t be happy and you could lose potential customers.
This is why it is crucial to ensure your website loads without any delays.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for checking the speed of your website on both desktop and mobile devices.
It will give you an insight into how well your website performs and it will even show you how to fix any issues.
Another thing you should pay attention to is optimizing meta tags. If your meta tags aren’t optimized, you risk having a high rate of pogo-sticking.
This means that users click on your page in the search results but quickly realize it is not what they were looking for so they immediately return to the search engine results page.
This happens because your visitors aren’t satisfied with what they see on your page.
One reason for this is because your content and title don’t match. To avoid Google penalizing you for a high rate of pogo-sticking, you need to do your best to ensure your visitors actually find what they are looking for on your page.
Keep your headlines up to 65 characters long, make them relevant and enticing. Your meta tags should be specific, short, and descriptive.
If your headline is longer than 65 characters, it will not show completely just as the first search result below.
The next two results are the ideal length. The third search result also has a perfect example of a short and descriptive meta tag.
Step Up Your Content Marketing
Producing high-quality and relevant content is the cornerstone of content marketing and driving traffic to your site. It is the most effective and most utilized marketing technique.
The trick is to do it consistently. Keep in mind that if you don’t publish content on a regular basis you can expect to experience a drop in website traffic.
Continuing to provide value to your audience will help you stay on top and establish yourself as a reliable authority. This is why you should continue with your content marketing strategy even after you reach your initial goals.
To stay competitive, it is wise to step up your efforts. Think outside the box and offer your customers something they can’t find anywhere else. Put some effort in research and compile an extensive list of resources or unique statistics.
Take a look at this research by Brian Dean of Backlinko. He analyzed 1 million Google search results to find out which factors correlate with first-page search engine rankings.
Brian gave his audience unique content that they couldn’t find anywhere else. The result? Social shares, traffic, and rankings.
This is also a good time to start experimenting with various forms of content. If you haven’t been doing it so far, start producing engaging visual content such as infographics, videos, etc.
Try experimenting with long-form content which usually fares better with search engines and has the potential to go viral. But don’t fall into a rut of constantly publishing the same type of content.
Infographics are cool and easy to consume, but if you insist on publishing them all the time, you risk boring your visitors.
Also, don’t forget to boost your overall SEO by including links in your content. Linking to other content within your articles will decrease your bounce rate and enhance the crawlability of your site.
Including internal and external links to relevant content will help your readers find additional relevant information.
Don’t Forget About Referral Traffic
If one of your marketing tactics for reaching top rankings was link building, there is no reason to discontinue your efforts. But if you haven’t done so already, now would be the perfect time to include this tactic into your strategy.
The best way to build links to your site is by contributing guest posts on other sites. After finding suitable websites, pitch your ideas and write your post. Don’t forget to add a link to a relevant post on your site.
This will give your brand additional exposure that will result in referral traffic and a growing email list and social media audience. You can read our post on guest blogging to find out how to do it successfully.
Be Better Than Your Competitors
You always need to keep an eye on your competitors and the content they publish. In addition to serving relevant and high-quality content to your audience, you need to make sure it is current.
Always be one step ahead of your competition and make sure your content isn’t outdated. To maintain your search rankings, you need to top your competition and their marketing activities.
You can use a variety of tools to analyze your competitors’ SEO. Open Site Explorer by Moz is an excellent tool for analyzing and monitoring your competitors’ backlinks.
This tool, like many others, can help you find out where your competition is mentioned and also where they guest post.
Use this advantage to get your brand mentioned on those sites and look for additional guest posting opportunities.
Regularly check your competitors’ marketing strategies and see what you can do better than them. Visit their blogs and see what type of content they are producing.
You can even subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.
Work on Your Social Media Authority
Make an effort to establish yourself as a social media authority across all your social media accounts. Regularly sharing your content will give it more exposure and drive traffic to your website. This will naturally help your search rankings.
However, don’t just focus on your own content. Provide value to your audience by sharing other relevant content in your niche that might be interesting to them.
You can use BuzzSumo to find popular content that gets shared a lot.
Whenever you guest post, make sure you add your twitter handle to your author bio. If you write a killer post and people like what you’ve written, they might follow you on Twitter.
This is an easy way of earning new followers on social media. The more followers you have, the more likely your content is going to be shared. And this, of course, can drive more traffic to your website.
Also, don’t forget that social share icons should be visibly present along all of your content so your visitors can easily share it.
SEO is a process that never ends, even after you reach the top. With Google’s algorithms constantly changing, it can be a challenge to maintain top rankings.
But, if you actively work towards improving your site, maintaining content marketing, monitoring your competition and building your authority, you can be sure that your rankings will remain right where they need to be – at the top.