What if we could know exactly what ranking factors Google favors for a specific keyword? What if we could understand exactly how much content, backlinks and technical work was needed in order to outperform the page 1 results? What if we could turn our keyword analysis into competitive research that gives us a roadmap for successful SEO content campaigns?
There is one overlooked fact of SEO that is so obvious that we tend to forget: The answer to successful SEO is hidden in plain sight.
We can listen to gurus, podcasts, articles, the experience of coworkers and professionals, we can guess, optimize and hope. Or we can see what actually works.
The answer is: What is working for Google is ranking on page 1. As easy and obvious as that.
It never ceases to amaze me how many marketers and SEOs don’t analyze page 1.
Do you check page 1?
The reality is: Page 1 holds all the answers. The better you can understand the most successful search results, the more targeted your SEO and content strategy will be.
A thorough analysis of page 1 allows you to understand what ranking factors are important for your specific keywords. You might read advice like “write 1000 words for a blog post” and whilst that is certainly true for a keyword, it is most certainly not true for your keyword.
Investigating the scope of work to rank on page 1
Base your SEO strategy on what works and create your roadmap backwards.
What does Google favor for your specific keyword?
- Do we see knowledge graphs, map packs, shopping, ads, pictures or videos? Google is getting better and better at understanding user intent and what they are really looking for. Serve the content Google wants and your rankings will thank you.
- What is the word count on page 1 and how are they optimizing their ranking factors? It might be 500, 1500 or 5000 words that take you to success; a category page or a skyscraper. Your chances of getting lucky grow as you understand the content types Google favors.
- How much technical work and how many backlinks will be involved? Those are time consuming activities that depend on developers and third party website owners. Why not start with the easy wins of content creation and on-page SEO that are 100% in your control?
Keyword difficulty like you have never seen it before
We all use keyword difficulty to determine which keywords are easy wins for SEO. And whilst they provide guidelines, they do not provide the full picture. Some metrics for keyword difficulty focus on backlinks, some focus on content. But what if we could use a keyword difficulty score that factors in more than 500 ranking factors?
This is where correlational SEO comes to play. More and more tools are hitting the market that allow us to compare ranking factors on a large scale.
Those tools measure how factors are used throughout page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… and use statistical analysis to determine whether or not a factor is correlated with ranking success.
Those new tools go from measuring 10 to 15 on-page SEO factors (like Page Optimizer Pro) to measuring more than 500 on- and off-page factors as well as hypothetic ranking factors (like CORA).
They end the guess work and sometimes emotional discussion about what works. We can simply see what those search results on page 1 have in common – as well as where our page is deficient and which factors we need to update in order to be competitive.
Come to my session on November 6th, to learn the exact workflow we use at Flow SEO and White Light Digital Marketing, to make data-driven decisions and use correlational SEO for our benefit.
Instead of manually analyzing page 1 by scraping competitors (e.g. with Screaming Frog and SEO plugins), you can now get your own competitive analysis within minutes.
CORA compares the first 100 search results. Page Optimizer Pro allows you to enter relevant competitive websites. With this complete picture, we can create a road map and strategy that is much more accurate in determining pricing and resourcing for an SEO project.
Correlational SEO allows you to:
- Understand which rankings factors matter for that specific keyword term
- What content length is needed
- Which content elements (images, headlines etc.) are needed within a page
- Which on-page factors need to be optimized and how
- Create a page outline based on statistical relevance
Instead of randomly creating spam content for thousands of individual keyword strings, why not optimize and own the main target keywords that matter for your client or business?
Every head keyword comes with thousands of variations and long tail versions. Getting the SEO right for those important keywords will have a cascading ranking benefit for all those related terms as well.
Integrating correlational SEO into your workflow
Using correlational SEO is an advanced on-page SEO technique that will give you an easy competitive advantage. On-page SEO updates usually take a low time investment and are easy to execute. They are usually low hanging fruit, excellent for quick SEO wins when on-boarding new clients or going through a content upgrade project.
In my session at UnGagged Las Vegas, I will walk you through the process of integrating data-driven decisions, correlational SEO and content upgrades.
See you in Las Vegas!