How to Get Past the Dreaded SEO Plateau

by Alexander Kesler

  1. Identify new keywords and create content to rank for them

When you rank well for particular keywords, it’s a sign that search engines have identified your website as an original and valuable source of information.

Take advantage of that opportunity by creating content around keywords that give you more exposure and drive traffic to your site.

If you’re tracking the ranking of only major keywords related to your industry, you’re potentially passing up a large share of search volume, which is composed mostly of long-tail keywords, according to most SEO experts.

  1. Ensure better-looking search results in SERPs

Many people don’t realize how important the appearance—the “look”—of content is in SERPs (search engine results pages). It might help to think of SERPs as a marketplace where people come looking to “consume” a particular product (or to simply obtain information), and where all the pages that rank for a particular term are the merchants.

No matter where they’re located in the marketplace—i.e., how close they are to the top of SERPs—some pages do a better job than others of convincing people to click them.

Aim to improve how your content appears in SERPs if you want to get more organic traffic. Work to improve your meta titles and descriptions, and make sure you compare your efforts to your competitors’.

The SERP click-through rate (the proportion of people who see your content and click it) is important not only because it attracts more traffic to your site but also because search engines use it as a signal for their ranking algorithms.

  1. Aim for multiple rankings

Perhaps you’ve noticed that some websites rank with multiple pieces of content for a particular search result.

Although you should focus your efforts on getting just one piece of content to rank for a particular keyword, achieving multiple rankings would be ideal.

  1. Target customers throughout the entire buyer funnel

Many marketers choose to focus on targeting head terms with their SEO, which is a solid approach since these high-volume keywords are known to convert. The downside of head terms is that they’re probably part of your competitors’ SEO strategies for the very same reason.

Focusing on these terms also means you’re targeting only those prospects that are likely further down the funnel of the buyer-decision process.

At the same time, it usually takes multiple interactions with prospects before they become customers.

Use that fact to your advantage by employing the content mapping technique, which helps you create content that targets the same type of prospective buyer in various stages of their buyer journey.

  1. Target a larger audience

Even though you probably have a good idea of who your customers are, it won’t hurt to analyze your client base to see whether there are customer segments that hold potential for growth.

Examining the audiences your competitors are reaching, along with the combination of keywords, content types, and messaging they’re using, will also provide you with valuable information and ideas related to expanding your audience.

  1. Analyze the default traffic funnels

Most major analytics services, including Google Analytics, allow you to track data related to how visitors use your site, including where they land, how long they stay, what their “path” is on your site from page to page, and how many of them convert to email subscribers or even customers.

Use that information to find the most profitable user flow on your site, determining what pages drive the highest-converting traffic and the best ways to close the sale with them, for example.

When you have a better understanding of this side of your business, you can invest more of your resources into getting traffic to those pages and improving their content.

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