How to use SEO to hit page one on the SERPs

10 SEO Steps to Hit Page One in the SERPs

Getting your website off the ground can present many challenges, especially when it comes to driving traffic.

There’s no use in owning a website that can’t be found in the search results, so you should be focused on search engine optimization (SEO) from day one.

Here are a few starter tips to generate traffic to your startup website.

  1. Define your goal
  2. Assess keyword value
  3. Identify the top ranking method of content delivery
  4. List keyword synonyms and related search terms
  5. Scan niche related forums
  6. Prepare for voice search
  7. Optimize for position zero
  8. Aim for award winning content
  9. Invite an audience
  10. Get some backlinks

Define Your Goal

Every page you create on your site should start with a well thought out business goal.

A well-defined goal will guide your efforts and provide clear direction for the SEO elements you implement.

When you keep the main goal in focus, your keyword research, content production, and content promotion should align to contribute in making your main objective a reality.

Assess Keyword Potential

Keyword research is the new market research. It’s necessary to do more than measure the volume and competitiveness of a keyword.

Now that Google serves up results based on search intent, you can’t just pick one keyword and call it a day.

You MUST take semantic SEO and keyword/topic clusters into account as well. Then, you will optimize for the entire topic.

Start with e a list of seed keywords and choose the one that represents the most relevance to your business with the highest volume and lowest competition.

The remaining keywords can be used within the body copy to enhance the optimization on the page.

Identify the Medium of Content Most Likely to Rank

Run your keyword in a Google search to see what pops up in the top position.

Google’s SERPs can be filled with things like video carousels, image carousels, advertisement carousels, featured snippets, local listings, etc.

It is absolutely necessary to determine what occupies the top position, in order to know what the best form of content to optimize will be for that keyword.

List Keyword Synonyms and Related Search Terms

Your research shouldn’t end with a basic keyword review. Copy the questions posted in the “People also ask” box as well as the “Searches related to [your keyword]” box at the bottom of the page.

Approximately 70-80 percent of total traffic consists of long-tail keywords. Form a list of long-tail key phrases to use on your page.

This will decrease the amount of competing websites, help better target your ideal visitors, and enhance the overall optimization of your page.

Scan Forums in Your Target Niche

Niche-related forums can provide a ton of insight the help better understand search intent for your keywords.

Look for threads that start with questions asking for solutions to problems. Then, add these questions to your list of long-tail keywords.

Your custom answers to these questions will create more value for a wider audience of readers. Consider using these questions as subheadings for topics to develop in your content.

If someone has taken the time to seek help on a forum, they are most likely looking for an answer than many more people need as well.

This type of insight identifies the needs of your prospects, which can really increase the value of your content from an SEO perspective.

When you provide meaningful, helpful solutions to problems related to your keyword topic, you should see an increase in engagement and a higher likelihood it will will be shared.

Prepare for Voice Search

By 2020 35% of searches will be voice searches. Websites that rank highly in a voice search query are often those that occupy position zero.

Google home pulls 80% of their results from featured snippets. Because of this growing trend, you should absolutely work to optimize your content for position zero.

Make your title a question that contains the target keyword to set the stage for voice search optimization.

As another alternative, try using commonly asked questions as subtitles within the body of your content.

Optimize for Position Zero

Follow up your question with a summary of your answer within 40-60 words.

Provide a list, chart image or video if applicable.

Structure your page with H2 or H3 titles that reflect a direct response to the question posed in your title or subtitle, which also served to break up the content into sections.

Search engines will pull H-tags from your content and list them as part of your answer in the featured snippets.

Make sure these tags directly refer to a solution, to increase the chances they’ll help your page get highlighted in the semantic “answer” box at the top of your target SERP.

Aim for Award Winning Content

The quality of your content speaks volumes about your company and plays a major role in the success of your online campaigns.

You can’t expect to have a top performing website with thin content that no one enjoys reading.

Take note of the top performing pages for your keyword topic, and then beat them in every category.

Write more words, cover more subtopics, post more images / videos, and include more useful information.

Invite an Audience

Most startup sites needs help with traffic due to the lack of authority to instantly rank pages. There needs to be some domain authority and some good onsite metrics that moves your page up in the ranks.

One of the easiest ways to get visitors on your page is to post  content to your social media network. According to Neil Patel, you can double your traffic by creating a sharing schedule.

If you don’t have a lot of people in your network, it’s never too late to start building one.

Get active and stay consistent in building your subscribers and followers. Keep it up until you are able to instantly drive traffic to your pages by posting links on your profiles.

Your social network is a huge asset which can influence your ranking if people start linking to your website.

Acquire Quality Backlinks

Domain Authority (DA) is THE dominant ranking factor, and the way to grow your DA is through backlinks.

With enough backlinks, you stand to gain traffic in two ways.

First, you should see better organic rankings as your link profile grows in size (presuming the links are all high quality and relevant).

Secondly, you can expect the pages earning links to receive referral visits from the websites that link to you as well.

One of the best ways to build links is to become a guest author on reputable domain.

A high-quality backlink will transfer authority to your page and result in an improved ranking.

On Search Engine Journal, Lee Wilson outlined a 3 step strategy for effective guest posting to build authority and boost ranking.


Every new website will face challenges increasing organic rankings, driving traffic, and generating leads.

To get past these issues, take advantage of these tips. This will help you move the needle faster and more successfully from the start.

Feature Image taken as screengrab from the Google SERPs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Christian Carere

Christian Carere is an SEO consultant and founder of Digital Ducats Inc. His company specialized in search engine optimization services to increase the quality of traffic and generate more leads.

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