After long and effective work, your site finally took its rightful place in the top of search results. In response to popular user requests, it appears on the first page of Google. You get good traffic and expect that this will always go on. However, search engines regularly adjust ranking algorithms. That is why your site may lose existing positions.
What to do after the site gets in the top 10 results? Is it possible to hold positions by target requests for a long time? How not to lose your advantage and defend your place in the top?
Promoting a site to the top is the goal that all owners of commercial and non-commercial web resources strive for. The volume of traffic and owner’s income depend on the position in the search. After the site hits the top, it is necessary to take measures to maintain it in decent positions. Let's talk about the main actions in this area.
1. Continuous analysis of current metrics
In the process of maintaining the top positions of the site, you need to do regular analysis for each promoted query. We need to evaluate such metrics as the time spent on the site, the bounce rate, the number of views and conversions. Through analysis of user behavior, you can get valuable information about the attitude of visitors to your site and the information that is posted on it.
It is convenient to use Google Analytics for it. For example, if you want to see which pages of your site users visit from the search engine and how they behave on these pages, then select “Organic Search” in the “Traffic Sources” – “All Traffic” – “Channels” section and specify Langing Page as the main parameter. Here you can see not only the percentage of visits that any page receives, but also such important metrics as the bounce rate, the number of pages per session and the average session length, as well as the percentage of goal achievement (if it is configured in your account).
Google Analytics organic traffic report with landing page as a main parameter
Through an analysis of user behavior, you can learn about the problematic areas of your site and evaluate the queries that need to be adjusted. If some pages receive a high bounce rate, this may mean that users do not find the information they need. Perhaps the content on such a page has a low relevance to the promoted request. In this case, you need to change the content or select another keywords for promotion.
An analysis of the number of viewed pages allows you to understand how quickly users find the information they need. If visitors quickly go from page to page, they probably do not find what they look for. In some cases, this behavior can have another explanation: visitors want to see all the products in the store or all articles in some section.
In each case, you can draw different conclusions regarding the behavior of users on the site. In this case, you must consider the specifics of the Internet resource, its purpose and features. This will help to correctly evaluate the analysis data and apply this information for further website promotion.
2. Selection of new search queries
The more keywords will be used to promote the site, the higher will be its traffic. If the main goal of promotion is to increase traffic (news, information resources), then it is better to select low-frequency queries for expanding the semantics: for example, “how to choose the right engine oil” or “travel route in Western Ukraine”.
It is also worth paying attention to requests that are already on the site, but pages are not displayed in the top by them. Rate the quality of these keywords and the quality of the content that is used on the page. To increase the likelihood of getting into the top, you should improve the relevance of the landing pages to the request, as well as evaluate how relevant the information on them is.
If the main goal is to increase sales, then you can select queries similar to those that engage buyers. You can expand these keywords by adding additional phrases to them: for example, “door handles” – “round handles for interior doors”. Thus, you specify the request, and engage targeted visitors who have not visited the site before. As a basis, you can use such words as “cost”, “order”, “buy”, etc.
Do not forget about expanding the structure of the site. It’s possible that the new pages will cope better with requests you need than existing ones do. So, if you sell costumes for men and see that users often look for “men’s wedding suits” or “youth men’s suits for graduation”, then try to create such subcategory pages within the main product category.
If you don’t have access to specialized SEO services, Google Keyword Planner will help you to find similar queries and see their approximate frequency.
3. Gradually increase the link profile
Do not stop searching and getting natural links to your site. In the process of maintaining top positions, it is necessary to increase the value of your web resource and its link weight. It’s worth doing not only because the gradual growth of the link profile is a good signal for search engines, but also because of competition: some of your competitors are probably engaged in link promotion right now, trying to get around you in the top.
Try to place links on reputable sites with high traffic: they can give you quality traffic and increase the trust of search engines. It is also desirable that these sites or their sections correspond to the topic of your site.
An example graph of growth of referring domains number, according to Ahrefs
4. Analyze the interests of visitors
To assess how your site meets the needs of the target audience, you need to study the behavior of your visitors on the way to targeted actions. You can use the Hotjar for this. This tool allows you to monitor the movement of users through the site and view their actions on separate pages. Using Hotjar, you can identify problematic areas of pages, and identify the reasons for visitors to leave.
Analysis of user actions helps to understand where and why problems with orders arise, how easy it is for visitors to find target buttons or contact forms, etc. So, using the “Click Map” tool, you can determine the most clickable elements, sections and links; “Scrolling map” helps you to understand how far visitors scroll through a page; and through the “Form Analysis” you can identify useless fields in the order form (those that are not filled out by users for some reason).
Example of a user activity report from Hotjar
5. Updating the site
Search engines consider updating information on the site, its freshness and relevance, as well as its usefulness for visitors. If you regularly post new materials, you can increase the value of your web resource for both people and search engines. Publish articles, news, videos, conduct polls and promotions. All of this contributes to retention of top positions in search.
Lack of up-to-date information can harm the site. Search robots will be less likely to visit it, and users will decide that the site has stopped working or is not popular. To avoid a negative reaction, you should constantly add new materials, share news and respond to comments.
On the other hand, do not chase the frequency of posting content to the detriment of its quality: if you add articles every day, but they are irrelevant to the site’s topic or not interesting for users, then such an update can harm the positions.
Promotion to the top: keep moving!
As you can see, after putting a site on the top, work on it is not finished. You should develop and improve your site so that it remains among the leaders and can compete well with the others. No matter what success you achieve, there is always something better to strive for while working with the site. Improve the quality of your web resource and keep your defense, preventing your competitors from moving it out of the top.