Some of the biggest traffic gains I have seen with websites have come from one simple strategy.
Find keywords you are ranking for on page two and do whatever it takes to move them to one of the top three spots on page one.
The reason I say this is because you are already so close and your page is already optimized and it probably won’t take much to push it up in the rankings.
Go to Google search console and take a look at performance. I then like to look at both the keyword ranking and the page view.
This tells me page by page where Each page is ranking.
Use Ahrefs or Semrush to analyze the top 3 results for the keyword that you are targeting.
You are looking for
- What is the word count?
- How did they satisfy search intent, and is your page answering it the same way?
- How many times did they use the keyword?
- Where did they use the keyword, was it in the body, headings, or alt tags
- How many headings did they use and what kind, H2 H3, etc?
- How many pictures are on the page
- What Schema are they using
- How many links do they have pointing at the page and what is their domain authority?
- What does their interlinking look like, how many pages do they have pointing at that page?
- Is your page better? Can you look at your page and say that it would have a better user experience if it was result number one?
You can use a tool like Surfer to analyze your page compared to the competition and see how you stack up. But my experience is that it will take more than just using surfer.
A lot of the time it comes down to links, satisfying searcher intent, and page layout.
These are all easy fixes and it depends on how valuable that keyword is for how much you are going to invest into the page. If it is a money keyword then working to get some links is always a good idea and it always makes sense to make your page as good as it can be to meet searcher intent.
Once you know where your competitive gap is go ahead and start working on what is going to move the needle the most. I like to start with keywords and optimize the on-page first.
Once you have optimized the page ask Google to recrawl and see where your new ranking is. I have optimized a page and watched it go down in the rankings for a little while and then bounce back to quite a bit higher than where it was before.
So if you are doing everything right give it a couple of weeks to see where it ends up.
If you have done everything you can on the page its and it still won’t budge its time to build some links to it.
Choose your linking pages wisely and make sure that the domain you are getting your links from will give you a big enough boost, and is relevant to your website.
Now all that’s left to do is sit back and let your new rankings settle. This can take a while to stabilize and sometimes it never does. I have seen pages fluctuate almost every day and I have seen some pages that never change.
The one thing you cannot control is what your competitors are doing. They may be building more links every day to keep their number one ranking or they may be doing nothing and this will naturally make their page sink in the rankings.
Good Luck and Never give up on the game of ranking web pages.