By Bill Fukui, Director of Sales & Marketing
You search for products, services, and information differently today than you did even a couple years ago. What you search for, as well as how you go about doing it has changed fairly dramatically.
Yet, most practices continue to judge their search engine marketing results and develop strategies fixating on the same handful of vanity search phrases they did five even ten years ago.
What Are Hidden Rankings?
If you evaluate your website’s traffic data closely, you will likely find a high volume of traffic comes from search phrases you did not even know you were being found on. These “hidden” search rankings can be a key to not only grow your website traffic, but to attract higher quality visitors that are later in the sales funnel.
Why Are Hidden Rankings Important?
Hidden rankings are not only search queries where your website appears high on Google results, but ones used to actually drive organic traffic to your website. Some of these queries may drive only a few visitors, but in some cases, they can drive the bulk of your non-branded (phrases that don’t include your name or practice) search traffic, even more than your handful of vanity search phrases.
Hidden rankings research can also shed important light on how consumers are researching your services and comparing providers. In most cases, you will find a broad range of new opportunities to target that you didn’t even realize consumers were searching. Queries can range from short, one to two-word, open-ended searches (no city or locations), to long tail questions.
This information will provide key insights to new or updated content you need to create and optimize in order to improve your visibility and provide visitors the relevant information they seek (and boost your image as an authority on the topic).
Lastly, in addition identifying hidden rankings, you need to identify the page of your website that Google ranks the highest for each query and where visitors are entering your website. This allows you to focus your SEO efforts and new content on key pages for queries that drive more high quality traffic.
5 SEO Tips For Hidden Rankings
1.) How To Find Your Hidden Rankings
The first step is to find your Hidden Rankings. There are a number of online tools (that come with a cost) such as Moz, Linkdex, SEOprofiler, Pro Rank Tracker, etc. However, most of these are intended primarily for agency use or major brand marketers.
Google Analytics is another great source to find search queries. One of the many fairly recent updates Google added to analytics is Search Console. You should have access to your website’s Google Analytics and be able to follow these easy steps to find search queries to your key pages.
You can also find keyword suggestions from Google (based on search history data) as you type in your searches. Although this is not exhaustive data, it does get you thinking in ways you probably didn’t.
However, the easiest and quickest way to find:
- Your hidden ranking search queries
- Current ranking for them
- Your highest ranking page for each query
- And the estimated traffic
Is to simply request it from Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910 or submit a request. You can also get additional insights and recommendations.
2.) Include FAQs On Your Primary Service Pages
When you identify all the hidden ranking queries, you may find that many, if not most of them are questions about your services or products. To ensure you get your most important and relevant page to show up for these searches, you may want to add to your current page content with a section that identifies frequently asked questions (FAQs). This way you can ensure exact match copy is located on the page. It will also provide consumers with other related questions and answers that can boost your page’s user engagement and authority.
3.) Blog About New Priority Hidden Phrases
In some cases where there are significantly more searches and more competition for a given query, you may want to address the specific question as a full blog page. By concentrating and building more detail about that one query, you will concentrate your optimization and content on that singular query.
4.) Develop Visual Content
In addition to developing a blog, you may want to develop more than just good copy. Consider adding an optimized video (video blogging) addressing that question, an infographic or SlideShare presentation. Adding more user engagement elements will not only get visitors to see the page as a real resource, but search engines will reward you with stronger page assets.
5.) Incorporate Mobile Into Your Strategy
Lastly, when evaluating your analytics and hidden ranking data, be sure to identify the mobile activity associated to those queries. You will want to make sure the content and assets you develop on target pages are built and designed to appeal and help mobile users.