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With a lot of people publishing high-quality content every day, it’s tough out there for SEO professionals and content marketers. It is nearly impossible to make your content stand out in the oversaturated market. And winning a top SERP position remains a challenge.

However, strategically ranking for a target keyword is still very much possible.

How?

You need to follow the right process and implement the right SEO strategies.

In this SEO case study, I’m going to share exactly how I ranked 1800+ keywords on the first page of Google search results.

But before I discuss my SEO strategy that is crushing it right now, let’s take a look at the results I achieved using it.

Results: Boost in Keyword Rankings

I witnessed a significant increase in the number of keywords ranked on the first page of Google search results in just six months (April 2019-September 2019).

Here’s the organic research report of ShaneBarker.com by SEMrush that clearly shows this significant boost in my SERP positions.

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Disclosure: Please note that a few of the links in this article are actually affiliate links. This means that if you click on them, I will get a commission, without any extra cost to you. So, feel free to check these out as I only recommend products or services that I personally tested and highly recommend. For more information, please read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

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April 2019: 1640 Keywords Ranked on Page 1 of Google

In April 2019, I had 1640 keywords ranking on the first page of Google search results. Out of these, 495 keywords ranked among the top 3 positions in the SERPs.

In this SEO case study, I’ll show you how these numbers grew in six months.

SEMrush numbers grew in six months SEO keyword Case StudyImage via SEMrush

September 2019: 3461 Keywords Ranked on Page 1 of Google

By September 2019, my SERP positions improved significantly with 3461 keywords ranked on the first page of Google search results. Out of these, 1027 keywords ranked among the top 3 positions in the SERPs.

total keywords in SEMrush SEO keyword Case StudyImage via SEMrush

Want to learn how my SERP positions made this jump?

I’ll answer this question and more in this SEO case study.

What Are the SEO Strategies That Helped Me Rank 1800+ More Keywords in 6 Months?

In this SEO case study, I’m going to share the strategies that helped me rank for various keywords.

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process I followed:

1. Focus on User Intent

One thing you should learn to level up your SEO game in 2020 is to focus on what your audience wants.

Why?

It is more important than ever to create content that addresses users’ search intent and answers their questions. In fact, that’s the easiest way to achieve higher rankings and positions in the SERPs.

Seo Marketing Consultant

Focusing on User Intent + Optimizing for Search Engines = Achieving Higher SERP Rankings

You should remember that Google has been evolving their search algorithms to provide better solutions to users and make them happy.

What does that mean for you?

It means that if you want to boost your SERPs positions, you need to help Google make their users happy by focusing on user intent.

But wait…

What is user intent?

In simple words, focusing on user intent means that you should publish content that searchers will like to see the most when they search for a relevant keyword or phrase on Google.

For example, if you search for “future of social media marketing,” you’re probably looking for statistics, figures, trends, and strategies that can impact social media marketing in future, right?

And my article on, “The Future of Social Media Marketing – 11 Trends That will Impact Your Business,” answers that perfectly.

That’s how it successfully ranked in the top 3 positions in the SERPs.

Image via Google

This is how optimizing your content for user intent can help you achieve higher search results rankings.

2. Utilize TF-IDF Formula

Have you ever used top-ranking content by other websites to improve your SERP rankings?

No… this isn’t about using the skyscraper technique.

Let’s take a look at how I analyzed the content of top-ranking articles and used it to optimize my content for higher search rankings.

My content successfully outperformed that of my competitors using TF-IDF.

TF-IDF is a combination of two terms that include:

  • Term Frequency (TF) = (Number of times a keyword appears in an article) / (Total word count of the article)
  • Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) = log (Number of articles) / (Number of articles containing that keyword)

In simpler terms, TF-IDF can help you see how frequently the keyword appears in an article compared to the average use frequency of that keyword in other articles on the web.

This SEO technique helped me identify unique terms related to the topic covered in my posts.

Then what?

I naturally incorporated them into my content to help Google understand which of the users’ questions does my article answer.

As you’ve seen in the results section of this SEO case study, using TF-IDF has helped me achieve remarkable results.

3. Update Already-Published Content

Publishing high-quality, fresh content every day demands a lot of effort.

How do I keep up with my posting frequency?

I write fresh content and I also take the time to update my previously-written content.

Doing content upgrades has not just helped me publish more frequently, it has also helped me ensure that the content on my blog is up-to-date.

You’ll be surprised to know that updating existing content also helped my old posts get indexed again and rank better in the SERPs.

Check out the screenshot below to see how my updated posts ranked on the first page of Google search results.

Update Already Published Content SEO keyword Case StudyImage via SEMrush

4. Get More Brand Mentions and Backlinks

Building more backlinks is an effective SEO technique that finds its place in nearly all SEO case studies.

But how do I build backlinks?

I frequently contribute to authoritative websites in my niche such as Forbes, Social Media Today, and 100 more. This helps me reach and engage new audiences and build high-quality backlinks.

Here is a screenshot that shows an increase in the number of backlinks I received between April 2019-September 2019:

SEMrush Backlinks SEO keyword Case StudyImage via SEMrush

Along with guest posting, I also participated in expert roundups, interviews, conferences, webinars, and podcasts to gain more exposure. This strategy helped me get more brand mentions over time.

Here’s a report that showcases my brand mentions over the period of those six months:

Brand24 SEO keyword Case StudyImage via Brand24

5. Distribute Content

Publishing great content isn’t enough. You need to ensure that your content reaches the right people.

That’s why I make it a point to syndicate my content on social media platforms and content curation sites such as Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn.

How else can you distribute your content?

In addition to syndicating my own content, I also contribute to other Medium Publications such as Publishous, Better Marketing, and The Writing Cooperative.

6. Experiment with Content Frequency and Volume

As I said earlier in this case study, creating high-quality content isn’t enough. You need to be consistent in your approach.

I already ensured that there was something getting posted every day. But, during this period, I decided to fill my weekly content calendar with more fresh topics and content upgrades.

I published around 13 posts a week on ShaneBarker.com that included:

  • 1 educational blog post
  • 9 content upgrades
  • 3 weekly roundups

Here’s a snippet of how my WordPress dashboard looked like in July 2019 (with a number of posts published/updated back-to-back):

WordPress dashboard SEO keyword Case StudyImage via WordPress

Ready to Grow Your Buisness?

These are some of the most effective SEO techniques that have helped me rank in the top 10 SERP positions for 1800+ keywords.

Improved search rankings helped me generate more targeted traffic to my website, build trust, and enhance my credibility in the digital marketing space.

Are you struggling to rank higher in search results?

I’m sure the strategies that I’ve discussed in this SEO case study can help you achieve remarkable results too, just like they’ve helped me.

If you want help improving your search presence, please feel free to take advantage of my SEO services.

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Disclosure: Please note that a few of the links in this article are actually affiliate links. This means that if you click on them, I will get a commission, without any extra cost to you. So, feel free to check these out as I only recommend products or services that I personally tested and highly recommend. For more information, please read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

Seo Marketing Consultant