I have ranked a couple dozen websites over the years and, while not having built authority sites, they have served me well. I will share how I rank my sites in easy, cheap and often quick ways.
* Keywords - The most important part. Seriously. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and other free tools that analyse traffic stats.
- Look for keywords in your niche that have a HIGH number of searches per month, and a LOW competition, with as high CPC as possible. Choose 1-2 as your main keyword(s).
- Look for related keywords, either with the tools or do a google search on your keyword and look at the suggestions at the bottom of the page, there you'll find long tail keywords (longer phrases) related to your niche.
- Google your keywords and look at the top 10 results. You need a tool that can detect DA (Domain Authority) for this part, there are several plugins for every browser, MOZ toolbar is one of them.
- Most of the top 10 results (atleast 5 of them) should have low DA (under 30). That means their domain isn't worth much to google, they just ended up in the top 10 by default since no one else had any better content/SEO optimization. This also means that it will be EASY for you to outrank them, some quality content and a few backlinks and you are at the top!
* Content - Content is king. Quality content is what your site should be all about. It can have a crappy design, that might scare of some visitors but will not screw up ranking unless the link structure is really bad, but ALWAYS have quality, well-written content.
- If you can't write SEO optimized articles/blog posts yourself, pay someone to do it.
- On topic for your niche, original, no spelling/grammar errors, main keywords (and related keywords) worked in naturally without seeming weird.
* On-page SEO - If you use wordpress, install a plugin like Youst SEO that can guide you through the on-page SEO process, it is basic but you need to have it.
- Main keyword(s) in page title
- Keywords in meta tags
- Meta description doesn't matter for SEO but looks good in google search result
- Optimize pages by keyword. Main keywords for frontpage (and page title on every page) and for other pages use the keywords related to what that particular page is about.
* Off-page SEO
If you have done these things you now have a smashing website that is ready to be discovered. If you have submitted sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools and gotten indexed, all you need is to beat your competition to get a better ranking than them.
This is why we chose low competition keywords with the top 10 competing results having low domain authority. You already have quality content and SEO optimization. Now you need the final backbone of ranking, backlinks.
This is a jungle and bad links are worthless and sometimes get your site punished by Google and your ranking becomes impossible. So either do them yourself organically (find a trusted (high DA + PA) blog and make a quality comment with your link so it doesn't get deleted as spam) or if you are lazy like me, buy backlinks from a trusted source.
I get mine automatically each month through Linklure.net, a service created by a trusted member at Black Hat World Forum (biggest SEO/IM forum). Don't get spammy "10 000 backlinks for $5" at Fiverr, they are worthless.
With this strategy I have ranked sites inbetween three weeks and 3 months, costing between $50 and $500. But when you are at number 1 on most of your keywords, it is definitely worth it. A $50 investement can give you a monthly passive income of hundreds of dollars with the right content and good monetization.
- This post contains affiliate links.