Do you want to increase your website’s rank without backlinks? Would you like to drive more search traffic to your site purely with On-Page SEO?
If you don’t know your On-Page SEO, you’ve got more chance of being kicked in the face by a snake than ranking number one on Google.
In this article, I will explain how I used On-Page SEO to increase organic traffic to a page on my website by 568% in three months without building a single backlink.
I will cover the easy but effective On-Page SEO hacks that are crucial for ranking your website.
Table of Contents
Is It Possible To Rank Without Backlinks?
While you can rank without backlinks, following the steps in this article will show you how to increase your chances of success. This is because backlinks are still one of the most important ranking practices when it comes to SEO.
If you Google any search term you can think of, 90% of the time you will see that the pages that rank highest are those that have the most backlinks.
Backlinks are an important ranking factor, but in this case study, I will demonstrate how I managed to increase traffic to a page with no outreach or backlinks in a very short period of time purely using On-Page SEO.
By following the steps in this article you can drive more traffic to your website and increase your ranking.
How Search Intent Impacts Your Rankings (More Than You Think)
I recommend beginning with a full SEO audit. Look at every single major On-Page element of your content.
The first thing to look at is search intent. If you don’t have the right search intent, you are wasting your time by producing the wrong type of content.
When someone is on Google and they type in a keyword, they are looking to solve a specific problem.
As an SEO and a website owner, it is essential for you to reverse engineer the process and figure out:
- What is the problem this person is looking to solve?
- What information are they looking for?
- How can you produce the best type of content to help them solve their problem?
A key thing to keep in mind is; if you are not serving them the right content Google is not going to rank you.
If the information you provide is incorrect it simply will not help the user to solve their issue. This is really important to consider because creating the best possible user experience is essential to your success.
So when it comes to search intent in this case study, as well as this particular keyword, competitors were writing very in-depth guides about this subject.
If you send the wrong type of content and get the search intent wrong, it’s pretty much as useful as using a chocolate tea bar.
It is important to ask yourself; does the content you’re creating match the format? Is it the right information for the user and does it solve their problem properly?
How To Answer All Possible Questions
For example, in my case study I had to create an in-depth guide answering all the questions someone had about a particular subject.
The search keyword was related to spirituality, so I had to consider: What are the components of the keyword? What is the user looking for in this guide? What problems can I solve with my content and how can I help the user in the best way possible?
When it comes to search intent, if you create a buzz and everybody is looking for a Listicle article, you’re going to fail and you’re wasting your time.
The best way to figure out search intent is simply to Google the keyword to find out what is already ranking successfully. You will then create a similar piece of content based on the keyword search results.
The crazy thing is that search intent can make a huge difference to your rankings.
If you have a page that you have produced and it hasn’t been ranking for weeks, go back and review the search intent and ask yourself the following questions:
- How can I improve the search intent?
- Am I producing the right type of content?
- Is it the right format?
Improving Your Website’s User Experience
If you spend your time researching search intent, you will improve the user experience of your website.
Otherwise, you will not see any increase in the ranking of your website. It is like walking into an offline store with inconsistent customer service; sometimes it is really bad and other times it is amazing.
When a user has an amazing experience with your website, it improves the on-page metrics which will result in better rankings at Google.
Google uses on-page metrics as a way of ranking your site and determining how good your content and user engagement are.
A great way to improve your content is to make sure that your site has loads of headings and sub-headings that are very easy to read. As well as only using high quality and relevant pictures and videos.
You should avoid just chucking in loads of stock images because this will not improve your ranking.
By using relevant pictures, videos, and media you can enrich the quality of the content and keep users on your website.
If you are struggling for ideas or are unsure of what you need to cover, simply go into Google and look at the related search steps.
This tells you the types of things that people are searching for that are relevant to the topic.
It allows you to come up with ideas for the headings, sub-headings, and different content that you can throw on to your page.
Now that you have optimized your content and can keep people on the page, it’s time to drive more traffic from Google by optimizing your meta tags.
A Quick Way To Optimize Your Page in 2 Minutes (Or Less!)
Editing your meta tags or description is an easy way to optimize your content and get better click-through-rates on Google. It helps you to outperform your competitors and only takes about two minutes to do.
For example, I compared my page to my competitors’ to see what they were already using for their title, tags, and description.
I was in quite a unique situation because they weren’t optimized at all. They didn’t have the best meta tags or a description that made me want to click on it.
You can take advantage of this to drive more traffic to your site.
Improving your meta tags and descriptions gets a better click-through-rate. It signals to Google that your content is more relevant and interesting than everyone else and that you should be ranked higher.
Even if you’re in a lower position, getting a higher click-through-rate will get more traffic to your site, improving your overall results.
This is all about your copywriting. Make yourself stand out and grab attention, make yourself unique, but still answer the users problem.
If you can do that you’re going to see awesome results and your ranking will increase.
At the same time you have to be careful. For example, with my page I made sure that the title was both interesting, relevant, and very clickable.
If you create a clickbaity title that is irrelevant to the page that it links to, no one is going to stay on that page for long. Resulting in a dramatic reduction to your on-page metrics, which is not a good sign to Google.
You have to get a balance between your meta tags and descriptions, and the content on your page. This ensures they are relevant, work well together, and that they stand out as unique.
How To Outperform Your Competitors
If you want your content to rank on the first page on Google, you have to look at your competitors.
If you don’t do this, it is essentially like throwing darts in the dark and just guessing where your content is going to land.
You always have to look at your competitors’ pages to see what is already ranking, then compare your content to theirs.
After that, it is important to honestly ask yourself: is your content better than theirs? If not, why not? And how can you improve it?
What is the word count? What is the user experience? Is it well designed? Can you make your page far more interesting and engaging than theirs so that your content is better?
Also ask yourself what the weakest and strongest parts of their page compared to yours and how you can improve on that.
Checking Your Competitors’ Backlinks
By using a tool like Ahrefs.com, you can check all of the backlinks to that site as a really good indicator of whether you can outrank them.
For example, if they have 50 backlinks to their page already and you don’t have any, you’re not going to outrank them.
If most of your competitors don’t have backlinks, the competition is weak and it will be very easy to beat most of them. You can simply produce a piece of content, optimize it on-page, and it will rank quite easily.
It is also very easy to beat them if many of their pages are not relevant enough to the search keyword.
The Importance Of Keyword Research
When it comes to On-Page SEO, there is one step that makes a huge difference. It will make or break your website’s rankings and your overall success with SEO.
Keyword Research is a bit of a cheat code. You can find keywords that you can easily rank for with On-Page SEO only, without needing any backlinks.
For example, I go into Ahrefs.com and look for keywords that have a keyword difficulty of less than five, a higher search volume than a thousand, and make sure that the top result on Google gets a decent amount of traffic.
Some people say that the search volume doesn’t actually matter. This can be true if the top-ranking result doesn’t get any traffic.
It is important to check both. By checking traffic and search volume you will see much better results with your keyword research.
Making Money From Your Site
The other thing you might ask yourself is, does the page have business potential? In other words, can you make money from it?
I have been using a page that makes money with advertising. This opens up the game a whole lot more because if you can make money with ads, you’re not limiting yourself. You’re not holding yourself back.
If you don’t make money from ads and you also can’t rank for every keyword, you aren’t going to make money. It is kind of like buying a seven-acre mansion and only living in the shed. You’re just locking yourself in.
You are limiting your options and that’s something I wouldn’t recommend unless your website is specifically product or service related.
Make sure you follow this very important step when it comes to keyword research. It will make you more money and save you time and this is essential for SEO.