Maintaining organic search traffic growth for a large, mature website can be challenging. This is particularly true for sites where there been several different “cooks in kitchen,” so to speak, over time. Some past content contributors may have approached SEO differently than you do today—or may not have considered it at all.
If your site has 500+ pages and has been live for a few years, the first step is to do some digital housecleaning, taking care of broken links, pages that no longer draw traffic, and outdated CTAs. Then look for Goldilocks keywords that have a “just right” combination of high average monthly search volume and relatively low competition or keyword difficulty.
Once you’ve taken care of those tasks, here are three more tactics you can use with target keywords to improve ranking and increase organic search traffic. (Or, you can just hire professional SEO help.)
Page Two Opportunities
As Larry Kim has famously said, the best place to hide a body is page two of Google. But if you’ve got pages showing up on page two of Google for target keyword terms, those results present an opportunity.
Page two may not be where you want to show up, but if you’ve got pages ranking on the second page of search results, you may be able to drive them up to page one (where people will see them!) without a great deal of effort.
Start by using a keyword rank check tool or the rank tracking functionality in an all-in-one SEO software suite to identify the keywords and pages for which you’re ranking on page two.
Next, work on improving your ranking page content to compete for a page-one position. You can use guidance from tools like the SEO content template on SEMrush or recommendations from Serpstat to plan your page enhancements. Be sure to include your target keyword phrase in all relevant spots using the interactive on-page SEO guide.
A second tactic is to look at those target keyword phrases where your site is ranking way down on page eight or nine—or not ranking at all—on Google.
If you can identify highly relevant keyword phrases for which your site should be ranking, but isn’t, you’ve got topics to drive new content development for your next set of pages or blog posts.
Again, you can use content tools from SEO software suites to help design the content for your new pages before you start writing. Alternatively, you can evaluate several of the pages that do already rank highly for your target phrases to determine what you have to beat.
As always, avoid trying to rank for keywords where the search volume is too low or the competition is too strong to make the effort worthwhile.
The only thing worse than having to compete against tough competition for high keyword rankings is accidentally creating a situation where you’re competing against yourself!
This can easily happen when a website has multiple content contributors over time. You can end up with two, three, or more pages on your site all optimized for the same keyword phrase. When Google can’t figure out which page on your site should rank highest for a specific phrase, it’s likely not to rank any of them very highly.
Again, you can identify and correct these types of errors using SEO tools like SEMrush or Serpstat’s Rank Tracker functionality. Or, you can take a manual approach by running a site scan using a tool like Screaming Frog, then sorting the output by meta title tag and for duplicate or extremely similar terms at the front end of those tags.
Once you’ve identified two or more pages on your site optimized for the same keyword phrase, choose the best one to focus on and beef up the content. Then use keyword text links from the other posts to point to that target page, and modify the meta tags and content on those pages to optimize them for other, more suitable keyword phrases.
There you have it. Using these three advanced techniques can rejuvenate your SEO efforts and improve search traffic without a great deal of time or effort. SEO is only one component of an overall web presence optimization strategy, but it’s a crucial one, often driving 50% or more of total B2B website traffic.
Lisa Sicard says
Hi Tom, Thanks for this one, I had been wondering if a tool could help you find your Cannibalization! I tried screaming frog a few months back but my computer would not download it. I will have to check that out again, thank you. Are there any other tools for that too?
Tom Pick says
Hi Lisa, you’re most welcome! Pretty much any all-in-one SEO suite will include functionality for identifying cannibalization issues. I’ve compiled a list here, and many offer a free trial: https://webbiquity.com/search-engine-optimization-seo/the-26-best-all-in-one-seo-tool-suites/