As your partners in inbound marketing excellence, we share a lot of information with you about how important it is for your keywords to rank high in search engines. We also talk about how important your content is to your SEO efforts and getting your information in front of your target audience. It is always easier to absorb information if you are provided an example, so we would like to share how we got on the first page of Google with a low domain authority ranking. You see, we do not just spout off information for you to read, we employ the same practices we share with you to market our business successfully.

Our Sumner Digital website is not yet ranked as an authority site, so the practices we will share with you here can work for anyone who is willing to put the effort behind them. In fact, our ranking at the time of writing this piece is in the low 20’s. Considering we are up against fierce competition from marketing giants like HubSpot for first-page ranking, we truly believe anyone can achieve this. You will see that it sounds simple enough, and it is, provided you follow the criteria for each step. The following are the steps taken to get our article about the delight stage of the buyer’s journey on the first page of Google.

1. Long-Tail Keyword Selection

When people perform searches, they string several words together so their results will be relevant. When you select your long-tail keywords, you are making an educated guess at what potential phrases your target audience will use. We say educated because you know your business and the words that best describe your products and services. For example, a plumber would not randomly select “delicious artichoke recipe” as a long-tail keyword since artichokes have nothing to do with plumbing. However, if they wanted to inform their audience how to remove artichokes that are stuck in a garbage disposal, they might use “artichoke removal from disposal.” Okay, that was a little out there, but you get the idea. We use the Keyword tool in HubSpot; you can use a free tool such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer to see how difficult your keywords will be to rank high.

Moz keyword explorer tools screen shot

2. Using your Long-Tail Keywords in a Blog Post

The most important criteria for using your long-tail keywords in your blog is to ensure your topic is relevant, and your keywords flow naturally in the piece. Whatever you do, do not stuff your piece with keywords thinking the search engines will take note and give you a high ranking. A well-written blog post that uses the keywords naturally, includes synonyms and related concepts to your keywords are your best chance for success.

To help boost your credibility with the search engine crawlers for your topic, link to reliable and trusted sources that have significant relevance to your keywords. As an example, in this piece we have linked to HubSpot, Moz and Zerys.

It is also important that you realize if you have never written a blog post before, your first few may not get the high ranking you seek. You may be an awesome plumber, but if you are not a great writer, people will not learn how to remove an artichoke from their disposals. Copywriting is an art combined with learned technique, so if you are not practiced at copywriting, you should consider hiring a copywriter who has a knowledge of both your industry and inbound marketing practices. If you do not know anyone who is qualified, we recommend trying the Zerys platform where you can audition writers and choose the best writers for your business.

3. Optimize your Content and Photos

Optimization may sound like a tedious part of the process, but it significantly improves your chances at high ranking for your topic. Start optimization with an original photograph, stock photo, video or screenshot that illustrates your topic well. Use your long-tail keyword in the file name for the media you have chosen and include an ALT tag. Keeping within the 160-character limit, create a meta description for your article using your keyword. This information will appear in the search engine result, so be sure it describes your piece well. Finally, if you have not already done so, create a catchy title that is 70 characters or less and includes your keyword.

4. Post to Social Media

By now you have created an awesome piece of content that is going to teach the world how to clear their garbage disposals of pesky artichokes, or how to contact you to perform the service for them. If no one knows this content is out there, though, it is not going to be read. Instead of shouting from the rooftops, social media is now that tool that broadcasts and amplifies the reach of your work. The larger your following on social media platforms and the more interesting or useful your content, the wider your reach will be. When people see content they enjoy or find helpful, they share it with their followers, and that amplifies your message’s reach. Do not be afraid to repeat your posts at different times and on different days. There are automation programs such as HootSuite and Buffer that can help you do this more efficiently.

5. Consider Paid Promotion

If you are like us and do not have a massive following on your social media platforms, you might consider paid ads to help promote your message. In our case, we spent a grand sum of $80 to promote across four platforms for two days. This was a minimal ad-spend, but it helped our piece titled “The Delight Stage of the Buyer’s Journey – What it is and why it’s Important” land on the coveted first page of Google for our keyword. Facebook’s unique target system lets you narrowly focus your advertisement to the people who are most likely to read your information and become your customers. Rather than reaching thousands of people who have no interest in your niche at a great cost, you can determine how much you want to spend and only place your ad in front of people who will count. Spending $20 and reaching 100 people who fit your buyer persona is better than a $50 ad spend that reaches 2,000 with no need for your article. With just two calls to remove that pesky artichoke, you have already realized a positive ROI on your ad spend and slid into the profit zone!

screen shot of Google Search results


It sounds like a lot of work, but these are the efforts that brought us enough traffic and engagement to hit number four on Google’s first page for our long-tail keyword: “delight stage of the buyer’s journey“. Oh, and remember how in step three we talked about optimizing photos? Our photo for the call-to-action has also been indexed and doubles our exposure on one search engine page!

Traffic generation is a marathon, not a sprint and relies on consistency and quality for success. If you are ready to propel your business and generate more traffic, let’s talk! We would love to help.