Everybody wants to rank on the first page of Google. That is always the goal and there is no exception. But if you find yourself ranking on the second or third page for an extremely high-volume search query, there are SEO strategies you can still employ to leverage that keyword authority and increase organic traffic dramatically.
An example of how we found value for a university client with this strategy was related to the construction of its degree overview pages. We consolidated online and campus pages and included everything a prospective student needed to know on one “business degree” or “criminal justice degree” page. This strategy has helped our client consistently rank within striking distance for keywords like criminal justice degrees (No. 14), business degree (No. 22) and education degree (No. 23).
“Business degree” and “criminal justice degree,” for example, are searched 20K times per month in the United States. So being in the top-25 search results is impressive when you consider how many colleges and universities offer those types of degrees — but we still wanted to drive more relevant search traffic.
While working on the business degree page, for example, we identified frequently asked questions related to business degrees and added that content below the fold after the list of business courses that were available at the university. The keyword authority that Google had already given the site by ranking it as high as No. 22 for “business degree” helped the page also quickly rank for related long-tail search queries once we added this FAQ content.
We added this FAQ content in April and have since seen a dramatic increase in the amount of related and relevant keywords the business degree page is now ranking for.
As of July 19, there are now 131 keywords ranking in Google’s top 100 for this particular page, as opposed to 90 keywords ranking in May (47% increase). In addition to keywords like “business degree” and “online business degree” ranking in the 20s and driving organic traffic to the site, the client is also now ranking for searches like “what classes are required to get a business degree” and “what are the different business degrees” as well as “online business degree programs” and “graduate business degree programs,” among others.
After implementing this additional content in March and April, while also updating our internal linking to create an intuitive pillar and cluster strategy, we saw a huge spike in June from this keyword jump, which resulted in a 189% increase in organic traffic for the business degree page (402 vs 1,165).
You won’t get as much organic traffic as you might like by ranking between No. 11 and No. 30 for a high-volume keyword if you just wait for people to click to the second or third page and find you. But if you leverage the keyword authority that helped you earn that top-30 ranking in the first place by creating longer-tail, relevant content in support of that topic or subject, you could increase organic traffic dramatically.