How to Optimize Content to Rank #1 on Google within days: Proof + Examples

When you Google the keyword “benefits of content marketing”, you notice that close to 1.3 billion blogs are fighting for the same keyword.

Visibility, credibility, and conversions – happen in that order in today’s attention economy.

Last year, I helped an LA-based e-commerce brand rank #1 on Google within days for high-competition keywords using the on-page SEO techniques I’m sharing in this blog.

Guess what? One year later, it’s still taking the top spot beating sites like Forbes and Entrepreneur. Even though the founder has stopped publishing new content.

Last month, I helped a logistics intelligence SaaS brand to rank #1 on Google within days instead of months for a popular keyword in the supply chain space beating billion-dollar sites like FedEx and UPS.

This happened within 5 days.

Day 1: The blog goes live

Day 3: The blog appears on the first page of Google

Day 5: The blog ranks #1 on Google

And I get a message like this from the client.

So what’s the secret behind ranking #1 on Google consistently AND staying on top?

Strategy 101: Write for humans first

Optimize for search engines later.

The focus of your content should solely be – usefulness. Never deviate from this principle.

Because chasing search engine algorithms is not a strategy. Frameworks change all the time. Most growth hacks die before the data comes in. Tools like ChatGPT are making educative TOFU content almost redundant. So how do you establish authority, consistently rank #1 on Google, 5x your organic traffic engagement, and freeze your churn? By connecting with the reader, conveying the right message at the right time, and converting them into brand loyalists.

Brand loyalists are people who come back to your brand/content over and over again.


Because they connect with your messaging.

Because they listen to what you have to say.

Because they find spending their precious time on your content worthy and valuable.


Don’t listen to SEO tools like YoastSEO that encourage you to:

  1. Modify your tone because you started 3 consecutive sentences with the same word
  2. Stuff your headings with primary keywords even though it sounds unnatural
  3. Wishy-wash your introduction in a quest to fit in the primary keyword
  4. Inflate your content by suggesting inappropriate keyword density

So what should you do?

  1. Write like you speak, but don’t overdo it. Focus on your narrative
  2. Focus on being helpful to the reader
  3. Focus on guiding the reader to achieve the goal in the headline
  4. Go ahead and pick keywords with low keyword search volume if they bring value to your content
  5. Focus on holding a conversation with your reader
  6. Focus on making a logical argument and building a connection with your reader
  7. Create an SEO Content Strategy for BOFU keywords with navigational content

Because visitors who seek navigational content have high intent of purchase and are conversion-ready.

It also means that your content is in alignment with your visitor’s stage of awareness.

Once you plan and execute your content keeping the above strategy in mind, traffic flow becomes an after-effect of great content.

Now, how do you attract and convert this traffic?

Optimize headlines for SEO and Conversions

80% of your readers don’t read your copy if you can’t get them to read your headlines – David Ogilvy

Most of the content fails to grab the prospect’s attention because the headlines never offer the benefit the prospect is looking for:

  1. Are you helping your audience save time?
  2. Are you helping them bring down operational costs?
  3. Is your solution accessible from anywhere, anytime?
  4. Are you making their life easier?

If you said yes to any of the above, then you’ve got to mention that in your headline.

Treat each of your headlines like mini value prop statements.

The benefits should go straight into your value proposition to get your prospect interested FIRST.

Now, why is something as simple as highlighting benefits a deal-breaker?

Because the emotional benefit IS the real solution your visitors are here for.

So, strap the benefits to your headline.

Pro Tip: Ensure you optimize your title tag with the main focus keyword.

User-led Keyword Research

Google Crawlers are constantly looking for relevant keywords (the keywords you want to rank for) in your content.

The keywords your prospects are searching for.

But how do you predict what they’re searching for?

You don’t.

Lean back on the most recent user-generated content like:

  1. Sales call recordings
  2. VoC interviews
  3. Reddit threads
  4. Capterra/TrustRadius reviews
  5. Niche Slack Communities

The point is – don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t second guess your content strategy by relying solely on tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs. Instead, lean on UGC to extract high-converting BOFU content and use these tools to improvise your keyword groupings. Create an SEO content strategy with topic clusters and keyword groupings to boost SEO and conversions.

Rank on Google by making your website accessible to a wider audience

Did you know that 20% of all organic searches are image searches? That’s a solid chunk of lead traffic if you harness it.

One of the Content Primer pages ranks #1 on Google Image Search for a popular keyword organically. You needn’t rely on Facebook ads or Google ads all the time to drive targeted traffic. Simple optimization techniques can help you achieve this with ease without inflating your marketing budget. Let’s find out how.

Look at the screenshot below.

SEO techniques to rank on Google Image search for a high competition keyword like Empathetic Copywriting

If you see, the top 3 results on the search page are displaying images from Content Primer for the keyword empathetic copywriting.

If you inspect the page, you’ll find out that it’s optimized for Image search.

Example of image optimization to help Google Images find, crawl, and process your images better and drive targeted traffic.

Alt text is the communication channel between your website and search engine spiders that help you rank. Alt text is also the communication channel that makes your content more accessible to a wide range of users including the ones who use accessibility tools like text-to-speech converters etc.

5 Strategies to optimize your images for Google

  1. Use descriptive file names and alt text
    For example, the file name of one of the ranking images is “Empathetic-Copywriting-Content-Primer.png”
    how to write alt text descriptions
    How to write descriptive file names

    The file name here is the keyword we’re aiming for and the brand name.
  2. Keep your file names and alt text brief but clear
    How to write alt text descriptions
    How to write alt text descriptions the right way


    The alt-text description here is pretty much the title of the blog. This implies that you should treat your alt text as mini value prop statements. Explain what the image signifies, for whom and what’s the benefit of following along.
  3. Avoid generic file names like picture.jpg, image2.png, etc.
  4. Avoid lengthy, full-sentence file names
  5. Avoid stuffing keywords in alt text and file names
  6. Avoid using only image links for your site’s navigation
  7. Use standard image formats like JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and WebP image formats
  8. Make your images mobile-friendly as 60.9% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices


How descriptive alt text and captions help rank #1 on Google:

  1. It indicates the purpose of the image and relays the exact content of the image
  2. Increases relevance to the content and brings clarity
  3. Specific information increases the chances of matching with the search keywords and bumps your page to the top

Tip: Run an instant SEO Audit of missing alt text images on your website now for FREE.

How to beat billion-dollar sites and rank on Google

One of the easiest ways to outdo giant websites on their own keywords is to:

  1. Create meaningful, helpful, read-worthy content
  2. Create useful, illustrative image content that cuts down the learning time for the reader

Let’s look at an example.

We were able to beat billion-dollar sites like FedEx and UPS on their own keywords and rank within days.

The blog takes the top spot on Google SERPs and is ranking for 44 keywords.

The target keyword is “fedex service guarantees”. My client’s blog was on the top spot for close to 18 months. It’s taking the 5th spot currently.

Write for the most distracted reader to arrive at interesting content

Using human psychology and content marketing to improve SEO and rank on Google

Humans are wired to react to interruptions.

The reason why mobile phone notifications are so easy to give into.

So how do you make your reader stay focused?

By using Pattern Interrupt Techniques.

Pattern interrupt is a psychological approach to shifting your reader’s focus and influence their behavior.

How can you use this psychological phenomenon to keep your readers interested in your content?

Create Disruptive Content Without Switching Context

Influence your reader before a notification takes that power away from your content. Make your content MORE interesting than their distractions – By dividing and displaying content differently. This is how:

  1. Ensure the headings carry appropriate H1, H2, H3 tags
  2. Use graphs and visual charts to make information more memorable
  3. Use screenshots to offer proof and explanation then and there
  4. Use snappy gifs to make content memorable
  5. Use bullets instead of a clunky text box
  6. Highlight to bring the focus back – bold, italics, underline, color
  7. Use images to explain instead of a long boring paragraph
  8. Use content highlighters like colored blocks
  9. Create carousel content to keep your audience hooked
  10. GIFs when used appropriately can pattern interrupt and make your content more interactive

User Experience and User Retention

The fundamentals of creating content for your audience is to be helpful.

Anchor text is the tool that makes the interwebs so powerful. It makes access to relevant information easy in just one click.

Linking to related topics in your content creates a content repository your audience comes back to for their other information needs.

To get anchor texts right, every time you create anchor text, connect back to the primary intent

  • Can this link introduce my readers to topics they need to know?
  • Can this link open up new channels and learning experiences for my readers?
  • Is this link connecting to a pre-requisite topic that’ll bring them closer to their desired outcome?

On the downside, too many external hyperlinks may take your audience away from your website. So, make sure that you’re bringing a balance.

Pro Tips:

Never hyperlink your anchor text to your competitor's websites.

Overdoing hyperlinks can also result in penalties by Google.

Summary: 6 easy steps to SEO Content to increase conversions

How to rank #1 on Google

How to achieve SEO in simple steps

How to achieve SEO in simple steps

SEO is overwhelming for beginners. You write an article and keep wondering if your article is good enough for search engines to pick it. Do you also scratch your head over the innumerable tips and tricks on SEO that confuse you? SEO in simple steps is possible.

The moment “SEO” is spelled out, there is a wave of scare in the air like it is something unachievable. If you own a website or a blog or a store, it is essential to know the basics of SEO. But, how do you learn about SEO without being anxious?

Quality content is a pre-requisite

Recently, a company approached me for an ad campaign. I had a look at the website and guess what? There was no information present. What is the product about? What does the company do? Is there a business model? What has it achieved? There was nothing relevant on the website except a few pictures and some videos as proof of sales. My first suggestion to the company was that they build on their content strategically in order to establish trust amongst existing customers and referrals. I am a huge fan of word of mouth marketing. Despite the lack of content, the company insisted on the ad campaign. I tried my best to convince them that even if the campaign worked, which was unlikely with no content on the website; even if the potential customers did land on the page, they did not have anything to convert them into customers.

Data Works

This is the Digital Era and data works. Information works. If sufficient information on the product, methodologies, and strategies is not provided, no ad campaign will achieve the base purpose you put up an ad campaign for.

For example, if you are trying to apply for jobs on LinkedIn and you have no data about yourself there, what happens?  Nobody trusts you if your LinkedIn profile is blank. Isn’t it? Likewise, nobody trusts the website if the product profile is a no-show. Hence, building on relevant content for your website is as important as your digital presence itself. Write for humans first, search engines later.

Once relevant content has been planned, little SEO tweaks can bring humongous power to achieving optimized data.

What are the little SEO tweaks?


At a point, much to my annoyance, everyone on Facebook had status updates with at least 15 hashtags. They seemed to serve the purpose of broken expressions. Was this an efficient way to use hashtags? Not at all! A hashtag is like a ticket to board that visibility train where you could meet people who want to meet you.

Hashtags and SEO
Hashtags and SEO

Hashtags are powerful search facilitators that help index the information achieve ‘discoverability’. Therefore, one would assume, the more hashtags there are, better the reach. However, research shows that the optimal number of hashtags to be used differs from one platform to another in terms of performance. Overdoing it can hinder the reach of the article or post. Do not underestimate the power of hashtags.

Low-Competition keywords

Ranking for keywords amongst business giants is almost impossible. In the SEO nation, the only way to get ahead of the competition is to cheat the competition. Expanding your keyword list walks you through low competition keywords that enable better visibility of your website. Learn how to find those low competition keywords and measure their power here.


Using visual content spikes the growth graphs. Incorporating relevant images into the blog content adds immense value. Although adding images keeps the readers on-page, including videos drastically reduces the value of the content. Giving meaningful descriptions to the images boosts its reach.

Naming the images with appropriate keywords that describe the image is also an important factor. SEO is a little AI engine that understands. This gives the image more accessibility. Enabling alt tags is encouraged for this purpose. Search for a building in Google images and the pictures of buildings come up. Why? Because they have described the images as buildings in the alt description for SEO.

Fresh content

SEO loves fresh juice; why not squeeze it? Stagnant content does more bad than good, to your website. Fresh juice can be squeezed only once. Likewise, creating fresh content on a regular basis makes for better rankings in search engines, not rewriting the same content. It means planned, timely content. This is best achieved through blogging. An updated blog gets indexed again by search engines. Indexing again implies a revision of the ranking of your website. Of course, the content ought to be plagiarism free to be loved by the search engines. Fresh, original, educative and keyword rich content backed by appropriate reference links to any statistical data gets the content on top.

Length of content

Long form content is king
Long form content is king

A lengthy post, anywhere between 1200-2000 words, earns more views than the short ones. This is true across platforms. More words in a structured manner with more specific information means that there is valuable, in-depth information on offer in the post. Long-form content has evidently proven to have garnered more conversions and higher ranking than content with less than 1000 words. For more information, delve into the study by Search Engine Land.


The title tag should generally be less than 70 characters to fit into the results page completely without broken titles or explanations that leave the readers dangling. Ideally, the first 20-25 words of the post should be keyword rich for the web robots or crawlers to identify, weigh, prioritize, and rank your website. The title tag enables the outputting of the website when a search is made whereas a header tag introduces page content.

Header tags

Readability of an article increases when it is efficiently structured. A well-structured article consists of a promising title, connecting introduction, conversational tone to make the transition from introduction to the body smooth. Making use of appropriate headers to detail the subject being written is a plus. Header tags are not only for formatting purposes in HTML. Header tags can be exploited to achieve SEO preferences through categorization of content based on these tags.

HTML is a discerningly powerful tool disguised as simple UI language. The H1 tag is ideally the title of the post and therefore should comprise of the focus keyword. When a search is made, this enlists the valuable introductory content on the website that will persuade the visitor to seek more details. To diffuse the confusion that stems from a header tag and a title tag, read this.

To get a better understanding, search for say, “What is Copywriting?” Click on the first link that appears and view the page source. Compare the header tag and title tag by looking for the text on the website. You will be able to map what text fits in what tag.

Meta tags

Meta tags or Meta descriptions are snippets of text that introduce the web content to search engine crawlers. This description is embedded only in the HTML code and is not visible on the website. If you do not set a meta description for a page or post, Google picks up the initial lines from the content of the page as the meta description. To make the description more persuasive, customize it. The meta description is solely for human readers although the tag is for the search engine programs.

Example: The title tag is a Meta tag.


Slug is a word that originated in the WordPress circle. A slug is the part of the link or URL that categorizes the post. Slug gives you the power to control the content that gets ranked in the search engines.

Internal Linking

Internal links direct you to another page from the same website. They make website navigation easy and also retain traffic. They also increase link juice which boosts the ranking amongst search engines. The tree hierarchy is the best way to design a website to increase its reachability. More information internal linking is here.


A sitemap is an XML file which lists all other pages on your website. It comprises of URLs of all the pages. A sitemap is designed to facilitate the Search Engine crawlers with information that indicates the presence of other web pages. Do not confuse sitemap with internal linking. They are entirely two different concepts. Internal linking is for user navigation whereas sitemap is for site discovery purposes.


The web artificial intelligence understands. The “robots.txt” is a text file with a set of commands. It is created to instruct the search engine spiders to crawl the pages on a website. There can be multiple robots.txt files on a website. If you do not have a robots.txt file for your website, learn how to create one here.

These are the simplified steps to achieve SEO. SEO is an endless ocean which takes time and effort to explore. But, this is how you get started. Of course, you won’t see results in a day or week or even a month. Why should you go ahead with it? Because it is slow yet effective medicine. Starting from the above steps can help you master SEO. Tell me in the comments if you could implement any of the above SEO techniques. What are the problems you are facing while you conduct a SEO audit on your website?

NOTE: More about low-competition keywords and long tail keywords will be introduced in How to achieve SEO in simple steps PART II.  

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