The way to Defend a #1 Rating (When Your Pesky Rivals Are Making an attempt to Take You Down)

You lastly did it.

You reached the head of website positioning—the coveted #1 place. Time to relaxation in your laurels and watch the visitors roll in every month, proper?

Sure, in case you are okay together with your rivals working feverishly to steal what you’ve labored so arduous for. As a result of right here is the reality: they’re coming after you and can take your spot should you don’t do something about it.

So, what can you do about it?

After operating experiments over the previous 6 months making an attempt to guard high-traffic #1 positions for purchasers, I created a course of that has stored me a number of steps forward of my rivals.

The High-Spot Safety Plan: Three Steps to Securing Your #1 Rating

Observe: Technical website positioning additionally performs an enormous position in defending a #1 rating (and your rankings typically). This information goes over the content material aspect of issues, however you additionally want to ensure your website is a well-oiled machine. 

1. Make your content material much more hyperlink worthy.

Duh, you should hold your content material up to date and search for methods to enhance it.

However there are just a few particular methods to do that within the context of protecting your prime place — that additionally provide help to seize much more key phrases with the identical put up.

Half 1: Analyze your rivals’ content material and beat them at their very own recreation.

Your content material is already method higher than everybody else’s…clearly. However that doesn’t imply the content material you might be competing with is full rubbish.

In any case, content material must be fairly good to hit the primary web page in most conditions, proper?

I like to recommend studying by way of each article on the primary web page to your key phrase and asking questions like:

  • Do they provide nice examples?

  • Have they got superior, well-explained techniques and techniques?

  • Is their put up visually interesting?

  • Have they got actually useful graphs and diagrams?

  • Did they do their analysis? Do they make a legitimate argument?

  • What particular issues are individuals speaking about within the feedback? What do they love? What are they arguing about?

  • How can I take this to the following degree?

Your content material is already rating #1 as a result of it’s the greatest article on the web to your goal key phrase (and your hyperlinks clearly have an effect as nicely).

However that doesn’t imply it at all times would be the greatest should you by no means come again to it; you need to hold on the lookout for methods to enhance, refresh, and revamp your content material to remain on the prime.

Half 2: Add new sections to your content material based mostly on Google Search Console impressions.

As SEOs know, Google usually doesn’t like serving to us out, however this little reward from Heaven is an exception.

Google Search Console primarily tells you which of them key phrases it is best to optimize your content material for.

Right here is how one can make the most of this:

1. Head to GSC and click on on efficiency.


2. Add a web page filter containing your top-ranking put up’s URL.



Three. Click on the columns for Clicks and Impressions on the prime, then click on Queries.


four. Kind by impressions and search for key phrases that get tons of impressions however few clicks (thus making CTR low).


5. Use these long-tail key phrases for additional optimization, in addition to concepts for brand new sections in your put up.

Generally you may rank for certainly one of these dangerous boys simply by placing it in a heading or utilizing it just a few occasions within the physique. 

2. Maintain constructing hyperlinks and selling your content material as common (however make sure you embody these Three essential techniques).

Nothing will assure the dying of your #1 spot quicker than stopping all hyperlink constructing and promotion as soon as a put up hits #1. Yeah, you should shift nearly all of your concentrate on boosting different posts. However that doesn’t imply it is best to neglect in regards to the put up that’s getting you boatloads of leads and money. The place is the sense in that?

Exterior of your normal hyperlink constructing techniques, there are some things you should do particularly for top-ranking content material:

1. Spy in your rivals’ each transfer with the SEMrush backlink explorer.

Here’s a improbable technique.

Like now we have talked about, your rivals are frantically constructing hyperlinks to catch as much as you. The humorous factor is, you may watch just about each transfer they make by utilizing the SEMrush backlink device you already use every day, however with a big distinction.

You understand the drill.

1. Enter a competing article’s URL into the search bar.

2. Click on backlinks on the left-hand menu, then click on the backlinks tab.


Three. Right here is the necessary half — examine “New” and solely have a look at lately gained backlinks (as a result of you’ve doubtless already gone by way of all of the hyperlinks they beforehand had).


Do that for each competing article beneath you on the primary web page.

Each time they get a brand new high-quality hyperlink, add it to a spreadsheet and attain out to the identical website. I do that each Friday so I can shortly act on hyperlink alternatives my rivals unknowingly present me. Once they get actually enthusiastic about an ideal hyperlink they only obtained, I’m going take it from them. 🙂

2. Set Up Model Monitoring to seek out new hyperlink and promotion alternatives.

SEMrush’s Model Monitoring device is improbable for a lot of causes, however I adore it primarily as a result of it is a useful device for holding onto a prime place.

It helps you:

  1. Discover mentions of particular key phrases on different websites which can be immediately associated to your content material so you may attain out to them for a hyperlink.

  2. Discover individuals who shared content material containing the particular key phrases from above so you may attain out to them for shares.

These prospects are more likely to hyperlink to and share your content material as a result of they’ve already proven their curiosity in your content material’s subject.

I’ve discovered that my outreach emails convert 2x – 3x higher when reaching out to individuals from this report. Right here is how one can set this as much as shield your #1 rating:

1. Head to the Model Monitoring device and create a brand new undertaking together with your prime rating put up’s URL and title.



2. Add your put up’s foremost key phrases and click on “Begin Monitoring”.


Three. Look by way of the Mentions tab to seek out internet pages and Twitter accounts which can be doubtless that can assist you promote your content material.


four. Attain out to each new website/individual you discover who mentions your content material’s subject.

I like to recommend doing this as soon as every week (together with the brand new hyperlinks technique).

Three. Regulate the SERPs for brand new threats and take their hyperlinks.

It’s apparent that you simply wish to monitor the rating adjustments proper beneath you, however it’s also important to search for new, potential threats on the entire first web page. I’m not speaking about taking a look at your rating stories day by day.

I’m speaking about actually typing your key phrase into Google and checking the entire first web page for adjustments.

Is there a lately revealed article that simply reached the underside of the primary web page? Is it from an authoritative website? Uh oh. Higher hold a watch on the market.

It looks like widespread sense, however taking your eye off the SERPs for even just a few days can come again to chew you. Actual life instance:

Earlier this yr, certainly one of my shopper’s #1 rating posts obtained jumped. I noticed it drop to #2 in my stories. Crap.

It seems, a model new put up was gaining steam and went all the best way from the underside of web page 1 to the #1 rating inside about 72 hours.

If I had been listening to the rankings on the complete first web page, I might have prevented it.

(In case you might be questioning: I consider it was primarily a CTR subject. I made a far more compelling website positioning Title and Meta Description by way of some CTR experiments, and it went again to #1…and remains to be there.)

Ethical of the story: watch the primary web page like a hawk.

Everytime you see a brand new put up hit the primary web page:

  1. Look by way of their backlink profile and take their hyperlinks.

  2. Add them to your weekly record of posts to watch for brand new hyperlinks.

Three. Run experiments to optimize your natural Click on-By way of-Fee.

As you already know, CTR is a vital rating issue whenever you attain the highest half of the primary web page. If an article beneath yours has the next CTR, you might be vulnerable to getting jumped. A “protected” CTR for a #1 rating is between 20% – 30%, so I like to recommend operating experiments together with your website positioning Title and Meta Description combo till you attain 30%.

Right here is my course of for operating CTR experiments:

Step 1: Check out your put up’s CTR during the last Three months.

Here’s a fast refresher on how you can discover CTR in Google Search Console.

Simply click on on efficiency, then common CTR.


Filter the report to point out CTR’s for key phrases your top-ranking posts present up for.

To do that, add a web page filter together with your put up’s URL.



Then, click on again to queries, and you will see all of the key phrases your put up reveals up for (with the CTR for every).


Step 2: Write a brand new website positioning Title OR Meta Description.

When doing a CTR experiment, it’s tremendous necessary to solely change one factor at a time. Why?

In the event you change each your website positioning Title and Meta Description, you gained’t be totally positive how both particularly affected CTR. So, I like to recommend beginning with website positioning Title experiments, then transferring to the Meta Description when you’ve discovered probably the most clickable title.

(So far as greatest practices for crafting CTR-optimized titles and descriptions, I like to recommend Brian Dean’s CTR Magnet Methodology.)

Step Three: Set a time-frame to your experiment and depart or not it’s.

The fitting time-frame to your experiments will range relying on how a lot visitors your #1 rating put up drives.

If its foremost key phrases drive 1,000’s of holiday makers per day, 2-Three days will provide you with sufficient knowledge.

If the visitors is extra like 50 – 100 per day, you may wish to wait 7 – 14 days to research your outcomes.

No matter time-frame you resolve on, make sure you do CTR experiments frequently till you’ve reached that 30% vary.

Step four: Analyze the leads to Google Search Console.

To check the CTR between two date ranges in Google Search Console, simply click on the date filter, then “Evaluate”, then enter the earlier date vary that corresponds with the time-frame of your experiment.



For instance:

If I did a 28-day check, I’d wish to evaluate CTR vs. the 28 days earlier than I carried out the adjustments.

Your Work Isn’t Executed As soon as You Hit #1

Like that rhyme? 🙂

Don’t make the error most individuals make: ignoring their posts as soon as they hit #1. You’ll be able to positively shift your focus to citing different rankings, however should you don’t take time to guard your prime spot, somebody will finally take it.

And that actually sucks. These Three methods are actually efficient, don’t take a lot time to implement, and might hold you from being usurped.

Do you utilize different methods to maintain your #1 rating? I’d love to listen to them within the feedback.

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