Great job showing up today for the third course in this exciting PRO coaching tournament from Squirrly SEO – exclusive training (yes, it is. We’ll soon take it off the site).
Today’s event will focus on Focus Pages – the most important pages in your site – and how to use them to build a winning SEO strategy which will improve your rankings.
[Important 11 Jan 2019 Notice for all Squirrly SEO Users:] At the moment, the Focus Pages feature is in closed Beta. However, very soon your plugin will get a new stable version to which you can update for free.
This lesson is super valuable to learn, even though the feature itself is in Closed Beta. Why? Because it helps you build a framework for all your pages and learn how SEO work should get done. (you can see the Focus pages in action starting minute 20 here in the video)
The reality is that the tools you use – as impressive as they may be – will ONLY serve you IF you implement effective SEO strategies for your site.
Focus Pages are all about strategy, which is why this lesson is essential:
- You’ll learn more about what focus pages are and how a few pages in your site can make all the difference in terms of achieving SEO success.
- You will also gain a deeper understanding of the fantastic benefits of employing a Focus Pages based strategy to rank the most important pages in your site.
- By the end of this course, you’ll probably have a new way of thinking about your SEO strategy.
The Focus Pages strategy can successfully be applied to any website, in any niche, big or small.
Yes, you can apply it for:
- a construction company’s website
- a cleaning services company
- a SaaS (software as a service) presentation website
- a huge blog (over 20,000 articles)
- an e-commerce store
- a photography services site
Why does it make sense for this to work for any kind of site?
- Because Google does not discriminate according to the type of site. They (the Google bot crawlers and their algorithms) look at ranking factors above all else.
- Focus Pages are all about analyzing your most important page according all the important ranking factors and making adjustments, so that Google will love your website more than the other competing websites.
Also, the following information is crucial if you want to get the most out of using Squirrly SEO 2019 and supercharging your rankings. So, please read carefully.
What Are Focus Pages?
Ok, so which pages are your Focus Pages?
Let’s put it this way; if there was a fire and there were only a few pages you could save, you’d instantly “run” towards a couple of your pages, that you desperately need to keep alive for your website (or business) to work. Those are it.
Focus Pages are the most important pages on your site. They are your money-makers, four or five pages on your site you would want visitors who’ve never visited your WordPress website to see.
These are the pages you feel you must rank on the 1st Page of Google, the pages which help you earn customers, get partnerships, sell your products; whatever your goal is.
Of course, now that you’re probably hearing about such a concept for the first time, you should be spending some time to think about your end goal.
With most of the companies and entrepreneurs that I mentor, I do this exact thing: I ask them to take a step back and focus their minds on what they’re CURRENTLY trying to achieve.
Why? – Because your end goal might change from time to time.
Sometimes, you try to get more visibility. Sometimes you try to get more conversions. Sometimes you try to get more sales.
These goals are very different in nature and sometimes they require different plans, different sets of steps to reach these goals.
Getting tens of thousands of visits doesn’t necessarily mean getting more sales. Especially if you don’t have a sales funnel, you could write the best article in the world about Free-to-Play gaming (real example from a customer), get tens of thousands of views (both from SEO and Social Media) and still not be able to sell more of the games that your indie game dev studio creates.
So think about what you’re trying to achieve. What’s the GOAL? Why do SEO in the first place?
Do you have a purely SEO-based strategy, or is SEO just another marketing channel for you? Are you using cross-channel marketing?
Also think about the natural ways in which you do business. Some companies use email-based sales funnels to convert website visitors into customers. Other companies just need people to find a page on Google and those people will instantly call these companies to buy services from them.
So this is something you should also take into account.
Don’t worry too much, though. Businesses are very fluid things. They are dynamic. They adapt. So you can start with a strategy and then re-adapt. Always try to experiment and make changes.
A few details about Focus Pages (they don’t need to meet all the following requirements, because these things can depend from goal to goal, business to business):
- They are extremely well-written and are packed with insights which provide tremendous value to your audience. They are usually a deep-dive into a topic.
- They reflect your business. In other words, they are relevant to your industry, niche and so on. If you have a site where you sell products, then it would make sense to make a Product Collection page one of your Focus Pages. For example an Action Figures category from your e-commerce store. Other times it can be the page that makes your phone ring the most with hungry customers on the other end of the call.
- They can be long-form posts which include insights and ideas which could serve as standalone blog articles. For instance, if you have a travel agency and you write a lot about travel tips and hacks, then one of your Focus Pages could be an in-depth resource for this topic which you could name The Ultimate Travel Hack Handbook for Smart Travelers.
- Content is original and exciting. They make visitors perceive you as an authority on the topics tackled in them.
- They should sit on top of your site’s pyramid, as they are Pillar content. So other pieces of content should gravitate around your Focus Pages and link to them.
- They can be Evergreen articles or pages, meaning the featured content is continually relevant, does not become dated and stays “fresh” for readers over an extended period of time.
- They can be conversion-based pages like a page called Digital Marketing Strategy Examples, or Digital Marketing Strategy PDF, which would get people to subscribe via email to get the resource. Then a Sales Funnel would start working for you to convert your customer (either via sales people, or simply automated sales). After the big conversion elements on top, the page could go into detail and have at least 1,500 words written, with an above 3 minutes average time on page.
The pages which can bring you the most conversions will usually be your focus pages. Unless your end goal is brand awareness. But most of the times, pages which have a solid chance of converting website visitors into leads are the ones that you want to focus on.
If your main plan is to get visitors to very specific pages around certain topics and then target them via Facebook pixel ads, then you just need to focus on getting the right people to that page, so that you FB ads will be super targeted.
Look, most of the content on your site won’t do a whole lot.
In fact, a limited number of pages are most likely responsible for more than half the amount of traffic you bring to your site. Yes, these few pages of content could make a significant impact on your site. These are high-opportunity pages you should focus on making the absolute best, as they are your most valuable SEO assets.
That’s why we named them Focus Pages in Squirrly SEO.
Already have a few pages in mind which could be your Focus Pages? Great! Then it will be easier for you to start working on them right away with Squirrly SEO.
Since these are the pages that will bring you the most results, we’re now presenting you a clear framework that will help you take these pages step by step to higher rankings. How high? As high as TOP 10 in Google.
Yes, work with the framework, adapt and re-adapt to turn these ranking factors to your favor, and you will win.
Is this is all new to you? Don’t worry; everything should become a lot clearer in the following lines.
How a Focus Pages Strategy Can Help Solve Common Pain Points
Let’s look at some of the problems you, alongside many other marketers and site owners, most likely face with SEO:
Problem: We create a lot of optimized content, but we still don’t manage to rank on Google for our targeted keywords.
Many marketers approach this wrong. Strangely enough, if a piece of content on their site underperforms, they go on to create larger volumes of the same underperforming content types. More often than not, they get the same unsatisfying results – but at a more significant cost.
It could only be remotely useful, if you were trying to build up authority for a given set of keywords, like I detail here in the Help Center. But that would be it.
The solution to this common problem is NOT in the number of articles and pages you publish every week. The real answer lies in how you organize and develop your content strategies.
Those thin, low-value 400-word posts are likely to end up in the dark corners of Search Results, ranking for keywords which have nothing to do with your brand.
Also, if you’re writing a lot of articles on topics which are similar to one another, then you need to find a way to let Google know which one is the most important. Otherwise, your pages will end up competing against one another.
Having a Focus Pages strategy is the answer to all those problems.
First off, it’s a way to tell Google which of your pages it should rank. Also, when you have a top resource which is very well-documented and full of valuable insights, other sites will understandably be more inclined to link to it. And it will be much easier to build authority, get backlinks and promote your pages on social media.
We’ve seen with our own agency that the client blog posts that got shared the most by influencers were the ultimate guides and the ultimate resources. It’s because they made the influencers sharing these articles look like they really know the best stuff on the market.
All of this will ultimately help you get your most important pages on the first page of Google.
Problem: I’ve done my keyword research, but I have no idea what to do next.
Climbing to the top of the mountain seems impossible when there isn’t a clearly defined path, visible to guide you in the right direction.
Having Focus Pages solves that by providing direction, an action plan, somewhere to start. And it gives you guidance throughout your SEO endeavors.
By having this kind of focus, you’ll stay on track with pursuing your goals. You can work on the needle-movers and not waste time and resources trying to pursue 100 different strategies or create content blindly.
Working on all your pages in your site AT ONCE is not an efficient way to work, nor one which will make an impact.
And, let’s face it, if you have a site which has a considerable amount of pages, it’s pretty much impossible to do so. Those who say they can work on more than 4-5 pages at once, either have found a way to clone themselves – or are merely NOT doing all the tasks they should be doing.
Work on a few pages at once, achieve success with them and then move on to the next batch of Focus Pages. It’s a lot more effective. It’s a process. It can be replicated.
You can work on a few Pages and make them FLAWLESS. It’s doable and it’s enough.
Problem: We have no way of accurately measuring the results of the SEO content we create.
Creating tons of content makes it hard to track the results of your efforts. But when you have just 4-5 pages to focus on, tracking becomes much easier and much more effective. And the data you will rely on to make strategy tweaks will be more accurate.
The ABCs of Working on Your Focus Pages in Squirrly SEO
Focus Pages are essential for your strategy, so we knew we had to include this concept in our plugin (and in our software. Because from an architectural stand-point Squirrly SEO is a combination of cloud software and a WordPress plugin, “talking” through APIs).
As I’m sure you guessed from the name, the Focus Pages section in the plugin is entirely dedicated to helping you rank your most important pages on the 1st Page of Google.
A lot of thought and effort went into shaping this section in a way which would ensure it’s super easy and clear for you to work on ranking your Focus Pages. Ultimately, all that hard work led to a series of in-plugin elements which create an efficient workflow model that is all about Focus, Action and Results.
- Red elements. These are the issues which stand in the way of you getting to the top of Google. There are different tasks, each relevant to different factors which impact your chances of ranking – such as Content and Keywords. Squirrly checks your pages and if something is not right, it will be flagged using the color red. When you click on a red element, you’ll learn more about the problem we found and what tools and tactics (from Squirrly SEO) you can use to fix it. Once you start working on a task, Squirrly SEO checks to see if you’ve managed to fix the problem. Bear in mind that this can’t verify it overnight, it takes a bit for the software to analyze the work you’ve done.
- Green elements. These are your SEO wins, the things which help you achieve first page Google Rankings. Every time you manage to turn a Red light to Green, you #win. Every task you complete represents an SEO victory. The end goal is to turn everything you see in the Focus Pages section GREEN.
- Chance to rank. Based on how many red elements are associated with your page, Squirrly SEO will show you how likely it is for that given page to rank on Google.
- Must Fix. This is where you can see the number of tasks you need to fix right away to rank your pages.
- Best Practices. In this section, you’ll find actionable knowledge and guidance which will help you maximize your results.
Everything you find there is based on each focus page. Everything is personalized according to each individual case. Nothing is generic, nothing is a one-size-fits-all.
That is the reason why Focus Pages is such an innovative approach. There is no software (other than Squirrly) available today to help give you specific tasks on a case by case basis.
We treat every single focus page with much care and importance.
You see, everything in the Focus Pages section is meant to help you easily identify the problems you should solve and actions you should take to go from Never Found to Always Found on search engines.
- Work on specific SEO tasks which will move the needle and avoid wasting time on tasks which don’t influence your chances of ranking.
- You can follow suggestions so you continue to tweak and improve your pages over time. Even if you do not see the results you want with a specific strategy, Squirrly helps you re-think your approach so you can find new paths towards SEO success.
- See how your actions and the work you put into solving the tasks lead to improved rankings.
The way I see it; I’m not a chef, but if you give me all the ingredients and all the steps I need to follow, I can make a pretty fierce lasagna.
As the architect of your Focus Pages, you are in charge – but Squirrly SEO 2019 was built to help you every step of the way with this simple interface which makes it easy to work on the things which impact your rankings.
Here’s Your Badge for Completing This Course! Awesome Job!
I hope this lesson has given you some new information for you to chew on and that it has helped you see your pages in a new light. And I hope you’re excited to start working on your pages.
So, get behind the wheel and start acting on this knowledge now.
Your goal for this course: Identify potential Focus Pages in your site and add them to your Focus Pages section in Squirrly. Study the tasks Squirrly SEO gives you to build pages which are so remarkable they dominate SERPs.
That’s it for now!
Keep up the great work – and an eye on your Inbox! Next lesson is coming soon.
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