Hello! Let me welcome you to a new episode about How to Use Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO 2019: Strategy.
As you already know, I started this journey a few weeks ago. I heard about this new feature from Squirrly SEO and decided to give it a try, especially since it’s supposed to be something revolutionary that has never been done before.
So, here I am. Trying their new feature and sharing my genuine experience with you.
What I can tell you so far is that while it is indeed something very valuable, it can also push you outside your comfort zone, forcing you to pivot and reassess your strategy at times. I’ll go into that a little bit more in this article, so make sure to keep reading.
As you know, I started with just ONE focus page. I chose one page from my website and decided that I want that one to get a higher ranking on Google. I decided that this page is one of my most important ones and that I want more people to find it when browsing online.
If this is the first article you’re reading from this short series about the Focus Pages by Squirrly, here is a quick reminder of what I’ve been working on so far:
- Day 1: I chose one page and read about the Ranking Drawbacks Focus Pages found for that page. Those signal the issues that stop me from ranking on the 1st Page of Google. I had a lot of those Ranking Drawbacks for my page, so it’s no wonder that my page wasn’t ranking well.
- Day 3: I started with the Ranking Drawbacks which I could easily fix it (I followed the instructions and turned them from red to green). I corrected the snippet, fixed the SEO image, and swapped my keyword for a better one. You can read about my first steps in the first episode.
- Day 8: I started working on the Inner Links Ranking Factor. This wasn’t easy at all, because I needed at least 5 inner links to fix this Ranking Drawback (that meant creating five new articles in which I could link to my Focus Page).
- Day 19: Finished all the articles for getting my inner links for my focus page.
This brings us to day 20. Now, it’s time to check the results and see if all of my hard work paid off.
Spoiler: there was some unexpected good news waiting for me in the Rankings section of Squirrly SEO.
It’s Time to Check My Google’s Ranking
This was my first success, my content ranked on the 1st page of Google in just 1 week!
Then, 3 days later, my precious position in Google was gone! Suddenly, my content ranked below the 23-position on Google. You can read more about it in the second episode.
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed back then.
But, you know, it’s all about Google and their Ranking Factors. To impress Google, you need an impressive website that has authority.
So, having to work with a new website that has no authority means having to work harder to impress Google. You have to put in some effort and stay committed to working on your website.
On the days leading up to Day 20, I (quite obsessively) checked my rankings almost every day, but my content didn’t go up to the top 3 positions in Google.
It seemed as if it was stuck on the second page of Google.
So I knew I had to take action. Here’s what I did.
Employ a Social Signals Operation Plan
After my brief disappointment moment from Day 3, I decided to take a look again at my Ranking Drawback Factors for my focus page while also focusing on getting Social Signals for my page and getting those 5 Inner Links.
Because my website is very new, it doesn’t have a whole lot of traffic or backlinks. What’s more, I didn’t even have social media accounts created for my website.
Luckily, creating a Facebook account and a Twitter account doesn’t take too much time. So, I did that and started to gain some followers. But here comes the hard part. It’s not easy to get new followers for a fresh new account.
For a full week, I tried gaining new followers organically, scrolling through feeds, in hopes of finding the right people for my business and following them. But I had 0 results using this approach.
Yes, ZERO. Not even 1 person followed me back. Of course, I was mad, because I knew that if I didn’t manage to get social signals for my page, I’ll never get higher up on Google.
However, they are not very expensive, and after all, if I want my business to grow, I need to invest in some tools that can help my business and simplify my work.
I used Squirrly Social for publishing content on my social media accounts.
What I really loved about this tool was the Social Media Assistant. I just typed in the topics that I wanted to share with my Twitter audience, found a bunch of awesome posts, and added them to my publishing queue.
I also used Twitter Auto Follower PRO, which helped me gain new followers much faster.
I selected a Twitter account that I considered relevant for my business and started following its followers. What I loved about this tool was that I can select how much time should pass between different people following my business account on Twitter.
This way, everything looks very natural to Twitter.
By taking these important steps, I made sure I had some social media followers – and an active presence on Twitter. On my business’s Twitter, you’ll find social media posts that link to my blog articles, as well as relevant curated content, all of which are posted every day (without me having to do anything).
I also have an automated process to increase my Twitter following, so I’m pretty much set.
On Facebook, though, it’s a little bit more difficult. There, it seems that I really have to invest money if I want my posts to get significantly more likes.
Anyway, just ONE day after starting this “Social Signals Operation Plan” I got 10 followers. TEN in just ONE day.
To conclude: YES, you do need extra tools for your business if you want to see progress and feel like you are moving in the right direction, instead of being stuck in the same place. YES, you need to have a budget for this kind of tools. But it’s an investment worth making.
Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO: the TRUTH
This feature is something different than anything SEO-related on the market right now; that I can tell you.
I can’t think of just one word to describe it, because the experience of using it is extremely complex.
At first, it made me feel a bit frustrated (but it was totally my fault) but it did give me hope and lots of hints where I should focus my efforts to rank a page. So I was a bit torn.
On second thought, the word PARENT works just fine to describe Focus Pages from Squirrly.
You see, this feature is like a Parent that tries to teach his child the best, but the child can either listen to the parent or choose to ignore their advice and do things their way – only to eventually realize that the parent was right all along.
That said, yes, I was really frustrated that my focus page didn’t go up in rankings again. I earned some social signals, I earned those inner links, I optimized my page to 100%, I solved all the Ranking Drawbacks that I could solve, yet my focus page didn’t move higher up in Rankings (at least, not right away).
But do you know what I noticed?
Another one of my pages performed really well – without any extra effort on my part.
In the screenshot below, you can see that this page ranks for 5 different keywords, 1 of them is on the first page, and the rest of them are on the second page and third page in Google.
And this page was there all along, right in my face, every day. I didn’t work on this page at all. I didn’t write an article to get an inner link for it. It worked by itself. It was like it was screaming: Hey, I’m a good page to focus on. What are you waiting for?
Every day, Focus Pages by Squirrly pointed me towards this page, telling me to focus on it, but I didn’t listen.
I was stubborn trying to get higher rankings for my chosen page. I wanted my chosen page to be on page 1 in Google, not that one. I was acting like a child that wants only that candy, even if there is another, healthier candy just waiting to be savored.
So, on Day 20, I realized that I wasted a lot of my time on a page that nobody searches for, a page that doesn’t add a lot of value, and that I should focus on a different page instead.
This is the moment when Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO gave me hope and showed me that there’s always a way to move forward (if you’re willing to pivot and admit that it’s sometimes better to change course to reach your destination).
Final thoughts and next actions:
My main takeaway from Day 20 is that I should always listen to the Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO and pay attention to the opportunities it surfaces because it can be an eye-opening experience that leads to extraordinary results.
- The Focus Pages section let me know that I was focusing on the wrong page, but I didn’t want to see that.
- It also sent me hints about what page I should focus on (by showing me that one of my pages naturally ranked for 5 keywords).
My next action is to finally listen to the Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO. From now on, I will focus on the right page, the page that is really worth it, the page that would bring the most value to my audience.
Once again, the Focus Pages feature is like a parent taking care of its child; it will point you in the right direction, but you have to be willing to listen and not ignore the insight it gives you.
When it’s all said and done, it’s all about reading the facts.
Keep working and pay attention to the Focus Pages by Squirrly SEO. It’s really meant to help you with your business – and serves as an amazing guide to help you understand Google’s ranking factors.
Now I learned my lesson. Like I said, I was like a child who thinks that he knows better than his own parent. But not anymore, and I’m curious to see how will this change in mindset influence my results.
So, stay tuned; I’ll keep sharing my focus pages progress.
- S1. E5. – Focus Pages by Squirrly – On the First Page of Google - August 8, 2019
- S1. E4. – Focus Pages by Squirrly – Success with Focus Pages - July 31, 2019
- S1. E3. – Focus Pages by Squirrly – Change Your Focus Page - July 25, 2019