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What if I told you that you could rank on the first page of Google search results for thousands of keywords? My guess is that you’d first ask how much it was going to cost you. The answer is…not that much.
The more material you give Google to index, the better you’ll be able to rank for keywords. But you need to go beyond the 1,890-word blog post thinking. That’s where power pages come in.
What Are Power Pages?
The term “power page” was first coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko. A power page is a page that is strategically designed to rank on page 1 of Google. There are three important aspects that go into a power page:
- Length: Power pages take long-form to the extreme. They should be well above the standard 2,000-word blog post everyone is doing. Think more like 4,000 words or even as high as 10,000-20,000 words, like an “ultimate guide” on one topic.
- Navigation: Power pages should be easy to navigate, with content broken into chapters, a table of contents with anchor links, or just an easy-to-scan layout with headers and plenty of visual assets.
- Audience: Power pages aren’t for your potential customers; they’re for the influencers in your industry. You want those people to link to and share your page, helping to boost your backlinks and reach. Therefore, power pages shouldn’t be written at a 101 or basic level. They should be comprehensive and contain valuable information for an intermediate or expert reader.
Power pages are not intended for selling – they should just exist to provide in-depth information and create value. Anything more than a button at the bottom that takes the user to a landing page is too heavy-handed for this type of content. The idea is to show your expertise, which will lead to social shares, increased traffic and, ultimately, qualified leads.
Since I mentioned Brian Dean, I’ll use one of his posts as an example. Link Building for SEO: The Definitive Guide is a great power page:
It comes in at more than 4,500 words, and it’s easy to navigate via chapters:
And it comes up on the first page of Google for both “link building for SEO” and “link building”:
Some stats on Brian Dean’s power page:
- It has more than 10,000 social shares
- It has more than 900 backlinks
- It ranks for 788 keywords
Now, I know I said “thousands of keywords,” but 788 is still pretty amazing. Also, Brian Dean is an SEO master, so you know those keywords are the good ones.
Here’s another one: Neil Patel’s Google AdWords Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide:
This monster piece of content has more than 10,000 words and ranks for more than 2,000 keywords. And if you search “Google AdWords,” it comes up on the first page. That’s no small feat considering that three of the first page results actually belong to Google.
Finally, here’s an example of one we did a while back and recently updated: How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Funnel:
This is the third most popular page on Single Grain’s website. It’s more than 5,000 words long and ranks for hundreds of keywords on its own.
What do all of these power pages have in common? They’re the ultimate or definitive guides to a specific topic. If you’re searching for information on marketing funnels, are you more likely to click on something that says “How to Create a Marketing Funnel” or “How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Funnel?” If you’re a beginner, you might go either way. But if you’re an influencer? You already know how to create a marketing funnel, but maybe not the ultimate one.
Power pages can go beyond guides, though. You could also do expanded list posts (“101 Tips for Building the Best Webinar,” “30 Marketing Conferences You Need to Attend in 2020,” etc.) or industry round-ups (“How 45 Agency CEOs Spend their Mornings,” “50 Marketing Experts Share the Best Advice They’ve Ever Gotten,” etc.). The list goes on and on. Just make sure it’s authoritative, will appeal to influencers and also has value for your target customers.
Power pages promise to be the most informative, most in-depth resource on a given topic. And the ones that deliver get rewarded with higher Google rankings.
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Why Power Pages Work
Power pages rely on simple math: the more words on your page, the more keywords – especially long-tail keywords – your page will rank for.
Longer content also gets more social shares. A study by OkDork and BuzzSumo found that content between 3,000 and 10,000 words received an average of 8,859 shares:
Another benefit of longer pages is increased dwell time – the time a user spends on your page. There may be SEO benefits to having people on your site longer, but this only works if your content is engaging enough to get them to stick around.
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How to Create Power Pages
Power pages aren’t for someone who just started a blog yesterday. You have to know what content works, and if you don’t have any content, you won’t know that. Yet. Here’s the step-by-step process for creating content that ranks for hundreds and even thousands of keywords on Google:
Step 1: Start with Your most Popular Pages
Pull up your website analytics tool and look at your most popular pages. Is there something in there that you can expand to 4,000 words or more? Are there a few long-form articles in your top 25 on the same topic that you could combine into one monster guide? Your highly trafficked pages are the ones where you’ll see the biggest impact from creating a power page.
For example, let’s say you sell video conferencing software and you’ve written these three articles, each at around 1,500 words:
- Video Conferencing for Beginners
- How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Video Conference
- Advanced Video Conferencing Tips
With just a little extra work, you might be able to combine all three into an “Ultimate Guide to Video Conferencing” power page.
If you don’t have popular pages yet, create some. Make a list of keywords (see step 2) and hire some freelancers to pump out 800- to 1,500-word articles on them. Then watch your analytics to see what works and what doesn’t. After a few months, you should have a good idea of what’s popular, and then you can decide which articles could be turned into power pages.
In fact, I have a friend who took his traffic from about a hundred thousand visits a month to over a million visits a month, which is pretty good. He did it by hiring people to write basic content – roughly 30 pieces per month. Then he’d spend the next 60-90 days analyzing which ones actually worked. Those were the ones that got the power page treatment.
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Step 2: Make a List of Keywords
Once you’ve identified your most popular pages, plug them into a keyword tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush or Ubersuggest (see below image) and get both the main keywords they rank for as well as the long-tail variations of those terms:
An important note: Make sure the keywords are actually driving traffic. It’s not enough to just rank for thousands of keywords. If those keywords aren’t driving traffic back to your website, they’re useless.
The last thing you want to do is spend, time, energy and money creating a power page that doesn’t bring you any pageviews or leads. Take it from someone who’s done it. I’ve tried to revamp mediocre content that ranked for a decent amount of keywords, and the results have been hit-or-miss. Learn from my failed experiments.
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Step 3: Upgrade Your Content
Once you have all your keywords and long-tail phrases, it’s time to create your power page. It’s not enough to just pepper the words and phrases throughout the content – you really need to ensure that they related directly to your content and work within the context.
Going back to the video conferencing company example, let’s say “video conferencing equipment” is a long-tail keyword you want to rank for. Instead of just mentioning equipment a few times in your guide, add a chapter called “Video Conferencing Equipment” and write an overview of the hardware you need to conduct a successful video conference.
If you feel like you have a good handle on a topic for a power page, you can also hire someone to write for you. Bill Widner is a content marketing and SEO expert who specializes in writing power pages as a service:
Whomever you hire, make sure they understand SEO and have experience with power pages. And expect to pay a bit more for that expertise – $.01/word will get you exactly what you pay for!
You need to focus on more than just words when it comes to power pages, though – they need to be visually appealing as well. At the very least, you’ll need someone to create some simple graphics to accompany the text. If you really want to create something special, consider getting a developer to build a page where you can showcase a table of contents, chapters and include some charts and graphics.
If you plan on creating power pages on an ongoing basis, working hand-in-hand with a designer and developer to create templates will allow you to easily build a new page that will have a branded look that’s all your own.
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Step #4: Promote Your Content
When you’re talking about SEO, it’s easy to take an “if you build it, they will come” approach, especially when you know that your page is designed specifically to rank on page 1 of Google. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the promotion process.
After you publish your power pages:
- Post them on all your social channels
- Then pay to boost them
- Send an email out to your subscriber list
- Buy Google Ads so you can take up even more page 1 real estate
- Don’t forget good old-fashioned link-building
- Send them out to influencers in your space
- Find people with broken links to similar content and send them yours as a replacement
- Let anyone that you linked to within your power page know that you did so (who knows, maybe they’ll reciprocate)
Use Power Pages to Crush the Competition
More than four million blog posts are created every day. Many of those posts are 300-500 words and are written so the site owner can boast about having content (or just to have something to promote on social media). You can’t compete with that content for search traffic on that level – there’s too much of it.
What you can do is focus on creating power pages. Instead of writing fifteen 300-word blog posts that won’t bring you any search traffic, write one 4,500-word blog post that will get you ranked for more keywords. And once you start to see results on your first power page, create another. You’ll see your traffic grow each month as your competitors flatline.