A power page is a piece of content that has been strategically designed to rank on the first page of Google and attract backlinks as well as social media shares. The power page concept was created by SEO pioneer Brian Dean.
And in this article I am going to teach you all about this amazing method to gain page one rankings.
Are you ready?
Let's do this.
The Complete History Of Power Pages
I first came across the term 'Power Pages' as a student of the SEO course SEO That Works by Brian Dean. For those that don't know Brian is one of the best SEO experts in the world and his blog Backlinko is on of the best SEO blogs around.
I should say straight off the bat, I am not going to teach you Brian Dean's techniques from his course.
Not only would that be stupid (as I am a paid course member) but also far beyond the remit of a blog post (which is why there is a course). I will however teach you all about the importance of Power Pages and every other detail.
We will be covering the history of power pages, the SEO facts about them, why they rank and even tell you what it will cost to have them created. You will see examples of power pages currently online and learn about the pitfalls you should avoid when trying to create them.
This post will save you both time and money!
OK, if you are still here then the rest of this article will be well worth it.
What Are Power Pages?
Power Pages of course have been called other things, for example SEO guru Rand Fishkin refers to them as 10 x Content and makes no mention of the term Power Pages but explains 10 x Content as being "10 times better than what anyone else is doing"
He goes on further to say that 10 x Content should be:
- Have great user experience on any device
- Content that is remarkable, trustworthy, useful and interesting.
- Content that is different in scope than what is already out there.
- Content that causes an emotional response in the reader.
- It also has to solve a problem of some kind or answer a question (ie a search query)
My own view is that a Power Page should answer a search query in so much detail that the searcher need not go elsewhere.
While we will look at examples later, I think it would not be fair unless I mentioned another person who quite possibly created the first Power Page style content out there, Neil Patel. His huge guides on content marketing and other resources are classic examples of power pages with his reaching over 10,000 words in length.
But can we really define what is a power page?
In all honesty, I feel our ultimate definition for Power Pages goes back to Brian Dean when he says a power page is a ' piece of content strategically designed' to rank on page 1 of Google, and as we will see later, when it comes to SEO strategy is everything.
Why Power Pages Work
I have been creating Power Pages for a little under 2 years.
I remember buying Brian Dean's course when I was on holiday at Disney World Florida and sitting in the hotel at night scouring through the new course module I received, desperate to learn the techniques of the world's best SEO and since then I have created an awful lot.
What I did not know then, was that Power Pages would change the way I did SEO forever.
Anyway, in simple terms Power Pages work on a multitude of levels.
1. Longer Content Tends To Rank Higher In Google
In 2016 Brian Dean undertook a huge SEO study to analyse 1 Million search results. He found that longer content outranks shorter content on Google with the average page length of top ranking content at 1890 words.
Also in 2016 the Top SEO tool Ahrefs analysed search results and discovered data that also supports content length with higher rankings, however they also suggest that writing long content for the sake of getting rankings is not advisable and believe value over content length is important.
2. Higher Quality Content Increases Dwell Time
We know that Google uses a wide range of factors in determining where a page ranks but we also know that dwell time is a ranking metric.
It makes sense.
If you search for something in Google, click on the top result and then press the back button because it is a poor match for your query Google will see that content as a poor result and drop the rank.
This is a key aspect of Power Pages.
It is not a case of just writing a lot of content, you are judged line by line. If the reader gets bored they will be out of there fast!
This again goes back to Rand Fishkin's view around crafting a high quality user experience.
3. Great Content Tends To Have More Keywords
If you are involved in SEO in any way you will know that keywords are essential to tell Google about your page and what it is all about.
A great example of a power page is one I did for a client of mine, the subject was Judo belts and it now ranks position 2 in Google:
However when we look at the client site in Ahrefs we see that this page alone has over 202 Keywords;
If we examine them in more detail we can see that the content has naturally ranked for keywords I was not aiming for when I wrote it:
If I was to compare an article/ site on page 2 of Google for the same keyword we can see the dfference
The result is from an e commerce store that actually sells Judo belts. Our 200 plus keywords easily beats their 26.
A good power page leaves Google in no doubt as to what we are all about.
Now you might be thinking that for a page to rank high in Google I must have done a bucket load of outreach and link building, sorry to disappoint but I didn't. In fact there are 11 links going to the content and they were gained with no effort (and they are spammy ones anyway).
So it begs the question why is this page ranking?
Luckily Brian Dean has the answer from the analysis he did of over 1 million rankings. In his article he talks about 'Topical Authority' and to be honest that is a key reason Power Pages do so well.
Marketmuse described Topical Authority as 'depth of expertise' and I think that is a super explanation. If you think about it logically, if rankings were just as a result of domain authority then the web would be dominated by news sites like The Huffington Post, but it isn't.
By creating topical in-depth content you are making life easy for Google to know what your site is all about.
This was also discussed in an article on the Buzzsumo blog where they analysed the content of Brian Dean.
They created this superb breakdown of the content schedule of Brian Dean.
(Image source Buzzsumo)
Brian has had over 4 million visitors and when you look at this schedule it shows that great content is still a big factor.
4. Longer Content Tends To Attract More Social Media Shares
It does not matter if your content is 200 or 5000 words if it does not get read by anyone.
When you first press publish you will start to gain an understanding of how the content is performing by how well it does in social media.
But why does the length of your content matter?
While we do not have any hard data, longer articles are likely to target one of the social media formula's that can be used to increase virality.
Professor Jonah Berger developed his viral formula called STEPPS based on his extensive research. Part of that formula (and one of the P's) is Practical Value. This is exactly what Power Pages are designed to provide.
In a world full of click bait articles that fail to live up to expectations, power pages stand apart as content that delivers on the promise of the headline. A great example of this is Scott Flear who created a Rugby Training guide for is clothing company Rugby Warfare.
The training guide is called ' Rugby Training: The Ultimate Guide' and it certainly is. The article goes into incredible detail around training and includes workout guides, training templates and a lot more.
As we can see the article ranks number one for Rugby Training Guide.
A closer look at the article using Ahrefs reveals that it not only ranks for that key phrase but it also has 422 organic keywords!
A closer examination will reveal that the article also ranks in top positions for phrases such as Rugby Training and Rugby Workouts as well.
So what was the social media results of sharing an article such as this?
By using Buzzsumo we can show the real value of this type of article. 5,500 Facebook engagements is very impressive and proves that Power Page content works.
Now I appreciate that many of you will be thinking 'yeah that is all well and good but I work in a B2B market, content just won't work like that for me'. Well if that is what you are thinking check out our article on generating Facebook Traffic.
This article generated of 400 shares on LinkedIN proving that in depth content also works in a B2B marketplace.
How Much Should It Cost To Get A Power Page Created?
OK, so by this stage you have been won over by power pages and now you are thinking 'what is it going to cost me?'
I have been creating power pages since 2015 and I have charged as little as £250 and as much as £2000 and they have not all been successful (I will talk about that later on).
In all honesty creating power pages is a skill in itself so here is what you are going to need to make it successful.
1. A writer that also knows SEO.
2. A designer and or custom coder
3. An editor
4. Outreach/ link building
Let's break this down and explain what it should cost.
Writer That Knows SEO
Many people think you can expect to pay £20 and have a 1500 to 3000 word article and it is going to rock the content world and get social shares. Dream on!
I speak from personal project experience when I say that 'good writers are hard to find' and 'writers that also know SEO are like gold dust'.
My SEO Company in Stoke-on-Trent has conducted numerous trials with writers over the last 2 years and just because someone says they know SEO, it does not mean that is the case.
When I talk about 'knowing seo' I do not mean a passing knowledge, I am talking about someone that understands what LSI keywords are, knows how to do great keyword research and also has creativity in abundance.
Suddenly that writer you found for £20 on some site like Fiver doesn't stack up.
You might also be thinking 'hey I know SEO, I will tell them what to write'.
Business owners have use my content writing service and have specifically asked for certain paragraphs and words to be included. In my experience this has reduced the success of the content by at least 50%.
I can only speak from personal perspective but if you are hiring a writer but say to them; "I want you to write an article that is over 2400 words and is based around the search term 'Facebook marketing on a small budget but include these sub headers. You will end up with a robotic piece of content that does not engage the creativity of the writer in any way and bored writer = terrible content.
In these situations, hiring a writer or company that can come up with great ideas for you is exactly what you want. Power pages or 10 x content is all about originality and that rarely comes from issuing fixed content guidelines.
Ultimately if you want to create incredible content you are going to have to hire someone with incredible creativity.
A Designer or Coder
Right now we are seeing forms of content rapidly being exhausted, infographics and expert round up posts are flooding the market because people have had incredible success with them.
However in the future, the company that goes the extra mile will win.
A recent example of this is Brian Deans post of the top SEO tools. Brian took the content he had created and used a coding specialist to create filtered buttons to increase the user experience of the article.
Another great example of going the extra mile are the white board Friday's served up by Moz.
In every white board Friday the team at Moz create a video, an image of the white board notes and also a transcript you can read if that is what you would rather use. It makes a great experience for the consumer and also search engines will love it too!
It is easy to say 'but they have the budget' and that might be true, I am sure they have staff at Moz that do all of that but I wouldn't say that White board Fridays are 'power pages' but they certainly are great content that you could reproduce on a small budget.
Just get a camera and a white board and find someone who will transcribe your video and you have the same results.
My point is that great content can be simply written words but in such a competitive and often repetitive market place (content) you will have a far greater chance of success if you go the extra mile
I have paid for editing services and sometime I haven't. Very often the client budget has not been sufficient to hire a separate editor but the fact is, you need one!
When you are close to your work you simply cannot see mistakes no matter how many times you read your work. Sure certain techniques can help but as humans we are used to seeing patterns, for example see if you can read the next paragraph;
Rscheearch at Cmabridge Uinervtisy sohewd it deosnt mttaer in waht oredr the litteers in a wrod are. Theolny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
As staggering as that is, the fact is simple, if you want to create great content then hiring a great editor is also essential and your budget will need to match.
The rule is clear, 20 % of your time should be spent creating content and 80% of time should be spent promoting your content.
When it comes to power pages there never has been a more true word said. If you have invested either time and or money on an amazing piece of content you need to go out and show people that content other wise what was the point?
This for me is one of the key issues with people who have written or paid for great content, they simply do not want to either put in the extra hours to promote the content or the extra money to pay someone to do this for you.
OK, So What Does This Cost?
I am hoping that by now you might be reassessing your view that content should be cheap as chips and you can climb the serps for the same price as a Pizza delivery.
As I have stated I have done all kinds of content for all types of budgets but in truth I believe that any power page should cost a minimum of £1000 for something that is around 3000 words.
I also believe that outreach should cost around £1000 for one month of solid social media and email outreach.
I justify this as follows:
Research and content writing will take at least 20 hours.
Design work can come in at around £70 per hour so allow for £1000 budget for this.
Outreach is a simple job once you know how and therefore a less skilled role but equally time consuming. which explains the £1000 price tag.
So £1000 for writing, £1000 for design and £1000 for outreach.
What Is The ROI Of A Power Page?
When it comes to content there are a lot of strange views. People think that you should be able to provide a measurable return on investment otherwise it is not worth doing.
Sadly this kind of view does incredible harm to a business and shows a great deal of antiquated thought. Yes it is right to look at what the ROI of power pages is but not to actually try and place a monetary figure on this, power page creation is not PPC.
A great power page has so many returns that it is difficult to see a negative
- Power pages increase website traffic directly via social media shares
- They support organic SEO traffic growth.
- They help to give value to email subscribers on your list.
- A good power page helps to create new connections (send a power page to a new contact on LinkedIN and watch how they thank you!)
- A power page positions your business as 'the experts' in your industry as you display your knowledge
And those are just the obvious non technical benefits of a power page.
My point is that if you are thinking 'if I spend £3000 will I make £4000 back' you will be disappointed with the results. A power page is not an advert where there is a direct 'sale' it is a tool that has multiple business benefits.
Now you might be ready to go out and create one yourself, which is a great idea but beware there are many issues with power pages that will cause them to fall flat on their 'faces' and we look at those next;
6 Ways Your Power Page Will Fail
In the process of creating numerous power pages I have discovered that there is a recipe for failure and one for success with numerous pitfalls along the way and I am going to share those pitfalls with you today.
1. Poor Site Design
We know that design is important for power pages, but design of your site is also important. It is no good spending a lot of money or time on a power page for your site if the website itself looks as if a toddler put it together.
I liken this to a restaurant that serves amazing food but no one will eat there because it looks like a dump. If we think of links as votes of confidence and trust, we need to make sure the site is trustworthy first and a great communicator of trust is via aesthetics.
Web design is important!
2. Lack of Promotion
This one is kind of obvious but I think I need to spell it out nonetheless. If you create great content do not expect it to be discovered all on its own. It is estimated that there are 2.7 million blog posts published every day and you are expecting people to find your power page and link to it?
Outreach is a huge part of content marketing and failure to do enough will doom you to failure.
3. A Young Domain
You have a new site up and running and you are going to crush it in the SERPS with your first post. Wrong!
Google ensures that new sites can't spam their way to the top so if you have a new site expect your site and power pages to take time to get where you want them (if you do the outreach).
4. Poor Product
I had this issue with one client, the power page was good, got a lot of social shares but the product failed to convert. Partially this was down to a terrible sales page but also the fact that the product just failed to deliver enough value when compared to their competitors. The result, over 34,000 site visitors and zero sales.
Now you might be thinking that a poor product should not affect power pages but in my experience it does. For a power page to work, your site needs to be authentic and have some degree of credibility/honesty to it.
For example you could spend the next year creating power pages for your business, but if the business model is to sell illegal downloads you will find power pages a useless tool. Why? Because who is going to want to link to a site that does anything illegal?
Of course a poor product does not have to be illegal, very often a poor product could simply be based on quality, price, value or one of numerous other factors. So why does a poor product cause a power page to fail?
I am not 100% certain but my gut feeling is that when a person decides if they are going to link to a website or even share it on social media they take a closer look.
I know I do the same and I suspect we all do which shows the power of great content when combined with a superb service or product.
5. 'Shiny Object Syndrome'
Ahh the good old 'shiny object' syndrome.
Most website owners at some point go looking for a way to gain traffic and rankings and end up purchasing a shiny object. It might be a course or a web tool that promises to deliver page one rankings.
I have known many people to think that Power Pages are the keys to financial freedom, 4 hour work weeks, passive income and life on the beach occasionally checking your bank for the money that piles in on auto pilot.
Those that have purchased or written power pages thinking they are a passport to fame and fortune are deluded.
A power page plays an intricate part in an ongoing SEO campaign and one piece of content can be a game changer for your business or career. However, this is a by product and not aim of a power page.
6. Because You Stop At One
A lot of people look at Brian Dean and Backlinko as inspiration for their business, and they should. After all Brian has outranked major sites and become one of the best SEO experts on the planet.
But people tend to only look at the end result and not the journey. Brian has often stated that he has only 50 or so articles on his site. But each and every one of those is a power page.
Let us take a quick dip sample using Ahrefs;
Using Ahrefs if we dip sample any of the Backlinko articles we see just how amazing they are, firstly look at Brian's 17 Untapped Backlink Sources Article.
We can see that this article has a whopping 504 keywords inside and if we take a look it has had over 800 Tweets and 1000 Facebook shares;
We could simply scroll down the list and find another;
Here Brian has another great article on search engine ranking that has over 1000 keyword variations rankings
As you can see this article has some amazing social media shares with nearly 7000 total engagements on social media.
We could do this over and over but the point is Backlinko did not stop at creating just one power page, instead we have multiple pages of excellent content. The emphasis is on multiple.
If you are going down the Power page process you need to be committed to the delivery of consistent high level articles.
7 Great Power Page Examples
You have reached this far in the article and are probably looking for some great inspiration. SEO expert Shae Baxter did a great job in an article of providing some Power Page examples which I urge you to check out. However here are some examples that I have noticed that will inspire you to go out and start your own (or hire someone).
1.Growing A Site From 0-10k
This article was written by the incredible talent of Sarah Peterson with Noah Kagan and it is an epic example of a Power Page.
2. The Ultimate Podcast System
This huge post was featured on the Unsettle blog (Sarah Peterson again) and was written by Tom Hunt.
3. The Skyscraper Technique
Brian Dean is the founder of Power Pages so it makes sense to mention his epic article on The Sky Scraper Technique.
4. The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Engagement
This huge post written by Susan Moeller is packed with great information.
5. The Advanced Guide To Content Marketing
This monster article written by Neil Patel and Kathryn Aragon is like a book. It is beautifully designed and has multiple chapters, each which is the equivalent of a power page in itself.
6. How To Write Viral Headlines
7. How To Write A Best Selling Book
Our final example of a power page comes from Tim Ferriss. This huge guide teaching you how to get a book published is actually not that well designed but again it more than makes up for this with the level of content on display.
Using Power Pages For Local SEO
One of the questions I get asked a lot is 'will power pages' work for me on a local basis?
This is an interesting subject because we know when it comes to local SEO, we need Citations as well as links.
That being said you can use Power Pages in a variety of ways to increase your rankings and I achieved this recently when I ranked not only for position 2 but also 3 in the local SERPS.
You have to put this into a degree of perspective. I am competing locally with agencies that have multi million pound turnover and yet I am able to outrank them and also take not one but two of the first page serps.
This is done using not only great content but also link and citation building.
But it begs the question, could content alone rank?
To find out we created a fitness training site locally and with zero link building we were able to rank the site in Google for a variety of terms using topical long form content.
What I would say is that the content created for the fitness site was not even power page level. In essence this goes back to what Rand Fishkin said about 10 x content, we just focused on creating content that was better than what everyone else was doing and in a lot of cases most people fail to produce any type of content.
While this is all well and good, I would not advise to just focus on content without a solid on and off page SEO strategy that includes link building, but this does show that it actually doesn't take that much to increase your rankings if the competition is doing very little!
Plenty of SEO specialists will tell you that Content is not King, but the data and the experts universally agree that it is.
Google has publicly stated that content and links are among the top ranking factors and to gain great quality links to your site, there is no better solution than great content.
The issue is that great content takes time and experience to create. If you are not willing to put in that time (or spend the money on creation) you will not get back the results you want.
So what are you going to do next? Have your copywriter churn out another 500 word post that will have a few readers or are you going to task them with the creation of in-depth content?
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