Topping the search engine results pages (SERP) is a coveted spot for any business. Not only does it result in more website visits, but studies have shown that the top three slots receive the majority of clicks. With the right keywords, you are poised to see a ton more conversions.
So how can your business rank higher and stay there? There are two schools of thought: One where you follow Google’s guidelines, work hard and bide your time to obtain a consistent and legitimate rank on the first page of Google. The second school of thought is finding loopholes and methods that go against Google’s guidelines to get you quick results, but leave you wide open to an algorithm update.
In our eyes, you either work hard cheating and constantly have to change your methods, or you work hard doing it right and keep a consistent practice that Google will reward with time. So let’s break it down:
How to get to top of Google search in easy to understand terms!
Start with keyword research. This is skipped way too often. It is a great way to waste a bunch of time writing content that doesn’t get the right visitors to your business online. Chances are you’re not the only one who sells widgets in your city. You need to find keywords that your potential customers are typing into Google to find a widget seller like you. Once you have those keywords, make sure to use them throughout your website and blog, including in the title, meta description, and in the body of your blog post.
How do you know what keywords will get you the best search traffic?
Keywords are ranked by several different factors. Estimated monthly volume, ranking difficulty, and CPC bid. Each of these should be considered when you are planning your content.
- Estimated monthly volume – how often are searchers searching the keyword each month. Be careful spending time writing relevant content on keywords that have very low monthly volume, you won’t see much organic traffic from those keywords.
- Ranking difficulty – Every tool calls this something different, but ultimately, it is a metric to determine how much competition there is for the keyword. You want to plan for a blend of high and low difficulty keywords for your content.
- CPC bid cost – This is helpful information to know how much on average someone is paying for someone to click on each keyword.
Beyond the above metrics, you will also want to understand the search intent of every keyword you identify. What does this mean? Google search results change depending on the suspected intent of a searcher.
For example, if you search for “pogo sticks” Google understands that you might be looking for information about the product, such as how to use them or where to buy them. Whereas if you search for “hiroshima”, Google’s search results could display the top pages highlighting the story of the first nuclear bomb detonation that rocked the world.
Once you have targeted a few high-traffic, relevant keywords, you’ll want to make sure your site is properly optimized for those terms.
Search engine optimization actions to get you started
It’s not rocket science.
Okay, maybe it’s a little complex. But there are simple things you can do today to improve your ranking in Google search.
Every page and blog post on your web page must have a title tag that aligns with the relevant keywords. This does not mean unnaturally stuffing the keywords into the title of the page or blog post, but you should include the keyword where it makes the most sense. This tag should be no longer than 70 characters in length.
The H1 tag is the second most important tag for increasing web traffic on relevant keywords. This tag should line up with the title tag in order to tell the Google bot exactly what the page is about.
The meta description has no bearing on search engine results, however it is one of the things that can improve click through rate from the SERP. This is the short blurb of text that will appear under the title and URL of your web page or blog post in Google’s search results. It should be around 150-160 characters long, and include the keywords you are targeting for that page.
Google is smart. Really smart. The Googlebot is constantly crawling your website to index the pages for organic search results. Help it out by adding links from your high-traffic pages to the pages you want to rank for specific keywords. This tells Google that the page you are linking to is important, and should be considered for ranking in Google’s search engine results.
Similar to the internal links, but with a different purpose. External links are important for establishing trust and authority with Google. When other reputable websites link to your website, it tells Google that you are a source of quality information. This will help increase your ranking in the search engine results page for relevant keywords.
There’s no one magic bullet for SEO. However, if you can target high-traffic, relevant keywords and use optimization techniques to align your site with those keywords, you’ll be on your way to higher web traffic and rankings.
Other Key Factors That Search Engines Care About
There are some more complex factors that search engines care about that you might want to keep track of going into the future.
Domain authority is a metric created by Moz that calculates the strength of a website’s domain name and how likely it is to rank in relevant results. The higher the domain authority, the more likely it is that the website will rank for relevant keywords.
You can increase your domain authority by publishing high quality content that encourages others to engage in link building activities with your website. How many backlinks your website has can be correlated to your domain authority.
Page rank is another metric created by Moz that calculates the importance of a web page based on the number and quality of links to that page. The higher the page rank, the more likely it is that the page will have a high Google ranking.
Page authority is a metric created by Moz that calculates the likelihood that a specific page will show up in Google rankings. The higher the page authority, the more likely it is that the web page will show up higher in search results.
How to stay on the top page of Google
SEO is constantly evolving and changing as search engine algorithms are tweaked and updated. Not only that, but your competitors are constantly working to be on the first page and so if you dilly dally, you will soon be passed up on Google search results.
So, how can you stay ahead of the curve and ensure that your website is always on the top page of Google for relevant searches? Here are a few tips:
1) Publish high quality content on a regular basis. This will keep people coming back to your website and encourage others to link back to your pages.
2) Share your content on social media platforms. This will help to get your content in front of a larger audience and encourage shares and likes, which signals to Google that your content is valuable and should be ranked higher.
3) Go back and re-optimize content that isn’t performing well. If you have a page that isn’t ranking well for a certain keyword, take the time to revisit the content and make sure that it is as optimized as possible.
4) Monitor your website’s analytics and track your progress. This will help you to see what is working and what isn’t, so you can continue to tweak your SEO strategy as needed.
5) Stay up to date on the latest Google algorithm changes. This will help you to ensure that your website is always in compliance with the latest search engine guidelines.
6) Use keyword research to determine which keywords are most relevant to your business. This should be done on a regular basis (about once per quarter).
7) Hire an SEO agency to help you with your SEO strategy. This will ensure that you are doing everything possible to achieve high Google rankings.
8) Consider using a paid search to get enough business to pay for an SEO agency to build your foundation and then cut paid search.
As always, if you have any questions or need help with your SEO, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to assist you in any way possible.
Thank you for reading!