How to Land on the First Page of Google
Posted on 11/05/2020 at 08:26 AM
Did you know that there are over 40,000 search queries performed on Google every second? Daily, that total becomes 3.5 billion searches! These numbers are impressive, but that number is climbing drastically thanks to the pandemic. In fact, this year there have been over 2.3 trillion searches conducted!
Indeed, the vast majority of internet activity starts with some kind of Google search and most people never make it past Page 1 (or 2) of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). They fully expect that the first and last few links are ads, so they often skip past them and pay close attention to the organically ranking results. These are usually dominated by industry leaders, giving little hope to small “unknowns” to land on Page 1 and outrank their larger competitors.
"Google Ads are great. They're basically guarenteed placement on page one... if you have the money to pay to play. But what if you can't afford to pay for Google Ads, or if your business is in an industry with insanely expensive keywords? The good news is that even the little guys can rank right up there with the big guys (and often even beat them), without having to pay to play using Google Ads, as long as they have the right strategy!"
- Steven Adelmund, Digital Strategy Manager at Global Reach
All you need are a few Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “insider secrets, tips, and tricks” to help you land on that ever-elusive page 1. If these secrets are what you seek, you’ve come to the right article!
For your convenience, this article features quick links so you can jump to the content that matters most to you! Feel free to skip ahead or simply read on...
Understand Search Intent and the Power of Long Tail SEO
Google has several “buckets” of data and types of content it can serve up to answer queries. These include YouTube, pictures, Google My Business, and many, many more. Google’s primary goal is to serve up the most relevant content to the query, as quickly as possible.
Many of the Google Algorithm updates over the years have been to help the machine learning process better understand what it is you are looking for (user search intent). For example, if you search for “Lawnmower Repair,” Google understands that you have a broken lawnmower and would like to know if there are any shops nearby that can fix it (or perhaps want to know how to fix your own). As a result, it brings up a list of locations nearest you and perhaps a few DIY videos.
However, if you just search the term “Lawnmower,” Google may not know if you are interested in buying a lawnmower or want to hire someone near you to mow your lawn, so it serves you a few options.
Understanding how keywords are used to identify search intent is a key first step to landing on the first page. One word phrases (like “lawnmower”) typically cost more money in Google Ads and have higher competition. This cost and competition decline with more specific keywords (like “Lawnmower repair”). The more specific you get with your keyword implementation, the higher your conversion rate. In fact, more descriptive phrases with four or more keywords (called “long-tail keywords”) account for about 70% of all searches and yields an average of 36% conversion according to Neil Patel.
If I were a Lawnmower repair company in Ames, Iowa, I’d consider writing a blog titled “Why Steve’s Lawnmower Repair is the Best in Ames, Iowa”. Setting this as the H1 header to the page and making sure the blog was around 1,500 words would grab Google’s attention the next time my website was indexed. I could speed that process along by promoting the blog on social, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Most importantly for this tip, a blog with such a title would take advantage of multiple keywords that people are likely to search for in an organic query such as “What’s the best lawn mower repair in Ames?”
It’s a numbers game. The more pages containing valuable content that you provide to Google, the more you have indexed. The more pages you have indexed, the more chances you have to land in front of your target audience and the more traffic you drive to your website. How can you create multiple new pages every month? Blogs!
If you’re not putting out blogs, don’t worry, your competitors are. You know, the ones who are listing higher than you on Google, yeah, them. This may seem a bit cheeky, but it’s true. Every page listing organically on the first page of Google has one thing in common: They contain at least 1,000 words.See also...
Short-form content such as FAQs is great for snagging the featured snippet of Google's front page!
Here’s the million-dollar question: How do you write killer blog content that appeals to your audience, the Google algorithm likes, and converts? First, know your audience. Spend some time on Google Analytics and with the Google Search Console and you'll start to understand the queries that led people to your website in the first place. Once you know what people are looking for that leads them to you, you'll better understand how to give them exactly what they seek.
The second tip is one I know most of you may not want to hear. You get better at blogging the same way you do anything else, with practice. Do a quick competitor analysis. If your competitors are putting out 2 blogs per month, you need to put out 4 to stay ahead of them. Google loves fresh content. Blogs are a great way to feed Google the fresh content it craves while continuing to establish your status as a thought leader in your industry and highlighting your industry expertise!
At Global Reach, we currently write 4 blogs per month. We use this content to put out a newsletter full of the latest tips and insights in the Web Design and Digital Marketing industry. Each blog is meticulously researched in terms of accurate information, keyword value, and general audience interest, then very strategically written to appeal to both the Google Algorithm and our audience. This has resulted in tens of thousands of monthly visits!
Remember that keyword research I mentioned before? Here is where that really comes into play. Good SEO copywriting will sprinkle strategic keywords throughout the blog including in each of the headers, the meta description, and title tags.
You can’t just cram a bunch of random keywords onto a page and call it good. It all needs to make sense and flow in an engaging way. Readers often get reader fatigue (a thing where they unconsciously think something is hard to read simply because it looks long) and find themselves skipping out on valuable content as a result. Throwing solid keywords in a meaningful way into your headers grabs their eyes as something they were searching for and has the added bonus of sticking out to the Google crawlers as well!
Your content should be written with cross-links (both internal and external) to invite viewers to dive deeper. I call this “The Wikipedia Effect” because it encourages people to dive down a rabbit hole to get to know your expertise. The longer that people spend on your website, the more valuable Google knows the content is.
Crosslinks also help Google crawlers see how your website pages are connected to similar relevant content. External links are valuable because they encourage other websites to respond in kind and generate back-link traffic.
"Cross-Linking- a strategy that can come in handy to get high search engine rankings, by leveraging multiple domains owned by you. Search engines value these links, as they are from relevant sites, with related content- and you stand a chance of getting a better rank." -Pagetraffic.com
Including a video in a blog post is a great way to keep that timer running on the page. The Google algorithm doesn’t know what people are doing on the page (unless you set up the Google Tag Manager to track them, but that is another subject for another post). It only knows how long people are spending on the page.
In the algorithm’s eye, more time spent on the page means more value to the visitor. A good video keeps people engaged on the page and can support your main points to help lend authority to your voice which, subconsciously, encourages people to share the content!
For example, did you catch this great video by Google about how to best utilize Google My Business to get found in search and on maps? If not, consider this a bonus tip!
So, you just wrote the most powerful piece of content ever? Awesome! Now what?
People need to be given options on what they should do with the information you've provided or you may lose them. By including a simple “Contact us to learn more” statement with a link at the bottom of a post, you can convert your visitors into potential clients.
Ideally, every page of your website should have a solid CTA to create an organic path of least resistance and encourage people to do the thing you want them to do! For a great example of this, check out the various pages of Electric Ease. Even knowing nothing about their service, one can easily tell what you want them to do. Reach out and schedule a demo! The CTA is on every page in the same place so that even if a visitor isn’t ready to act now, they know where to find the button when they see the value and are ready to take the next steps!
The same can be said for your blogs. A solid CTA tells people what to do with the info you’ve provided.For example…
If you’ve liked what you have read here, contact the experts at Global Reach for a Free Consultation and see how we can help take your digital strategy to the next level!
See? Now doesn’t that stand out? You know exactly what I want you to do!
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