Looking for the latest events? Finding quick answers to a question? Or searching for the nearest restaurant to satisfy a food craving? Chances are, you have used Google to find solutions to your daily needs. Most users never get to the second page of their search engine results page (SERP), making the first results page prime real estate for all brands. Knowing how to get to the top of Google’s search results will bring brand visibility and potential traffic for conversion and sales.
With most brands having an online presence these days, getting your company to the top of a Google search may seem like a pipe dream. However, with the change in Google’s indexing and search algorithms, brands can take action and improve on their ranking factors, allowing every brand to get a prime spot on the SERP rankings. Interested to know how to get your website to the top of Google? Here is a handy guide on how to rank #1 on Google.
Decide the Keywords to Compete For
First of all, the process you are highly encouraged to embark on is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO in short. The right SEO strategy centers around focusing on the right keywords. Keywords that are too broad or short-tailed are very competitive and do not get enough traffic. Long-tailed keywords on the other hand have three or more words in them and convey the purpose of the search. The search becomes more precise as you are targeting a more specific group of people that are looking for a particular solution.
For example, if you own a hot sauce company that specializes in enhancing poultry cooking, rather than using “hot sauce” as a keyword, a better keyword would be “hot sauce for chicken recipes”. The keyword “hot sauce” may target all kinds of hot sauce globally, whereas the keyword “hot sauce for chicken recipes” specifically targets people who are closer to your brand’s audience group. This gives brands an edge in targeting the right people and getting to the top of search pages.
Ensure the SEO Optimization of Your Website
Once you have gathered a list of focus keywords, it is time to begin including these keywords in your website to optimize it. In order for Google to understand what each website page is about, there are various key elements that must be optimized.
- Page Title (below 70 characters)
- Meta Description (below 155 characters)
- H1 & H2 Title Text (helps to break up large chunks of content)
- Alt Text (a title for every image. This is also good for improving accessibility for users with disabilities)
- Keyword in Content (included at least once on the page, and in bold)
A big mistake made by many organizations is to write site content for search engines rather than for users. While all brands want to pursue a good search ranking, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, it is a human being that would be reading your content. Content that is inundated with keywords that do not make sense to users may result in a high bounce rate and low conversions – both outcomes that you certainly want to avoid.
Provide Ongoing Content and Updates to Your Site
Since releasing the Panda algorithm update in 2011, Google has publicly announced to web developers that their search engine now favors sites whose content is continuously improved. This can be in terms of adding new content and increasing the resources and relevant web pages on your site. It might be worth considering building out your site over time to capitalize on this new update.
For organizations that already have established sites, it is crucial to have an ongoing web content strategy that is engaging to your audience, search engine friendly, and relevant to your business. This ensures continual engagement and relevance to both search engines and your customers.
Create a Regularly-Updated Blog for Your Site
Did you know that a website with a blog experience 55 percent more traffic and 70 percent more leads than those without a blog? It has been established that websites need to be updated regularly with relevant information in order to be ranked favorably. A regularly updated blog can act as a vehicle for good content on a website, and allow search engines and users to find your website more easily. Furthermore, each new blog post acts as a newly indexed page and can be promoted on social media to drive even more traffic.
An effective blog post is around 500 to 700 words long and is sharp and concise. Use images to break up the content to make it more attractive and boost readability. Do not forget the keywords! Choose a focus keyword for each article to land your posts on the search results and boost your rankings. Content-wise, keep it relevant to your audience, the industry, and your solutions without overly promoting your product.
Apply for a Google Authorship Account
Applying for a Google authorship account allows you to credit your blog posts and articles to your organization and gives them more personalization. This enhances the credibility of your articles and increases the exposure of your site. The authorship process is slightly different for each blog platform, but it will most certainly display better and higher in the Google search results.
Increase Your Inbound Links
Inbound links are from external websites that hyperlink back to your site as a resource to supplement their content. This increases the relevance of your website to Google and other search engines. The easiest way to obtain these links is to request your current partners and vendors to link your website. You may also try to get your inbound links from authoritative sites and industry sites if you can. These sites are usually of good quality and relevance, and will further boost your search rankings.
Another way to get inbound links is to contribute to blogs as a guest. This is a win-win strategy for both the blog and your website – the blog gets good and relevant content and potentially more readership, while you get both the increased possibility of better search engine rankings and access to their network of readers.
Beware though, poor backlinks will actually decrease your ranks on Google after its Penguin update. However, quality and relevant backlinks will be rewarded because of Google’s Hummingbird update. The right strategy here is not to amass backlinks, but to focus your attention on getting high-quality inbound links. Consider reaching out to the communications department or webmasters of these authoritative sites to get a backlink.
Track, Analyse, Reiterate to Make your Way to the Top Rankings
Getting to the top of the Google search rankings is a continuous journey. You will need to continually review your strategy. As they say, if something is important, you need to measure it. Thus, you need to first review your current rankings and understand the behaviors of users on your site. Observe the key metrics, top viewed pages, inbound traffic, prominent keywords, and links clicked on your site with Google Analytics. They give you a clue on where and what you can improve. Tweak your hyperlinks, keywords, and on-page elements and observe changes in performance. The goal is to break into the first three rankings for your keywords, which will earn you higher traffic volume than the last search result on page one.
If you are looking to build a strong search presence and rankings, you need a capable SEO team. Our SEO specialists at FMO Media are here to help! FMO Media helps companies obtain strong search rankings and results to place their site at the forefront of their customers’ queries and searches. We can help you develop a coherent and sustainable SEO strategy to take your site to the next level. Contact us today to start optimizing your search rankings!