Getting onto the first page of Google search results isn’t easy. And it’s definitely a long game. Any digital marketer that guarantees they can help your business get on the first page, let alone the top spot, in a matter of weeks is almost certainly exaggerating.
First of all, Google is huge. They index trillions of pages, with content constantly being uploaded, from news stories to blog posts. Not to mention the fact that over 90% of the world uses Google as a search engine, so it’s every company’s biggest focus when it comes to SEO. Essentially, there is a lot of competition! But the hard truth is that if you’re not on the first page of Google, your page is unlikely to be seen.
When searchers enter keywords into Google, around 75% won’t look beyond the first page, and over 30% of clicks are on the initial organic result of the first page. If a user doesn’t find what they’re looking for within the first handful of search results, the chances are they’ll just enter a new search term rather than keep scrolling. So what can you do about it – is there really a way to get onto the first page of Google, even as a small business? Yes, although it takes time! We’ve outlined the top three tactics for ranking on page one of Google below:
Focus on Keyword Research
Keyword research is perhaps the most important part of SEO. You should probably dedicate a large percentage of your time to looking into keywords and topics related to your business and industry. This will not only allow you to write content that’s targeted towards your audience and increase traffic, it will also make your pages more relevant to Google’s algorithms.
You can use SEO tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs to start conducting your keyword research, as well as simply entering searches your customers would, and looking at the related search terms. It’s also a good idea to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for. You may be surprised by how few companies conduct keyword research, especially on a regular basis, so if you’re proactive about this, you’re likely to be miles ahead of most businesses.
Start With Long-Tail Keywords
To start seeing any traction with your keywords, it’s best to begin with more niche terms. While it’s tempting to just focus on keywords with incredibly high search volumes, they’re usually too generalised, not to mention extremely competitive! Look for words and phrases with a decent amount of monthly searches (a few thousand) and a low keyword difficulty.
When you’re starting out, it’s additionally important to just write as much as you can. Most of your competitors have probably been around for years, so will have domain authority, a backlink profile, and tons of content. If you have any hope of catching up, you need content!
So once you’ve padded out your main pages, start writing lots of blog posts! Just remember not to stuff loads of keywords onto the same page, otherwise the copy becomes less relevant – try to focus on one or two per page. And with these blogs, it’s essential that you optimise your content, such as your headlines and meta descriptions. This can result in an increased click through rate of up to 10%.
Target Your Audience
Most businesses operate in a small area. So there’s no point targeting the entire English speaking world – you need to focus on the location you’re actually working in. This means finding keywords that include this location, as well as the sector you’re in, and creating content around these words. This may be more challenging than other keyword research, and the search volumes will be lower, but it’s almost guaranteed to pay off.
By writing targeted content for your local area, you’ll improve the chances of your ideal customers finding your website, and boost your conversion rate. Even if the user doesn’t enter their location into the search bar, Google will provide local results based on their IP address. And if more people visit your site, your website popularity score will increase, meaning you’ll rank higher in search results.
Don’t Forget About User Experience
In the not so distant past, a lot of website content wasn’t written with the user in mind – it was a love letter to Google. It was possible to rank highly for content, simply because you could get around the system. These days, Google’s algorithms are more intelligent than ever before, so the focus has shifted. High quality content and user experience are big ranking factors, thus it’s important to write informative, engaging content.
How do you go about doing this? The simplest way is to put yourself in the mindset of your target audience. What would appeal to you about the product or service on offer? Why might you be shopping for this? Essentially, keep your audience in mind with every piece you write.
When you write for an audience, combined with your industry knowledge, you can show search engines like Google that you’re an expert in your field, which should increase your domain authority. This in turn should help your SEO efforts.
For more tips on SEO and other digital marketing strategies, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!