It’s a question on every savvy business owner’s mind, and a question our SEO team gets a lot: “How can I make sure my website shows up #1 in Google?”
The bad news: you can’t.
The good news: you don’t necessarily want to be #1 anyway!
What do I mean? Google’s Matt Cutts explains…
Google Webmaster Tools: “No one can guarantee #1 ranking in Google”
Ranking High in Google is Still Important AND Attainable!
Just because you cannot guarantee first place in search results, doesn’t mean that not being in the top isn’t important. Because it is. In fact, it’s very important!
Website listings that show up on page 1 of a Google search result are much more likely to be clicked on and explored than listings that fall on page 2 or beyond. Why? Because most likely the answer or solution to what the visitor was searching for can be found within these top results. There is no reason to browse subsequent pages, unless you haven’t found your answer from the get-go.
Of course with that said, how many of us have done a Google search and if we didn’t see the results we wanted on the first page, we simply rephrased our search parameters (rather than click on more result pages hoping for a match)?
Luckily, there are steps and internet marketing tactics that can be taken to help your website appear consistently in the top results of Google.
1. Check that Google has already indexed your website
You can’t show up in the top of search results if Google’s crawlers don’t first know your website exists. Jen from Google explains how this works.
2. Identify the search terms for which you’d like to be found
If you want your website to rank high, then you must convince Google that pages on your site are highly relevant to what your audience is searching. And you can’t do that until you ask yourself some important questions:
- How are people currently finding your website?
- What phrases are associated with your organization and industry?
- Which of those phrases involve buying intent?
Identifying the keywords that people are likely to use, and for which you want to be found, is a critical step in ranking high in Google.
3. Consider some of the most important ranking factors for SEO
- Quality content
- Excellent website organization and flow
- Citations and backlinks on websites with high domain authority
- Social media presence and activity
- Google+ Local (formally Google Places)
- Customer reviews
- Presence on local directories (ex. Yelp.com)
If you want your website to rank high, then you need to convince Google that it is not only highly relevant for that search phrase, but also that the individual webpages are high quality (and it helps to be popular on social media!).
4. Have an active blog
An active and informative blog is one of the BEST tools you can use to get to the top results of search engines. Google rewards websites that publish new and relevant content on a consistent basis. This is also a form of “Content Marketing” that you should be including in your regular marketing plan already…
Content Marketing is a marketing format that involves the creation, publication, and sharing of media and content in order to acquire customers. This includes a wide variety of media including: news, video, white papers, ebooks, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, Q&A, photos, etc.
5. Stay on top of algorithm updates
Google is constantly updating their ranking algorithms. So what you see today as the #1 search result may not equal tomorrow’s. Don’t be surprised if you see your website move up and down a couple of spots in the rankings on a daily or weekly basis. This is why SEO tactics should always be both flexible and ongoing.