December 4, 2015

What to say when clients ask how to get on the first page of Google

A common question clients ask is, “How can I get on the first page of Google search?” While there are additional questions that need to be asked — like, “Do you want top ranking globally or regionally?” “Do you want your homepage to come up? Or specific landing pages?” — reaching that goal has changed over the last several years, and it’s not something that can be guaranteed.

Google's search engines are constantly getting better at providing users with content that is relevant to their search terms, and web crawlers have advanced to the point where there is no longer a way to "trick" the system to guarantee ranking.

To focus the goal, a better question to ask is, “How can I get on the first page for specific search terms?” This is true for both organic SEO and paid SEM, but both have to be looked at and evaluated separately as there are a bunch of factors contributing to each.

SEO:

Increasing organic SEO really comes down to one thing — content. Good, relevant content. Even with a brand new site, it is important to have a plan for content creation in place for multiple reasons.

For example, if your website is 25 pages and you have a content strategy to add content every other week for a year, at the end of that year you will now have added 26 additional pages/URLs for Google crawlers to locate.

This is one way to increase your chances of ranking higher. None of this will be an overnight change. Without a realistic plan in place, you risk decreasing your rankings due to dated content. This is why B&Y recommends implementing a content strategy and an editorial schedule that makes sense for your marketing goals and your available resources.

SEM:

Another way to increase your ranking is to pay for it. However, it's important to look at SEM like an auction — the more people there and the more valuable the item, the higher the price will be.

SEM vs. SEO

SEM/PPC is heavily dependent on the competition, as you are bidding against others for placement on the page. Additional components include: the relevancy of the page that traffic is being driven to, page speed, good information architecture, and over 200 other points of analysis. All these things impact Google’s “Ad Rank,” which determines where your text ad will show up and how much you will pay for it.

Landing Page Content:

Another critical component is your objective — if you are merely driving traffic without a specific goal, there is no way to determine ROI. So, it is important to take into consideration “user tasks” once you get them to your site.

So, what do we say when our clients ask how to get on the first page of Google?

Overall, the best way to improve search engine ranking is to use a combination of both SEO and SEM and a strong content strategy. While SEM will bring instant results, as you work on creating relevant and effective content, over time you will see an increase in your organic ranking as well.

Ready to work on your content strategy? Give us a shout.

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Gavin Saxer

A permanent resident in the world of digital, Gavin is a social media and web maven. His unrelenting energy gives him the fuel to dive head first into every task he’s tackling. From small social media jobs to website overhauls to fully integrated campaigns, Gavin not only manages the project, but is also an integral part of the planning, strategy and execution. He’s constantly expanding his knowledge base to stay ahead of digital trends and help clients see just how far their digital efforts can take them.


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