Getting to the top on Google search

Getting the top ranking on Google is every company’s marketing goal. Reaching not only the first page, but also, the top three results in Google search engine is like hitting the jackpot. When you’re in the top three, you get all the perks. More organic traffic. More SERP clicks. More qualified leads. All this and more is yours.

The data supports this

Studies show that 70.6% of all traffic online originates from a Google search. That’s one reason to incorporate SEO into your content. The other? 71% of B2B buyers read between 3 and 5 blog entries on their buying journey. Further, the top three results on a search gets a whopping 54% of the clicks.

In comparison, the average click-through-rate (also known as CTR) for a paid search is around 1.9% across all industries. It’s a no-brainer that most businesses should prioritize content over paid search and ads. (Read more: Are you prioritizing content?)

One contributor: content

Nine out of 10 times, you don’t need to use paid ads (there are exceptions, of course). In fact, your priority should be on: making good content, making this quality content consistently, and incorporating SEO into that content – organically. On paper, it sounds pretty easy. But many times, people sit down at their computers and stare at a blank screen. “Where do I start?”

Defining quality content

It helps to understand what Google considers “quality” content. It’s not length (though that doesn’t hurt) nor is it in-depthness (though that’s excellent for building brand authority).

  • Relevancy. This content should should be relevant to what your target audience is searching. Your target reader has a certain objective or problem that they want solved. This content should be centered around that.
  • Web friendly. The content should be packaged in a way that’s not only easy for search engines to read, it should also be easy for your target audience to understand and follow this information. That doesn’t mean the content is simple or short.
  • Purpose. All content should have a certain purpose. It can be to inform. Or entertain. Or guide. I realize this one might seem like common sense, but there are several websites’ blogs in which the writers ramble on with no apparent direction.
  • Consistency. This is probably the biggest challenge small businesses have. Writing good, high-quality blog articles with high-quality sources, images, and other supporting material can take days – even weeks. When a small business owner is busy with other responsibilities, blogging is often the first to be neglected. Studies show that the more consistent you are in generating content, the better Google ranks your site.

Another contributor: a website’s backend

Traits that can affect a site’s ranking on Google

There are a few other factors that can help your site rank better (or worse). They’re more of a “supporting cast” than a solo act, though. Don’t expect huge benefits.

  • Fast site. Websites should load quickly. If yours takes too long to load, you risk alienating people before they can even check out your content. A slow site bleeds money. It loses qualified leads. It hurts the brand authority and web presence. If your site is optimized to load quickly, the bounce rate will improve. Per Think with Google, if a page load takes:
    • 1s-3s, the bounce rate increases by 30%
    • 1s-5s, the bounce rate increases by 90%
    • 1s-6s, the bounce rate increases by 106%
    • 1s-10s, the bounce rate increases by 123
  • Internal linking practices. Websites should have a clear organization structure. A hierarchy. If it has several broken pages (aka orphan pages), Google will deem the site’s quality to be low. The more organized and logical a site is, the easier it is for a web user to browse. If they get frustrated trying to find information, they’ll leave the site. In other words, the site has lost leads.

Conclusions: how to rank higher on Google

All this boils down to two things:

  • Quality content
  • Ease of use

Know what your audience wants, and deliver it on a consistent, regular basis, and make it kick-ass. Make sure your site is easy to use. Can your users find all the information they might want with a click or two? Is it laid out in a logical way, or is some content (like your contact information) buried somewhere? If it is, fix it.

Sounds pretty easy on paper, right? I know from experience – both professional and personal – that the reality isn’t so simple. That’s why it’s a smart business decision to hire professional help.

Let’s get started today.