Google first page: a magic place for magic results
So, let’s talk about money: In theory, you can really get rich if you are first on Google. Forget theory, let’s talk ‘in practice’. It happens. The web site owners whose results come up first on Google when you type their critical and valuable keywords really could be rich. Let’s see how it could happen.
If, for example, you’re selling ‘home building plans’, and the price is about $1000-$5000 per plan, and you are first on Google for the keyword “home plans”, (as homeplans.com), you are most certainly very rich.
There are two options to make this work for you. The first is that you don’t have any kind of business yet. You can start a business that relies on Google, depends on demands and offers on Google. The ratio between demand (how often something is Googled) and the number of offers (how many websites compete for the same search terms).
If you find a “hole” where the market’s demand is not met, you have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: the market where you have some chance to succeed and start your own business.
For example, you’ll notice (I will explain later how) that there are not a lot of web sites featuring ‘kids cakes’, not many specialized websites, and demand is solid. That’s the point – you want to find the gap between demand and offers on the Internet.
Let me show you how this works:
The keyword “kids cakes” has been searched an average of 6500 times a month (you can get this information from Google Keyword Planner) and you can easily multiply that 3-4 X because of long-tail keywords which you will indirectly drag down.
Long-tail keywords are longer variants of the basic keyword. For example, “Mickey Mouse kids cake”, “kids birthday cake” or “kids cakes Barbie party”. Those are long-tail variants. With longer and more specific keywords it’s easier to be first on Google because there is low competition. There’s lower demand than for the general variants (only “kids cakes”), which means there is less potential for visits, but the ranking is secure.
Based on that data (demand), and research of the competition (offer), you decide whether to go in a business making kids cakes. You build a website, people start ordering. The phone is ringing.
When you are first on Google for “kids cakes” and “cakes for kids”, and thousands of similar terms, you are, in fact rich.
Your phone is ringing the whole day. You are making 100 cakes a day and you can’t make them fast enough even when you raise the price. Pretty wonderful, yes? And all that through Google. Without Facebook, Instagram, and friends’ recommendations. Without paid Google ads. Only “organic” searches. When you get “free” (well, not completely free because it costs to create the ad’s content) visits from Google, they are called “organic”. Another variant is paid visits through Google Ads, but more about that in some future article.
That’s the power of Google and the first position. Of course, it’s important that you are among the first results for commercial terms, meaning people want to pay for the solution they seek.
Every search on Google actually represents a problem. Google offers you and your web site as the solution. If Google sees you as the best possible solution for a certain search (problem), it will recommend you first.
If you are still without a business, Google analytics of demand and competing offers is a way to research which business to start, where to fly in and dominate. The bigger the demand, the bigger and harder the competition. The more “commercial” search terms, seeking national and well known company names, represent strong players (banks, insurance companies, auto makers, hotels, etc.) that have a natural advantage because they are known brands.
Strong and existing brands massively dominate Google.
It’s harder every day for smaller players to get in the market. As a small player, you have to be smarter and more agile than the big brands. The advantage of the small is flexibility and the low speed and arrogance of the big brands that can afford to have very bad SEO (Search Engine Optimization) simply because they can afford to throw so much money into their advertising..
SEO is half science, half art of how to be first on Google (other search engines are of much less relevance).
The second way to make this work is if you already have a business… and you want to be first on Google for your natural search terms, again, you have a lot of work to do when it comes to keyword research, competition, etc. You have to plan a full ranking strategy based on the state of the market for your keywords’/terms’ potential buyer type.
It calls for a lot of creativity; if the competition is strong, you have to look for alternative ways for “ranking” because you are literally fighting like David against Goliath. Every market is a little different, but ranking principles are the same.
Between these two situations, you better start from zero.
When you have no business at all, you can choose the market where you have a chance. While, if you already have a business, and you decide to be more active on the Internet, you are left to a state of the market, whatever it is, and now you’ve got to swim with the sharks and survive, somehow. There might be low demand, but strong competition. Maybe you can’t reach your buyers through Google because you are selling goods they don’t know they want to buy yet.
Here’s an example… as of 2019, 14% of adults in the US are smokers. Of those, 99% don’t Google “how to quit smoking”, BUT…that doesn’t mean that they won’t buy your solution (a patch, substitute, hypnosis or whatever) for quitting or total elimination of their desire to smoke.
Even so it’s a huge market for a couple of million people in the US. First, you have to motivate them to want to stop (if they aren’t in an active search for a solution through a Google search), then to convince them that your product or service is just for them. It’s a process. You can’t approach those people just because you are first on Google. You are doomed to other methods of selling, website presentation, dragging visits (potential customers). It’s a completely different model. It’s much easier to sell to someone who’s already seeking a solution for what they recognize is a problem.
So, despite the big numbers, it is not a good market.
It’s much easier to search and find hungry buyers and STAND IN FRONT OF THEM with food than dig somewhere where you’ll never find gold..
Source: Vimeo screenshoot
Getting into the wrong business, the wrong project, the wrong market, is the first mistake. Even if you are doing a good job. It’s better to be in the right market and the right business, you can show up even with sloppy work and you will have better results. But that is another topic for another blog.
If you searched “How to be first on Google” and came to this article, there’s a good chance that you already have a business and you noticed that a lot of people “type” the search terms that match your offer.
When you are first for “how to lose weight”, you drag in a ton of “hungry buyers” to whom you can offer your solution.
With that assumption, we are moving forward…
Google ranking is a science today.
It’s called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
Hundreds of books have been written on this topic, millions of articles, theories, study cases. Nobody has the right answer. Nobody can guarantee anything. If you go to some “ranking masters” who guarantee something – run away!
There’s no guarantee.
It’s like when lawyers guarantee court judgment (but if you watch “Law & Order” you know that’s always a crooked deal). Nobody in the world has a connection to Google, to speed up things. Nobody.
Maybe there are only a dozen Google engineers who know exactly how the algorithm works and which factor is the key. But those people won’t even share the secret with their own mother. It’s on that level of shhhhh.
Anyone who tells you that he knows some “tricks and stuff” for a faster ranking – run! Literally run. It’s like you just hired a mechanic to fix your denture…..
If you already invested a lot of time, money, effort… a couple of bad moves of “SEO experts” who are selling snake oil could RUIN your website. Literally your web site won’t exist anymore (according to Google).
If your web site disappears from Google, your business will disappear. That’s enormous power. And Google and Facebook “rules” are getting similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday soon Facebook says “oh, Google has banned these sites, who knows what they did wrong, we shouldn’t send our users to this suspicious website.”
Literally. Your business doesn’t exist anymore. It’s THAT dangerous to engage someone to “boost” your ranking because they “know tricks”. You can’t fool around with Google. They know everything. Every trick. You can cheat a little, but sooner or later, you are done. You have to play by the book. You have to be patient. You have to be persistent.
Sometimes you will look for “shortcuts” to do something faster and overnight and that’s exactly what could put you in trouble with Google in the form of penalties.
You’ll feel the penalties when you, or your SEO “expert”, who charged you $500 to “boost” your ranking, takes $100 of that to buy 1000 “backlinks” on Chinese and Indian web sites. And you see the visits, you are happy.It “inflates” links, and links to your website from other websites are one of the major ways you rank on Google. But Google, of course, finds it out and shoots you down. There is a way to “buy” links, but you have to go slow, and they need to be extremely relevant links which connect naturally to your web site because it’s a relevant topic, not a fake “set up”.
There are different segments to SEO. One is “technical SEO” which implies certain standards you must follow. Another part of SEO is an “artistic” and psychological part which is crucial for success if you do the technical part well.
A lot of things have changed over time. There are thousands of articles about Google ranking, and it’s not easy to separate what is more or less important, and what is not important at all.
That’s exactly what I want to shorten for you – the important from the not important.
What is REALLY significant so you can rank? It’s the topics no one talks about and SEO experts keep secret. I want to tell you the bare truth about Google ranking.
REAL EXAMPLES and BEST PRACTICES THAT ARE PROVEN TO WORK. MISTAKES people made that produced no results and the business owners give up.
To understand better, we are going to review as an example some of the people and businesses who reached out to me about this and that are suitable for Google (that means their search terms are googled and they can present themselves as solutions for certain searches).
A woman once said she just opened a medical practice; let’s say she was a gynecologist. Another was a photographer; he wanted to make a business out of his hobby. As a third example, one boy wrote to me, his mother had a farm; let’s say it was about organic food because it’s a stronger search.
So, we have 3 businesses and entrepreneurs:
- Organic food
Each of them can get rich, at least to earn very well when ranked first on Google for their terms. What should they do?
It is possible they already have a registered website domain. If they don’t, they are thinking about what they should call their website. Most people make a mistake here. MOST of the mistakes are made at the very beginning. They mess up from the start with the wrong foundation.
Most would want to register “exact match domain”, which means, you want to be first for “gynecologist”, so you want to register as ‘gynecologist.com’, but that’s taken so then you try ‘gynecologistseattle.com’, that’s taken too, then you try gynecologist-seattle.com, also taken, then you try gynecologist-feinberg-seattle.com, and, of course, that one is free and you can register. (you had no idea I’m so multi-talented, right?)
That’s a mistake. Here’s why.
Everyone else will do the same.
The next one will also register a similar domain, only reverse seattle-gynecologist.com.
The result will be like that so it shows up in Google search as:
They all look the same.
The problem is that MOST people don’t buy on the first visit to your web site. And if they like your web site and your offer, when they go back on Google and search to find you again, Google will show them 10 similar domains and they won’t know which one is yours. They might go to someone else.
Your domain is supposed to be your brand.
It’s a safer option. You want someone to remember that one word, for example, last name, if a gynecologist’s last name is Feinberg than your domain should be gynecologistfeinberg.com or even better gynecologistfeinberg.us.
If you are trying to rank in some other state than the US, it’s always better to buy a local domain, Google ranks local web sites for local searches higher simply because of their locality. The local result is more relevant that’s why Google prefers it.
If you want to rank in America or on the international market, you want the .COM domain (and nothing else). If you want to rank in Germany, then ‘DE’, and so on for every country.
Because most people don’t buy on their first visit, you’ve got to make it EASY for them to find you when they search specifically for you.
If they know that they come to the web site of Feinberg gynecologist, then they will remember, and type “gynecologist Feinberg” not “gynecologist Seattle”. In that case, your only competitor could be another gynecologist who has the same last name as you.
Because they already went on your web site, in 99% cases you will show up as the #1 result, because Google remembers their behavior and old searches (that’s pretty amazing it itself!). In any case, they will find you when they remember something specific about you, rather than their past general search (which brings in all your competition).
What happens next… the more people Google “Feinberg gynecologist”, Google remembers, and in time it starts to connect those two terms: gynecologist + Feinberg. Aha, these two are connected. From now on when someone types ONLY “gynecologist”, the Feinberg ordination will show up as the first result, because people are looking exactly for them, they must be good. The more people search for you, your web site, the more you look like a brand and Google wants to show the seekers all relevant (connected) searches.
It’s a similar situation with the photographer and organic food. It’s not enough to be organicfood.com or photographerboston.com.
With a short term, if there isn’t a competition, yes, you’re ok; but with a long search term, never. The best combination is the domain “brand” + “main keyword”.
The main keyword is not important only for search, but to make it CLEAR to the user what your web site is about; what it promises as a result. If the user isn’t sure (based on your domain name) what the website is about, it’s a smaller chance they will click when your domain “jumps out” as a result. That’s bad.
The goal is to have this ratio as big as possible: the ratio between how many times your web site showed up on Google (impressions) and the number of clicks on your link (CTR or click-through rate) to be as large as possible.
If you are the 7th result for a “gynecologist Seattle” search, and people click on your website more than on the 5th result, and in time, Google will “think” “aha, people are liking the 7th result more than 5th, let’s switch them”. And it lifts you up. Only a couple of positions higher on the first page could bring you a couple of times more visits.
If the users don’t have it CLEAR right away what your web site is about, let’s say you are drfeinberg.com, instead of gynecologistfeinberg.com, the fewer people will click. It’s clear that you are a doctor, but not which kind of doctor. It’s about specifics – they mean a lot.
It’s also not good if you have a domain word that is completely different than a prospect’s search term…let’s say, a photographer might register a domain thebestmoments.com, to be “creative” because he will capture those best moments in life. Although it is creative, it might not be helpful, because it’s not instantly clear and could have another meaning, maybe it’s chocolate, maybe a restaurant? It could be anything.
From all these examples, probably the worst you could do is to add “your” or “my” in front of the word.
Such as “mygynecologist.com” or “yourphotographer.com” or “myorganicfood.com”.
Once again, the best combination for a domain name is “brand” + “main keyword” which is clearly what is that you do and what you offer. It’s important to remember you and find you more easily, the 60-70% who will buy on a second, third, seventh visit to your website.
That is the first step, to put the website on a good foundation. With that ONE move, you will earn a couple of times more money and all your efforts (also from the other visits source) will pay off.
Now the BAD NEWS. It is starting to get harder. After you registered your domain.
But it’s going to pay off…if you endure!
The GOOD NEWS – Your competition will give up soon, for sure.
Although 90% of them quit, it’s still a problem, because new players will come to “fight” for the same keywords and the same market.
However, until then you will be well trained and in the race longer. You already see the results that motivate you to keep up. It’s harder for them, it’s easier for you. If you don’t give up, you swim further. Remember – you are in the good market and the persistent one wins.
Most of the time…
There are a dozen things that are REALLY important for you to rank on the first page on Google. Without them, you won’t have results. Those are some MAIN things you should do well, the rest will get solved along the way.
Here’s what you need to do and to know.
1. Be prepared for what is waiting for you, and equip yourself with smart expectations.
Nobody will tell you this, but the main “secret” for Google ranking is persistence and endurance. People get screwed when they start with big expectations. In reality, you need about 3 years to get the first spot on Google. Even if you do everything right.
You can be first after a year if you fight in the ring without many competitors. Yet, when there aren’t many competitors it means the trophy is not valuable enough. The bigger the demand and competition, the harder it gets, and you need more time.
The advantage is that 95% of businesses don’t even know what SEO is and don’t use it, so there are many valuable unused markets with plenty of room for the small and agile ones. A lot of businesses are still focused on offline sales only.
Anyway… It’s the worst when you expect results too fast, you will discourage yourself too fast. If you aren’t ready to invest 3 years, more or less, don’t even start. Building online calls for at least an hour a day, every day. Whether you do it, or someone else does it for you, doesn’t matter. Even if you do it for 8 hours a day, it will get faster but not 8 times faster. Simply, you have to let it “take root” for a bit in most cases for most businesses.
It’s important to get in the ring as soon as possible. Does the SEO pay off? Absolutely, over time.
For example, if Seattle-based gynecologist Feinberg is first on Google for “gynecologist Seattle”, every day she will have 10 new clients (if the website is good and convincing).
Perhaps, in her case, it won’t take 3 years, because most gynecologists don’t have a web site or have a bad one and don’t do anything about Google ranking. Anyway, keep those 3 years on your mind, and if you succeed for a year, great. At least you won’t be disappointed after a year if you don’t see significant success and are not yet first on Google.
You might after a couple of months already have visits from Google and new clients, and you reinvest that money in things that help you rank, and so on. You will see the first results (visits), but you won’t be the first on Google overnight.
The ranking is a process, depending on hundreds of factors. Here is the popular list of 200 factors that influence the ranking.
One of the factors is that Google gets to know you. To prove that you are good. That you aren’t going anywhere and that you are there to stay. There are many websites which get shot down after a year. Google has to see that you mean business (are serious).
They have to see that you are worthy of recommendation to their users. Whenever you do SEO, and you don’t advance, be sure that Google constantly tests you, how persistent you are, how creative, how much you try to please their users. You give to them, Google gives to you.
Think like Google. Google is a service that gives solutions (your solution, perhaps) to problems (searches). Your web site should be that. Solution for a problem.
Which problems your clients have that you can help them with (through good information and advice)?
Think about that. Put it on paper. ALL the possible problems your clients have. Write it down. Talk to your client, and take notes, collect ideas. Then sit down and Google (imagine that you are your client), type whatever comes to your mind that has a connection, direct or indirect, with your business.
Google will give you suggestions – these are all ideas people actually Google, that’s why Google suggests them. Search on the web sites and look for specific words inside your market. For example, organic food, people that look for tomatoes, eggs, chicken breeds which are organically bred. Those are all groups of problems inside “organic food”, those are all topics, problems, and searches and you can offer your relevant solutions to Google users.
For gynecologists, there might be a million different questions, illnesses, concerns, doubts, pregnancies, there is no end.
As soon as there is no end to topics that concern your audience, that is great for you and your ranking. The more problems your client has, the better for you.
For a photographer, those problems would be “kids photographer” or “event photographer” or “family portraits” or “headshot photographer”. On all those topics she can write an answer to potential customers, on her website. What to write about photos?
At first glance, you may think there’s not much to say. In fact, there is a lot to write about if you just think. “How to make good photos for kids’ birthday with a mobile phone”, filtering light, composition, color adjustment, photo editing programs. In the end, of course, your readers will prefer to hire a photographer- you – to do all that professionally; after all, you just wowed ‘em with your know how!
Then consider: “the best 10 locations and scenes for photographing kids”, or “family portrait: all you need to know”, or “how to take and choose the best photos for your web site”. So, from various keywords for a certain topic, you show your knowledge, you demonstrate authority and professionalism, and that way you will have many topics about photography on your website. Google reads the content, before all TEXT content, based on those keywords and sentences on the web site. It starts to understand what your site is about and for which topics (keywords) to show your website in search results.
That way you can think of a lot of topics to write about. All those topics can contribute to your rank. And additionally, you can promote through Facebook and attract buyers from multiple sides. “How to choose the best camera for beginners”, “How to pick the best photographer for a company event”. Then you explain what to focus on, and there, you are fulfilling all the criteria to up your visibility.
Of course, some people might want to do it themselves, but they will realize that it is way easier and smarter to hire you as many other satisfied customers did (your site’s testimonials, proofs, examples) because of the good price, extra quality, obvious expertise and irresistible offer you make.
If you can help your clients, then Google can help its clients by recommending your website to the right seeker.
For Google to see you as the best solution, so must its users (your web site’s visitors). Google is not always right right away, but, sooner or later, it is. Google knows what its users do on your web site… it sees their behavior. Google knows if its users like your website or not, whether they react or don’t, whether they buy or don’t.
Make Google users ultra happy (by solving as many problems you can, as best you can), and Google will make you happy with all the clients it can send you.
Remember my suggestion that you make a list of all possible common questions and answers? Well, you can use that a second time by putting it on your offer page. The more focused content for your clients you have on the website, the more visits Google will send to you.
It’s important that all content is “optimized” as best as possible. Exactly the SAME ARTICLE, just a little better optimized, with a better title, better keywords, better subtitles, and a couple of more elements, could bring UTTERLY DIFFERENT results. That’s why you should optimize articles, not just to write “from the heart”, but to plan topics and content that have a better chance to bring you visits.
Anyway, there is SERIOUS work in front of you. Hard work. But…when you rank – then you are in the game! You have a stable business, stable influx of new clients, no more marketing expenses, you have the right clients because they specifically searched for the solution to a certain problem; that’s why you have way bigger profit (again, organic visits from Google are “free”), and now, when you ranked, it’s much easier to maintain the first position.
That position now is worth thousands of dollars a day perhaps, depending on the market value itself, and conversion of your web site (how well you sell your services) and the length of the funnel you have to keep your client buying from you.
Your business grows, and with recommendations of those new clients, you wouldn’t be able to answer the demand. What a great problem to have! You have to expand. And you’d better, because, if you start to reject clients due to exhausted capacity, Google will see it and punish you with a lower ranking. That’s why gradual growth is good – you have time to prepare and develop in expectation of continued growth.
So, that is the first step – search and find all the possible problems your potential clients google. Be aware that ranking to the first spot is a long process that demands a lot of work, research, writing, and creative thinking.
2. Build a website using WordPress
On any domain, you can easily install WordPress and use WordPress “themes” that make design much easier.
There you have decent, free themes, or you can buy one for about $50, with a little more design suitable for your type of business. Just type “WordPress themes for (your industry)” and you will find various finished themes. It’s not always an ideal solution for every business, but it’s the easiest way for small businesses to run their online presence.
The difference between building a blog and website is that the website is more “static”, and implies fewer changes (like a company presentation website), while for the blog, there is an assumption that you are going to add new content more and more – that is exactly what Google wants. New content is key for ranking. Nowadays, almost every website should look like a blog, especially if your strategy for visits is based on Google ranking.
You can have a static part of the website, which doesn’t have to be WordPress, just usual HTML and CSS which is specially designed and optimized for sale, according your needs.For example, gynecologistfeinberg.com is the static part of the web site, including tabs for About US, Contact, Services, Gallery etc.Besides that, you have the Blog part in the navigation bar: gynecologistfeinberg.com/blog. On that sub-category of the website, you will publish texts which are going to link back to your “Service” page or especially to Landing pages, where you sell a certain service or product individually.
That is how the gynecologistfeinberg.com will have a goal to be first on Google for “gynecologist Seattle” search. And special pages, every Landing page or Blog article will fight individually for some other, usually long-tail, keywords. That is a comprehensive method where every page helps the other pages and they cooperate or coordinate with each other.
The best way to rank is that your website is on the WordPress platform because you can easily add all sorts of “Plugins” (additional web site tools) which help you to rank. And you can easily add new content by yourself. The WordPress platform is the easiest way to run your online presence and to contain it, without constantly waiting for the programmer. There are a lot of advantages even if you do everything “custom”, but for small businesses, WordPress is an easier, faster and cheaper solution.
Besides that, you have great “SEO plugins” for WordPress which will put your website on “healthy legs” and automatically solve certain technical aspects for you. For example, look at Yoast or All In One SEO and similar plugins. Count them as “vaccines” which protect your web site from unnecessary problems and give you energy for your other SEO efforts.
3. Install Google Analytics and register your website on Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)
There are certain Google tools that help you to rank. The first is Google Analytics. It’s like an x-ray for doctors, which helps them see what is inside. Google Analytics is analytics for a web site, you can see (almost) everything there. How many people came to your website, from where, how long they stayed, where they clicked, how they behave, how old they are, their gender; Google has all that information from multiple sources. One of them is a Gmail account which stays on while people visit the web site and reveals if they are completely new visitors to your site or returning visitors. All that information helps your future work.
You could partly see what keywords people used to reach your web site through Google. A few years ago, Google gave to webmasters (that’s you now, as a web site owner), 100% of data…all the keywords. Today, it gives you only 10%, and for the rest, it says “not available”. There is speculation that Google wants to make a larger number of people to pay for Google ads (because when you pay, you have a lot more data, and everything is transparent because you are Google client).
The only way Google will communicate with you and your web site is when you register the web site on Webmaster Tools (now it is called Search Console). Then you will have more than 10% of data, you can see your web site position for certain keywords, and you will see a longer keyword list for which your web site shows up. You must do this in the beginning so you have more data in time. Data can help you make the right decisions and “optimize” the direction of future work you do on your site.
You will know which articles are most visited, which you can “refine” and improve so you can climb a few positions closer to the first spot on Google. Also, Google will tell you when something is wrong on the website when you have to make some changes and improvements. That’s the only communication channel where Google’s “robot”, which searches your website, gives you certain signals.
4. Post (consistently) a lot of quality articles relevant to your clients and prospects
I already wrote a little about this. But I still have to repeat: SEO and “content marketing” get along with each other. You should write longer texts with more details, with more direct and indirect keywords and topics. The longer text is over 1500 words, such as this. If you’re interested, this blog is over 8,000 words; let that sink in……
Write a lot and often; make a plan – one quality article a week. That’s over 50 articles a year. If you don’t write yourself, hire someone, then add more details to make it even better. With 50 articles a year, where every topic is carefully chosen, optimized and thematically connected, you must have great results and excellent visits. Then you should channel them towards your product, but that’s another topic.
Build your authority, help people; Google recognizes this and ranks you better, trusts you more. Only now, after a year of consistent posting, you are starting to rank better and better for whether old or new articles. When you compare (on Google Analytics) Google visits, you will see constant growth.
Of course, under the condition that you don’t have certain “blockades” with bad “on-page” SEO optimization. On-page factors of ranking are under your control. There are a thousand details, but they are, mostly, through the WordPress platform and with a couple of good plugins, automatically solved.
5. Promote content on other channels
Every article you write for Google ranking, you should promote through Facebook. That way you “push” the content a little. Google catches those signals, reactions through social networks in a certain way, number of likes, tweets, shares. It all gets noted somewhere. Nobody will tell you this, but it works.
If the text is well optimized for ranking on Google, and you push it through Facebook, you will get fans and clients and you will indirectly help articles to rank better in some later phase. Maybe, someone will link to it, even via an email link as a recommendation (Google reads Gmail correspondence).
I’ve seen many times that, when someone “dumps” a load of visits through Facebook, on a text that gets excellent reactions, it will rank on Google faster and bring long term targeted visits. So invest a little, it will help you in the long-term and pay off your investment many times.
This strategy might not work for gynecologists because of the content’s nature but works excellently for a lot of other businesses. For starters, push every article a bit, just for Google to notice it and “index” it.
Then, when you post new content, you are helping Google robots to visit and reindex your site, including new content you posted and every other “off-page” SEO indicators, links, shares, and etc.
Read this guide before you start your online promotion.
6. Learn as much as you can about “Content marketing” and individual article optimization
Every single article is important and fights for its own first position on Google. The time has long gone when you could lift your website with one page and become first. Now you need a ‘WEB’ – a lot of focused, quality content that is connected and complemented. Rarely does your “title” (home page) page attract most of your visits. On that page, you will often get from Google returning traffic that searches for your brand or you’ll get direct visits to your domain. Those are the people who initially found out about you through their FIRST contact with you, perhaps a Landing page, which is actually a Blog post or article.
So, most of the new visitors will come to individual pages or articles on the blog. That’s why you need those pages, blog posts, to be very good; I mean optimized for Google. There are a lot of factors to make that happen.
Optimized content has to have
- relevant photos
- good title
- well-injected keywords through the text (but not too much)
- 100% original content, not translated, not copied, but unique content and ideas, or maybe old ideas and information, only better presented by you
- And you will need external links to relevant websites that explain your secondary topics for which you may not yet have written text.
The idea is that your users don’t have to go back on Google to find something; you direct them. That gives the user a richer experience and it’s less work for them.
The text has to start “above the fold” (above the first mouse scroll), you mustn’t have huge banners above the content, so your visitor finds the information they want faster.
More about on-page SEO optimization you can learn here, or you can read this new great book about SEO.Believe me, if your individual pages are strong, then your whole web site is strong, completely.
7. Your website (absolutely) has to be optimized for mobile devices
Nowadays, you will have more visits from mobile phones than computers. Google demands that your web site is perfectly adjusted for mobile devices. If it isn’t, there is no love between you and Google. It won’t send you visits and you won’t be ranked. That’s why, for small businesses, WordPress is the best web site platform because topics are already automatically optimized for mobile devices. Today, Google is “mobile-first”.
With this link you can do test whether your website is mobile device “friendly” according to Google. If it’s not, you need to solve that first, because everything else that you do is a waste of time.
8. The website has to be FAST
Not every web site is as “heavy”. Some of the web sites have fewer photos, and photos could be a burden. A lot of ugly banners could be a burden. Anything in the very code of the web site could be a burden. You might have a slow server (and bad hosting package), so your web site is slow.
You might have too many visits (please God!), and your server can’t take that amount. In any case, Google can’t stand slow web sites. Slow websites means a bad user experience. People won’t wait long for a page to open. You spend Google resources and their users’ resources. Slow web sites rank very badly or they are “blocked” from further growth.
Here you can check how fast or slow your web site is, on Google Pagespeed Insights.
Big business web sites can have bad grades but also often have big returning traffic and so they don’t care about Google ranking. That’s a luxury that small businesses can’t allow.
Big brands usually have a lot of “backlinks” (other websites that link to their site), they can overcome serious mistakes (extremely slow web site by Google standards). They can because they don’t have a lot of competition, and yet enough of backlinks to deal with things badly done.
Although, those kinds of mistakes could be a big chance for new players who do right on-page optimization. Good thing is that the on-page optimization is under your direct control.
As a beginner, you don’t have the big brand luxury of a lot of backlinks, you have to start with what is under your control. One of those things is site speed. You have to constantly work on the website’s speed to end up in the “green zone”, and Google will award you with stronger positions.
You can do everything well, but if you don’t have this one thing tied up, you’ll waste all that work.
Try and you will see.
9. If you have done everything right from above…the next step is LINKS
Google searches the Internet by “crawling” from link to link. Every link from your website, Google gets in and then drives away until its next destination, and from there to next, and to next, and to next. That is how Google “indexes” more websites and puts them into the base.
The goal is for you to find as many strong backlinks as possible, and more importantly, RELEVANT websites that link to yours.
When you write a great article, you give other sites the OPPORTUNITY to share your content with their audience by linking to you. The basic model isa) create great contentb) owners of other sites like the content and link to itc) Google ranks you better
It’s natural that other web sites are going to link to you with relatively similar content. That’s how I will always look to link to content that has a connection with marketing, not with fishing or even great shoes (as much as I love a great shoe!). Google appreciates those links and values them the most. The more links your “root domain” has (that’s the home page), and the more links your individual pages have (landing pages, blog posts), the stronger is your brand.After that, every article you post will have a better and better starting position – because it is posted by you, the authority on that topic (after all, all those other relevant sites wouldn’t link to you if you weren’t, right?).
Getting to more quality links is a process. There are a lot of techniques, tricks, and catches. In the end, those links will give you the biggest “improvement” to all your previous efforts. But that’s only the last thing you should deal with. The more important work is to:
- do a detailed analysis of the market,
- find out your potential clients interests,
- build a strategy for the content you are writing,
- regularly post great content (on topics that are googled the most, so you have long term, stable traffic),
- and then promote your content actively and smartly on other channels.
Only then, after a certain period of time, you can slowly start to actively deal with links for additional improvement. This is a huge topic by itself so we won’t get into it in this post.
10. How much investing in SEO really pays off?
Now you know some REALLY important factors when it comes to Google ranking. The rest is details, but this is the STARTING POINT on which you can build further.
It’s important that you continue to read and learn about SEO optimization and to learn how you can improve your current situation. The main thing is the search for good keywords and topics and creating great content for them. That is a basic branch you do to extend the visits of more visitors.The next question is how to convert visitors to buyers, plus how you can maximize the content to improve your position on Google.
Creating content is a long term investment in a long term business. If you pay someone to create your content, it’s also an investment. To fully pay off, follow the steps I gave you, 1-9.
This is the most profitable type of marketing on the Internet, it pays off the most. The return could be 1000-fold without a problem. It’s important that you create “evergreen” content, relevant content that is going to be relevant after years, just as it is today.
Count like this: if one article brings you 10 new clients when it ranks on Google, and one client is worth $100, that means that the value of that one article is $1000.
Through the search term, the keyword, if you connect it with your offer, even in the worst case, say 1 of 200 visitors will become your client. It means that with only 1000 visits on an article from Google, you have potentially 5 completely new clients.
Have you seen the light? Is it clear to you how investing in SEO and content can seriously pay off? Through this technique, you have website visits and are positioned as an expert or authority in your market, and you help people however you can for free. Pretty good karma.
That’s why deciding how much to invest in SEO is the 10th step because, without seeing the potential for your business, you won’t try hard enough and you won’t persist. If you are not aware of the true financial weight that first position on Google has, you might let it all go and I don’t want you to do that.
Where to learn further about SEO and Google ranking?
It’s not easy to wade through the enormous and ever-growing sea of information. There are a lot of SEO tools but they cost a lot, perhaps over $150 a month, just to get special information for better optimization. A lot of software that could be useful. Those tools have been used by “SEO experts” and with them, they bring a lot of information about the market, competition and they can help to form the strategy for their clients, maybe for you. It’s easy to drown in the sea of information. In reality, you will learn the most through work and digging Google Analytics and Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools).
Here is a selection of the best additional sources that will help you:
- Moz guide for beginners, and their entire blog
- The Good Book of SEO
- Neil Patel guide for technical SEO
- Neil Patel guide for content marketing
- And for all SEO news and good new advice, after you’ve mastered the basics, follow the Search Engine Journal
It’s enough that you read every day just a little but focus on creating the content. If you spend more time consuming content than creating content, you are not the seller, but the buyer. Which means money doesn’t end up in your pocket.
In the end… these links above don’t mean much if you don’t have time or you need concrete practical examples that you could apply directly to your case. Nevertheless, the information I’ve given you is enough to get into action and start to get visits from Google. One last time: you just need detailed research of the market, keywords, topics, plans, strategies, and how to optimize better and to write articles that will rank.
Until next time,
Andrea (not a gynecologist in Seattle or anywhere else…!)
One last thing: My tiny offer if you’re ready for a BIG Google position: I’m planning to host workshops about the topics you’re reading in this series.
Interested to attend a live Zoom presentation? Let me know in the comments below, and I will send details as this all comes together. As always, your comments on any aspect of online marketing tools are enthusiastically received.