Goals: First Page Rank

Inbound Marketing, Website, Strategy

Does your content really deserve to rank on page one for your target keywords? Is it one of the 10 best, most informative, most useful pieces of content on the internet? If not, the answer is probably ... no. But, I see why you asked. Most of our clients do. The idea behind this concept is that the game has changed for the better. It’s no longer about gaming the system, it’s about being worthy of the attention that top rankings in a competitive industry will bring you.

Google is Constantly Updating its Algorithms

Like most things in marketing, Google's search engine algorithm is constantly updating and changing to get better at bringing up the most relevant content for a user's search terms. 

Search Engine RankingGoogle manages over FOUR BILLION queries a day. For those four billion searches, Google uses its web crawlers to dig into the millions of pages of web content and find the best, most relevant information based on the search terms the user entered. But it's not just the terms, Google also analyzes the freshness of the content, the number of times your search terms appear, and whether the page has a good user experience. Overall, Google's web crawlers are assessing the authority and trustworthiness of the site on the subject matter of the search query.

It all comes down to search terms, making sure that you have those key search terms in your website content and blog posts in a user-friendly layout. In the past, marketers have tried to "trick" Google by repeating keywords over and over (known as keyword stuffing). I don't know why those folks thought they could get away with it. Google cannot be tricked. You'd think everybody would know that by now, eh?

So ... how do you get on the first page for specific search terms? 

Don't lose faith quite yet. Ranking on the first page is possible, it just takes work and time. A long, long time. By improving your organic search engine optimization (SEO) and implementing paid search engine marketing (SEM) to supplement, you can reach the coveted first page rank. Assuming, of course, that your content is the best of the best on the whole wide internet.

First, let's look at how to increase organic SEO. Increasing organic rank comes from content; relevant and useful content. But it's not as simple as just adding a blog to your site and uploading 10 new blogs in one week and then leaving it. While Google will love that you added new content and can crawl through these new pages, don't expect an overnight change to number one. The optimization process is not a one-time thing - it requires maintenance, fine-tuning, and continuous testing, tweaking, and monitoring. 

Plan ... Create a content plan

Your best strategy to climb the search page rank is a long-term content strategy to continuously add new content to your site. This doesn't have to be incredibly intensive like a blog a day; look at your marketing goals and your resources to create a realistic plan and get writing.

Here are the basics to optimized blog writing: 

  1. Do your research ... keyword research that is. 
  2. Utilize your key term research throughout your post.
  3. Make sure to add images and optimize those - hint: alt-text is key.
  4. Include relevant links, both internal and external.
  5. Don't forget to optimize the title, meta description, and URL.

(Here's a blog dedicated to creating a high-ranking, search-friendly URL)

Even though SEO optimized blog writing is the goal, make sure you're writing for the reader first, search engine rank second. While robot web crawlers are scanning your content and loving it, what happens if the content they present is too hard to read for your prospective customer? Your prospects are going to bounce right out of your site. Keep your readers at the forefront of your writing - they're the ones you're doing all of this SEO work for, right? 

SEM, for the Assist

So now that you have your content strategy ready, the next step to increasing your ranking is to pay for it. However, it's not even as simple as paying for ranking. SEM is like an auction, the more competitive your topic, the more you will have to pay as you are bidding against others for your rank on the page. But it doesn't stop there, while the amount you pay will take into account the competitiveness, it also takes the following components into consideration:

  • Relevancy of the page that you're driving traffic to
  • Page speed
  • Good information architecture
  • And 200 other points of analysis

The Final Word: First Page Rank

Our answer to first page search engine ranking? A strong content strategy centered on SEO and a paid SEM plan. Paid SEM will help with immediate results, while creating relevant and effective content will increase your organic ranking over time. A little bit of luck won't hurt either.

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