Many businesses think being found on Page 1 of Google is the ultimate marketing coup, but is it? There are around 200 known Google ranking factors – and that’s just the known ones, there are many more that Google keep under wraps – ranging from URL, inbound links, meta tags, keyword intent, content structure, page load speeds and technical SEO specifications so it’s pretty hard to get all that right by chance and without specialist help.

Why Page 2 won’t do, when it comes to Google

When we ‘Googled’ “How many searches are made on Google”, it said ’63,000 searches per second on any given day’. OK, so that’s massive but more importantly, a high percentage of users never scroll past the first page of Google so if you’re a business that’s looking to be found via a Google search, you have to be on Page 1. No ifs, no buts. End of.

Does long-tail searching make Page 1 the Holy Grail for businesses wanting to be found?

Long-tail searches are more specific, keyword phrases that searchers are more likely to use when they know exactly what they are looking for and are pretty much ready to make a purchase. Essentially it’s a group of three or four keywords in a phrase that captures search traffic from a (typically) 3 or more word search query. They are more in line with what your ideal client will be searching for, rather than more generalist ‘researching’.

Choose the right long-tail keywords which are very, very specific to your ideal client and you are more likely to be found on Page 1 of Google for that search phrase.

Is there a fool-proof way to get onto Page 1 of Google and can I do it myself?

Firstly, there is nothing fool-proof about Google and what gets you on Page 1 on a Monday, may find you relegated to page 2 by Tuesday as it's not only about what you’re doing, it’s also about what your competitors and everyone else is doing too. You can’t afford to stand still for too long or you’ll actually be going backwards when it comes to Google rankings.

If you’re going DIY, make sure your website is indexed on Google which if it’s a newer site, it may not be. Go to http://www.google.com/addurl and submit your website domain name which essentially invites Google over for coffee to check out your website and add it to its vast database.

Make sure each of your web pages is relevant to the keyword being searched  - where you want to have your site associated to that keyword or phrase search – because if Google doesn’t think your web page is relevant, it’s not going to show it.

And for other DIY ideas, check out the list below – you can certainly achieve the majority of these yourself, although some of the technical aspects will require outside help.

Aside from paid-for advertising, how can I get onto page one of Google in short order?

If you don’t want to pay for advertising (and let’s face it, no-one does!) your next best bet is the organic, or natural, method and these are achieved through search engine optimisation or SEO.

  • Your page content needs to be a decent length, packed with useful information that is relevant to your target market
  • Try to get some inbound links from other sites as long as they have content that relates to yours
  • Is your website mobile-friendly or responsive? Your website should be easy to navigate on a mobile or tablet
  • Your web pages need to load quickly or you will lose visitors - and Google won’t like that and may even penalise you
  • Keywords need to appear in your web pages but should be relevant and flow naturally. Gone are the days of weird copy stuffed with keywords that were appealing only to Google’s bots. Google is looking for copy that is written for humans
  • Add a regular supply of fresh content – news, events, blogs, reviews or video
  • Your website should be https which means it's secure. If your site isn’t, get your web hosting company on the case
  • If this is all too much for your in-house resources, engage a specialist SEO company who will help you define your keywords, smarten up your content and help you get to, and stay on, Page 1 of Google.

Are there businesses that don’t need to be found online or is it now a universal need?

There are plenty of businesses out there that don’t have websites, but most will have a social media presence such as a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile or Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube channels depending on the type of business.

If your business relies purely on local footfall then you may not need an online presence at all, but we’d certainly argue that any business could benefit from being searchable online to improve visibility to both a local and wider audience.



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About the author

Cheryl Dobson

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Having worked in the advertising, Customer Service and Serviced Office sectors I am passionate about ensuring high standards are met. Currently working for Smarttplay an exciting technology company developing software to help optimise marketing strategies.

https://smarttplay.com/


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