Part 4: What it Takes to Earn Top Google Rankings Today
Google’s ever-changing criteria can make trying to rank on their first page organic search results feel like shooting at a moving target. In this video, I’ll tell you how to navigate those challenges to get your site on page one.
What Are Top Rankings All About?
- Keywords & Content
Using the right keywords in the right ways matters. Use Google’s free and easy-to-use keyword research tool at adwords.google.com. This tool will allow you to see keywords that the people in your market are searching for. You’re going to want to combine the names of the regions (cities, towns, counties, and sometimes states) that you serve with the procedures that you offer and the conditions that you treat. When the data comes back, you’ll see not only what was searched but also how often. Once you’ve got those high ranking keywords, they’ll need to be woven into your site’s original, optimized content (body copy, image descriptions, video content, titles and headings, etc.).
Links convey authority and are supremely important to ranking on Google. Google looks at the links from other sites to your site, who you link to, and the way pages are interlinked on your site. Quality links comprise an estimated 40% of what it takes to get to Google’s first page.
And, social media matters…for the links. Google looks at mentions, references, and links to your site, business, or address that appears in the social space (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).
Google has posted rules and guidelines for what you’re allowed to do in pursuit of top search rankings; Google doesn’t want to be manipulated. If you don’t follow the rules and guidelines, your site’s ranking will suffer.
Additionally, each search engine (Google or otherwise) has an “aging delay.” For new sites, this means that it can take many months before you start seeing your site on page one. The upside is that once you’re site has earned a top search spot, it’s unlikely that another upstart will supplant yours. The aging delay is both quality protection for Google, and search protection for established sites that have earned their way to the top. That being said, ranking fluctuations are normal; especially in the beginning stages of pursuing page one rankings. Expect to see – even within the same day – significant shifts of 10 to 20 positions of your sites ranking.
Conversely, if you stop optimizing your site, you need to expect that your rankings will fall. If you stop optimizing, you’ll allow competitors in your market (who are still optimizing) the opportunity to outperform your stagnant site.