There’s a joke that gets us every time. It goes like this:
Q: What’s the best place to hide a dead body?
A: Page two of Google.
All jokes aside, the reality is that the first page of search engine results get 95% of traffic, which means that only about 5% of users click on the second page.
Here’s another interesting fact. The first organic result gets over 36% of all traffic. And, the difference between the 10th result (the last one on the first page of SERP) and the 11th result (the first result on the second page of Google) amounts to a 140% decrease in clicks.
We know what you are wondering right now.
How can I make sure that I get on the first page of the search engines?
In this post, we will go through the most common methods you can use to get your website at the top of the search engine results. But first, let’s better understand why every website owner is so eager to get there.
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Why You Should Aim for Google’s First Result Page
We here at Australian Internet Advertising are data-driven, so let us show you more numbers regarding the importance of a high position in SERPs.
One report showed that the click-through-rate significantly decreases as a website moves down on the Google results page. The study looked at the CTR to see how often Google users have clicked on a website, according to its ranking in the SERP.
The results have shown incredible differences between the first 3 places, with the curve becoming less steep as we move downwards:
- The first position got an average CTR of 36.4%;
- The second website’s average CTR is 12.5%
- The third website has an average CTR of 9.5%
And so on… As the numbers show, one of your digital marketing priorities should be to reach the top of the SERPs because that’s where you get the most traffic.
The good news is that the type of organic content shown on the pages of Google results is quite varied. Featured snippets, for example, also known as “position zero” results, are displayed above the normal organic listings, and are meant to directly answer the user’s question, without them needing to click through. That gives business owners more opportunities to get some of the heat at the top of search results.
But, how do you get at the top of Google search results? Well, the truth is that you cannot do it without understanding the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO) and applying them constantly.
Here are some of the most important steps you need to take.
Optimise for the Right Keywords
Keyword research is crucial for ranking on Google, as it tells the search engine that your web pages contain information related to the users’ search queries. But, just cramming keywords into your content is not going to work. In fact, it will have quite the opposite effect as Google frowns upon keyword stuffing. Instead, you should make sure that they integrate seamlessly with your content and always remember to write for humans, not the search engines.
Include keywords that are relevant to what your business is offering and what your visitors are looking for. Learn which keywords give you the best chance of ranking high (they are frequently used in the search queries, but not so common or general that the competition would be too fierce for them). Insert keywords in meta descriptions, titles, URLs, alt texts, and the body of your content as well to help crawlers understand what your page is about.
Regularly Publish Content on Your Blog
Blogs are a fantastic way for businesses to optimise SEO for their websites. Aim to publish blog posts that respond to your audience’s most pressing questions and needs, and not necessarily making them strictly about your products or services. General topics from your industry can help you rank higher and achieve a high level of authority and trustworthiness.
Build Quality Backlinks
Link building should be an essential part of your SEO strategy as it is a top-ranking factor. Focus on the quality, not the quantity of your backlinks. Write guest posts on high authoritative websites, network with peers, and generally create content that others want to share.
Keep Your Website Fresh
Google’s algorithm prioritises websites that post new content regularly, so make a plan to publish content often and keep your audience up to date. New posts will keep your organic traffic high.
Work on Your Local SEO
Local SEO is especially important for small businesses, and mandatory for those that operate from a brick-and-mortar store. A local business can increase its conversion rates by doing things as simple as updating their Google MyBusiness profile and making sure their NAP (Name, address, and phone number) are updated in all listings on the internet.
Give Your Visitors a Good User Experience
The experience users have once they’ve landed on your website can really make or break your SEO efforts. If your content is stellar, but your page takes forever to load or it looks bad on mobile, then Google will not show it among its first results.
Get Customer Reviews
Encourage your existing customers to give you reviews by offering great customer services and letting them know how and where they can express their opinion. This will help your SEO, as Google likes businesses showing good user engagement.
Enlist Your Business in Directories
Directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, or ShowMeLocal can be excellent sources of organic traffic and backlinks. Claim all the listings of your business that you can find online, and keep the contact information up to date.
Create a Paid Google Ads Campaign
Improving your SEO strategy is not the only way you can rank high on Google. If you need a boost in website traffic, you can create paid ads campaigns that will increase your reach.
Google Ads is a complex system in itself, so it’s worth learning how to work with it to put your marketing money in the best actions possible.
Make Social Media and SEO Work Together
Social media and SEO don’t have to be two separate strategies. In fact, as we’ve shown in other articles, they influence each other quite a lot. For example, you can boost your search engine ranking by building a strong relationship with your audience on social media. What does one have to do with the other? Well, more engagement on social media can lead to more branded searches. That will show Google and other search engines that your brand is relevant, prompting them to rank you higher for general keywords as well.
If you want to rank high on search engine results pages, you need to constantly put an effort into optimising your content for SEO, follow a tight publishing schedule, and monitor your results.
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to handle the SEO for your website, it’s best to hire professional services for it.
Australian Internet Advertising offers SEO services, website audit consultations, maintenance, and web design for customers from Sydney and all over the world. We are proud to show excellent results with each client we work with, ranking on Google in less than 60 days.
Contact us for more information and improve both your rankings and SEO knowledge by following good practices and effective strategies in modern digital marketing.