Why Ranking at the Top Matters on Google
If you work in SEO or care about your website, then you are familiar with how important it is to rank near or at the top on Google. It’s a competitive atmosphere that leaves marketing professionals working day and night to find their way to the top. Nearly 90% of all clicks are generated on the first page of search results and those at the top receive 36.4% more traffic than those lower than them.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
In the land of search engine optimization, we are all working to make our websites the best that they can be. It’s not an exact science and the landscape is a constantly evolving one. The general rules are that you want engaging content that garners quality traffic, you want to have a technically sound website, and you want to make sure that you are properly crawled and indexed on Google. But all of this is not an easy task.
Hard or not, it is essential. If your website isn’t appearing on page one for Google, you can expect disappointing organic traffic results. Having all traffic channels working to their best will really determine your website’s success.
Okay, we get that it’s important, but how do we get there?
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SERP POSITIONING
This is not a simple question and the answer to it is not any simpler. That said, it’s useful to have a checklist to look at to set you and your website up for success. Let’s start at the beginning and plan it out.
- Set up a Google Analytics and Google Search Console account. This is straightforward but essential. Analytics will help you track your successes and failures and Google Search Console will allow you to check on your indexing and crawlability.
- Do your own technical website crawl. Use a tool like Screaming Frog and do a full website crawl and identify any error pages that you may have.
- Set up a redirect plan. Now that you know what pages have errors set up redirects so that people aren’t hitting dreaded 404 error pages. Google will dock you for this.
- Fix on-page SEO. Make sure every page has title tags, H1 tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, etc.
- Have engaging content. Create FAQ pages, create a blog, add white papers and guides. Content is king.
- Make sure your page speed is fast. Slow load times drive away visitors. High bounce rates combined with poor page speed makes Google very unhappy.
- Set up a Dynamic sitemap and submit it on Google Search Console. This will make sure all of this wonderful content is being indexed into Google.
- Set up Reporting. All of your determinations should be driven by data. Build out custom reporting to help you track your results and then use that data to improve your website.
There are many sub-elements to this plan, but this is a great outline to get started.
WHY RANKING HIGH MATTERS
We have a plan for how, so now let’s look a bit more in-depth at why it matters. We already covered that you will receive more traffic so let’s look at why else.
- People trust high ranking organic results. Being at the top positions you as an authority or an expert in whatever subject matter that the searcher was searching.
- Beat your competitors. Being at the top drives traffic to you and keeps it away from your competitors. First page results get 10 times more traffic than those on page 7.
- Appearing at the top is the cheapest form of marketing. You are not paying for ad space or handing out free trials. You aren’t cold calling door to door or doing lead gen from a call center. You are simply serving up your website to a person who needs your product, service, and/or expertise. There is no better positioning in the world, and it comes at just the cost of labor.
HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW
There are over five billion searches per day on Google. There is no bigger potential customer pool in the world. The best way to grow your business is to build a strong website and then be positioned near or at the top of page one on Google. You know what to do, now it’s time to go out there and do it.