Reach for the top
It’s good to be first.
That’s often true in marketing, and it’s especially true when it comes to your rank on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in Google and other browsers, like Bing.
With search engines, if you’re not first — or at least within shouting distance of first — you’re likely to be buried under the noise of the countless other brands and voices competing for customers and attention on the Internet.
On average, the top results have a 36% click-through rate. That rate quickly falls to 12.5% for second results and 9.5% for third. Fewer than 3% of those searching for something on Google make it to the second page. Where does your website rank for keywords relating the products and services you sell?
You could have a great website that is well-designed and informative, letting all the world’s consumers know about your brand and The odds are business and all you have to offer. But if you show up halfway down the ninth page on Google, the odds of someone being patient enough to click through far enough to find you are exceedingly low.
If your website is to be helpful in bringing in new business or informing customers or potential customers about what you have to offer, you’re going to have to climb much higher on the results pages,
How hard it can be to climb the listings depends on many factors, including how many competitors you have and how strong their pages and reputations are.
There are two main ways to improve your real estate on search engine results pages: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Both fall under the category of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Paid advertisements show up at the top of the page, so PPC can give you a quick bump to the top, but only as long as you are paying for the privilege.
SEO is involves improving your rank in the “organic” or “natural” Google listings. Achieving rank here takes more work but it’s a great long-term investment because 1) You will capture 3-4 times more clicks than a top PPC ad and 2) those clicks cost nothing.
Good SEO requires planning, effort and patience. Like cultivating a garden, search engine optimization takes plenty of work and action.
Google, Bing and other search engines regularly change their algorithms that determine what drives position on the SERPs. There is a lot at play here and behind the scenes, good SEO is very involved.
Here are six basic tactics you can implement to help improve your organic rank in Google.
Quality — Search engines reward websites that have quality content. A regularly maintained, informative, accurate blog is one way to boost your quality score. But you don’t have to take our word for it. According to Google, “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors.”
Keywords — Search engine results are tied to the words consumers type in search bars. Do some research. Find out what words your customers and potential customers are using when they look for businesses like yours. Find out what keywords your competitors are focusing on. Use those words throughout your website and social media efforts.
Mobile — People increasingly are searching the web on their phones. Search engines know that and reward mobile-friendly sites accordingly. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile browsers. Not only will the search engines reward you with higher rank, it will also help your customers navigate your site more easily. Did you know that over 70% of website traffic now happens over mobile devices?
Speed —People lose patience if websites don’t load quickly. This is especially important since — as we already have stated — people are doing most of their web search on their phones or tablets. With slower cell speeds, pages must load quickly to keep consumers’ attention. About 25% of the time, people give up on a site if it takes more than four seconds to load. One of the main drains on load time is the use of large images. You want your pictures to be big enough to look clear. But if they’re too large, it will drag down your load speeds, and many viewers will bounce off your page and off your site completely if your images don’t load quickly enough.
Security — Keep your site secure. Search engines reward secure sites. If your website begins with “https”, it’s secure. If it begins with “http”, it’s not.
Be social — Mention your site on your social media posts, and direct people to your page.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your natural rank in Google, or if you would like a comprehensive and totally free digital marketing health checkup, we’re here to help. If you’d like a hard-core sales pitch, sorry, we don’t do that. But if you want some real advice and help with your digital marketing efforts, Contact Us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a good old fashion phone call at (203) 682-4585.