Let’s face it, that’s what you want; that’s what every business wants! We’re constantly getting asked ‘can you get me to the top of Google?’. Okay, well then here’s the lowdown on the best way to get to that coveted #1 spot.
Chances are, YOU CAN’T
Sorry, but it’s just not going to happen. We’d love to tell you that you could (and indeed, many SEO firms will tell you exactly that in order to win your business), but if you’re an SME there is very little chance of you getting to the top of Google, at least not for a broad audience. Every Google search is different and tailored to the person doing the searching, taking into account their preferences, history, location, likes and dislikes etc., so while it’s possible to appear at the top in some very specific circumstances, consistently being #1 everywhere and for everyone just isn’t possible. But what can be done to maximise your exposure and get you in front of as many prospective customers/clients as possible? Well, let’s go into it in a bit more detail…
There are always at least TWO ‘Googles’
When someone searches Google for the product or service you offer, the results page is split into several different areas (at least two), depending on specifically what the customer typed in. They are:
- Sponsored Results
- Organic Results
- Sponsored Shopping
So straight away there is no ‘top’ result as such. In fact the positions those 4 different categories of results appear in can even change based on the device your customer is using. On a mobile for instance, the Sponsored Shopping results appear first, right at the very top of the page, whereas on a Desktop they can appear down the side. Whether the customer specifies a location will also dramatically effect where your business appears in the results. Take this example for instance:
Customer wants some new running shoes, so heads off to Google to see what’s available…
If the customer types in ‘Running Shoes‘ the results page will likely appear in this order:
- Product links with images (paid for)
- Business adverts (paid for)
- Normal search results (organic, i.e. free!)
If the customer adds a location to their search however, something like ‘Running Shoes in Leeds‘ or ‘Sports shops near me‘, the paid-for adverts disappear completely and they get the results in this order:
- Physical places (shops etc.)
- Normal search results
So understanding how people are likely to search for your products/services is vital in ensuring you maximise your exposure.
For simplicity, we’ll look at Sponsored Results in another article in the near future and for the rest of this article we’ll focus purely on the completely free Organic Results.
Relevance is key
Google is the world’s most popular search engine for one reason and one reason only, it gives out relevant results. So, if you want to feature high in it’s organic results, you have to be the right company, in the right place, offering the right service for that particular person.
Long gone are the days when SEO Specialists could ‘trick’ Google into displaying your website high up the rankings by stuffing it full of popular keywords, giving it lengthy titles that covered every possible word the customer may have entered into their search, or creating massive link-farms that all share links to each other’s websites. In fact, Google these days heavily penalises such tactics, sometimes leaving your business out of the results entirely if they feel you are misleading their customers. So if anyone promises specific results, be very cautious.
There are however, lots of clever and careful methods that really good SEO Specialists can use to get your business as high up Google as possible, such as making sure your website and all its contents are:
- Visible to Google and easy for them to read and understand
- Structured in the way Google prefers
- Optimised to load quickly
- Fully Responsive
- Relevant to your actual products/service
- Informative to the customer
- Simple to understand
From an SEO point of view, that’s pretty much it, but… there are still a couple more hugely important factors that contribute to your position in the results, which are often left out when discussing how to get to the top of Google. Let’s end with a quick look at these.
The age of your website – Quite simply, this is the single most important factor in determining how high up the search results you appear; more important than any single SEO factor. The longer your website has been around and the more people that have visited it, the more Google knows about it and the more confident it will be that your website is the one the customer is looking for.
This is often bypassed by SEO companies because, let’s face it, there’s nothing they can do to improve it (short of something flux-capacitor-related), so it doesn’t get mentioned, but it’s hugely important and has a dramatic effect on your raking.
How good your business actually is – It’s the same in the online world as it is out in the real one – if you run a great business that your customers love, you’ll appear higher in the search ranking.
This is down to a combination of factors, such as online ratings (5-stars etc.), strong, quality affiliate links (being ‘approved suppliers’ of large, well-established companies), the time people spend on your website and what proportion of them are returning customers, along with many, many more metrics that Google use to tell the difference between a good business and a bad one.
So what’s the bottom line? Well, yes, you do of course need excellent SEO, (something every website from Tindish will have as standard) but that’s only one part of how you get to #1 on Google; you also need to have the best business, supplying the best products and services, to a large, happy, loyal customer base.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your business’s ranking on Google, or you’d like a FREE, no obligation review of your current ranking, just get in touch.