There are no quick fixes that will get you to the coveted first page of Google, but there are certain things you can do to start climbing. We present our 5 best tips to get your there.
MoZ reports that Google changes its algorithm anywhere from 500-600 times every year. Most of these changes are so small you won’t notice, but every now and again there are major changes that can shift those top placements.
So what are the most important things you can do today to start your climb to the top?
1) A company blog
If your company does not have a blog already, get one now. Content published in your own channels is gold for SEO. However, you cannot just write about anything. This blog should aim to help potential clients on their buyer’s journey towards a purchase.
The buyer’s journey does not typically start with the question “What supplier should I choose?”. This means you should write content answering anything the prospect might be wondering from the moment they realise they have a problem to solve until they have chosen the provider of a solution.
The content should not be focusing on selling, but helping. A good place to start is taking a look at the questions people are already asking your sales and support people.
Most people use search engines to find answers to their questions when experiencing a challenge. If you have an article on your blog answering the questions they have it is more likely that you will show up in the search results when they go looking.
2) Pillar Content
When talking about content and SEO in the past, all focus was on keywords. Today, however, the search engines have become smarter and more capable of understanding the intentions behind a search, rather than looking at each word in isolation.
This is why you should move your focus from keywords to topics. By organising the content in so called “topic clusters” you increase the likelihood of the content to show up in searches around this topic.
So how does this really work? It is similar to structuring a blog around different categories. But rather than having the blog itself be the hub, the post or page is the hub for a topic and all pages related to the topic link back to this.
The main hub also links back out to all these blog posts. Still unclear? Take a look at this video from HubSpot explaining pillar content.
3) Get the “Featured Snippets”
You don’t actually have to be number one in the search results to be at the top. A short cut could be to land the spot reserved for “featured snippets” - the immediate answers displayed in a prime spot by Google. You might have noticed that sometimes you get the excerpt of a definition or something similar when you google a questions? This is not necessarily picked up from the first place in the search results.
By structuring your text as questions and answers, it is more likely that Google chooses your content. The answer should be short and sweet in one specific paragraph, and then you can dive deeper into the topic as you go through the article.
You can also create a list out of our answer. Read more about how to get the important placement here.
4) On-page optimisation
It is not enough to write good content if no one can see it. The content is not enough on its own. On-page optimisation is all about those elements on your website that can influence your ranking.
This means the page needs to be structured a certain way if the search engine is going to be able to read it. You will also need to write alt-text for your images if Google is going to be able to understand what they are showing.
The page will also need to be responsive and optimised for smaller devices if you want your page to show up in the search results on mobile.
5) Use Google AdWords while you wait
It can take time to climb the search rankings, especially if there is a lot of competition in your field. People won’t wait for you, so while you climb it can be a good idea to use Google AdWords.
Creating ads in AdWords for your best content, with ads written to suit the buyer’s journey, can really help you in this phase. Remember to be helpful, rather than pushing a sale, and always keep the steps of the buyer’s journey in mind.
Content meant to help those just starting out doesn’t have to mention your company, but maybe you can target them with a guide to download exploring the topic?