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How to show up on top

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “How can I make my site show up at the top of Google?” Here are the 3 basic strategies:

1. Paid Ads

Google makes their money from selling ads. When you type in a query in the search engine, they are going to try to show you ads and try to click on them. For example, when you try to search for something like “pool supplies”, look at how many of the top results are paid ads. So the easiest and fastest way to get yourself at the top of a Google search is to pay Google for an ad.

2. Local search results

The next group of results are local business listings. So the 2nd thing you can do to show up better is to make sure you have a Google business listing. How do you do that? 

  1. You need claim your listing, make sure it’s up to date, enter the right categories for your products and services, the right geographical area, and link it to your website.
  2. Then try to get as many customers as possible to write a Google review. This is the #1 thing that will make your business show up in that local search results list.

3. Organic search results

The last set of results you’ll see are called “organic results. In other words these are web pages that just show up because that is what Google thinks you are searching for.

There are two factors for getting good placement in organic search results.

  1. Each page on your website needs to be indexed by Google. To make sure Google knows that all your pages exist, you need to register for a “search console account” and tell Google where you Website’s sitemap is. A sitemap is basically a text file with a list of links for all the pages on your site. That will tell Google to crawl and index every single page on your site.
  2. Make sure the content on those pages include the keywords you think people will searching for when they look for your products and services. So after you make a list of keywords, make sure you put them in the page headings, subheadings, the link text, the page title, and the page description. This will make sure that Google will show your page somewhere in the search results when someone types in those keywords.

How to rank higher in results

Google will show pages first that are most useful and relevant to the person’s search. How do they figure out which pages to show at the top?

Google uses hundreds of ranking factors. Each page gets a score, and they show the pages with the highest score at the top of the results.

So what are those ranking indicators? Well, unfortunately their algorithm is a black box. We can’t peek inside and see how they sort those pages. We just have to guess based on what we observe.

They’re constantly updating their algorithm, so just when you think you’ve unlock their secrets, they change it on you.

And to make it even more confusing, they can show different results to each person, based on their location, browsing history, and other factors. It’s enough to drive you crazy!

Google’s recommendations

Fortunately, Google has published a guide with some recommendations for what Websites can do to get better results. You can read them yourself, but here’s a summary of what you have control over.

  1. One of the biggest things that affects your ranking is the number of other websites that link to your site. These are called “inbound links”. So if you can get other reputable websites to link to your page, then Google will say “Oh, this is a relevant and trustworthy page” and they’ll rank it higher.
  2. If your web page is viewed as an authority and has comprehensive information on a subject that people are searching for, then Google will rank it higher in the results.
  3. Another factor that affects your ranking is how fast your website loads. Google rewards fast sites with a higher ranking.
  4. If your website is mobile friendly, easy to use, and doesn’t have popups, then it will rank it higher.
  5. Another factor that affects ranking is whether or not people click on your website when it shows up in the search results. When people click through, Google assumes that it was a relevant result to their search. There are a couple of things you can do to increase your click through rate. Make sure to have a meaningful title and a motivating description for your page when it shows up in your search. You can even include keywords in the url that show up in the search results. And if you have structured data on that page, like reviews, Google will include that in the search results and that can motivate people to click through more, and increase your page’s ranking.

Finally, here’s a great rule of thumb that Google offers: “Know what your readers want, and give it to them.” That’s basically what it all boils down to.

Beware of SEO companies!

Now here’s a friendly warning: Please be cautious when an SEO company calls you up and promises to get you to #1 on Google if you pay them $1,000 per month.

I’ve seen client after client fall into that trap, they believe their sales pitch, and then then they come back a few months later and tell me nothing changed, they wasted all that money.

Believe me there is no way to trick or outsmart Google, no matter how much you pay somebody. You simply won’t win this game.

A more realistic and effective approach is a long-term strategy of consistently creating quality content and at the same time building an audience of your own that you can communicate with on a regular basis.

Need help?

Now if you want some help improving your website’s ranking, we offer a couple services.

  • Google Business Listing Setup Service: We help you claim your listing, optimize it for your business, link it to your Website, and get you set up to start getting reviews.
  • Website SEO Review Service: We’ll run your site through 100+ tests for things that affect ranking like speed, mobile-friendly, security, accessibility, meta tags, and a whole bunch of other things.Then will give you our top recommendations for what you can do to get the most improvements right away.

If this could help out someone you know, feel free to share the link to this page.

If you think that would help your business, then just click the button to buy the service right now! We’ve made it as easy and as quick as possible to get started. So just click the button now and in less than a minute you’ll be on your way.

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