What Does it Take to Be #1?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is an ever-changing, always-evolving practice. So, what does it truly take to land in that coveted, number one spot on Google, Yahoo, or Bing?
The short answer is simple: high quality, value-added content that serves your target audience.
Google and the other search engines are always updating their algorithms, but the one thing that doesn’t seem to change is their emphasis on value-added content. That’s why content marketing is such a huge piece of today’s marketing strategies.
Whether it’s blogging, video production, social media, eBooks, webinars, or something else, it’s not enough to simply put something together and hope it ranks.
First and foremost, the content you put out has to add real value to your audience. Otherwise, Google thinks you’re contributing to the growing internet pollution problem. That’s when marketers pump out bad, generic content with the hopes of ranking but fail to add any value to consumers.
If you want your website to rank on the first page of the major search engines, or better yet, in the top position, start with value-added content. From there, here are some other things to consider.
What keywords do you want to rank for? Would you be shocked to find out that the keyword you’re focused on only gets searched 300 times per month… country-wide?
The first real website I ever built was a personal blog about goal setting and personal development. When I started working on getting it to rank in the search engines I was shocked to find that so many of my target keywords weren’t ones that users were searching for.
As I did my research, I began finding keywords that were searched between 5,000 and 20,000 times per month. Those are the keywords we want to target. Why take the time to write an article for a keyword that only gets searched 200 times a month? Sadly, people do this everyday without knowing it.
But search volume isn’t the only metric we need to analyze. We also need to consider how competitive a keyword is.
If a keyword has high search volume but a competitive score of 80-100, then we probably have very little chance to de-throne the current page-one websites.
However, if we find a high-volume keyword with a low or moderate competitive score, then we’re off to the races. Most marketers blindly choose their keywords by assuming what their customers are searching for. I often use the example of attorney vs. lawyer. Attorneys want to rank for the former, but consumes search the latter.
That’s why I take a detailed and intentional approach to SEO, and that’s exactly how I got my blog to rank on the first page of Google for well over 50 keywords in the first two years after launching, and that number is only growing month-over-month.
I can do the same for you and your website; just ask me how.
After selecting the best keywords to target, you can start building content, blogs, and pages on your website that are optimized for those keywords.
For that, we have to consider word count, keyword density, inbound and outbound links, and more. If the top five pages for your desired keyword all have 1,200 words or more, you have to beat that.
However, the content has to be valuable—you can’t just fluff up the page with filler words. Trust me, Google will know, and they’ll most likely ding you for it.
So, will writing longer articles with a higher keyword density guarantee me the top spot?
Yes, content creation and keyword optimization are the first steps, but it’s certainly not the end of the road. Domain Authority and Backlinks are vital for ranking in the SEO game.
Domain Authority and Building Backlinks
Domain Authority is one of the biggest pieces of the SEO puzzle. Each domain has an authority score of 1 to 100—the higher the score, the higher the authority.
Consider your local newspaper’s website. It might have a domain score of 25 while the New York Times might have a score of 95. This tells Google and the other search engines that the New York Times’ content is not only more trustworthy, but users would most likely benefit more from seeing their content.
Therefore, the New York Times would almost always outrank your local newspaper if they were to compete for a keyword.
So, how does this affect your website? Well, websites with high domain authority can lend some of that authority to you via backlinks.
If you had an article on your website and the New York Times linked to it from their website, they would be giving your website a huge vote of confidence.
This is why building backlinks is so crucial to any SEO strategy. Building backlinks also increases your domain authority, and the higher your authority, the easier it becomes to rank for your desired keywords.
Like with any aspect of SEO, building backlinks and authority takes time, so the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.
Continually Hone and Refine
Because SEO is an ever-changing practice, it’s imperative that you continually monitor your keywords for changes. You might rank #1 for a keyword today and find that you’re #10 next month. That’s okay. These things happen, and we can fix it, but only if we know about it.
You might also find that you jump from positions 90, 73, 54, 27, and 19 rather quickly only to stall out in position 11 on page two. When we see a stall in our rankings, we can dig deeper and investigate the issue. Perhaps the article needs more backlinks, or maybe it needs to be a little longer.
Either way, when we track our SEO rankings, we can continually hone and refine the strategy as needed. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess. At B&B Media, we use premium software to do carefully monitor your SEO campaigns success.
If you’re ready to explore an SEO strategy that puts your website on page one, reach out to me today and I’ll do a complete audit on your website.
What are you waiting for? Let’s do this!