In the past few decades, having a website became mandatory for being taken seriously as a business. In recent years, the same has become true for social media — your brand needs to be on Facebook and LinkedIn to be taken seriously.
Today, being on the first page of Google for keywords your target buyer is searching is just as important. Have you scrolled through to the second or third page of results recently? Your prospects aren’t either. If your website ranks #78 for a related search term, users would have to scroll to the eighth page to find your listing.
In this article, we’ll dig into all the reasons your business needs to be on the first page of Google search results, best practices for getting there, and more.
Why do you need to be on the first page of Google search results?
According to Google, more than half of all buyers say they do online research before buying a product. Your website should be set up to rank for the search terms your audience is using during the sales cycle.
However, just showing up on search results isn’t enough. The first result on Google receives nearly one-third of all clicks. In fact, according to Backlinko, only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page.
If you want to be found online by prospective buyers, occupying the #1 spot on Google search engine results pages (SERP) is now table stakes.
How should SEO play into your overall content strategy?
While it’s important to consider SEO when building out your website, your ongoing content strategy is key to climbing Google rankings. SEO will always be a long-term game but frequently creating high-quality content that targets your ideal keywords can help to speed up your results.
The more frequently you publish, the more content that has the potential to rank on Google. Additionally, a higher density of relevant keywords and the ability to interlink your content makes it easier to rank higher.
Start by developing an extensive list of target keywords. Focus on the search terms your ideal buyers use when looking for solutions to their problems or ways to improve their daily life. From there, group your terms into like-categories or overarching themes.
Those general themes are the pillars of your content strategy. All content you create should fall under at least one of those categories. From there, you want to ensure all your content of a particular theme is inter-linked. A great way to do that is with a pillar page that links out to all of the associated blogs. Each article should also link to a few other related blogs.
Which SEO tools should small businesses use?
As a small business, you might not be too keen on spending thousands of dollars on professional SEO software. Thankfully, there are tons of affordable options that can make it easier to do keyword research and track your progess.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public isn’t a traditional SEO tool. Instead, you can use it to get ideas for related topics on your pillar content. Just search for your general topic and the tool will generate search queries that include those terms. From there, you can create articles that answer those questions.
Keyword Surfer is a free Google Chrome extension that shows you keyword data and related search terms everytime you make a Google search. This is a great resource for identifying terms to target and finding inspiration for related topics.
Screamingfrog is another free, easy-to-use tool. After downloading the software, you input the domain you want to crawl and it generates a report with all your website’s meta data. This is an easy way to see all of your site information at once so you can ensure everything is aligned with your keyword research.
SEMRush is the tool we use internally the most. SEMRush allows you to do keyword research, find related keywords, monitor your domain’s ranking for different terms, and more. The free tool is great for finding related keywords and defining keyword metrics.
Climb Google rankings in 2021.
Get found online in 2021 by climbing the Google search results for keywords your audience is using. There are plenty of tools availble for small businesses that fit even the smallest of budgets. With a strategic content plan, you can land your site on the first page of Google in a matter of months.
Need help developing an SEO-focused content plan or improving your website’s existing SEO strategy? Learn more about how we can help with our SEO services.