Who will take the throne?
For years, our clients have been as obsessed with the notion of ranking number one for a single Google search term as many people are with Game of Thrones.
We get it. Business owners typically equate a #1 ranking with success (kinda like a magic bullet made of Valyrian steel). After all, higher rankings mean greater visibility, increased traffic and the potential for more sales.
But if you’re in a competitive market, trying to reach the top of Google rankings can feel a little like battling for the Iron Throne. And honestly, there are many reasons (which we’ll discuss in future posts) why ranking high for a single search term isn’t a business panacea. It’s not easy, and sometimes, it’s just not worth it.
Still want to be number one?
If you have your heart set on taking a top spot in search engine rankings, here are a few ways to win the battle for the Google throne:
How can a business rank #1 on Google?
- Play by Google’s rules. Keyword stuffing used to be the way to “trick” Google’s algorithm into ranking your site higher for those terms. Today, the search engine will actually penalize you for the practice. It’s pretty simple: If you want to play, you have to follow Google’s rules. Thankfully, Google’s webmaster guidelines clearly spell out approved SEO practices.
- Know your competition. Instead of going toe-to-toe with national or global behemoths for extremely general keywords (e.g., “best pizza”), find a niche where you can outperform them. Longer, more specific keyword strings (e.g., “best thin crust pizza Buffalo”) will likely be much easier (and faster) to rank for.
- Publish lots of original content that answers humans’ questions. Once you’ve determined long-tail keywords you want to rank for, regularly write content around those topics. High-quality, relevant, in-depth content that engages humans is an ideal way to climb the ranks.
- Optimize your content for your chosen keyword(s). Place your chosen keywords in strategic places where Google will find them:
- URL of your web pages (including blog posts)
- Title tag, alt image tags and image captions
- Headings (H1, H2, H3)
- Throughout your content, where it makes sense to do so
- Acquire links back to your site. Inbound links from reputable sites to your website are incredibly important to achieving high rankings; they are signs of trust and relevancy. Here are a few Google-approved ways to build them:
- Add your site to local business directories, such as Yelp! and TripAdvisor.
- Create evergreen content that others in your industry will want to link to.
- Guest blog on industry association sites or for non-competitive businesses whose customer base overlaps with yours.
- Be patient. For eight long seasons, Jon, Cersei, Dany and others battled to sit atop the Iron Throne. Likewise, reaching the top of the Google throne will take time. If you want to make page one of search results, commit to a smart SEO strategy for the long-haul.
Want to rank higher in Google searches – and drive more targeted traffic to your website?
Search engine optimization is a continually evolving and highly technical process. BARQAR uses a strategic, 6-step approach to ongoing SEO to ensure the right potential customers find you online.
What can our SEO experts do for you? Request a free SEO strategy audit today!