Everyone wants to be number one on google, but does your website deserve to be there?
There is a question that most website owners and internet marketers will have asked many times…
‘How can I get my web page to rank at number 1 for x phrase?’
But if you stop and think about it for a second, doesn’t this miss a key point? Shouldn’t the question actually be…
‘Why should my web page rank at number 1 for x phrase?’
Or even better….
‘Does my web page deserve to rank at number 1 for x phrase?’
A Turning Point In SEO
We just might be at a turning point in SEO.
With Panda and Penguin (and to a lesser extent the EMD update) doing a good job of stopping spammy techniques from easily ranking websites, and now with Hummingbird seemingly rewarding detailed, authoritative content, we should be entering a period when the top search results for a given phrase are there on merit – not because a fly by night internet marketer has bought the most proxies for his weekly link blast.
Everyone Wants To Be Number 1
Everyone wants to be number 1 for a given search. And for good reason.
The number 1 position gets 33% of all the clickthroughs from the SERP, with a swift drop down to 18% for the result at number 2 (source).
This excellent graph by Chitika shows the drop off in CTR as we move down the top 10 results.
Once you get down to position 10 you are picking up just 2 or 3 clicks per 100 impressions – a huge difference in traffic.
So, it is understandable why everyone wants that coveted top spot, but of course, therein lies the problem…
By definition there can only be 1 number 1!
So, in a post Panda, Penguin, EMD and Hummingbird search landscape, how do you (or how should you) go about getting there for a given phrase? And how can you make sure your webpage stays at number 1, without having to worry about future google updates?
To Be Number 1, Be Number 1
Well, it all starts with a simple premise and the question we asked back at the start of this article. Does my webpage deserve to be at number 1 for this phrase?
You have to take a step back from your personal attachment to your site and start thinking as a user.
Will 90% of people who click through to your page be satisfied with what they find and not have to click back to the SERP to view further results?
Here are some more questions you might want to ask yourself.
1) Is my webpage a perfect fit for the query?
So, if you are targeting ‘buy shoes’, does your webpage sell shoes, or at least give some utterly amazing information on the best places for people to buy shoes?
And going beyond that and thinking on a business level as opposed to a search level…
2) Is my product/service actually valuable?
Your web page sells shoes. Great. But are your shoes actually any good? Will people want to buy your shoes and recommend them to others? (more on this in a minute)
3) Is my webpage the ultimate authority on this topic?
Let’s say you are not selling something (at least not at this point), but are targeting some specific phrase where people will be searching for information.
Is your webpage the ultimate resource for this? Why should people visit your page instead of just going to wikipedia? Do you cover all the angles and answer all the questions (or at least provide links to further resources which do?).
4) Is my webpage up to date?
We live in an ever changing world, so make sure your information is kept up to date.
Evergreen content can be a great source of continuous search engine traffic, so you should (*must*) undertake regular content reviews and make updates where necessary. If you don’t your competitors will and you will soon lose that number 1 spot (and quite rightly as the answer to question 3 will be no!).
Expanding On Question 2
I could go on about this for hours, but business on the web is no different from any other business and you should always be asking yourself if you offer the best possible service and what you can do to improve that service.
I realise that those two questions don’t really work together, but the thing is there is always something you can improve, so technically you will never offer the best possible service and will always be working on the second question… (hopefully that makes sense!)
My article on dealing with negative reviews touched on this. Every business makes mistakes (hopefully you learn from them), so it is how you react those times when things don’t go 100% right that really counts.
Whether you have a physical business or a virtual one, you should always be striving to improve the experience for your customers/visitors.
And If You Are The Best…
If you can answer yes to those 4 questions you have a justifiable case for your webpage being number 1 in the search results for your targeted query.
So, in the words of Jean-Luc Picard… ‘make it so’.
But do it the right way with some white hat marketing.
Wait, white hat link building is hard right?
Actually, no it’s not!
At least not when your content/web page/product is genuinely excellent.
If you are really the best then getting people to link to you will be easier than you think. But how?
Well, there is a secret to it…
Good old fashioned email outreach is still the best way to direct people to your amazing content and get them to link to it.
I will go into detail in a future article about how to find those link prospects (and how to write the perfect outreach email), but for now lets assume you have a list of 50 sites that are a good fit and might want to link to your content.
Go ahead and write a personal email to each of those sites/webmasters, point them to the content and ask them for a link. You might not get a response from half of them. You will definitely get a few nos. But I guarantee you that if your content is truly the best fit for a given query, then you will get links and more importantly, they will be strong, authority building links which will rocket your site/page up the rankings.
Remember, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
And if you can get a few links in the right places… then they will almost certainly lead to further links…
Before you know it, your webpage will be sitting at number 1 for your target query and, as you deserve to be there, and have picked up strong, editorial links you can expect to stay there.
Just keep an eye on the competition though, keep improving and ensure your webpage continues to be the best match for the query!
The days of ‘tricking’ google into ranking pages are (finally) over and to build your traffic you must offer a useful service/product/content which makes you stand out from the crowd.
The good news is that genuine excellence, expertise and hard work will now be rewarded more than ever.
So if you are looking on with envy at your competitors in those coveted top spots, then don’t think about how you can ‘outrank’ them, think about how you can be better than them and I guarantee you the rankings will follow.
Over To You!
Do you agree with my article? As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts and opinions, so please leave a comment below, drop me an email, tweet me or come to Starbucks and stalk me… the choice is yours!
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