Ten plus years of speaking to clients running businesses across every imaginable industry, and the one thing they have in common is a drive to succeed. Many business owners tie their success to their SERP position, and they are obsessed with SERP rankings across their site.
They come to me because they want content that will rank on Google, and I’m happy to oblige.
But for many other business owners, there is no SERP check obsession, no desperate desire to improve their website SEO. Instead, there is just that drive to succeed.
All business owners, managers and marketeers want the same thing: success.
Whether it’s the success of a business you built from scratch in your Mam’s box room with nothing but a laptop and WiFi connection (like me!) or helping ensure the success of a business that employs you, the drive is the same.
You need more revenue, greater profits. For that, you need clients, customers, sales, leads.
You need your website to perform.
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What’s A SERP?
If you’re already confused by the jargon, let me jump in and clarify. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. Whenever you go on Google or Yahoo! Or Bing, type in a question, and look at the results it spits out you’re looking at a SERP.
Scroll down, and you will see multiple options to click on to answer your query. Get to the bottom of the page, and you’ll have the opportunity to click through to pages two, three, four, and beyond for more results.
The results you see on that first page are Top Of The SERPs (it’s like Top Of The Pops, but with considerably less dancing). So when your website ranks highly on Google (or whatever search engine your audience are using), you will be one of the first (if not THE first) result they see.
And the majority of people click on the top result, or at least one of the top three results.
That top three mentality means that most people searching for a particular question or keyword all end up on the same few sites: the ones that are ranking most highly.
Why Your SERP Ranking Matters…
A great website is the difference between success and failure for any business, whether you’re a brick and mortar business using your site as an online platform for growth or an online-only company that has no real-world existence at all.
When your website is working for you, leads are never an issue. Sales happen like clockwork. Customers and clients are clamouring to work with you and then clamouring for more. And all of that leads to the one thing you crave: revenue, profits, success.
Any business with an online presence has the potential to become successful or (if they are already successful) reach even greater heights.
What holds most websites – and consequently most businesses – back from attaining that success is their Google SEO ranking.
This, of course, explains why so many people come to me asking for content that will help them rank.
If your website doesn’t rank well on Google, poor SEO performance is ruining your success.
Even if you have great marketing strategies in place that run on something other than SEO. Even if your business is doing better than ever before.
A shit web page ranking ruins your success for one straightforward reason: you would have more traffic if you ranked highly on Google. More traffic means more leads, more sales, more revenue, more profits.
Greater levels of success.
No matter how successful you are, you could be more successful if your site ranked higher for crucial search terms.
Even if you already rank highly for some key search terms, you’d command greater traffic levels if you ranker for more.
That’s a fact. As long as the keywords you’re ranking for are relevant to what you do, dizzying new heights of success are yours for the taking if only you can improve your SEO on Google.
If you’re now wondering how to get to the top of google search, you’re not alone. And I’ll get to that shortly. But first, I want to help you understand just how much money you’re leaving on the table by now investing in search engine optimisation.
Or, if you are, by not investing more.
Here’s how a shit web page ranking is ruining your success…
How To Check Your Website Keyword Rankings…
If you’re not sure where you currently rank on SERPs, it’s a good idea to check google keyword ranking. You can use free tools to do this or sign up for paid systems that allow you to track and monitor rankings and how they change over time.
The other way – and a considerably easier way – is to take advantage of an SEO agency offering a free audit. Yes, they will try and sell you an SEO package, but bear in mind, you probably need one, so you can’t blame them for that.
Also, you don’t have to say yes. You will get a detailed breakdown of where you currently rank and any issues or problems on your website that are preventing you from ranking better. They will also give you advice on how to rank your business, which keywords will drive the most traffic, and which will attract your ideal clients.
However you go about it, checking your Google ranking is vital.
You need to know where you are to assess how far you have to go to get where you need to be.
And where is that? Well, let’s face it…
Nobody Looks Past Page One…
People may click through to the second or even third page of search results and beyond; it’s just improbable.
Most people find what they’re looking for on that first page, and there’s an excellent reason for that: it’s Google’s entire purpose.
The sole function of Google and other search engines is to show people the most relevant results possible. Their goal is to answer questions posed without forcing searchers to click through to a website at all.
That’s why they started putting featured snippets on SERPs; they eliminate the need for people to scroll through a whole blog post or page looking for their answer.
Google picks out the answer and shows it to them right there on page one of the SERPs.
So, realistically, if you’re hoping to command any kind of organic traffic from search engines, you need to be on page one.
The higher up, the better.
And if you can land yourself some featured snippets or ensure you appear in other SERP features (like video, images, ‘people also ask’, local packs, shopping results, podcasts), even better.
A Poor Website Ranking On Google Means Paying For Traffic…
So, what happens if you’re not on page one? If your Google ranking sucks? If you’re floundering on page five or more? Worse yet, what if you don’t rank for anything at all. (Honestly, you’d be amazed how many audits I’ve run for sites that not only don’t rank but don’t even have data available.)
The short answer is that any traffic you get on your website, you’re paying for in one way or another. Maybe you’re running PPC ads on Google or social media. Maybe you have print ads running in relevant magazines, radio or TV ads. Perhaps you’ve got a shit hot PR campaign going on or a few million followers on TikTok.
Whatever is driving traffic to your site, you paid for it. That may have been paying per click, advertising space, or air time, paying a PR expert, or investing a fortune growing a social platform.
Whatever it is, you paid for it.
Which means you’re missing out on the absolute beauty of the internet.
The ability to make money while you sleep.
As long as people find you and you have something of value to offer that they want, making money online is effortless.
The bitch is ensuring they find you.
Great SEO on your website ensures high web page rankings and plenty of organic traffic.
That’s free traffic.
Paying For Traffic Eats Into Your Profits…
If you’re thinking paying for traffic isn’t a big deal, you’re mistaken.
Even if you get terrific, unprecedented ROI on your PPC ads and you can’t believe how low your cost per conversion is, you have still paid for it.
What if your CPC was £0?
What would your ROI be then?
Now, creating a well-optimised website that ranks highly isn’t free. You will have to pay for content, development, and ongoing on-site and off-site improvement.
But these costs can be effectively fixed and managed by working with the right professionals on a retained amount. So you pay a fixed fee per month for their management of your SEO. You pay someone else (or, in my case, the same person 😉) a fixed amount to write you a load of fresh, optimised, high-value content.
Your expenditure is fixed, your SEO ranking power is constantly growing, so your traffic is constantly growing, and the number of leads you generate each month is constantly growing.
That’s consistent business growth.
To achieve the same through PPC or other paid traffic methods, you’d have to consistently increase your budget to continue competing for keywords and generate more sales than the previous month.
Free Traffic Means Free Conversions…
When you have a ton of traffic going to your site because it ranks highly, a percentage of that traffic will convert into leads.
Leads convert to sales.
Sales convert to repeat business and positive word of mouth.
Referrals convert to new leads, and round and round it goes.
SEO Is A Perpetual Motion Machine With An Exponential Growth Rate…
The thing is, once you have a well-optimised site, including a system for lead collection and conversion (usually via email signup and nurture sequence, or the equivalent), all you have to do is keep feeding the machine.
Keep that website updated, keep your content fresh and ranking, and you have on your hands a perpetual motion machine with an exponential growth rate.
Your content creates traffic, which results in leads, some of which result in sales, some of which result in more sales or a brand ambassador who happily recommends you to others.
Those others become part of your traffic, become leads, become sales, become repeat customers and brand ambassadors who send even more traffic your way.
And all the while, you’re adding fresh content to your site, improving your website rankings further and driving even more traffic.
As if that wasn’t enough, the SEO power of your content compounds over time.
That means the longer it’s published, the more pulling power it has in terms of traffic. Google respect long-standing content, particularly if it’s regularly updated. They recognise that as a sign of a brand with experience, knowledge, and a proven record of consistently talking about the same subjects.
All of this improves your rankings.
So, Why Is Your Web Page Ranking So Shit?
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Hang about, I already post regular content. We have blogs going up all the time; our Google keyword positions are still shit!” you’re not alone.
Many believe all you need to do to improve your website SEO is post a blog to it every week. The issue is that, while it’s highly advisable to blog weekly to improve your SEO, it only works if you have two things:
- A well-optimised website, which has been structured and built to support positive search rankings.
- High-quality content that has also been optimised for search and is written with user experience as the foremost consideration.
The majority of businesses fall foul of the first point here because they believe having a website is the same as having a well-optimised website that has been created, structured and built to support positive SEO rankings.
Unfortunately, a lot of website designers and developers are not SEO experts. Likewise, not all website and content copywriters are well-versed in SEO.
Search engine optimisation is a whole skill set, all in its own right. So, for example, if you’re working with a savvy copywriter, they will know how to optimise your content for keywords you provide, but they may not have the skills to determine what those keywords should be.
Likewise, a decent web developer will add all the optimised copy and metadata provided to them by a copywriter to ensure posts and pages are optimised. But they may not be aware of the current needs of Google algorithms and some of the quirks of design and development that can seriously hinder your ranking power.
For example, did you know that using text and background colours that don’t have the right contrast level can damage your site’s ability to rank? Or that text included in images doesn’t do anything for your SEO – the number of times I see people using a header image with their H1 title as part of the image instead of text OVER the image is insane.
That title, and the use of your keyword in it, is a potent element of your SEO, but it’s easily wasted.
This and a multitude of other elements like missing alt text and meta descriptions, titles and descriptions that are too long or too short, ridiculously convoluted URL convents rather than a simple ‘make the keyword the URL’ policy that can ruin your site’s ranking power.
Google Page Load Speed Is Fundamental For A Reason…
One of the biggest reasons your web page ranking isn’t where it should be is very likely your Google page load speed. This is the time it takes for Google (or a Google user) to get your page to fully load after clicking it.
The faster, the better.
If it’s above 3 seconds, you’re in real trouble.
And page speed is often something companies are unaware of because when they look at their website, it loads instantly. However, they forget that they’ve visited the site multiple times before, all the pages are cached, and the load time they experience is not the same as their Google page load speed.
Google Search Console will quickly tell you your actual load time, but improving it should be your first port of call if you’re looking for ways to boost your SEO.
Responsiveness Should Be Your Next Priority…
Once you’ve got the site running nice and quickly, checking it’s fully responsive on mobile devices is your next port of call. But, again, this is another thing that you may not think about as a business owner because a lot of the time, when you’re checking your website, you do it on a desktop.
I certainly do on mine! For that reason, I didn’t notice until recently that there are issues with the mobile version of the site. As soon as I noticed, I asked my website developer to block off time to go through the whole site and optimise every page for responsiveness.
You Also Need To Consider Your Off-Site SEO…
In addition to all the stuff happening on your website, you need to consider what’s going on off-site. How’s your backlinking profile? Do you have a healthy number of high authority websites naturally linking to your content?
If not, you need to start looking for ways to ensure they do.
What about blogger outreach and securing media placements in prominent online publications that link back to your site?
If that’s not something you’re already doing regularly, it’s time to start!
Then there are business citations – are you listed in relevant directories with correct and up-to-date information, contact details and (of course) a link back to your site? This is not only important for the backlinks; it’s also one of the main ways Google verify your authenticity and location. So making sure you have consistent information in citations is super important.
The Best Way To Improve Search Engine Ranking?
So, what’s the best way to improve your Google ranking? How exactly do you get your website higher on Google?
Well, once you’ve looked at the structure of your site itself, ensure this has been properly optimised for search in terms of speed, responsiveness, URL structures, coding quirks, image and text optimisation, metadata etc. And once you’ve looked into your off-site profile and ways for bolstering that and raising your domain authority and trust, then it’s time to consider your regular content.
Remember, SEO is a perpetual motion machine with the potential for exponential growth.
But you have to feed the machine.
That means fresh, regular content that’s well-optimised for high-volume, high-intent search terms your ideal clients are actively using.
The Google gods are currently all about user experience, which means that rather than obsessing too much about keywords, you should content yourself with optimising for relevant keywords and then focus on crafting the highest quality content with the most significant takeaway value you can.
THIS is what will get your site powering up those SERPs.
A few basic rules of thumb to follow:
- Use long-form content of around 2,500 words – this kind of in-depth content has the most incredible ranking power.
- Upload a new piece of content at least once a week.
- Include multimedia versions of your content (i.e. your written article, plus a video or podcast version and plenty of images).
- Share your content on social media, particularly on YouTube (if you have video versions) and Pinterest. Both YouTube and Pinterest are massive search engines in their own right. Having a video or pin (and remember, pins can also be videos!) that links to your post will help boost it in the SERPs.
- Don’t just optimise the words in the article; ensure you have well-optimised metadata to accompany each piece and that any image files are likewise optimised for relevant keywords.
- Go back and update past content regularly – statistics get out of date, references to current events become irrelevant, new research and advancement happen that mean new sections need adding to cover the most current information. Don’t delete the old post and do a new one. Update the existing post with fresh content – remember, the ranking power of your content is cumulative; it improves with time.
How To Get Your Website To The Top Of Google…
If all of that sounds very complicated, don’t worry. The best way to get your website to the top of Google is to leave it to an expert. Whether you need your on- and off-site SEO fixing or just fresh regular content to get you moving up those SERPs, I’m here to help. Get in touch today to chat about how we can improve your web page ranking…