“Can you get my site to the top of Google?”
Place the website at the top of Google. This is the request of all my customers. And it is a legitimate request because if a site is not among the first on Google and other search engines, it will hardly bring results in terms of new visits and consequently new customers or contacts.
People use Google search even just to find out before making a purchase, be it online or in a physical store. Same thing for services, trips, restaurants …
Not being positioned in the first place on Google is penalizing, not only in terms of visits to the site but also for a matter of image. Being first on Google is equivalent to being the best in your sector and this means standing out against the competition.
Rely to a SEO professional
To get first in the search engines, you need to work hard and constantly and have a site optimized for positioning. The results very often arrive after months, so you must also have a lot of patience and continuously monitor the situation.
If you feel overwhelmed by a commitment of this type and prefer to contact a professional who takes care of SEO for your site, my advice is: beware of free or too cheap services.
SEO is not an easy job, it takes a lot of effort and time and this has its costs. Also consider that, if you were to gain visibility through Google ADS paid campaigns, you would have to invest a monthly budget forever, because, once the campaign is closed, your site will no longer be visible. With an SEO campaign, on the other hand, once you have achieved a good ranking you can manage to maintain it over time with a minimum of effort.
You know … in the first place on Google there can be only one site, and on the first page of the SERP (search results) there are at most 10, among the thousands or even millions of sites that answer the same search query! Some still think that there is a system that guarantees rankings on Google, or that it can pay to get there. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, this is not the case… at least as far as organic results are concerned. It is eventually possible to buy Google Ads ads, and it works, but that’s another story.
In reality, as regards organic positioning (not paid), it is Google itself that decides where a site should be in the search ranking and does so on the basis of the results of its algorithms: formulas that cross data and establish which ones are the most suitable sites to satisfy user requests for a given topic.
Google periodically releases updates of the algorithms that affect the ranking of sites and this can lead to a sudden change in the ranking for some sites.
Any changes in positioning are not always attributable to something wrong done at the management level of the site itself, but very often it is Google itself that has changed something in the general evaluation systems in order to always satisfy the expectations of users as best as possible. . Some web pages can be penalized, others can gain visibility.
Google advises site operators to follow its quality guidelines and implement its optimization tips. But the first and most important advice is to
“Deliver the best possible content, as that’s what our algorithms try to reward … These types of updates, along with the tools and advice we offer, are how we make sure we continue to connect users with creators. of content, companies and others who have the useful information they are looking for “
Indexing and positioning, let’s be clear
Sometimes these terms “indexing” and “ranking” are misused. For this I would like first of all to clarify their meaning.
When we talk about an indexed website, we are referring to a site that is present in the indexes of search engines within the first 100 results for some search keywords (keywords). Indexing a site means letting search engines know that this site exists. Very often you don’t need to do anything special, just put the site online and link it from another site, from a Google MyBusiness card, from a social page, etc. so that sooner or later the crawlers of the engines, which constantly scan the web, become aware of its presence and begin to take it into consideration.
But the best solution is always to register the site and provide the engines with a sitemap, that is an ordered list of the web pages we are interested in indexing, giving each URL a different level of importance and other indications that may be useful.
Once a webpage has been indexed, we will likely find it in the back of the search results for certain keywords that interest us. And this is where we start talking about positioning, or the climb to get it to the top of search engines.
So how do you manage to get a website to appear in the top Google results?
We understood that it is not easy and this is where a technique comes into play, SEO: search engine optimization. In reality, more than pure and simple technique, we are talking about an art, given that, to be able to optimize a website in order to improve its positioning on Google, you need a deep knowledge of the technical aspects but also a lot of experience, intuition and experimentation. If one strategy does not work, another must be adopted until the best possible positioning is obtained.
Is it possible to place a site on the front page without resorting to SEO?
It may seem strange to you that I say this, but in reality in some cases it is possible, especially when, for the keywords that interest you, the websites already positioned are not very strong in terms of content and optimization.
However, it must be said that it is increasingly rare to come across this type of eventuality as anyone who wants to do business online knows that he must optimize his website to hope to be successful.
In fact, if you want to place your site on the first page on Google, you must necessarily demote a site that is already there and who knows for how long. So, you need to convince Google that your site is better.
How to rank up on Google and other search engines
Try to understand what people are looking for on the web and don’t aim to position yourself for keywords that are too general or too competitive.
When you search for something on Google and enter a keyword, you see that the search engine suggests other search keywords by adding other terms so that you can find exactly what you were looking for.
Well, try putting yourself in your target audience’s shoes and do some research to find out what Google suggests. It is called search intent and is based precisely on an analysis of searches carried out previously in the context of a specific topic or search term. This type of analysis will help you understand what content you will need to produce to intercept your audience.
Analyze the competition
Once you have created your list of long tail keywords (consisting of at least 3 or even more words), try to do a search for each of them and take note of the sites that are positioned “first on Google”, excluding any portals, institutional or purely informative sites. Define who your online competitors are, who may not match your real competitors, but they are the ones you need to try to outperform in the Google ranking.
A very useful activity for writing perfect content is the study of competitors! Observing and studying the pages in the SERP for the keyword you have selected is of fundamental importance for your purpose!
- What content is Google ranking on the front page for that particular keyword?
- What do all the contents of the sites positioned on the first page have in common?
- Is there information or insights that are missing from your site?
- Do they have multimedia content, images, videos, infographics?
- and a number of other questions that I can’t cover here because it would take a dedicated article.
If you can find the answers to these questions, you have already taken a good first step. If you then manage to integrate this information into your site, perhaps presenting it in the best possible way compared to all the others, perhaps going to deepen aspects that others have neglected, optimizing the UX better, etc, I guarantee you that you will have an excellent chance of reaching it too. first page.
The question therefore is to be able to understand well the correspondence that exists (or rather that there should be) between the search intent and the content and to do so I will give you 2 examples:
You have decided to work on the keyword: “how to create and edit videos” (informative keyword) to position your photography blog.
In the first case, you have written a guide with a series of tips for editing a video with the free program that you yourself have always used and know well, but in the article, you have not included:
the Link to the site to download the software;
You have limited yourself to talking about one program when all the others mention several;
You haven’t written anything on the part how to make a video;
While in the second case, you have limited yourself to making a list of tools and programs to create and edit videos but you have not explained how to use them.
100% you will never be able to position yourself on the first page and I’ll explain why:
In the first case, Google knows very well that a user interested in knowing: how to create and edit videos, almost always prefers to find and evaluate a series of alternatives, to a single solution and above all he needs the links to download the suggested programs.
Similarly, even in the second case, Google knows very well that a user who searches for such information often looks for tutorials on how to use the necessary programs then.
Therefore, if your article does not have this additional information, it will be considered incomplete, of little relevance and not suitable to be positioned on the front page.
How to create a super guide
So here is a checklist to follow, to create super content that responds in the best way to user searches and consequently that Google likes it so much.
- Choose your keywords correctly;
- Define the search intent: is it an informative keyword? transactional?
- Create content that provides a value higher than that expected by the user (how?)
- Organize the information you want to cover in order to answer all possible related and latent questions, and not just the Main Query. Remember the concept of relevance!
- Forget the 300 word articles! There is no set length. When you have dealt with and deepened all the useful information to perfectly answer the main question and the possible correlates, you will have finished your article. So whether it is 800 words or 4000 does not matter! The important thing is that it is really complete. Obviously it is clear that with 300/500 words it will be really difficult to write a complete article.
- Insert multimedia contents such as images, videos, infographics, audio etc, which can enrich the content and also break the heaviness of reading (on long contents)
- Don’t be repetitive: Insert secondary, related keywords, synonyms and other useful variants;
- Insert internal and external links to in-depth resources without being stingy, if they are needed, so be it;
- Write optimized meta tags (title, description), which reflect exactly what users will find in your guide. Same thing for the title of the article;
- Analyze the contents of your competitors, is there information that you have not processed?
- Enter the missing information on your page and add others that they have not investigated;
- Optimize the structure of your article, divide the text into chapters, using the header tags correctly, only one H1, H2 for chapters, H3 for paragraphs;
- Update your article / guide often with fresh information, if it is information that can change over time.
Optimize the site for Google ranking
Once you have analyzed the web pages of your competitors that are positioned at the top of the search engines, try to produce better ones, richer in quality content, and insert your keywords in each optimizable element to help Google understand what speak your page.
- Text of title H1 and subtitle H2
- Text of the titles of paragraphs h3 to h6 (divide the content into paragraphs describing them with a title)
- Alternative text of each image (“alt” tag)
- Keyword in the first paragraph and elsewhere in the text by highlighting it in bold
When using keywords, remember not to overdo it and make sure that they are inserted in the text in a natural way, without forcing.
Meta tags are other important elements to optimize. These are the “title” and “description” tags that are not visible in the body of a web page, but inserted in the source code. They are only read by search engine crawlers and reported in SERPs. The keywords included in the title tag have a particular weight in the positioning of the site, so it is important to optimize this element in the best possible way. The description, if not edited, is reported by Google itself by taking the parts of the article text where the keywords that correspond to the search query are included.
Create a blog or article section and keep it updated
Try to constantly increase the content of the site with the publication of new web pages through the management of a blog or a news section. In 2011, when Google released the Panda algorithm update, it sent a message to web builders: don’t let your site become obsolete. This meant that the sites would be rewarded for the continuous improvement of their content, increasing the quantity and quality of relevant web pages and useful resources for the user. And it is still the case today.
Each new article you post counts as a new indexed page, and the articles can also be promoted and distributed on social media to drive additional traffic to the site.
Write thinking about what can be useful to your audience, not you or your company.
To make the blog effective for site positioning, create content by choosing a keyword for each article. Write about the kinds of things your prospects are interested in learning about. Don’t be overly promotional on your products, focus on the industry and solutions as a whole.
Never stop developing and optimizing the site
If your site has achieved a good ranking on Google, to maintain it you must continue to constantly update the content and improve the site over time. Continue to grow it with new tools, resources and information content useful for your target audience.
Create a network of inbound but quality links
Inbound links are created when other websites link to your site as a relevant resource in support of their content. Getting links from authoritative customer or supplier sites, portals or industry sites can really increase your website’s rating for search engines. Press releases are also an effective way to get inbound links and can help increase site popularity.
Analyze, refine and repeat
Nothing you have done so far will be perfect and definitive. You will always need to keep the situation under control and have a review strategy. Keep track of successes and failures. Spend more time on keywords that didn’t perform well, and repeat the steps you followed for those that did. You will improve as your experience progresses.
If you want to learn more, below you will find other information on SEO, useful for understanding what you need to do to position yourself on Google, and consequently on other search engines.
Google is constantly striving to establish itself and remain the best search engine in the world. To do this, it must give its users increasingly performing search results and that is why it constantly works both on the algorithms and on the guidelines of the quality raters, a large team of individuals who have the task of evaluating the quality of the contents of the thousands and thousands of web pages that answer a search query.
However, there are some “pillars” of SEO that remain fundamental. First of all the content. Without good content, you can’t expect to easily get first on Google.
SEO is the art of optimizing a website to improve its positioning on Google and consequently on other search engines
SEO (search engine optimization) is precisely the art of “pleasing a site to Google”, and consequently to all the other search engines. It is defined as art since success depends much more on experience, intuition and experimentation, than just following textbook rules and techniques, even if it is essential to know them.
Good SEO takes time and continuous experimentation: if one strategy doesn’t work, another must be adopted until the best possible positioning is achieved. (It is not a simple job and it has its costs, so my advice is: beware of free or too cheap services)
Let’s see what are the 3 main factors that affect positioning on Google
1. Keywords, how to use them best
It is now known to everyone that keywords have a great importance and they are the pivot around which all other SEO actions revolve. An in-depth analysis must therefore be made to identify the keywords with the highest search volume for the sector of interest and then use them according to the right criteria, without exaggerating, always taking care to maintain the meaning of the sentences and not to bore users with unnecessary repetitions.
The main elements where the keywords should be placed are:
- the domain name
- the page title in the meta tags (title)
- the description in the meta tags
- page title and subtitles (h1, h2, h3 etc.)
- in the alt and title tags of the images
But be careful because the correct use of keywords is very important but alone is not enough to climb the Google ranking. There are in fact more than 200 other classification components or indicators.
2. The contents, one of the most important components
Google takes into great consideration the value that content has for the user who is carrying out a search and users are becoming more and more demanding. If until recently frequent updating could have been enough for a good ranking on Google, today it is no longer. Users are looking for authentic content and want navigation to be intuitive and articles to be well researched and rich in multimedia content.
We have already seen that the times when it was enough to fill sites with a barrage of keywords are long gone. Google, especially with the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm, is now able to go beyond keywords and recognize excellent content from poor one. It recognizes the intent of those who do a research and relates it to the context. This is why a good copywriter job can make a difference.
A website with excellent technical performance, which loads very quickly, optimized for mobile is a well-designed site but will not bring satisfactory results if there is no content capable of attracting the target audience and responding to user needs. .
Furthermore, any content should always be shareable on social media, helping to attract and retain visitors and it is the quality of information that builds a community, creating a subtle link between what the site says and what the audience is looking for.
3. User experience and trust to earn clicks
The number of clicks on our link in the SERPs (search results pages) can have a huge impact on ranking and the only way to get actual clicks from real users is to make the title and description meta tags attractive, with clear calls to action. and precise.
The call to action are invitations for our visitor to take an action that can be a purchase, for e-commerce sites, the download of a file, the deepening of a content to be discovered … it depends on the type of site.
Other practices to follow for positioning on search engines
Include SEO in the construction phase of the site, because most of the elements that can make the difference are included in the structure of the pages.
The code of the site structure must be created with the right use of semantic elements and tags that allow search engines to correctly read the contents and index them according to our preferences: header, content, navigation, sidebar, footer, p, alt , title, h1, h2, h3 etc. This is why “do it yourself” sites are generally more difficult to position.
The site must absolutely be optimized for mobile devices. In fact, searches carried out from smartphones and tablets have overtaken traditional methods and since November 2016 Google has introduced “mobile-first” indexing in its search criteria. Every SEO strategy must take this into account because having a responsive structure is no longer sufficient and optimization for mobile is not an option but it is essential.
Site speed: the site must load fast. A site with a slow download is worth little, as most users will be inclined to abandon it before it has finished loading. So it is important to choose a good hosting service and it is always better not to overdo it with wallpapers, heavy images, javascrips, plugins etc. especially on the home page and on the pages we want to place on the engines
The incoming (backlink) and outgoing links are very important to determine the popularity of our site, and consequently increase its value on the engines, but they must be selected carefully: avoid exchanging links with sites that have nothing to do with it. see with the topic we are dealing with. Incoming links must be links for further information for the user and therefore be inherent to the content from which they depart. Same thing for outbound links.
Also pay attention to broken links (wrong links or links pointing to non-existent pages or page elements): the more there are, the more you are penalized. It is therefore useful to periodically check the outgoing links as it happens that the sites to which they connect may have deleted the page or changed the URL.
Monitor the positioning and statistics of the site
Following Google’s SEO guidelines is the best way to be successful with other search engines as well, as it still remains the most used search engine in the world. But it’s not easy because Google is constantly changing the indexing parameters, often experimenting creating an SEO landscape that is constantly changing. Just to give an example, Google changes its search algorithm about 500 times a year. It is therefore important to know what changes are implemented and how they can affect the individual pages of a website. The SEO techniques used two or three years ago may not work today and this can have important consequences if you do not intervene in time to correct the SEO strategy.
Regular site monitoring is also a very important practice. We need to analyze performance and do tests to understand what works for the site, get to know the audience and keep an eye on the competition.
Therefore, once a good ranking has been achieved, it should not be assumed that it can be easily maintained. There will be other sites that will be optimized for the same search keywords as us and maybe they will be able to make us lose some positions if we don’t keep our contents updated and if we don’t constantly monitor the situation.
How much does it cost to index a site on Google?
Indexing a site on Google is completely free. It is an activity that you can do. First, you need to make sure your website has been indexed by Google. To find out if it is, type site: yourdomain.it into the Google search box, replacing yourdomain.it with your actual domain name.
If you see a list of your website pages, Google has already indexed your site and will continue to visit it from time to time to check for updates.
If your website is not listed, submit it to Google via the Google Search Console. Google will take very little time to visit and index your website.
Secondly, remember, Google will only show web pages that are relevant to the keyword being searched. The first step is to make sure that the text on your webpage is related to the keyword in question. If it isn’t, Google likely won’t show it. You will obviously not be first on Google
Third, just because your website doesn’t show on the first page doesn’t mean it doesn’t show at all. Go to the bottom of the results page and click “Next” for page 2 and so on. Your website could be on page 2, page 82, or somewhere in between.
How much does a Google AdWords campaign cost?
On Google Ads you can carry out paid campaigns of up to $ 200 per month. If you set the campaign yourself, you will not have any additional costs. If, on the other hand, you rely on a professional, you must also add the cost for the consultancy which is generally divided into 2 steps.
The first is the cost of studying the advertising campaign and setting it up. There is a study of the keywords to be used in the campaign and everything needed to set up an Adwords campaign that is right for you;
Second step you will pay a monthly fee which includes campaign optimization, related best ones, analysis of results, interventions on the landing page. The costs could also include that of the creation of the landing page.
However, if the professional or agency you hire knows what they are doing, they will pay for themselves when it comes to return on investment. For example, if your professional or agency charges you a commission of $ 300-500 / month to manage and optimize your Ads campaigns and they are doing things right, you should get a lot more than $ 500 / month in benefit from having them. hired.
There are literally hundreds of different settings and features that you can add or change for any Google Ads campaign. If you don’t get them all right, you could be wasting or losing a lot of money every month.
Hire a professional with proven results if you have the budget. If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional to run your Google Ads campaigns, I recommend that you stay away from paid search advertising. Also the downside to using Google Ads is that the moment you stop paying for your ads, you won’t be in the top positions on Google anymore.
How to improve a site’s ranking on Google?
The other activities you should do to position yourself on the first page of Google are:
- Google My Business
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, especially if you are a company that only serves your local community (such as a bakery or a plumber). So, get as many positive reviews as possible. This will greatly increase your chances of appearing in the local pack section above the first organic listing. This can be huge if you do it right!
- Start a blog
One of the best things you can do to rank high on Google is to start a blog and post articles regularly. If you’re not sure what to write, think about the top 5 questions customers ask you. Then write a comprehensive answer to each question – one blog post per question. Notice the title of this blog post?
- Get natural and quality links
Find a few quality link partners with a non-profit organization in your local community and organize a contest or giveaway. Maybe the local paper will pick it up and give you some free PR (and a link to your website). Improve digital reports, write to the webmasters of the site you want to get a link on and ask for an outgoing link on your site.
- Offer to write a guest article for the local newspaper or neighborhood magazine. They often include a link to your website in your bio at the end of the article.
- Create quotes
What is a quote you ask for? A citation is a listing of your business on a local directory site. Go to sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and the like.
If you want to reach the first page on Google but you do not have time or experience to follow your project yourself, you must necessarily rely on an expert SEO consultant.
If you need help, want to get a quote or just want to have a chat with me, contact me. As a freelance SEO expert, I can help your business website reach the top search engine rankings for the most important keywords for your business.
However, you must know that SEO is made up of a series of complex activities, and the first results can take a few months to arrive. Once you reach the top positions, it will be much easier to keep them and thus continue to receive lots of free traffic.
If, on the other hand, you want to be first on google in 24 hours, know that you have only one way, Google ADS PPC campaigns. Also in this case, the advice is to rely on an expert consultant who does it by profession and not improvise on your own. I guarantee you that the money you will use for the consultation you will save them in many self-taught attempts.
Google provides some free and useful tools for optimizing a site and its positioning.
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is useful for finding ideas for potential keywords or related phrases that are most relevant to your target market.
Google Trends allows you to find out what the trending topics are.
Google Analytics to analyze site statistics
Google Search Console to register the site and check indexing and any problems that may affect positioning