Ranking within Google’s organic search results is getting harder.
Every day, more and more businesses are popping up online due to the demise of the high street not to mention the impact on jobs due to the pandemic.
As a result, more people are looking to go it alone and make use of the web to get their brands in front of potential customers.
Needless to say, this means more and more businesses competing for the same search traffic with some industries become swamped.
There are only 10 or so spaces available on page one, so how can we win the battle and dominate our search space making sure our website remains prominent?
Below I offer you a few suggestions on how (regardless of your budget) you can rank and start generating more leads and sales for your business in 2021 and beyond.
Focus more on the top of the marketing funnel
There are two kinds of keywords. Those with informational intent and those with commercial intent.
Those with commercial intent, are those that have the greatest chance of resulting in a sale. For example, “golf holiday packages spain 2022”.
The intent is obvious. The searcher is looking to book a golf break in Spain for next year. If you rank at or near the top, the sale could be yours.
On the other hand, an informational query means the user is looking for information or wants to educate themselves in some way.
For example, “what are the best golf courses to play in the Costa del Sol”.
“Do you need a handicap to play golf in Spain?”
Once again it’s evident that the user is not necessarily looking to book a golf holiday right now, but might be doing some pre-holiday research into the best courses to play while away or whether they need to have an official handicap to play.
The fact is, there will be many thousands of informational keywords you can target and rank for by regularly creating comprehensive long-form blog content.
Although the visitor may not be looking to buy NOW, it gives you the opportunity to get in front of those who are at the top of the marketing funnel and are at that awareness or consideration phase of the sales process.
That way, when they look to book a break further down the line, they are more likely to think about your brand before a competitor’s.
This principle applies to all businesses, not just those selling golf breaks.
By creating a content hub of blog posts based around a central topic and updating these regularly, you can rank for thousands of related keywords getting your brand in front of thousands of more people who may eventually buy from you.
It takes a lot of effort but the fact is that the majority of your competitors just can’t be bothered to do it. Opportunity knocks!
Build your brand
Google likes brands. The more people that search for your brand, the more trusted you will be in Google’s eyes and more likely to rank well.
Former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt summed it up when he said:
“Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” – Eric Schmidt
I know what he means about “cesspool”. The web is awash with millions of junk websites floating around in cyberspace not really serving any real purpose.
Brand signals are one of the ways in which Google determines whether you deserve to rank at the top or not.
Make no mistake, Google will be using branded search volumes, branded anchor (link) text, company social media pages, co-citation mentions, Google Local pages and more.
The key takeaway here is to make sure you are always pushing your brand and what it stands for.
Become an expert within your search space and try to become the number one go-to site for what you are offering.
If you don’t stand out, someone else will.
Don’t go too broad. Stay focused and specialised.
Going too broad with your business offerings and keyword targeting can be a big mistake.
I have come across so many people who say they want to rank for “real estate” or “hotels” or “holidays”, blah blah boring.
Super competitive broad keywords that just don’t convert!
Try spending thousands on SEO over many years to rank for keywords that give you 50,000 visits per month only to find that 0.001% actually convert! Talk about a bucket with a big fat hole in it and one huge waste of time!
It’s much better to get 1,000 visitors per month hitting your site using specific search terms with commercial intent than it is to chase vanity keywords that won’t pay the bills.
Make sure you are targeting the right commercial keywords that will actually bring in sales. It doesn’t matter if they only attract 50 searches per month. Those 50 people are much more likely to buy from you than those other 50,000.
I know which I would rather target and spend my time trying to rank for.
It’s all well and good imagining a nice graph with traffic increasing year-on-year with a lovely upward curve, but traffic is NOT the main key performance indicator; SALES are.
And if your keyword targeting is wrong, you won’t have any!
If you sell a lot of products or have a large number of services, focus on those where the most demand is and of which are likely to improve revenue.
If you are starting a new business, you want to specialise as much as possible and not try to cover all bases. From a marketing perspective, it makes it much harder to compete in a broad search space with every man and his dog chasing the same keywords.
Stop trying to be the next Wikipedia. Even they don’t rank for everything you know.
Remember the long tail and rank faster
This section kind of ties in with the above.
If you want to see faster SEO results, stop focusing on broad keywords that don’t convert.
The long-tail keywords (4 words or more) cover around 80-90% of the potential keywords you can target. So why chase broad keywords that everyone else is chasing?
They convert a lot better as well, as the searcher is being more specific and in most cases will be further into the marketing funnel. They aren’t window shopping, they know exactly what they want.
Commercial intention is there. All you have to do is create the landing page and give them what they’re searching for.
Long-tail keywords are also 10 times easier to rank for.
It’s fine to rank for broad keywords as your domain authority grows, but in the early days, target the long-tail specific search terms that are likely to convert and bring in the sales. It’s a no brainer!
So there you have it. Four easy ways to attract more traffic in 2021 and stand out from the ever-expanding online crowd.
It’s definitely going to be a lot harder to rank at the top of Google over the next few years and beyond.
You can though. You just have to be focused, creative and make sure you are placing your time and energy in the right area and chasing the best keywords.
Question is, what would it do for your bottom line to be able to rank at the top of Google for all the juiciest commercial keywords while watching your competitors below you squirming for the leftovers?
Regardless of your budget, with over 14 years of SEO experience, I know what it takes to rank well.
If you’re looking for an SEO in Kent to promote your business, give me a call for a friendly chat to find out how I can help you to dominate your search space.