It’s a wonderful feeling to see your website sitting top of the rankings for an important keyword.
Not only is it recognition for all your hard work, but it means organic clicks (arguably the best clicks), and this can only be a good thing for your business.
One of the reasons it’s such a good feeling to see your website at the top of the rankings is because it’s really not easy to do. No matter how niche your website is, there’s always competition, especially if your keyword gets a high number of queries.
There’s no magic way to get your pages featuring at the top of the search engines, but there are a number of steps you can take that are going to boost your chances of reaching the top of the mountain. These steps aren’t difficult, but they do take hard work and commitment over a period of time.
Focus on the Content
People like to overlook this point because consistently creating good content takes a lot of effort. If you’re going to reach the top of the rankings, though, you need to forget about writing good content and think about writing the best content.
If you think about Google’s main function – linking people with web pages that best answer their queries – then it makes sense that the best content will show up at the top. If you don’t put the time and effort into your content to make it some of the best out there, then why would Google feature it?
Find out what ranks well for your keywords and then think of ways you can improve on that content and make it even better.
Choose the Right Keywords
You have to be able to understand what keywords your site has a realistic chance of ranking for. It’s alright to aspire to be able to rank for the most competitive keywords in the future, but if you want to see your website top of the rankings in the present, then you’ve got to go after the right keywords.
For many websites, this means long-tail keywords. For example, instead of targeting “cooking recipes,” you go after keywords like “traditional Danish cooking recipes.” Clearly, a lot more people search for cooking recipes, but it doesn’t matter how many searches it gets if you can’t rank for it.
Choosing the right keywords is about understanding what keywords you can realistically rank for, but still going after keywords with enough search volume.
For the search engines to put you at the top of their rankings, they’re going to have to trust you first. But how do the search engines know they can trust you?
The search engines use a system to establish trust that is very similar to what we as humans use. If your friend tells you the local bar is giving out free beer tomorrow, how do you go about verifying what he says is true? You look for other sources you trust to verify his story.
Google and the search engines do exactly the same thing; they just do it by looking at links. If Google sees that lots of websites (especially websites they trust) are linking to your site, then they’re going to be more likely to trust you.
This means that link building has to play a big part in your efforts to climb the rankings. This is often an area where it can be beneficial to use small business seo services to help with your efforts.
Remember the User Experience
You can accomplish the last three points absolutely perfectly, but if your user experience is bad, then you’re going to struggle to rank well.
If your website is slow and doesn't offer a good UX, then people simply won’t spend much time on the page. The internet offers consumers so many options that they don’t have to sit around and wait for your site to load; they can go somewhere else to get their information.
When lots of people are bouncing from your page because it is slow to load, or not spending much time on your site because they find the user experience frustrating, this sends a negative signal to Google.
The search engines want to send people to the best pages, and if you’re not offering a good user experience, then you’re not one of the best pages.
Always keep in mind that above anything else, your website needs to be easy for humans (not just bots) to use. Don’t make it complicated when simple will do.