We all want to be first. The best at what we do. Recognized as a leader. In business, being first means our company will be more profitable. And when we hear an offer for guaranteed first page Google rankings it sounds very attractive. Most of us know that if you are ranked on page 2 or below the chances of a prospect finding us are slim. But are guaranteed first page Google rankings for real?
When discussing first page rankings we are talking about the position on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that occurs organically. This is not a paid position. This is organic search or SEO. We are referring to the results on the page that list below the paid ads, and often below the map. If you are a local business, a restaurant or hardware store, then map rankings are also critical.
Content is King
There are many factors that go into an organic ranking. Google does not state exactly what factors are important or how much each influences results. It does give indications and periodically issues guidance. It is generally agreed that content plays a large role. Google wants everyone who uses their tool to find exactly what they want. A page that conveys information clearly and in detail will have an advantage over one that does not.
Content that is old, even if informative, will struggle against quality content that is new. Websites that are regularly updated tend to rank better. This is where a good blog can really help. Blogs can be used to write about key areas of the business, then internally linked back to the main website pages. Regular blogging provides new content.
Increasingly, Google is looking at the user experience in ranking. Is the site mobile-friendly, does it load quickly? Can a person easily navigate the site? Are there a good number of favorable reviews of the company?
There is a technical side to organic search as well. Technical SEO will include using keywords in meta-tagging, both title and page description. Schema markup and structured data also play a role.
And, let’s not forget backlinks. Backlinks are links from other sites to your pages. For Google, backlinks indicate authority or relevance. But, backlinks need to be legitimate. If Google thinks you are spamming your site will be penalized.
Now comes the question of what keywords you wish to rank for. The more competitive the keyword, the harder ranking becomes. At the same time, ranking on page one for a keyword that no one searches has little value. This is where the art of rankings comes into play. Finding valuable keywords that get traffic and are relevant but not overly competitive. The mortgage broker who wants to rank for “Mortgage” must compete against all of the national financial institutions who have 24/7 SEO departments and spend millions on branding. The broker will have a better opportunity with something more specific such as “Home Refinance in Anytown, USA”.
Even following all of the “rules” will not guarantee ranking on page one all of the time. Most experts estimate Google changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year. That’s almost twice per day. Most of these changes are minor tweaks that mean nothing for the average business. However, some revisions alter the way we approach SEO. Google publishes information on their major search ranking updates. But even these are not precise explanations. They are general descriptions of the problem Google is trying to rectify and how they are doing it.
Guaranteed First Page Google Rankings
The reality is that no one can guarantee Google rankings. Rankings are not a science. No one really knows how the Google algorithm works. You can increase the likelihood of being on the first page by optimizing for keywords with no competition. But, what good is that? If you want to rank well create a process around content creation. Have each post target a specific keyword your target audience would search. Cultivate other publishers to post your articles for backlinks. Learn the technical aspects of SEO or hire someone. Great rankings take time. Be wary of Guaranteed First Page Google Rankings but don’t stop trying.