POST WRITTEN BY
VP of Marketing at Boostability and champion for SMBs.
Every business is trying to reach the top page of Google search results — this the principal aim of any SEO strategy. But what is the value of a first-page ranking? The answer varies for every keyword, making it possible to determine exactly how much a ranking is worth to you.
To value your current rankings, you need to calculate the return on investment of each of your organic search listings. The best tool to use is Google Adwords, which provides all the information you need about individual keywords. You can use the data to determine the traffic value of each keyword. A simple calculation for traffic value is earnings per click multiplied by the number of searches multiplied by the click-through rate.
First Page Compared To Later Pages
If you feel disappointed by any of your traffic values, find out where your keyword is currently ranking. It is much more useful to have a ranking on page one than on a later page. This becomes obvious when you consider how few searches end up at the later results pages. According to Moz, the first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks and has been reported to be as high as 92% in recent years. Second-page results are far from a close second coming in at below 6% of all website clicks.
Furthermore, you need to include ads and searches without clicks in the equation. Only 15% of traffic clicks on an ad or tries a different search. The remaining 85% clicks on results, according to Zero Limit Web. However, this does not mean that you necessarily have a good chance of receiving any of this traffic if you appear on the first page. You need to be near the top: The first five results receive 67.6% of clicks, whereas the remaining five just receive 3.73%.
How To Reach The Top
Researching the best keywords and including them in your content is just one way to improve your rankings. If you want to reach the top pages, you need to go a step further.
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• Optimize your entire site. Google will penalize all your pages if your website fails to meet quality and usability standards. We encountered a situation like this when we began working with a company that develops and manufacturers multi-spectral infrared and thermal cameras. The business wanted to promote its brand but had been unable.
Before we began publishing content with targeted keywords, we needed to the fix broken links and other errors Google had flagged.
To fix internal broken links, we use tools like Search Console, Screaming Frog and AWR. These tell us the page the link originated from and where the link is pointing. It is sometimes possible to carry out mass changes, such as in the case that a formatting error prohibits proper links from being populated. In other situations, we go to each page in turn to update the broken links.
The other errors Google had flagged on the camera site included 404 pages and broken or moved images. We fixed and updated these links to ensure a uniform user experience across the site, and updated the sitemap files and robots by removing broken and incorrect links in them. As soon as Google re-indexed the site, the pages started climbing in search results for all keywords. Now, more than 58% of the company’s keywords are on page one.
• Make pages mobile-friendly. If you’ve ever struggled to read a page or navigate a website on a mobile device, you’ll know how frustrating this can be. Google is also aware of this and favors mobile-friendly content.
• Gain authority. You need to show Google that your website offers quality information and is a source that users trust. This involves posting frequently, improving engagement with articles (through social media efforts), and guest blogging. After initiating a strategy that took all the above into account, one of our clients increased impressions by 280%.
• Focus on links. Links play a number of roles in ranking. First, Google looks at the wording of hyperlinks in content to determine what keywords are associated with the link being used. For instance, “find out more” is better than “click here.” If too many links include the same anchor text the link may be considered suspicious or unnatural.Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Google also considers the quality of the pages you are linking to. They should be relevant to the content, whether they lead to somewhere else on your own website or to another site.
Finally, you need to limit the number of links that you include in a single piece of content. A few links show Google that you are backing up your claims and providing further information for users. Too many appear like spam and hurt your ranking.
When you run the calculations for your own keywords, it should become clear how high rankings play an integral role in online success. To bring more keywords to the top (for greater visibility and to reach all subsets of your audience), you need to focus on every area of your website and incorporate more than just content creation and keyword research into your marketing strategy.
VP of Marketing at Boostability and champion for SMBs.