On Being Number One on Google
In this episode, Jürgen talks about how unsolicited emails that promise to get you to number one on Google are the same as unsolicited emails that promise you a multi-million dollar inheritance! There is no " magic-bullet", but there are best practices. Listen to the podcast and read the post to find out more, including the 10 step checklist for on-page SEO optimisation.
Listen to the Podcast
Hi, I'm Jürgen Strauss from Innovabiz. Welcome to Episode No 60 of the InnovaBuzz Podcast - designed to help smart businesses with an interest in innovation become even more innovative.
You’ve inherited 60 Million Dollars! But first….
It has been another busy week at the InnovaBuzz Hive with many things happening, including a video filming session for our Best Year Yet event. We did the entire marketing videos in one afternoon. It was a lot of fun and just built on my sense of excitement about this event.
This event is at the end of May in a wonderful tropical island paradise, so a retreat from the everyday grind of business, where we’ll work with participants to really Turbo-charge their business. More about that later.
I bet you were fascinated by the title of this podcast episode, " you've inherited $60 million dollars." I'm sure you've all received similar emails. The gist of them goes something like this " I'm David T Duddias, expert in corporate and legal claims; I'm a partner at Thompson and Associates." They go on to describe the unfortunate passing of their long time client, who happens to have the same last name as you. The said client also left no will, but did leave an estate worth 60 million dollars! Our lawyer friend makes a very generous offer in that you, as the sole heir, are entitled to 50% of the said funds and 50% are retained by the lawyer for his services. All you have to do to claim these funds is to contact the lawyer by fax or email. Of course we all know this is a scam, right? At least I hope we do!
Now why do I start with that story? I received another email this week. It went along the lines of "We found your website on the Internet, and must say that it is very well designed, contains interesting material, and clearly demonstrates that you are a good business. However, you are not ranking number one on Google. Please contact us and we can make sure that you rank number one on Google."
So for me this type of email is as much a scam as those inheritance emails! For a start, no one can guarantee you a particular ranking on Google, not even Google! There is no Magic Bullet or as my guest on next week's podcast, Diane Kinney, puts it " the easy button". There is simply no substitute for doing the work that is required, to make sure that your website is optimised for the best possible ranking in the search engines. But before I get to that, let's look into that number one on Google email a little more:
- They don't even know what keywords I want to rank for;
- They have not done any research into my business or where I am located, otherwise they would realise that we are a web design and development agency and are perfectly capable of carrying out our own SEO optimisation.
But then again, these companies are just making use of automated robots to scam the Internet. The best indication of this is the fact that Google gets in the vicinity of 100 emails every week along the same lines, "Dear Google, we found your website on the Internet. Unfortunately you are not ranking number one on Google, the major search engine on the internet!"
So treat any unsolicited emails you get, offering to get your website ranked on page 1 or number one on Google, with the same level of scepticism as you would, that email telling you that you've just inherited 60 million dollars!
What Can I do to get to Number One on Google?
So you might very well ask, what can I do to improve my search engine ranking? The very first thing to keep in mind about ranking on the search engine, is what your visitors’ experience is. Let's begin with the end in mind (yes you heard me say that quite a lot and it applies to many things).
Your desired result is not to be number one on Google, your desired result is to get more customers and make more money! From your ideal audience perspective, they will be searching for a product or service that helps them and that you can help with. When they find your website or page that is related to that product or service, it's important to know, what they will experience next.
When they land on the particular page that is listed in the Google search, what do you want them to do there? It might be to call you for more information; it may be to download some information; it may be to fill in a form so that you can contact them in response to the information they have provided. Whatever it is that you want them to do when they land on this particular page, it's important to make it as easy as possible for them to do that.
Further, you need to know for every visitor to those particular pages how will you convert them to a paying customer? What steps or tools do you have in place to convince the visitor to that particular web page that you have the best product or service to fit their needs, and that you are the company they should choose.
So there are a whole bunch of steps which you need to prepare, before you worry about listing keywords that you want to improve your Google search ranking for.
The order in which I suggest you organise for search engine optimisation is as follows:
- Firstly, be really clear who your target audience is. What are their wants and needs? What are their fears and frustrations? How will you help them?
- Secondly, what is your end goal for this target audience? This should be defined in terms of the product or service that you want them to buy. Of course this product or service should help them address their wants, needs, fears, frustrations.
- Thirdly, what information or perhaps even low cost product or service can you offer this target audience, to build trust?
- Fourthly, how will you begin to communicate with your target audience?
- And five, where do we find that target audience and how do you get them onto your web page? (of course we need to really know the target audience!)
As you might have noticed, these points are in fact a complete strategy for website visitor acquisition and conversion to clients, and listed in the reverse order of how you would execute them.
So once we understand our ideal audience, and where we can find them, then we can begin to optimise the SEO fundamentals of the web pages which they will be coming too.
So what do these fundamentals look like?
Fundamental SEO Setup
Before you invest a lot of time, energy and perhaps money in researching new keywords that will lead visitors to your particular web page, I suggest that you focus on what you are already ranking for and what you can optimize in those pages.
To do this it's important to have access to your site Analytics and also the Google Search Console for your website. With both these tools you'll be able to determine what keywords are ranking well, what visitors to a particular page on your website are actually searching for, how much time they spend on your particular website page and what actions they take there. Then take a close look at the page content and ask yourself, is there a call to action on the page? Is it the right call to action?
If you've set up Google Analytics correctly you should even be able to tell the percentage of page visitors that are taking that particular action. Ask yourself also is there a conversion mechanism in place, that would be the pathway that converts visitors to paying customers and do you have a measuring system in place to determine the conversion rate of that page. The Analytics data will also tell you how long visitors are staying on each page. Google considers time on page an important ranking factor as it is a reflection of the user experience and value the content on that page is, to the viewer.
The two tools that I mentioned here are Google Analytics and Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. Make sure you have access to the appropriate accounts related to your website, if you don't talk to your website person to get this access.
Once you are clear about the keyword or key word phrase which is generating the most visitor interest, then it's time to review the fundamental SEO setup of that particular page which it leads to. There are 10 key things to set up correctly that will give you close to an optimum setup:
- The page title should contain the keyword phrase, ideally at the beginning.
- The page title should be around 10 words in length. It should in addition be a captivating title for your audience.
- The URL should contain the keyword phrase. Having said that the URL should be short, rather than a long phrase (so “number-1-on-Google” is better than “What-are-the-secrets-to-rank-number-one-on-Google”). Also remove any date, author and category tags from your URL.
- The main focus keyword for a particular page should be unique to that page.
- The page should have a meta description, which is the summary that Google will display in the search results. This description should entice the reader to visit the page. It should be around 150 characters.
- The text on the page should be a minimum of 300 words.
- The keyword phrase should be used throughout the text, however the text should be written to read naturally, rather than randomly plonk the keywords in it. Readability is important to your viewer, and is critical to the time they spend on the site which is a key Google ranking factor. Make good use of paragraphs and formatting.
- The keyword phrase should appear in the first paragraph, ideally in the first sentence of the content.
- The keyword phrase should be used in a subheading in the page, at least once.
- The images in the page should contain what is known as alt attributes, which are text tags that the search engines will see. Search engines do not see the images.
Beyond these 10 points, any effort on further optimising SEO of the page gives a miniscule return on time and or money invested.
So, I’ve debunked the myth of the “Get to Number one on Google” button. I’ve described the steps you need to take to achieve your real goal from your website - get the right audience to visit and convert those leads into paying customers. And I’ve shared the 10 steps for optimising your on-page SEO. I’d love to hear from you, what experience you’ve had with SEO, with companies making promises about rankings and any challenges you might have with getting leads from your website and converting those leads into customers.
Finally, I promised you more information on our magical goal setting and planning workshop - to help business owners design an awesome year for their business. This event is at the end of May, it will be in a wonderful tropical island paradise, off Phuket in Thailand, where, in just 5 days, you’ll build a plan that will turbo-charge your business and enable you to confidently predict and then achieve your results for the next 12 months. The focus will be on results and on making goal setting and planning - fun. And how could it not be fun in such a splendid location. The event is called My BEST YEAR YET, and it is a hands on program, developed and led by 5 masterful business owners who have the capability, focus, power and drive to truly succeed.
I’m really excited to be working with 4 other awesome business owners on this project and looking forward to helping transform some businesses in the coming year! If you are interested and want to find out more, please email me directly or via the contact form on the website.
That’s it for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed it and find the SEO checklist helpful. Let me know how you go, I’d really like to hear back what you find particularly useful.
All the show notes for this episode will be at innovabiz.com.au/60, that is the numbers 60, innovabiz.com.au/60, there you’ll find the links and everything we spoke about in this episode.
If you like this Podcast and found this information valuable, we’d love you to leave us a review. Reviews help us get found, so help us help more people! Leave your review on iTunes and then subscribe so you’ll never miss a future episode. If you prefer Stitcher or Pocket Casts you can subscribe there too. If there is anything you’d like us to cover, or questions you want answered on a future InnovaBuzz podcast, please leave a comment in the blog post.
Until next time, I’m Jürgen Strauss from Innovabiz.
Remember, if you don’t innovate, you stagnate, so think big, be adventurous and keep innovating!