How To Get To The Top Of Google Search And Stay There.

Getting to page one of the Google results, above your competitors is one of the main reasons for having a website.

But just getting a website will not get you to the top.

For that, you need SEO.

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation“, which is a term used to describe any process or method that aims to get your website as high as possible in the Google search results pages, ideally page one and as high up that page as possible. 

These positions are also known as “organic” or “natural” listings which generally appear below the paid ads and sometimes the local listings from Google My Business.

So why should you try and get your website to the top? 

Because Google’s statistics show that more people click on the first results page links than all the other pages put together. In fact the top link get nearly one third of all clicks.

And that is what gets you more visitors and more customers.

Sounds great, get near the top, and you have a constant stream of new customers, BUT it takes time, an understanding of the process and an amount of work.

Why? Because the only company that decides where your website pages will appear is Google. 

And Google’s primary customers that it has to keep happy are the people using it to search for answers to their queries. So Google will only show websites and more importantly, individual pages that answer the searcher’s question, they call it relevance.

For your page(s) to get to the top, they have to be relevant and answer the searcher’s potential question better than any other page in the search results.

Notice I said page(s) and not the website. This is because, in the case of search results, Google treats every page of every website as a unique entity. There is some influence from the entire site (mentioned below), but Google concentrates on just one page at a time.

Google also likes active websites. Creating a website with 50 pages at once will get you some of the ways to the top, but it will be short-lived as Google realises you are not updating the content so loses interest in your website.

This is all good news for you.

If you look at your local competitors you will most likely find that they have more pages than you and probably more content, BUT it is very unlikely that their website has been updated with new or edited content for a long time. They are still at the top because there is no competition.

This is where you can beat them – Google is ALWAYS looking for better answers, so if you provide better content and keep your website active, you will eventually get to the top.

And therein lies the reason why SEO can work but takes so long.

Now there are many ways of getting your pages noticed by Google and getting to that coveted high place on page one, but first a warning –

As with everything in life, not everyone plays fair.

Many companies will guarantee to get your website on page one of the search results, some in a very short timescale, but be wary of such claims.

They will target one or two obscure search phrases with very little competition that will not get you many visitors and is a waste of time and money.

They may use so-called “black-hat” techniques to try and trick Google into placing your website above others.

And sure, this sounds good as it might fast track your website towards the top spots. 

BUT Google is not stupid.

Nearly every day they update their system to filter out such poor tactics and often penalise the offending website by banishing them to results pages that no-one will ever see (think page 20, 40, 80 or higher).

And in addition to the minor changes, they have major updates which within days of their release, relegate websites with “dodgy” tactics to the proverbial dark ages.

At the bottom of this post, here, I have listed the biggest updates from Google

Why Does Google Update So Often?

These updates mean that Google penalises poorly written and designed websites and the tactics used to influence search results (which is against Google’s Terms) and rewards websites that contain well written and useful content.

No-one can guarantee any result as the only company that has any influence over the position of your website is Google. And they have never made public exactly what they are looking for.

However, it is not all doom and gloom.

So If SEO Is No Guarantee, And Takes So Long, Why Do It? 

As I said before, it takes time for Google to recognise the benefit of putting your website higher up the search listings, above your competitors, so you don’t see immediate results. But once you are there, you get a constant flow of customers coming to you.

The money or time invested in SEO will be recovered by the increase in customers and more people visiting your website, not only from people searching but from referrals as they will also see that you are high up on the search results page.

And if you are consistent with your new content, your competitors will find it very hard to get back to the top.

So SEO, implemented well, will result in your website being shown to more people, higher up the results page, but only as long as you follow Google’s common-sense guidelines:

1) Make your website, Google-friendly.

  • Make sure all the background technical aspects of website SEO are in place.
  • Make your website fast.
  • Make it mobile-friendly.

2) Create useful, informative and relevant content.

  • Create each page to answer a specific question or detail a specific process. One topic, one page.
  • Make the page easy for both Google and your visitor to understand.
  • Consistently add new useful content/pages to your website.
  • Make your content better than your competitors content.

And that is it for the basics.

Think about how you can help Google get visitors to your website and keep those visitors on your website as long as possible by answering their question with plenty of helpful information.

Although that sounds simple, and in its basic form it is, there is a lot more that can be done before and after adding the new pages to make the time invested in creating content more worthwhile such as:

  • Research your competitors content, so you know what you have to do to beat them.
  • Research the words and phrases that potential customers use to search so you can answer those questions accurately.
  • Share and reuse your content on social media to increase awareness of your content and your company.
  • Create the content correctly – focus on the visitor’s query and problem and answer it.
  • And much more.

There is also a lot that you can do to your website to increase the trust a visitor has in you and your company after viewing your website:

  • Add reviews to your site as social proof.
  • Add a “call to action” to every page to help visitors take the next step in becoming your customers.
  • Use Video to explain you page’s topic, in addition to the text on the page.

And lastly, we come to the bits which happen away from your website:

  • Create, optimise and regularly update your Google My Business listing.
  • Get listed on directory websites.
  • Publish your content on other websites or get links from other relevant and high-quality websites back to your pages.

Sounds like a lot of work?

Yes, it can be if done yourself however before you sit down and start writing there are two hurdles to overcome:

  • The knowledge to get it right.
  • The time away from your work to implement these suggestions.

The first option can be overcome with a bit of training – two good books I can recommend are –

They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan – available from Amazon UK here


Three Months to Number One by Will Coombe – available from Amazon UK here

The second option is to employ an SEO expert to help you.

They should provide a plan of the process they will follow and regular reports showing you what they have done and how the position of your website has changed for the various keywords and phrases they will be targeting on your behalf.

You should also have realistic expectations:

  1. SEO takes time, generally between 3 and 12 months to see real changes.
  2. You may see a temporary drop in visitors as Google tests your pages against the competition.
  3. You may never reach the top positions for some keywords or phrases (it may take a lot more effort and time and may not be worth that investment).

Saying all that, SEO is the best long term marketing approach for your website and business and when used in combination with some of the other options detailed above (such as reviews and GMB) will provide you with a constant flow of new customers all year round.

Not sure where to start or stuck for content ideas?

I offer a full SEO services to do all the hard work for you. It starts with a FREE audit of your current website. Want to know more, click the “Tell Me More” button below.

As promised, below are the biggest updates (Google sometimes they name their updates, but no-one knows why).

Panda – targeted excessive use of keywords and poor content.

Don’t overuse the keywords and phrases your article is targetting and make sure your content is relevant.

Penguin – targets websites with lots of poor quality links from other websites.

SEO used to involve getting as many links as possible to your website from other sources as this used to get you straight to the top. Google has now recognised this and penalises you for trying this old tactic.

Exact Match Domain Update – removed websites with domains matching their services.

Google now doesn’t care what your website is called so you can no longer get a boost by having your website address exactly match your product or service.

Pirate – Aimed at remove websites with copied content

Stopped websites which provided illegal downloads AND websites that blatantly copied other websites content.

Hummingbird and RankBrain – Improved Google’s understanding of search intent. Google now relies less on the actual words and more on the full search phrase – penalises poor content.

Pages with very little text or poorly written content are placed further down the page. Make sure your pages have plenty of useful text.

Pigeon and possum – Improved the quality of local searches, so local companies appear higher for local services — Penalises national companies in local searches.

This made searches for local companies such as “plumber near me” display actual local companies rather than big companies with pages and pages of content just with different town names in them.

Fred – Penalises pages with excessive ads and little content.

If there are too many annoying ads, Google recognises this gets in the way of the content and places the pages lower.

Mobile-Friendly Update – Google indexes most websites based on how they appear on a mobile screen before checking the desktop version. Sites with good mobile versions appear higher.

Websites that do not display well on small screens are placed lower down the results pages, even in searches carried out on a desktop computer.

Page Speed Update – Pages/websites that load faster get higher on the results page.

Google understands that we are all impatient. The quicker your website loads, the better your position on the results page.

BERT – a better understanding of a searchers intent presents results based more on the meaning of the search rather than the words used in the search.

There is now less reliance on including the exact search words or phrases used for searches in a web page. Google understands the context and intent of a search phrase and the pages it has indexed so better content means a better position on the search results page.

Not sure where to start or stuck for content ideas?

I offer a full SEO services to do all the hard work for you. It starts with a FREE audit of your current website. Want to know more, click the “Tell Me More” button below.

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