Think about the last time you used a search engine. Now think about the last thing you searched. If I’ve learned anything from Whoogles, Google Analytics keyword data (well, I guess I can kiss that goodbye), and my own search history on my iPhone, it was probably a really disturbing search query. If I’ve learned anything from working at an SEO company, it’s that hardly anyone ever navigates past the first page of search results.
Understandably then, most business owners that come to us are interested in getting their business on the first page of Google. There are several ways to get your business listed on the first page of Google—and at Blue Corona, we always recommend you try to get as many listings on the first page as possible (my boss calls this “maximizing your online real estate,” I call it “giving your competitors the ol’ one-two.” Potato, potato. Wow, that one really doesn’t translate to text.).
In order to get your business on the first page of Google and give your competitors the ol’ one-two, I recommend looking in to the following search marketing strategies:
How do you get your pay per click (PPC) ads on page one of Google?
How do you use search engine optimization (SEO) to get page one real estate?
How can local search engine optimization (LSEO) help get more page one listings?
How to Get On Page One of Google for Paid Search Campaigns
I’m always surprised that there isn’t more rivalry at my office between the paid search team and the organic search team because the most frequently asked search engine marketing (SEM) question usually boils down to “which is better: SEO or PPC?”. Spoiler alert: you should definitely invest in both.
However, if you want to get on the first page of Google tomorrow, investing in paid search is the way to go. SEO campaigns can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to deliver results, so you’re unlikely to get more organic (non-paid) traffic, leads, and sales early in your investment.
2013 Google Updates that Make PPC Even More Valuable
Clearly, PPC has always been a cost-effective way to get more leads and sales from the Web. However, there are three Google updates in 2013 that I believe make it an even more valuable investment.
Most marketers and advertisers have accepted that many people have “ad blindness” towards PPC listings—meaning they purposely do not click on paid ads. But recently, the yellow box where Google displays the paid ads is getting lighter—meaning more people are clicking on the paid listings without even realizing it. If you’re not investing in PPC, you’re basically giving those clicks to your competitors.
Next, most of us know that Google constantly changes the algorithm it uses to rank websites in search results. In one of the recent updates, Google stated it won’t allow one website to have multiple organic listings on the first page of search results (what most SEOs refer to as “domain crowding”). So if you want to have more than one listing on the first page of Google (which, duh, you do), you’ll need to invest in PPC.
And here’s the kicker: ever since Google cut us off our organic keyword data cold turkey, your PPC keyword data becomes even more valuable. Since Google still provides data to advertisers for clicks on paid ads, you can use this data to evaluate your keyword performance.
Want to learn more about how to enhance your paid search campaign? Check out the following posts:
How to Improve Your Organic Google Rankings withSEO
Now that you’ve got your paid listing, it’s time to work on getting your business a top organic listing in the search results. The best way to do this is my adding content to your website. High quality content increases your rankings and also creates a better user experience for your customers. In addition, the more quality information you have on your site, the more likely others are to reference it. When other people link and reference your website, the search engines interpret your site as more authoritative and display it more prominently in search engine results.
Unfortunately for you, there’s much more to SEO than just adding content to your website. From a technical standpoint, you also need to make sure the search engines can easily crawl, understand, and index your website (read more here). This involves things like improving your site speed, using a search-engine friendly site navigation menu, creating a well-structured XML sitemap, building a responsive site for mobile and tablet users, and more.
Want more SEO tips from Blue Corona? Check out the following:
When you Google something like “plumber,” “ac repair,” “tanning salon,” or “liquor store,” you’ve probably noticed that Google uses your location data to display nearby businesses. Obviously, if you own a local business, you want to get in those local listings (the “7-pack”).
In order to show up in the local listings on the first page of Google, you need to optimize your NAP (name, address, phone number) citations across the Web. The more local citations you can build with consistent NAP information, the better.
Local search is very hot topic in the online marketing world right now. Check out my boss’s two part recap from a recent local SEO conference here: part 1 and part 2.
Other Strategies for Getting More First Page Results on Google
While the paid listings, organic listings, and local listings are the main three SEM strategies for getting your business on the first page of Google, I have a few other (arguably) under-utilized tactics for getting even more listings on the first page (especially following Google’s decision to limit domain crowding):
A lot of companies—especially those with multiple business lines—opt to have more than one website. These companies tend to have a main or primary domain complemented by one or more microsites.
A microsite (sometimes called a minisite) is a website used to supplement a company or organization’s primary domain. More often than not, the microsite will have a URL distinct of the primary domain and has its own unique design and navigation.
Microsites can help you target different buyer personas, appear more relevant and authoritative, as well as get multiple listings in organic search results.
In order to improve its own customers’ user experience, Google likes to display a wide variety of media in its search results—including videos. A video is 60 percent more likely to get ranked in a search result than a landing page on the same topic.
Having a YouTube channel and embedding videos onto your site are great ways to increase the chances that you’ll show up in related search results.
Lucky for you, my coworker Elizabeth just did a two part blog series on using videos to marketing your business: part 1 and part 2.
You already know about social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But depending on your industry, there are other social sites you should consider joining to increase your chances of showing up on the first page of Google. Pinterest, Houzz, Tumblr, and Yelp are all good examples.
Optimizing the images on your site can help you get on the first page of Google when it displays image results:
Google Product Listing Ads
If your business operates an ecommerce site, Google product listings ads represent another way to get your site (and products) featured on the first page of Google:
Putting press releases out for your business can potentially score you a spot in the News section of Google, particularly for branded terms:
Give Your Competitors the Ol’ One-Two with Blue Corona SEM Services
Now’s the part where I tell you I want your business to be all over the first page of Google more than I want to be all over a grilled cheese from Jaleo (according to Food Network star Rachael Ray, you can always tell how good a restaurant is by ordering its grilled cheese. Jaleo’s grilled cheese is the best I’ve ever had.).
Give me a call and we can talk about a unique strategy for getting your business on the first page of Google. If you have an irrational fear of speaking to people on the phone, fill out this form; I’ll analyze your site, and show you what it takes to be a search engine winner:
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
View more blogs by Lexie Bond
“Blue Corona's expertise in search engine optimization is directly responsible for driving the increase in monthly visits to our web site, producing many telephone inquiries and visits to our showroom. ”