So many gurus, packages, quick fixes — what is one to believe? I read somewhere, and I don't remember where something like: “Believe that getting great rankings are within your reach if you are willing to earn them.”
Very true. However, “earn” is an understatement. I've seen many credible businesses with excellent websites get hammered by Google for doing nothing wrong other than what worked the day before.
I'm not talking about folks trying to game Google. I am referring to those trying to play by the rules. Playing on the game board that the search engines created.
Then the rules change without notice…
Because the rules can change at any time, this leaves the average small business without the ability to recover quickly.
That's why many years ago, I chose the methodology to work on brand building. As a result, the approach has allowed my sites to garner great referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.
This approach helps to minimize (not negate) the need for me to worry or fret about rankings. I have this luxury because I've been working hard to build my brands for over two decades.
This article is for those just starting who need to acquire realistic expectations to improve their current rankings.
There is No Secret Formula
Say it out loud — there is no secret formula. There is nothing you cannot do yourself if you want to roll up your sleeves.
But first, you have to wrap your head around what it takes to position your site for potential organic (free) rankings. It won't just “happen.” Nor will submitting to directories and search engines be impactful.
Who doesn't want to be in the top 5, 10, top page for organic listings? Everyone.
Every. Site. Owner. Out. There.
The Indexed Web contains at least 5.21 billion pages (as of Tuesday, 24 August 2021). So how do search engines decide who gets listed and where? Let alone the coveted handful of above-the-fold or top page of any search engine?
Hundreds of Ranking Factors
Your organic (free) listings are gained by how your site is ranked based on a combination of each search site's unique variables (algorithm). Google has oodles of variables.
Things like relevancy to the term(s) searched for, popularity, responsiveness, https, social signals, trust, and site speed/performance. Don't forget a healthy dash of “no one knows for sure what else” will determine how your site ranks.
Then, to muddy things up further, these algorithms evolve without notice.
Are we having fun yet?
Shuffling or adding keywords in your Meta keyword tag won't do it — search engines ignore that tag. Keyword stuffing your content is also a no-go. To stuff your content with keywords just for search engines only serves to make your content unreadable to your site visitors.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn't the end-all-be-all either. First, you have to have a well rounded, intelligent long term marketing plan for your site that includes certain basics such as:
So, are you ready to get your head in the right place? To understand the reality of what organic rankings entail?
Here's what you need to wrap your head around.
Knowing up front that it will take time (years)…
…and more effort than you can probably imagine. Only time will allow you to be viewed as more relevant than the sites that are already online. Especially those in the organic positions you seek. You are going to have to work it.
Putting a plan together by doing keyphrase research …
Check out the various search engines so that you are aware of the competition. Do some solid research. Take note of the volume of sites already successfully ranking for the terms you are targeting.
This gives you a real-world understanding of the level of competition you will be up against. You are starting at the bottom of the barrel. Only the cream rises to the top. (So Google says.)
Understanding that how your website ranks has nothing to do with how good you are at what you do for a living.
It has to do with how good your website is and how good others, including the search engines, think your website is. Don't want to participate online, add new content, interact with website and social contacts? Oh-oh…
You have to honestly ask yourself if you have what it takes to strive to be the best, most comprehensive resource for your niche to gain the rankings you desire.
Knowing what your target visitors are searching for…
What do they need to know about? What problems do they need to be solved? That's what you write about. There are several free tools to assist you in investigating what keyword phrases your target market is using. Use these tools to your advantage.
To “top” the sites already out there…
You have to do just that. Top the top websites.
If you do not have anything unique and of quality or value to offer, you'll never push those who already hold these positions out of your way. May the best, most determined marketer win.
Adding new information to your site on an aggressive basis.
Daily or weekly – make a schedule and stick to it. Resources, white papers, “how-tos.” Even commentary based on your experience will not only add value but will naturally work wonders as keyword-targeted pages.
Let your sparkling personality show through. That's what will set you apart. There is only one you!
Then, plan on having lots of patience. Lots.
Work Towards Being the Best
Wrap your head around doing what it takes to make your site the best it can be. Whatever that takes.
THE site for your niche product or service, and your rankings will improve over time. Online success is not on your terms or only what you are willing to do. You compete in the marketplace as it is, or you are irrelevant.
There are no shortcuts or trickery for fast top 5, 10, top page organic results. If someone tells you otherwise, that is their attempt to use what you don't know to get into your pocketbook.
The good news is that if you commit to continually build your site, and more importantly, build your brand to be exactly what your target market is looking for, you'll get your rankings.
The bad news? You have to keep working at it to maintain those rankings. No one can tell you how long that will take for your particular site.
Online there is no rest for the weary. No set and forget. Wrap your head around that too.
At your service,