Psst, c’mere. We have a secret. It’s the secret to the success of your business online. In this blog we’re going to tell you the top, #1, most important factor of ranking on Google. This is a big secret. Are you ready?
People go to Google to find answers to their questions. And because of that, a good user experience is an important aspect of their business. It’s in Google’s best interest to provide the best answer to every single query on the site. The tech giant constantly updates its algorithm to help provide the most relevant website in the search results. There are at least 200 signals that Google uses. And while other aspects of the algorithm could change at any moment, make your site better for users and you will Google will reward you.
So with that background, are you ready for the secret? Here it is!
The #1 factor in ranking on Google is content! But not just any content. It must be high-quality and, most importantly, highly-relevant to the end-user.
Content must serve the purpose of the user. They should need and want what you have to offer. Otherwise, why would they be coming to your website. Tell them where you are, what you do, and how you can help them. That’s the fundamentals of content on your website. You need to help the customer, and Google, understand why you’re the best at what you do.
Never lose focus on the purpose of your content. Keywords can be helpful to know where there are opportunities to reach your customers but keep relevancy in mind. If you choose to go after a keyword that may be popular or easy but it not what your customers are using, you’re missing the point of your content. Keywords can vary greatly depending on your industry, location, and competition level. Remember, your customer does not have the same knowledge of your industry. You want your content and keywords to give the consumer confidence but using jargon they won’t understand will only confuse them. It should be easy to understand. Don’t give them a reason to give up on you.
On the other hand, your experience in your business and industry may create blind spots for understanding your customer. They may use words or phrases you would never consider in the context of your business. Learn to speak language of your consumer. You know who you want to attract and keep so learn everything you can about them and understand the phrases they would use. Once you find these phrases, use them in your content. Using the same language as your consumer will make your content more conversational which is great for the more casual voice search trends.
High quality content is useful content. It provides value for the reader. Google does not want you to focus on their algorithm. Inappropriate optimizing can get your content de-indexed, and your site penalized.
What is content?
Content inherently puts an idea of words into your mind. But it’s so much more than that. Many people associate the word content with blogs and articles. But what about video? What about pictures that describe your products and services? Content is what goes into your product pages. It is what drives people to keep scrolling to learn more about your business. It’s essentially what keeps people engaged on your site.
Content needs to be engaging. Keep in mind why someone would want to keep reading, or keep watching something that you post. Keep in mind your social media feeds too when thinking about content and how you can hook more people to your website through your social channels.
How do you create good content?
Focus on who you want to find and read your content. Let that focus inform and drive every step of the content creation cycle. Ignore all other factors until later in the process. If you don’t know much about your end user, talk to them! Learn from your customers how they find out about your business, why they chose you, and what problems do they need solved. Learn their language while you converse, then translate what you’ve learned into your content and website.
They trust you to solve a problem they’re having or to answer a question. So make sure you understand every aspect of that problem so you can solve it efficiently. Then, make sure your content relays to the consumer how you can solve their problem as simple and clearly as possible. Once they know why you matter and why they should care about your content and in turn your business, you have helped them move down the sales funnel.
Once you understand the language, it’s easy to translate that into keywords. Use the problem you’re solving and the questions you answer, and simplify it down to simple key phrases based on the questions you are asking.
Now that you have an idea what your consumer is looking for, you can then look for ways to incorporate keywords. Do some research to find relevant keywords and then narrow done which ones might be the best fit. You should consider which keywords you are big enough to compete for, which ones are relevant, and which ones are worth it.
Going after a keyword that is dominated by large organizations that have been competing for the top spot for years might prove to be difficult and in the end is likely not worth it. You might try to localize the keyword. For example, if you own a veterinarian clinic in Bozeman, Montana, you will likely not compete on the national level for the keyword “Veterinarian”. On the other hand “Veterinarian Bozeman MT” might be an effective keyword to go after.
If the keywords that are easy to compete for are not relevant to your business, think twice. The point is to help your consumer and they won’t be looking for you under keywords that have nothing to do with the problem they have. Building your site up for smaller keywords can build the foundation for more competitive keywords further down the line.
Metatags describe content so Google knows why it is relevant to the user. They are little snippets that show in the search results. While metatags are not technically a ranking factor for Google’s algorithm, they make the content look unique and ultimately help the consumer. When they scroll through the results, they use metatags to gauge which result will be the most useful for them. Remember, the point of content is to help the consumer so anything you can do to make their experience better will ultimately fare better for your website.
Some final thoughts
Content is the number one factor in ranking on Google but there is a caveat! Content needs to be focused. It needs to be engaging. And it needs to be relevant for the consumer.
Don’t be afraid to make your content personal! Let the reader get to know you so you can form a relationship before they even become a customer. At that point, they will be much more willing to pay for your product or service.
Content is principally about the user, not about you or your brand. Solve the problem in their search bar and make Google happy!