by Drew Furr
When will I be on the 1st page of Google? Ahh, the age old question – and by age old, I mean, Google hasn’t even celebrated their 20th birthday yet (mark your calendars, ladies and gents). All that aside, as a business owner, I’m sure you’ve tossed and turned at night wondering: “How long is it going to take to get to the 1st page of Google”?
How long will it take me to get to the 1st page of Google?
Seems like a simple question. But it’s more complicated than that.
The real question is: How can you get on the 1st page of Google for specific keywords that pertain to your industry/business and in the area where your business is located?
Sure, you might be wondering why keywords are relevant. The answer is simple, the last thing you would want is to rank high in search results for terms that are 100% unrelated to your business or the industry.
Think about it. You have an online store selling home décor and someone is looking to book a cruise – not the exact individual you’d want to attract, right?
People don’t change. Search engines do.
More than 92 percent of people purchase or do business with someone who is on the first page of Google.Quick math: that means 8 percent of online search traffic ventures to the second page of a Google search.
We get it, it’s clear that search engine ranking matters – but it also takes time, dedication, and patience. So Google, what’s the secret sauce? The short answer is, “no one knows”. But, rather than just leaving you left to wander aimlessly, let’s explore the reasons behind this response.
This may come as a surprise, but… we aren’t Google.
In addition to their periodic major updates, Google will crawl a website every 30 days (give or take a day or two) and that is constantly causing small fluctuations in rankings. They also run a more thorough crawl that can run on a predictable schedule and that indexes a much larger portion of the Internet. Since these timeframes aren’t definite, we’re left with a general sense of when these can happen.
Enter stage right: strategy.
It’s true, website quality affects your ranking.
If your website is seen as low quality or isn’t updated often, it can take longer to work your way to page one of search results.
Think back to a time where dial-up internet was a still a thing. Heaven forbid someone picked up the house phone to call someone. Now that I’ve got you feeling all nostalgic, remember what a typical website from 1999 looked like. YIKES! My-oh-my how website functionality and aesthetics have evolved over the past 15 years.
Having a visually appealing website that satisfies your customers’ needs and wants is something that’ll put you on Google’s radar. Design for your customer first, and improved search results will inherently follow. Investing in quality content like informative blog posts, work samples and product descriptions for your well-designed website is a recipe for success. Don’t forget, having a website that’s responsively designed for mobile devices (meaning your site shows up seamlessly on a desktop and a mobile phone) is absolutely the cherry on top.
But, you want results now.
Just to put things into perspective. As a business owner, think back to when you first started your business. What happened on the very first day, when you opened the doors to your shop or bought your first set of HVAC tools? Did you have people lining up at the front door, or have your phone constantly ringing with calls?
Chances are, probably not. Google literally, and I mean literally, runs the same show. When you launch a website, they don’t know you either! It takes time.
It’s totally understandable you want to be able to calculate and quantify an instant ROI for the money you spend on marketing. However, it takes strategic execution and following of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to get to where you want to be – page 1 of Google.
Trust: noun ˈtrəst – belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.
That’s exactly what you have to earn from Google, their “trust”. You’ve got to convince Google that you deserve and have earned your spot on page 1. Google has built its empire on providing the most relevant search engine results for their customers, the “Googlers”. Not only do you have to impress Google, but you’re faced with the challenge of convincing your intended audience, your customers, that you’re a reliable website with valuable content, products, or services.
Online marketing is not a campaign with a beginning and end – Scout’s Honor.
So many businesses fall trap to this far from true logic: “you can put up a website, never touch it, and expect it to bring people to you.” Would you plant a seed in the ground, walk away from it for 6 months, and expect to come back to full harvest?
No, you wouldn’t. Search engine marketing runs the same route.
It is a long-term branding procedure that is at the fundamental core of your business. It defines your audience, learns what they’re looking for, engages with them and fosters that relationship. And in return, that procedure rewards you with their business. By grasping that concept, you’ll understand that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to page 1 of Google. You’ll realize that the ranking itself is not the goal.
Tying it all together.
- Getting to the 1st page of Google doesn’t matter if you’re ranking for the wrong keywords that don’t drive web traffic.
- Receiving steady traffic doesn’t matter if the wrong people are coming to you.
- Major alert: a quality website with customer-focused content and fluent functionality will show up on Google’s radar before a website from the Stone Age. Trust me.
- Getting the right traffic won’t matter if you can’t convert them to customers by getting them to contact you.
- Focus on cultivating a core branding and engagement campaign that truly embodies why you’re in business – to provide value to customers.
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