When you enter a search term into google, yahoo, or bing, what is it that determines which links you end up clicking? Of course you’ll look for the most relevant pages, and the snippets and titles do their part to pull you in. The most considerable thing though is appearing on the first page of the search. Just think back, how often can you remember having needed to click into google’s second page? For most people the answer is very rarely indeed.
This itself is quite daunting, particularly to small businesses who think it must be impossible to compete with the biggest global brands out there. Though this isn’t quite how it works, and a few simple steps could see your web pages ranking on google’s first page for certain searches.
First off you need great content. If your visitors frequently revisit your web pages, or pass them on to others, search engines will reward you with a higher ranking, so this is the best place to start. For this look up the ‘skyscraper technique’. Simply put the technique works on the principle that nobody ever searches for the second, or third tallest skyscraper, people only care about the top spot. So look at the pages online which you want to compete with, include everything relevant that they do, and then add some great extras so that you stand taller than they.
Next make sure to do the most thorough keyword research. Picking up on missed opportunities with unused synonyms, slang terms and so on could quickly slingshot your page above even the biggest competition, as you’re using the same lingo as your customer.
Finally if your business trades from a physical address, be sure to use this as a keyword for all of your pages. This won’t spread your site as widely as other techniques, but gives you a real edge for your locals (who may be most or even all of your customer base).