Common misconceptions of search engine ranking

You’ve likely received that golden nugget promise email, the one that guarantees to get you the number one position on a Google search. And it may have piqued your interest. As we all know, if you want to be found on the search engines, being on the second page isn’t the ideal position.

The problem is, if anyone is promising you a number one position, it’s probably because you’re already number one for a keyword or phrase such as your own business name — which should be a given unless you have a lot of competition from businesses with similar names.

Optimisation is not as simple as adding a few keywords to the backend of your website and submitting it to the search engines. There are a lot of factors that go into becoming “number one on Google”. It takes a lot of research, a lot of quality content, as well as a variety of factors being implemented into the backend of your site. We also recommend ensuring your Search Engine Foundations are set first.

If you’re serious about optimising your site you need to be serious about the amount of work involved and the time it takes to reach your goal.

It’s also important to understand that you won’t always be found at the top for every search phrase. Look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as a marketing project rather than “something that you should do”. If you don’t have a budget for it or you don’t think it’s worth budgeting for, then maybe SEO is not for you. If you have a three or five page site that hasn’t been updated in years, you’re already not taking your online marketing very seriously — so why then would you expect the search engines to take you seriously?

If you’ve decided that it’s worth your while and you’re ready to allocate some time and a budget to competing with those at the top, here are a few other things to consider before taking the SEO plunge.

1. Are you interested in adding Social Media to your regular online marketing to-do-list? Links on your social media accounts that drive traffic to your website play a role in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm.

2. Can you confidently write a quality 350 to 500 word article that focuses on a particular topic. Bear in mind that SEO is not a one-off thing, so this would need to be done on a regular basis. If you can’t personally write this, or don’t want to, are you willing to pay someone to prepare this content for you?

3. Do you have the knowledge to analyse where you currently rank compared to your competitors? Google is constantly changing the way its algorithm works; if you’re not constantly keeping up-to-date with the changes, your site can’t evolve with the algorithm.

4. Are you looking for immediate results? SEO takes time and patience, and you won’t see results overnight. It’s also not a “do it then leave it” process — like a website itself, SEO is a continually evolving puzzle that needs continual input.

5. Are you willing to take the time to view your Search Engine Console and Google Analytics, to check your 404 errors, and create the necessary 301 Redirects?

Getting to number one is no easy feat, and if you’re not willing to put the time and effort into ranking well organically, then perhaps a better option would be to spend your advertising dollar on a Google AdWords campaign.

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Cathy Earle

Cathy Earle is a WordPress Web Developer and Internet Consultant. She has been developing websites and consulting clients in Australia and North America for over 15 years. Her degree in Public Relations and Management Communication, in addition to a 12 year career as owner of an independent publishing company, have proven beneficial to her work today — navigating the vast world of the internet and online marketing.

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