Exhausted by wasting time and money trying to rank on the first page of Google? In this post we’re going to share one of the best and most reliable ways to rank on the first page of Google for your target keywords.
Here's a quick summary of what we'll be covering in this post:
How to rank on Google by creating the best answers to your customers' questions
- Identify the 10 top questions that your customers are asking
- Prioritise the questions and work through them in priority order
- Research how the 3 best ranking sites on Google have answered the question you are working on
- Answer the question better than any of these other sites have
- Add additional supporting resources to your answer including images, graphs and infographics
- Create a video of your answer, host it on YouTube and embed it in your post
- Build links into your answer from high quality relevant websites
This is a simple approach, but as simple as it sounds it takes determination. The good news is that when you get it right it will transform your results, you can systemise the approach and you don’t need SEO geek abilities to get it right.
You'll also be following SEO best practices. As long as you produce unique remarkable content and only get links from high quality websites, you won’t have to worry about getting penalised by Google.
What’s the secret?
The secret to achieving number 1 rank on Google is:
To create the best answer to your customers’ questions on the internet.
And when I say answer a question better than others, a little better isn’t enough. You need to go all out on this - to create the best answer on the internet.
Composing the best answer on the internet
It’s important to think like this, as it is likely you'll be trying to rank above other companies with much more recognised brands and websites than yours.
There many factors taken into consideration by Google when deciding which page is the best and which should rank higher.
To keep it simple I’m are going to break it down into two points:
- The overall quality and performance of your website
- The quality and relevance of each page
Google views the overall quality and relevance of your website as a sum of all the individual pages and the links from other websites.
When you take the approach of answering your customers’ questions better than anyone else, your overall website quality will improve over time as you create lots of amazing answers. And these remarkable answers will encourage relevant and quality websites to link to yours.
This is pretty much the secret to Wikipedia’s success.
Accelerate your results - one answer at a time
As you’ll want to get results as quickly as possible, working through this approach one answer at a time is the best way to go.
A website that is highly respected by search engines, like Wikipedia, can often rank very well in search results even if the page itself isn't actually the best content. This is because the search engines trust the site so much. It is also likely that this page will have more links to it, compared with competitive pages.
For you to rank higher than sites like Wikipedia you need to create a page ten times better than the best page you can find.
That way you’ll attract people to link to your page when they find it. People will also stay on the page longer and will be more likely to share it, both of which help you rank higher.
Identify which keywords to target
Most organisations want to target high volume keywords. These are generally competitive keywords with high search volumes.
The trouble with these keywords is that you will be up against big companies with established websites. To rank you will need to invest a huge amount of time into pages ten times better than theirs.
Occasionally you’ll get lucky, other times it can take you years to rank higher than the big boys, making it a dangerous approach.
The other way to do it - is to focus on longer more specific keywords or phrases. These will often be in the form of questions. I'm going to illustrate this approach with an example.
I'm going to use the example of an insurance company that sells various types of life insurance. Running this business, I’d be really interested in a search phrase like:
Life insurance UK
I’d be attracted to this phrase as it has a high number of average searches each month and if someone is searching on it, they are probably looking for life insurance. So, with a number 1 position on Google for this phrase, I’d get lots of visitors to my website and loads of enquiries.
But that also means that it is really competitive and really difficult to rank well for this keyword, as all my competitors are targeting the identical keyword.
The chances are that some of those competitors are really big with lots more money than me.
Does this approach sound familiar? If it is familiar, are you succeeding with it?
Pinpointing your customers' questions
What I’d be much better to do, is to find a challenge related to this that my perfect customer is looking for.
For this insurance broker my ideal customer is a busy business owner.
I’d list the 10 questions asked by my perfect customers. It's likely that the most popular question will be along the lines of:
Is there a life insurance that my business can pay for, that is tax deductible?
This question is popular with my audience, because it saves money when their company pays for their life expenses.
What are your most popular questions?
Which question would it be invaluable for you to rank in the top spot on Google for?
Examining the pages that rank well for this question
Continuing with the example, I have identified the question that I get asked all the time and I investigate it online. From my research it’s been answered, but no one has answered it remarkably well.
I discover 3 search results on Google that have answered it quite well.
I then use these as inspiration to answer the question much better than any of these sites have accomplished individually. I also write up the insights that I give to my customers when I speak with them and I know they consider valuable.
After you have identified the question you want to answer, delve into it online. Discover the 3 best answers. Can you create a better answer than all 3 of these?
If you can, then get on and create that better answer.
Creating additional resources to enhance the answer
Carrying on with the life insurance example, I’d include some graphics, showing what paying for their life insurance through their business will save my customers.
Adding unique and appropriate images, will help your page to rank higher. You can also get your images included in Google Image Search, that will dispatch more visitors your way.
Identify unusual images you can create to enhance the page. Graphs and infographics work well to illustrate points.
Enhancing your answer with video
Record a video explaining your answer, host it on YouTube and also embed it on the page.
Users like video. Research shows that people stay on pages with video up to 8x longer than pages without video.
Video has another benefit. Google likes it when people stay on your page, because it shows that the page is an appropriate match to what the searcher was looking for. Increasing visitor time on the page makes it more likely that your page will continue to rank in a high position.
YouTube is also the second most popular search engine. So by creating a video, optimising it and hosting it on YouTube, you get more opportunities to rank well for the question that you answer.
Here's the video that goes along with this blog post:
Record a video answering the question. To save time, making the most of the answer that you’ve published on your webpage as a script for the video is an excellent approach.
It is fine if the content is the same. Some people prefer to read and others prefer to watch. Plenty of people like to do both, as it helps them understand the answer better.
Content you may not have considered
Going back to the life insurance example, I’d also include the three options for purchasing this life insurance and some important things that they need to consider when purchasing.
I’d list the pros and cons of using a broker like me to buy their life insurance, compared with going direct to the suppliers I've provided.
It is important to help your audience as much as possible. When you do this, you're educating them to make a better choice and they will appreciate it.
What information can you provide to help your customers arrive at the most appropriate selection?
Can you give them the pros and cons of using you vs a competitive product or service?
Worried about this approach? Ask yourself: Can they readily get this information from another site? If they can, then what is the harm in you offering it yourself?
Steps to take when you have published your answer
After you’ve published the best answer on the internet for the question that you’ve identified, it’s time to find some opportunities to encourage links back into it.
Attempt to discover 3 non competitive sites that target your audience. Contact them and offer them an article on this question. If they are interested find out if they are willing to link the article back to the comprehensive post on your site.
Articles without links back to your site are useful for increasing awareness, but they won’t provide benefit for your Google rankings, links are invaluable in terms of helping your rankings.
For the sites that accept your offer, you will need to write an exclusive article for each site. I recommend that you tackle the question and answer from different perspectives to the main answer that you’ve created on your site.
Remember to include a link back to the full article on your site.
On top of this think about other sites that might link to the main story that you have written on your site.
Sticking with the insurance example from above, I’d reach out to my insurance suppliers to ask if they’d link to my site from theirs. Hopefully at least one would, as my high ranking page will help them to sell more insurance.
By creating links from quality websites back into this page that you've created, you increase the chances that Google will find the page and trust it because other sites it trusts link to it.
Discover good quality websites that target the identical audience to you. Approach them and ask if you can write an article on the question that you have identified.
If you have suppliers, ask if they will link to the page that you have created.
If you follow this example and do the things that we’ve explained in it, within a couple of weeks your answer could be ranking in the top spot on Google.
This approach to SEO is a great investment of your time, because it becomes a lead source with the potential to work for years into the future.
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