Search engine result pages (SERPs) are the gateway to visibility, whether you realize it or not. Most of us do many searches, or even dozens, every day without even thinking about it.
We remember that we have to buy something, or we want an answer to a curious question, so we type in a question, and bam – we’re presented with millions of websites we can visit for answers.
This high volume and near-ubiquitous visibility is the driving force behind Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a strategic effort designed to get your website ranked higher in the SERPs.
Tips like onsite content creation, onsite technical improvements and of course link building can help you get your site to climb the rankings.
The higher you rank, the better – which is intuitive for the most part. High-ranked websites are viewed before low-ranked websites; After all, how often do you click on page two or page three of Google search results to find what you’re looking for? High ranked sites get more traffic and earn more money.
But you may not intuitively know how important a #1 ranking will be to your company. Rank 1 is better than rank 2, sure, but rank 2 is great too, isn’t it?
Not necessary. According to some studies, a Ranked 1 webpage receives as much as 33 percent of all organic traffic for a given search.
Rank 2 pages get only 18 percent, more than half of rank 1 traffic. By rank 3, you are getting about 10 percentile, and the percentage drops even further from there.
Here are some big takeaways:
Rank one generates almost twice as much traffic as rank two. If you are interested in the highest possible amount of traffic, you should recognize that rank 2 is good, rank 1 is almost twice as good. Moving up just one rank in the ranks can instantly double the traffic to a single page of your site.
Ranks four and below are barely worth the effort. It takes time and effort for any search query to climb the SERPs, even if you’re only reaching pages 2 or 3.
If you spend all your time and money and only get rank 4, it may not be worth it (on search volume). It’s often better to have a single Rank 1 position than dozens of Page 2 positions.
Visibility and authority flow from rank one. Getting 1st rank is not just about getting more traffic. It is also about getting more visibility, because you are the first webpage that people will see, and more authority, as many people know how much effort it takes to get rank 1.
It was already clear that rank 1 was valuable for any relevant search query. What was less clear is how Rank 1 is so much more valuable than the other rankings.
With that in mind, what steps can you take to ensure that you reach Rank 1 as often as possible?
Understand the main components of SEO
First, you need to understand the main components of an SEO strategy. There are over 200 ranking signals worth considering, but much of your strategy is going to boil down to one of these factors:
strategic focus. You need to choose the right target for your SEO strategy. If you focus on keywords that are outside your area of expertise, or that are already dominated by competitors, you will completely exhaust your budget before you see any meaningful results. Everything starts with your targeting strategy.
Technical website changes. Google and other search engines preferably rank websites that function correctly and provide good service to users. This means that your website must conform to Google’s technical standards – and that all of your content is readily available to users.
onsite content. Speaking of materials, this is what you need. Your onsite content needs to be original, in-depth, well researched and targeted to your audience. This will help you build authority and optimize for specific topics simultaneously.
link building. Did you know that Rank 1 webpages usually have 3.8x more backlinks than their competitors at positions 2-10? Backlinks pass “authority” to your site; Accordingly, the more links you have, and the more authoritative those links, the better.
Earning and building backlinks is essential if you want to climb the SERPs. But if you want to reach rank 1, you will need almost 4 times more backlinks than your nearest competitors.
Start with the Right Keyword Target
If you want to target the right people, and maximize your chances of getting rank 1, you need to target the right keywords.
Prioritize relevance. Think about the words your audience is going to use to search for a company like yours. You don’t want to optimize for irrelevant or peripherally relevant words just because they are easily accessible.
Know your competitors. Know your biggest competitors. they are currently