I want to share with you how I’ve ranked my website #1 on Google and outperform my direct competitors that have been in business for more than 10 years.
But first of all, let’s ascertain the goal of Google Search. Watch this brief video about the evolution of Google Search and its future.
First, optimise your website performance.
One of the top factors for Google is the speed of your site… in other words: how long does it take for your webpage to load?
40% of your audience will leave your website if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. We have all been there and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to access information on a slow website, especially on a mobile device!
If you’re new to digital, you can easily check the performance of your website with Pingdom. They provide an easy solution to test the loading time, speed and number of requests needed to load your website.
If you’re a more advanced user, you can directly use the Google Developer Console for more accurate results. Launch the Console > Go under Network and reload the page to see the performance report at the bottom. Don’t forget to disable the cache!
As you can see, my results are:
- 44 requests
- 2.3 MB to load
- 883ms to fully-load the homepage (I’m way below the 3 seconds!)
Give the user what they want and Google will rank you higher. Simple.
Furthermore, you need to understand that Google’s algorithm tracks your behaviour to readjust website rankings.
A slow website will dramatically increase your bounce rate (bounce rate is when a user visits your site and leaves immediately without interacting with your page, because in simple terms, the page is too slow to load).
A high bounce rate sends a bad signal to Google as it suggests that the user made a search, clicked on your website and didn’t find the answer he or she were looking for.
Consequences? Google automatically lowers your ranking position.
So remember this:
- High bounce rate = lower ranking position
- Low bounce rate = higher ranking position
Fast-loading websites = Higher rankings for key search terms on Google. Period.
Be careful, it’s a fact that most SEO agencies are not actually practicing this, so make sure to ask them if their SEO package includes a full front-end performance optimisation.
Btw, let me know in the comments below if you want me to write another article on how to optimise your website performance.
Secondly, fix your website architecture & optimise your HTML.
This is another important factor for Google. Remember that Google is simply a robot that “scans” the HTML and text of your website and then classifies the information collected into a database, or an “index”, as they like to call it.
Make sure your website is well structured and clear to make the crawling easy for Google. Take a look at the structure of my website, there are no “dead” pages, they all have a clearly defined goal and Google understands that. You can immediately recognise the role of each page just by looking at the address URL.
I highly recommend for you to watch this 3-minute video to understand how Google Search works.
Now we know what Google is looking for, it’s time to apply their recipe.
There are lots of great articles about SEO on-page optimization and I will not go in too deep on this topic as there is a lot to cover, but if you want to know more about SEO On-Page Optimization, make sure you check out this great article written by Moz.
Once you’ve perfectly optimized the HTML code on all of your pages and defined a clear and scalable structure for your site, it’s time to move to the next step:
Intelligently select the keywords you want to rank for.
You need to be honest about your business, and only target the keywords that are extremely relevant to your website or article.
I own a digital marketing agency based in Hong Kong, so here are a few examples of keywords I WANT and NEED to rank for:
- digital marketing agency
- digital marketing agency Hong Kong
- digital agency
- online marketing agency
- internet marketing agency
- digital marketing Hong Kong
In fact, I placed 28 out of my initial 35 keywords in the top 3 organic search results of Google-HK, with most of them ranking #1 as you can see below:
These keywords are extremely relevant to my business and drive me regular business enquiries or leads (for free).
As you can see, I rank #1 for most of these queries on Google:
I am still working on the last keywords and I should be on top next month as I’m building backlinks for these specific keywords like “digital marketing company”.
I receive around 100 visitors per week exclusively coming from Google Search-HK alone. Despite the low number of visitors, my audience is highly targeted as they are potential clients looking to hire a digital marketing agency in my area.
My conversion rate is 5%, which means I receive an average of 5 incoming leads per week. NOT BAD as it costs me absolutely nothing to get them, and I keep receiving new incoming leads week in and week out.
“If I had to pay Google (Google Adwords) and invest in PPC to advertise my website, I would have to spend around 10,000HKD per month to receive the same amount of visitors on these highly competitive keywords.”
& finally, there is so much more you can do, one step at a time…
Backlink building, security with HTTPS protocol, CDN, Latency Keywords, Social Media Boost, robots.txt, .htaccess, server configuration, SERP analytics, redirects, sitemaps, duplicate content and so on… There is so much you can do to your website to send positive signals to Google. And we do it all at Digital Studio.
Obviously, this is just the beginning of our journey and I am currently writing new content to extend our reach. We will target more relevant keywords for our business including SEO agency, Web Design Agency or PPC agency in the next 2/3 weeks.
Based on the volume metrics supplied by Google Keyword Planner, I should receive an estimated traffic of 700 visitors per week from Google HK at the end of 2016. If I keep my conversion rate at 5%, I should receive 35 new incoming leads per week. Not bad, right?
I will write another article in January 2017 to keep you updated with my SEO progression.
So why did I tell you all of this?
Did you notice that most of the steps required to build up your ranking on Google require IT skills?
Marketers took power of the Google Search business claiming that marketing skills where enough to rank high on Google. Well, that’s not true…
Marketing skills alone are not enough to provide a solid SEO service. At Digital Studio, we believe that SEO marketing experts also need to be good in IT, whether it is to optimise the HTML of your page, improve the speed performance of your site or build up the perfect website architecture.
So next time you have to choose an SEO partner for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the person who is responsible for my SEO have both marketing and IT skills?
- How does the SEO agency website rank on Google?
- Should I trust an SEO agency that can’t even rank its own website on the top 3 search results?
Finally, remember that the best SEO experts in the world combine both skills: Marketing & IT…
Do you want to get more customers with SEO & Google Search as we currently do for our business? Let us help you achieve your dreams.