If we could all be in the top positions in Google, life would be good. Unfortunately, there are only 10 spots on page 1 and usually the first 3 listings get the lion’s share of the clicks.
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In interacting with hundreds of small business clients over the last couple years, I’ve learned that it’s especially hard for small businesses with limited time and budgets to rank high in search engines.
The question is always the same. A few months after launching a website for a new client, I’ll almost always get an email from them with the following question…
“How can I get my page on the first page of Google?”
If you want to get your post on page one of google then first step is understanding the basics of search engine competition. I created this video to help with that:
Keyword and Market Research
It’s easy to rank for the keyword…
“web design for $100 in Chicago Suburbs”
On the other hand, ranking for
“web design Chicago”
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will be much more difficult but also generates a lot more searches and potential traffic. While you DO want to target keywords that have substantial traffic, you don’t want to go after the gargantuan keywords that are so ridiculously competitive. You’ll never be able to rank on Page 1 and be wasting your time and money.
Screenshot from videos showing Site A with few links pointing to it and Site B with many
Answer these basic questions when evaluating your search engine strategy:
What keywords are you trying to rank for?
Do the target keywords generate meaningful search volume?
Is there a lot of competition?
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You can type in your keywords at SEMRush.com to see how much traffic they generate, view the competition, and get some ideas for related keywords.
What’s Your Domain’s Authority?
After you understand the competitiveness of your market and the keywords you’re targeting, the next step is evaluating your domain’s ability to compete. Domain Authority is one way to measure this.
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Domain Authority is a popular metric used by Open Site Explorer, a tool from Moz.com. Domain Authority takes into account many factors including the links pointing to a domain to give it an overall authority score from 1 to 100.
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You can use a limited version of their tool for free. Just enter your domain and it will give you your domain authority. Sites like CNN.com have an authority of 100 while a smaller site like DesignerMag.org has domain authority of 31.
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My video above shows how you can evaluate your own site and your competition to see how your site compares with your competitors.
Understanding the keywords you’re targeting and your domain’s ability to compete is only the beginning. The next step is improving your rankings. This is too large a topic so I’ll save it for another post.
To read more, you may want to check out my free search engine marketing guide for tips on improving your domain authority and getting higher rankings.