Google is the leading search engine and dominates the market. In April 2018, it processed 11.28 billion searches. It’s closest rival, Microsoft, processed less than half of that at 4.27 billion. So, when it comes to search engine optimization, it could be better to optimize for Google before any others.
In the past, this would mean keyword stuffing and get as many links to your site as possible. Nowadays, though, things have become a lot more complicated. Google’s algorithm has been evolving with an eye on quality content.
It has become better at recognizing the signs of SEO tactics being used, and may even mark you down for these if it feels your site is spammy. The basic upshot is that getting that top position has become much more difficult, as search engines become harder to fool.
How To Get The Top Spot
First of all, it is time to re-evaluate what the top spot means to you. If, for example, you are selling informational, digital products, ranking at the top for all your keywords would be a worthy goal. This is because you can sell your products to anyone at any time.
But, what if you are a plumber working in Somerset in the South West of England? A top SERP for the keyword “plumber” would be difficult and expensive to maintain and not likely to do you as much good as you would like. Everyone from anywhere looking for a plumber would be able to find your site.
Which is great if they are in the South West of England, but not quite so useful if they are in New York. It would be better for you to rank high in a local search instead. Another reason you should focus on this is that, according to a study curated by SEO Tribunal, 46% of all searches are local, with the goal of finding a product or service physically close to the searcher.
Using Visuals to Increase Social Sharing and Engagement
When it comes to content creation, we all know that there is definitely more out there than we need. With over a billion active sites creating content on a daily or weekly basis, it’s overload to the max. With all of this in mind, more content creators and brands need to focus on the power of visual content.
A great resource for this can be seen in this Gifographics guide, which highlights how to best use visual content and images to increase visibility and engagement for your site or blog. Social media also tells us that text content is making its way out the window, and that visual is here to stay.
How To Rank High In A Local Search
Providing top quality content is the first step. That means ensuring that the content is flawlessly written. Search engines are becoming adept at interpreting natural language, so make sure that your content fits the bill for your area.
Write it with the end readers in mind. Make it interesting for them so that they will spend more time on your page. The longer they spend on the page, the more credible your site appears to a search engine.
Use the natural language that your readers are more likely to understand. Throw in some slang here and there that is specific to your area, and make references that locals will understand.
Drop The Click Bait
There was a cute little meme on Facebook which said, “See a blonde pole dancer.” You clicked through, and there was a picture of a golden retriever pup holding onto a pole. It was very cute and quite clever, but serves as a perfect example of clickbait.
People thinking that they were going to see a sexy, human pole dancer, might not have been amused and would probably have clicked away from the site quickly.
And, while this might increase the number of hits your website gets, it can do more harm than good, because Google and other search engines also factor in the bounce rate of your website when determining credibility.
The next time that someone uses the search phrase, your site may appear far lower in the results or not be included at all as a result.
Be honest to people about what they are getting if they click through by using a great meta-description. It might result in fewer clicks, but will enable you to have more engaged visitors which is what you want anyway.
Provide content that is high quality and that is useful to your target audience. Let them know what to expect from your site and watch your bounce rate decrease. Over time, attention-grabbing gimmicks could do more harm than good and you should avoid them.