How long does it really take to rank at the top of Google’s search results? Unfortunately this question is like asking how long is a piece of string.
There is no set formula or set time frame to get into the good books at Google, but there are some ways that you can give yourself the best chance possible.
Ranking high up in Google’s search results can be worth its weight in gold and can send a stream of customers to your website that are interested in what you have to offer.
In fact, many of the businesses that we work with report that organic traffic from search engines like Google, consistently yields them the highest conversion rates and the highest returns of investment.
There is no doubt that being high up on Google’s search results is where your brand wants to be, but it can be extremely competitive to reach this place and there is also often a lot of costly trial and error involved.
We have seen businesses spend thousands of dollars trying to rank higher in Google and still get nowhere. We have also seen businesses spend zero on SEO and rank consistently well.
SEO is an art as much as it is a science and while there is no “one size fits all” method, there are some proven ways to guarantee results.
By following some of the (free) tips and tricks outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to ranking higher in Google’s search results in no time at all.
Ready to rank at the top of Google’s search results? Let’s get started…
Learn the Gold Standard SEO Practices
If you want to rank on the first page of Google’s search results then you need to follow the best practices. These practices are going to ensure that your website stands the best possible chance of being ranked highly by Google.
There is a lot of information out there about SEO, but these top evergreen tips are going to ensure that you are always following the gold standards.
1.) Build Credible Links
The number one way to ensure that your content makes it to that all-important first page is to focus on building credible links. Emphasis on the word credible.
This is not about building spammy links, instead it is about building links on credible sites that have merit and clout in the online world. In fact, the more credible the site, the better your SEO is likely to be.
The credible sites you target are going to depend on your niche and industry, but top news sites or magazines are a great place to start.
To get a link on one of these credible sites there are a few ways to go about it-
1.) Submit a guest post
2.) Hire a publicist
3.) Reach out to the writers/journalists at top publications
The last option is our preferred method as it not only helps you to get mentioned in a reputable site but it also helps you to build your network.
Having an article written by a third party is also a great way to promote your brand without appearing salesy.
Along with reaching out to the big sites, you can also target boutique websites in your niche as well. Link building on these sites can also drastically improve your SEO as long as you know which sites to target.
When approaching “boutique” sites, ensure that they are regularly updated, aligned with your brand and have a strong following. They don’t need to have millions of followers, but they do need to have some level of fan engagement.
It is recommend to build at least 25 credible links for the best and fastest results. The average site that had at least 25 credible links and followed other SEO gold standard practices took just 100 days to make it to the top of Google.
For this ranking to last however, regular links have to be created at least every few months.
2.) Use Appropriate Keywords
We talk a lot about keywords on this blog and for good reason. Choosing the right keywords is paramount to getting your website and brand found by the right customers.
The best keywords are the ones that directly target what your customers may be looking for. For example, if you run a massage shop the perfect keywords are going to include things like “massage for sore back”, “relaxation massage” or “massage in Melbourne”.
As you can see, there are endless keywords on offer, but the ones that are going to work the best for your business are the ones that are aligned with your customers needs, wants and desires.
Brands that spend the time to work out what their customers are looking for and target their keywords appropriately, see the best and fastest results when it comes to making it to the illustrious first page of Google.
Selecting the perfect keywords could be a blog topic all on its own, but this should be enough to give you a head start in the right direction. You can also read more about selecting keywords here.
3.) Keep a Blog and Update it Regularly
Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your SEO. Why? Blogging helps your site to rank for both short and long tail keywords. Blogging also helps to drive more traffic to your site.
Through our research we have also found that companies that keep a blog rank on the top of Google’s search results more frequently and faster.
This is especially true if the blog is updated regularly and includes fresh, original content that is well presented with numbered or bulleted sections or subheadings.
Longer style blog posts and list style posts also gain attention from Google, as they are deemed to be more valuable to readers.
Blogs can take a while to gain traction on Google’s search results, however with continued effort you will soon start to see results.
3.) Be Present on Social Media
Indirect link building though social media is also a great way to get into the top position on Google. It is also important to note however, that indirect link building should not replace direct link building from credible sites, instead it should be used in conjunction with it.
For best practices, create and maintain accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social networks.
There are many social networks to choose from, but the best choice is going to be where your customers frequent the most often.
Another trick is to share and post articles on Google+. Seeing as this social network is owned by Google, it gives content on this platform preference over many other listings.
In fact, while being on Facebook and Instagram is great as an overall strategy, posting on Google+ will dramatically speed up how long it takes you to make it to first place on Google.
4.) Use Original Images
When possible, aim to use original images on your website or on your blog. These can include everything from branded designs to graphs and flow charts.
Using original images helps to ensure that your site also ranks in Image searches and helps to improve the overall SEO of your site. To help your image rank, be sure to save the file using the appropriate keywords. You can also add the appropriate keywords to the “alt-text” field as well when uploading it to your site.
If you do need to use stock images, one tip that you can try is slightly editing or cropping the image and renaming it to something else. This helps to ensure that the image will come up for your brand’s search terms and not for the search terms of the stock image company.
5.) Have a Mobile Site
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the number one way to browse the internet and search for businesses, products and services.
As the popularity of mobile browsing increases, it is going to become more and more important to ensure that your brand is easily accessed online through a mobile device.
In supporting this new trend, Google gives ranking preference to sites that also have a mobile version as well.
In fact, without a mobile version of your website, your page stands to be demoted to the darker corners of the world wide web.
Most website designs on popular platforms like WordPress have built in mobile friendly pages, but if you have a custom coded site it may be worthwhile coding a mobile version as well.
You can read more about creating a mobile friendly website here.
6.) The Overall Design and Layout of Your Site
Finally, the last gold standard practice when it comes to SEO is having a well designed site. This includes a site that is easy to read, easy to navigate and super fast.
Websites with a slow load time are demoted by Google’s search algorithm and can also cost your brand its reputation.
Google also pays attention to how long visitors are spending on your site as well, which is why it is important to keep your visitors engaged every step of the way.
Having a clean site that runs smoothly and gets your visitors to where they need to be is crucial if you want Google to take notice.
While there are no hard and fast rules about what your website should contain, here are some pointers to keep in mind-
- Aim to have one just intention or call to action per landing page, this will help to make your design cleaner and will also improve your conversion rates
- Have a menu that is easy to navigate and can effectively direct your visitors to where they need to go
- Use bold, clear text that is easy to read and understand
- Compress your images and keep uploaded files to a minimum in order to decrease page load time
- Keep your visitors engaged and moving through your sales funnel by offering informative, entertaining and relevant content
By following these six gold standard practices when it comes to SEO, your site will be eligible to get into the top positions on Google.
But if you are already following all of these steps and wondering how you can get to the top faster without spending an astronomical amount, here are some sneaky tips you can use-
5 Sneaky Tips to Get You to the Top of Google Faster
1.) Get Your Blog Posts Linked 1 Month After Publishing
You know by now how important it is to keep a blog and to build links, but if you really want to capitalise on this then aim to build links for every blog post your write one month after publishing.
According to a recent report conducted by online marketing guru, Neil Patel, there is an 1.8 month window after publishing a blog post where Google is paying close attention.
“This (1.8 months) is your contest’s period of maximum freshness. Google sees it, likes it and wants to rank it. It just needs a little more assurance that it is worth publishing. That assurance comes in the form of link building.”
Creating links after this time frame proved to make it harder for Google to rank content and slowed down the time it took for an article to get ranked.
This means building links of your freshest content is the way to go if you want to speed up your chances of getting ranked higher in search results.
2.) Know Your Competition
There are probably hundreds of websites out there competing for the same keywords as you. While there is nothing wrong with competing with these sites you have to know which keywords to target and which ones are going to be a waste of time.
When it comes to determining whether or not it is worth your time and effort competing for a certain keyword, you need to look at the domain rating of your site versus your competitors.
If your competitor has a higher domain rating, it may not be worth trying to compete for the keyword. If you have the same domain rating however, it is more likely to be worth your time to compete.
In order to work out your domain rating, we recommend using a site like Ahrefs.com. This site offers a domain rating which is recorded based on how strong the overall backlinks of a site are.
According to the website- “Ahrefs rating shows how strong the overall backlink of a given website is on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100”. 100 is considered as being the highest, whereas 1 is considered to be the lowest.
A website that ranks on the first page of Google averages a domain rating of at least 49. By understanding your own sites rating, it will help you to know how long it may take to dominate the search page listings. Higher domain ratings are more likely to rank number one, whereas lower domain ratings are less likely to rank in the first few pages.
Increasing your domain rating is very similar to following gold standard SEO practices as well, so if your site does have a lower than average rating, know that it is possible to change this.
Another way around competing for keywords is to create a long tail keyword instead. For example, if you are trying to rank for “mattress”, perhaps try instead to rank for “pillow top mattress” or “comfy mattresses made in Australia”. This not only creates a more specific search term but it also helps your site to stand a chance with your competitors.
4.) Create a Viral Campaign on Social Media
Another way to rank in Google’s search results faster is to create a viral campaign. Sounds easy enough, right?
Creating a viral campaign is definitely not something that can be replicated, however there are ways you can position your content to make it go viral.
The simplest way to do this is to create a catchy headline and position it with a captivating image in order to direct traffic to your page.
Viral content often captures an emotion of some kind, so think about what emotions your headline and article wants to stir up. Positive emotions tend to perform better compared to fear based ones, however this may be something you need to experiment with.
Having your content shared multiple times on different social media platforms helps to build more indirect links and can get you noticed by Google.
There is often some debate in the digital marketing community about the influence of social media on SEO, but we have found that it definitely appears to be a strong contributing factor.
5.) Get Active on YouTube
Earlier we mentioned how effective it could be to get active on Google’s very own social network, Google+. The same strategy goes when it comes to getting on YouTube.
Owned by Google as well, being active on YouTube is a great way to build your brand and rank higher in search results.
YouTube itself is one of the most popular search engines in the world and Google pays attention to what is being searched for, downloaded and watched.
While creating a solid YouTube channel may take a while, sites that have an active account are more likely to rank higher in search results.
Creating videos is also a great way for new customers to find you and to enhance the reputation of your brand.
It would be nice if we could tell you that following the steps above will get you ranked on the first page of Google in just 30 days, but unfortunately that is not how it works.
By following the steps above however, your chances are drastically increased of making it to the top of the search results, not just on Google but on other popular search engines too like Bing and Yahoo.
While following the gold standard SEO practices is important, the “sneaky tips” will also help to supercharge your performance and will get your customers to your page faster and with less hassle.
There is no doubt that ranking high in Google’s search results is powerful, but it is also not the be all and end all of your brand’s success. There are plenty of other ways to get customers to your website such as building an email list, social media and so on.
While ranking high up on Google is great, for lasting and true success you have to push beyond this and get your brand out there in more ways than one.
Here is a recap of the top main points of this article-
- Follow the gold standard SEO practices at all times in order to ensure your site has a chance of being ranked by Google.
- Choose keywords based on your customers needs, wants and desires for maximum effect.
- Keep a regularly updated blog that contains valuable information and keywords.
- Reach out to websites both big and small in order to build links (you can also guest contribute to other sites in exchange for sharing a link).
- Aim to get your freshest content linked within 1 month for maximum chances of getting ranked by Google.
- Be active on social media, particularly on Google+ and YouTube- which are both owned by Google.
- Check the domain rating of your site and your competitors, to know where you stand and when to compete on certain keywords.
- Maintain a clean overall layout of your website and ensure that everything loads fast and is easy to navigate.
Being consistent it also important when it comes to getting in the top of Google’s search results. In fact, even when you make it to the top there is still a certain amount of “maintenance” that is required, such as continuing to build links and posting fresh blog content.
SEO is an always evolving process so staying up to date with the latest trends and algorithm updates can also be helpful.
So, when it comes to getting ranked on Google quickly, unfortunately there is no hard and fast rules, but following these steps you will definitely put you in the front running seat.