How to Rank Content Number 1 on Google

Characteristics of content that ranks #1…

I’m working on a client site. The guy wants to rank his blog posts higher in search engines. I thought you might like to know how to rank content number 1 too.

What keywords do we want? Use Google keyword planner

Before we get to how to rank #1 for your content, we must address this question:

“What keywords do we want to rank for?”

You may be able to guess SOME of your keywords, but not all of them. I had a client in the landscaping business who once said, “I’ve been doing this 20 years, I think I know what’s important.

Yes, but what you think is important and what your client thinks may be different things.

It is key to understand what your Target Persons (some call the Avatars) are looking for and how they write their query.

There is a difference between someone searching for “landscaping in Naperville” and “landscaping design in Naperville” or simply “lawn maintenance.”

Consider buyer’s intent. Someone searching on “Lisle IL real estate” may have different needs; from wanting to buy a home or apartment complex to wondering what their home is worth. Someone who searches for “3 BR brick ranch in Downers Grove” is probably a buyer, but could be a seller looking at comparable listings.

Use the same vernacular as your prospect. They often begin a search with a question, “What is the best…” “Why…” or “How do I…”  Maybe they ask this way, “Best pizza/plumber/eye doctor/insurance agent/restaurant in Lombard” if they’re looking for local products or services.   Queries are similar when location is not important.

How do I know what keywords to target?

There are lots of ways to find out what people are searching for and I will go into more detail in a future article, but one free tool you might want to get familiar with is the Google Keyword Planner. Continue reading

How to Improve Keyword Ranking Quickly

Easy, Fast Way to Improve Site Traffic

In this article, I’m going to show you a trick for how to rank quickly for a keyword.

It’s not easy ranking for specific keywords like it once was, especially in Google. The G works diligently to improve the search experience of people using its search engine to find the content they are looking for and developed updates to their algorithms to filter out some of the tactics used to increase rankings for coveted keywords.

Focus on Long Tail Keywords

It’s much easier to rank for long-tail keywords than for broad inquiries. It would be difficult to rank for the term “Real Estate,” especially on page one or even page two.

Narrowing it down, someone searching for the term “Naperville Real Estate” might have different needs and therefore motives. It could be a buyer, seller or someone simply interested in what their house is worth. “3 bedroom brick ranch in Naperville.” is much more specific, but it might be used by a buyer or seller. You need to match the visitor’s intent.

Another example might be the keywords, “Golf,” “Golf clubs,” “Wilson golf clubs” and “Wilson Profile XLS Full Set.” Optimizing as specifically as possible is easier to win (although not necessarily easy, depending on the niche).

People are using longer and longer keyword strings. They’ve learned how to get the information they’re looking for by searching smarter and they are using more of a natural language query.

In some niches it is now becoming difficult to rank for 2 and 3-word phrases. And Google’s John Wiley says that 15% of their daily search traffic is for terms that have never been queried before. This is due, in part, to people using mobile devices to find products and services. They may have searched for “Chicago deep dish pizza,” but now they might ask Siri or Cortana, “What’s the best deep dish pizza in Chicago?” (That’s an 8-word long-tail keyword query)

How to Quickly Rank for a Keyword

Some recommend optimizing each page for a specific keyword or 2-3 tightly related keywords. We have seen success with that approach, but we also recommend using similar terms in your page content. Don’t be too rigorous about your focus keyword.

One of the fastest ways to increase targeted visitors to your website organically is to determine what phrases you rank for on the 2nd page (positions 11-20) and work to get those rankings to the top 10.

What phrases are we ranking for? In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition->Search Engine Optimization->Queries. (This data used to be in Google Webmaster Tools, now referred to as Search Console and you must have Search Console integrated with Google Analytics.)

See your phrases and rankings.

google analytics average position

Improve search ranking for positions 11+Click on Average Position to sort from position 1 on up.  Hopefully, you’ll have lots of key phrases with an average position of 1-10.

Now look for keywords with an average position of 11-20. These are where you rank on page 2 and you should focus on these to get onto page 1. You can set an advanced filter report in Google Analytics to show you ‘Average Position’ greater than 10. Then sort by average positions.

Once you’ve found keywords or phrases that are close to page 1, find the pages and confirm the rankings.

Another option is to try and get some keywords that rank out of the top 3 on page 1 to rank higher. Here’s how to do it.

How to Improve Keyword Ranking

You can often improve the page by simply adjusting your keywords for the page, or by adding some related terms so that you don’t appear to be over-optimising.

You can add more text or media to make the page better or more comprehensive. Sometimes linking out to an authority site will give you an extra pop. And you’d do well to get some inbound links to the page, both on-site and off-site, such as links from some of your other blog posts or guest blog posts you’ve written elsewhere.

Use the keyword more often in content (without making it look like you’re keyword spamming), especially in headlines or sub-headlines. And finally adding or optimizing images can be very effective.

Entrepreneur Tips from Richard Branson

Entrepreneural Tips from Richard BransonYou can’t argue with the success of Sir Richard Branson who started his entrepreneurial efforts at age 16 and 45 years later oversees the Virgin brand of 300 businesses operating in 50 countries with annual revenues of $24 billion. His first business was a magazine named Student, but he then set up a mail order record business that became a record store chain. Virgin Megastores eventually added Virgin Music.

What many people don’t know is that Richard Branson is dyslexic and was a poor student in school.

He was a guest on CNBC this morning and shared some insights and entrepreneurial tips on Squawk Box.

Richard Branson’s Golden Rule for Business

He says he decides whether or not to invest in a business based on whether he thinks he can do it better than competitors. He got into the airline business after getting bumped from a flight from one of his eventual competitors. He says he soon called Boeing to ask if they had any second-hand 747s for sale.

He looks for industries that he thinks need shaking up, such as airlines offering sub-par trans-Atlantic service, but would not compete in categories that are doing it right, especially if they are well-funded. He cited his attempt to unseat Coca Cola, who would swoop into markets and grab all shelf space in a grocery store.

Asked whether he prefers to work with an entrepreneur who brings him an idea or develop a business from within, Branson talked about investing in an idea that was brought to him on developing better health clubs, which now has become a brand with 400 locations.

Branson says he would not invest in cigarettes or anything that would harm people or in an existing market that is doing well.

No Fear in Failure

Branson’s investment in space goes back to his long-time interest in one day going to the moon. And he has had his share of failures, including the destruction of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo during a test flight over the Mojave desert, which killed one of the pilots and injured the other. The billionaire said his confidence was shaken for about 48 hours, but then with confidence in his engineers, he decided to press forward. “Failure is part of learning.”

Squawk Box host Becky Quick asked him if he’d be on the first flight into outer space and he replied no, that courageous test pilots would fly that mission, but he intends to be on the first commercial flight into space, for which he sells tickets for $250,000. 700 people have bought tickets ($175 million total), which is amazing when you consider that only 551 people have ever traveled in space.

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30

He didn’t really say that, but he was asked about whether entrepreneurs under the age of 30 are more apt to be successful. Peter Thiel, for instance, says he will not invest in an entrepreneur under age 30 and may prefer age 25 and below. Branson said there is something to be said for starting when you’re 15 or 16. There is no mortgage or baggage. Nothing to lose.

Just do it.

Qualities Richard Branson Looks for in Entrepreneurs

You could do worse than get entrepreneur tips from Richard Branson.

  • First is passion. They must have a 100% belief in what they’re doing.
  • 2nd, people who are good at delegating and building a great team.
  • 3rd, a positive attitude. Praising, not criticizing. “otherwise, they are not going to succeed.”

He recommends creating a company full of entrepreneurs and find a way to reward them so they don’t go elsewhere. At Virgin, they’re called “Intropreneurs“.

CNBC’s Squawk Box airs weekdays at 6a ET. See my report on Pete Cashmore’s CNBC appearance in honor of Mashable’s 10th Anniversary.

What do you think are essential qualities for entrepreneurs? I’d appreciate you leaving a comment below.