On the heels of the great Moz tool I shared yesterday, I wanted to explain why this is so helpful and important to small business owners trying to compete in the digital marketing world. Just in the past week, I have had two small business owners come to me with the goal of competing for SEO terms that just weren’t feasible or worth the budget and time that would have been required to get them there. When we look at the search landscape going into a project, it is important to immediately take into account what Google is actually showing in the results for your high priority search terms that you hope to rank for. From the jump, you may need to shift your target or change your tactic to find the most efficient path to that first page.
There are two major things you want to work for before you even begin your SEO targeting.
What Results are on Page 1?
The first thing we want to look at is what is showing up on the first page of Google. The Moz tool can help explain this to a degree. Does the search phrase you are targeting provide video results? Is it a local search triggering Google My Business listings on the map? Is it a shopping search that triggers eCommerce shopping pages? It is important to understand what Google is presenting searchers to fully understand which tactics you may be able to find that first-page success. For example, this summer I visited Copenhagen and a section of the city called Nyhavn. I created a video, a blog post, and images on that page that targeted “Nyhavn SEO”. Granted, this isn’t a high competition search phrase, but for the purpose of this exercise, as of September 2019, I still had a video, an image, the top organic results, and a Google My Business (the only one) result on the first page of Google for “Nyhavn SEO“. These are all different tactics to aim at a search phrase. In this case, all of them worked.
Some paths may be quicker than others, but if you have the ability to target as many as possible paths, you are in a better position to show up or even dominate that first page. As I write this, on desktop, I control the right column with my GMB listing and have 4 of the top 5 organic listings with my blog posts, images, and Youtube video. The more paths that are available, the more possibilities. Often, we can attack on several fronts with a video embedded in a blog post that contains some optimized images.
Always take a look at what Google is presenting on the first page to see what the options are.
What Sites are on Page 1?
Once you have a feel for what type of results show up, it is important to look at what sites show up. For local, how many reviews do the top listings have and where are they located in comparison to your business. If you are outside of a city and trying to show up in the maps listings over businesses that are within the city, the path is more complicated. If you are a small online store and all of the page 1 results are massive global corporations like Target and Wal-mart, you may not have a chance for that search. You may need to find a different path.
We do research on the ranking site content to find out how strong the site is, as well as the page of that site and the type of content. If you are a specialist with a whole site dedicated to a specific product that the big guys only dedicate a deep and weaker page to, you may have a chance to jump in there, by strengthening your page and providing more thorough and more user-friendly content. The key is to understand the landscape before you invest too much going down the wrong path. You need to know your competition and the level of difficulty before you start down the path.
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