How do you get to the top of Google search results? Easy question - complicated answer. There are said to be more than 200 factors that influence the ranking. But that's not all: The Google algorithm is so intelligent that it learns independently. Ranking factors are weighted differently depending on what a user is looking for and what search intent he has (does he want to buy something? Know something?).
What Google prefers also differs from industry to industry: If you want to make it up as a financial adviser, you should focus on other factors than a car dealer. The variables that influence whether a page is displayed at the top are in the thousands. Phew - your head is buzzing. How are you supposed to work with it?
The answer is: Not at first.
Let’s take a look at what Google’s goal is. Google wants the search engine to be used by as many people as possible. To achieve this, Google has to spit out exactly the search results that best help the user. They deliver exactly what he was looking for.
When we optimize a text for Google, we naturally pay attention to internal links or the correct assignment of H-tags. But basically we have a central rule in mind:
Create the most useful and best content on the Internet for your topic.
So write the most detailed, up-to-date, most relevant text on your topic. Possibly create an explanatory video or a graphic. This gives the user answers to all of his questions.
Why is that so important? An example
A few months ago, an entrepreneur in my seminar "Website texts that sell", who runs a shop and an online shop for beach chairs, was the beach chair specialist Landhaus Pülsen. This man knew EVERYTHING about beach chairs. If I wanted a beach chair, it would be the dealer of my choice.
However, if you search for "buy a beach chair" on Google, your page will appear in the bottom of the search results. There is an online shop at the front, where you do not expect any special knowledge about beach chairs - but a great deal of expertise in search engine optimization: Otto.de.
Why does this page end up? Of course, also because Google knows that Otto is a successful, established dealer. But there is another reason if you scroll down to the bottom of the page:
There is a text that explains exactly what consumers have to pay attention to if they want to "buy a beach chair":
- What is the difference between a fully resident and a semi-resident?
- How do Baltic Sea and North Sea beach baskets differ?
- What protection does the basket need against the weather?
There is a clear table of contents above the text. Otto therefore has better text on his website than my beach chair expert. Annoying.
And at the same time, good news: Because as an entrepreneur, you are a professional in your field, it will be easy to create relevant, useful texts on your topic.
TextE - the plural is intentional here. Because very few will be able to land at the top with relevant search queries with their homepage. For example, for a naturopath in Hamburg, it will be extremely difficult to achieve a top ranking for the search term "naturopath Hamburg". Because there are around 1,500 alternative practitioners in the Hanseatic city. There are also directories and rating portals, which also occupy the first places.
So smarter is:
Find a topic that gives you chances on Google
For example, our naturopath could try to get to the top of his therapy methods. For example, he could write a detailed, useful text on "eye acupuncture" or "leech therapy". Of course, fewer people are looking for it. But what better thing can happen to our naturopath than that someone who is interested in his method of treatment ends up on his side?
Creating the highest quality, most useful, up-to-date content on a topic on the Internet - sounds doable. But what exactly does that mean? Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
It is difficult for people to determine whether content is of high quality or not. This is much more difficult for a search engine. But Google is getting smarter and better and better at predicting which page will help a user and which won't. The following rule of thumb therefore applies: What your target customer perceives as well-founded and high-quality, which Google will recognize as high-quality and place prominently.
The content should help the user. If a naturopath, for example, puts his doctoral thesis on leech therapy online, he will hardly make it to the search term "leech therapy Hamburg". The content may be high quality, but it overwhelms the reader. Instead, he should answer any questions a prospect might have about leech therapy.
- How does leech therapy work?
- What are the symptoms of leech therapy?
- What are the risks of the therapy?
- Has the effectiveness of leech therapy been proven?
- Who developed the therapy?
- What does leech therapy cost?
- Is the treatment paid for by the health insurance companies?
Lots of paragraphs, sub-headings, numbered lists and bullets - all of this increases readability. Most internet users like it clear. That's why Google likes well-structured content.
4. Further sources
Is there a claim? In order to substantiate his statement, it makes sense to name the source, which should be as serious as possible. The alternative practitioner could, for example, link to associations or studies.
If a text is full of mistakes, then it was obviously sloppy. Statistics show that grammatically correct contents rank better. And even if that is not the case, you should definitely avoid spelling mistakes on your website.
The optimal length of a text is an eternal controversial topic among SEO specialists. Is it 500 words? Or 3000? The answer is probably: it depends. And that also makes sense: some topics are more detailed and need more explanation than others. Rule of thumb: go into all the important details about your topic without rambling.
Nobody likes outdated information - neither does Google. It is therefore worthwhile to regularly update content.
Google likes to include relevant videos or pictures on their topic. This is also logical because pictures or videos provide added value for the user: if you google "Black Forest cake", it helps if you see in a video how to prepare them. Our alternative practitioner could show a video of how leech therapy works.
Good content ensures a long stay
If you focus on your content and pay attention to what is helpful and exciting for the user, you are killing two birds with one stone: he ensures that users stay on his page for a long time and that they return to Google search results less frequently click. Google can recognize this: Aha - on this page the user has apparently found what he was looking for.
Should you ignore other ranking factors such as loading speed, linking or social signals? Of course not.
But let's see it the other way around: If you don't provide high-quality content on your topic, you can tweak the other factors as you like. He will never make it to the top of the search results.