Over the years, Google has continuously updated its algorithm to display the most relevant and useful results at the top of their search engine results page. Their goal is, and has always been, to deliver the best results for their users.
Well, I’m here to tell you that in 2019 (drumroll please)...nothing has changed in that regard! Guess what? Google still wants to deliver the best results for their users. The only reason they continuously update their search engine algorithm, is to keep the quality of their search results high and eliminate poor or irrelevant results.
Many a guru (including myself) have written countless articles about how to get to the top of Google. You’ll see headlines such as “8 Tools You Need to Rank #1 on Google” or “Rank #1 on Google in 3 Hours or Less” and scores of similar click-baity headlines.
In this article, however, I’m going to reveal the ONE THING you need to do in order to rank at the top of Google on page 1.
The Proof is in the Results
I’ve been building and marketing websites since 1999 and have always had a knack for ranking the sites I build on page 1 of Google. I’ll talk about how I do this down below (just keep reading), but I wanted to give you some quick proof so you can see that I know what I’m doing.
I just ran a HOTH Keyword Rankings report (affiliate link) on the keyword rankings for 2 of my best ranking websites. The results are below.
Example #1 - SolarScreenOutlet.com
- 22 keywords rank in position #1 (combined search volume = 1,190)
- 11 keywords rank in position #2 (combined search volume = 7,640)
- 9 keywords rank in position #3 (combined search volume = 1,030)
If you struggle with math, that is 42 total keywords that rank in the top 3 positions on Google, with a combined avg monthly search volume of 9,860. Only one of those keywords is a branded term (solar screen outlet).
NOTE: I include the average monthly search volume data to show you that these are not obscure keywords that no one searches for.
Example #2 - WorldOfBronze.com
- 60 keywords rank in position #1 (combined search volume = 9,450)
- 13 keywords rank in position #2 (combined search volume = 4,070)
- 8 keywords rank in position #3 (combined search volume = 1,640)
So worldofbronze.com ranks for 81 different keywords in the top 3 positions on Google with a combined avg monthly search volume of 15,160.
If you don’t believe me, you can pull the exact same report I did using the HOTH Keyword Rankings report (affiliate link) and you can do this for your own website as well. It’s super useful, and it’s free!
You’ll notice that both of the websites above are eCommerce sites, but what I reveal below works for any kind of website. In fact, the website you are viewing now (cristersmedia.com) ranks for 48 different keywords in the top 3 positions on Google. You may have even found this article by clicking a top search result.
But enough about me…
Let’s get into how I accomplished this (spoiler alert...it isn’t that sexy).
It’s the ______ Stupid
There’s an old saying here in the US that attempts to explain why voters should pick a new presidential candidate vs keeping the current President for another 4 years, and it goes like this:
It’s the economy, stupid.
It’s meant to dumb down the choice for voters by driving home the fact that if the economy sucks right now, then vote the current guy out and things should improve.
Well, when it comes to ranking at the top of Google page 1, allow me to put on my politician hat for a moment and treat you like a dummy:
It’s the content, stupid.
Yup, that’s the age old secret...create great content.
**removes politician hat before my hair gets too perfect and my teeth get too white**
Let’s go back to the 2 websites I mentioned above, worldofbronze.com and solarscreenoutlet.com. Both of these websites have tons of great content. For worldofbronze.com, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of bronze statue products, each one having a unique description with lots of wording.
SolarScreenOutlet.com only has a handful of products, but I carefully added lots of text to each product page. The product descriptions were not copied from any other site online (that’s a big no-no), but instead I thought carefully about what my customers would want to know about each product and described it as thoroughly as I could.
The content there is useful for my customers, not just fluff to try and trick Google into making it look like something it is not.
Content is King in 2019
Another popular saying that gets tossed around a bit in the digital marketing world is “Content is King” and it is absolutely true. If you can create great content, Google will reward you.
You see, Google has figured out an amazing secret…(another drumroll please)...humans love great content! Mind-blowing, right?
Don’t you love it when you search for something and you get a great answer right there at the top of Google search? Google knows this and wants to deliver great results for their users. So its goal in every search, is to deliver the result that has the best content for that particular keyword.
So there you have it, create great content and you will rank at the top of page 1 of Google for your target keywords.
Ok, you didn’t think that was actually the end of the article, did you? I won’t leave you hanging there. This not-so-secret secret begs the following questions:
- What is great content?
- How do I create great content?
- How will Google find my content?
- How long will it take to rank at the top of page 1?
Let’s take each question one at a time.
What is Great Content?
Great content aims to deliver a thorough answer to a common question. It’s that simple. In your business or industry, think about the most common question you get from customers or potential customers.
In my business, after I would build a website for a company, the first question they would ask is “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?”.
So, I wrote an article on my blog about how to get on the first page of Google. It’s probably not even the best article out there, but I’ve improved it over time and now that article ranks very highly on Google for a lot of keywords relating to getting on the first page of Google.
If Google is ranking my article at the top of the search results on keywords like “how to get website on google”, then I must be doing something right.
So start with the most common question or misconception related to your business or industry and take some time to research and write a thorough article about it. Post it to your website’s blog and share it on social media.
Google will find it and, if it is truly great content, will begin ranking it on their search results pages.
Typically, a well-researched and written article takes anywhere from 3 - 15 hours to produce and publish. There are plenty of exceptions to this, but great content does not usually come quick and easy. It requires time and effort. If you put in the work up front, you can be rewarded for it in the long term.
How Do I Create Great Content?
Thus far, I’ve talked about writing articles to produce great content. But blog posts aren’t the only type of content out there. Videos and podcasts are 2 other types of content that people love to consume.
If you have written any articles in the recent past, you can simply turn those articles into videos or podcasts. For the blog post I wrote, I literally just turned on my camera and read the article into the camera. I uploaded it to YouTube and it’s now been viewed about 6,200 times in the last 10 months. Not bad!
If you are camera shy, create a podcast and talk through an article or idea that you know a lot about. You can even create a video or podcast replying to or rebutting another popular article in your industry.
Anytime you create an article, video or podcast, be sure to share it on social media. This will help Google to find it and rank it accordingly.
How Will Google Find My Content?
I’ve already mentioned sharing your content on social media as a way to help Google find your content. An even better way to make sure Google finds your article, video, or podcast is to share it with Google directly.
If you created a video, upload it to YouTube (Google owns YouTube and will automatically know about it). If you created a podcast, share it using Google Music.
And if you have written an article on your blog, sign up for Google Search Console and submit your website and sitemap there so Google knows to crawl your website regularly and index all your web pages.
If you don’t have a website, submit your article to Quora and let Quora take care of sharing it with the world.
How Long Will it Take to Rank at the Top of Page 1?
This is a great question that, unfortunately, does not have a simple answer. Depending on your industry, competition and the quality of your content, it could take weeks, months or years to rank at the top of Google’s page 1.
In the case of the 2 websites I noted above, it took about 12-24 months. Producing great content and getting rewarded for it looks a lot like a Crock Pot rather than a microwave.
But the more content you create and share, the faster your rankings will rise. Don’t just stop at producing 1 article, podcast, or video. Continually create great content (aim for once per month, then grow to once per week, then once per day) and you can accelerate your results. The more, the better.
It Ain't Sexy
So there you have it. Just a simple non-sexy answer about how to rank at the top of Google search. You don’t need any fancy tools. You don’t need 9 secrets from the SEO guru. It turns out getting ranked on Google looks a lot like good ol’ fashioned hard work...create something great and soon enough, you will be rewarded for it.
I can speak from experience. I’ve been able to rank several websites at the top of Google search for hundreds of different keywords. The approach has been, and always will be, the same. No tools. No tricks. No insider secrets required.