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How to Get to The Top of Google

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Peter Dickinson


The question often asked about getting to the top of Google is well, how hard can it be? 

There’s a huge amount of myths around Google, I hear of horror stories where people have paid a fortune for getting found on LinkedIn. And when you actually look at, we’ve talked about buyer sellers, look at buyer personas, there’s no way that those buyers are actually going to search for you. Not in a million years, and you’ve got to go and find them. And we talked last time, about the marketing funnel, about whether you’ve got to be proactive and find your customers, or whether you have the luxury of being reactive, and the customers find your particular service. And so we are going to do a deep dive to show you some of the tools you can use. So if you are paying someone to do it, we’ll find out whether they’re doing a decent job. 

For those who don’t know me, I have been a digital coach for over 20 years, worked with over 500 businesses, worked with technology since they used to take up the size of a house using things called punch cards, and watched technology develop and grow over the last 40 years. I have over 30,000 connections on LinkedIn, and we not only do the coaching and training and strategy development, but we’re also an agency. So whatever I’m talking about is the stuff that we’re doing. And we know that it works because that’s what we’re doing for clients. 

So a little bit of housekeeping, I’m running speaker view during the presentation and then gallery view, which is the top right-hand corner on zoom, please use mute when not talking. And as it’ll be quite a few people in the room, please raise your hand either physically or with the electronic one. If you raise it with an electronic one, it then moves on to my screen to the top left-hand corner, I can see which order to put people to talk in. And then please feel free to ask questions during the chat. And then keep the video on unless you don’t want to be recorded. And we’re actually working workshop mode when I’m not presenting. 

The purpose of the group is to help you guys compete in the digital world. It is getting more complex. I can’t believe how much r&d we have to do in order to stay on top of things. It’s here to build on your knowledge, help you solve your digital problems, and hopefully build the community to support your marketing.

So vision 2 success are these free Wednesday workshops, we’ve got the book drive sales for digital marketing, just looking at how to get that printed at the moment. So it’s on my jobless, so hopefully, in a month’s time, we’ll have printed copy because some people don’t like the Kindle format. We’ve got some online digital courses for LinkedIn and social media training. And then we’ve got various digital marketing strategies and implementation coaching and delivery. Nice to see William, thanks for joining. So this is the book, it’s available on Amazon, it’s available on all platforms, to be honest, spread around the world. It’s 60,000 words it’s a lot of content. But what we find in digital marketing, we do need that basic understanding of how the bits joined together. And these 10 workshops are based on each of the chapters in the book. So we’re now into the fourth chapter which is the practical application. 

We do have a WhatsApp group, eventually, that will change to what’s called a net hub group. An exciting piece of new technology to introduce you to during April which will help you make your networking work a lot better for you. It’s free, there’s a lot of money sitting down in that project. And the idea is to get you guys to leverage your networks better. But more about that in about a month’s time. 

Okay, so how to get to the top of Google. So what we’re going to take away from today, what is SEO, search engine optimization, why getting found, which is the process of getting found in Google, is important. Techniques you use get found and actions you can take and some ideas on how to measure the SEO. 

Okay, so why do we want to be at top of Google? Well if you’re in a market, which isn’t too saturated, so if it’s telephones and telephone lines, or anything to do with things like that, or anything to do with IT, it’s actually incredibly difficult to get found. But if you’ve got a niche product or a niche service, and it’s not too competitive, there’s a decent chance, especially in your locality. So if you’re, say, for example, your accountant to you, you’d have to compete at a national level, then you’d be on page 50. But you can also think of local SEO, so you can get even local accountants and joiners or trades and so forth. With a little bit of care, you can get found in your locality. If you’ve ever typed in restaurants near me or petrol stations, there may be sorts of results that you’ll come upon.

The SEO part refers to the on-page results, those are a bit further down. So you’ll see on Google got ad next to things. And then it’s the stuff that’s found below. And we’ve got to remember what Google’s objective is here is not for you to make money, but it’s to give searchers a concise and factually correct answer that can be scanned by the user or read aloud by Google assistants. Now, one of the things we have to remember, of course, is that with Google, we’ve all got all sorts of voice devices in our homes that we talk to and ask questions and so forth. You have to realise they can only give one answer. So getting that top slot has become very important for certain companies. 

So what makes up SEO – search engine optimization, getting found on Google? Well, it’s sorting out what the keywords are, what things people are searching for, it’s about writing articles that talks around those particular keywords. Those keywords should be the keywords that people use to find your services with the intent they’re going to buy. We’re going to Talk about the buyer’s intent. 

You’re gonna think Google’s got billions of sites, it has to index and so forth. And there are ways of structuring the page. So that the data within the page becomes part of Google’s knowledge base. Google’s overall intent is to be the knowledge engine for the world. And, I’ve noticed recently that the searches are getting more accurate. The top two or three are generally exactly what I’m looking for. 

And then there’s work using what’s called Google Search Console, which we’ll talk about, which is a free Google tool to tell Google where your information is, it’s called a sitemap. And generally, it’s fairly automatic, but you can force it. In the old days, we had used to submit something to a web page. Now it’s through the search console, you can tell Google exactly where your information is. 

And you’ve got link building, which is wherein the old days, people would send $200 off to India, and they would build you lots of links. A florist did that and unfortunately, Google then changed all its algorithms to see whether those links are relevant to the site and they went from a brilliant page one position to disappearing off the map. So you have to stick to the principles that are pretty much well known. And, obviously, you know, do monthly reporting, and so forth, keep our eyes and websites and so forth. So keep thinking about what your client wants. And you’ve got to always think from the clients that your customers point of view, what is it they’re really searching for when you look into those tools. 

So why SEO? Well, it’s good for brand awareness, we find the majority of searches on our websites are actually for the brand. If you’ve got a unique brand, it will certainly stand out. It gets harder if you’ve got a more generic name, which has got things in common with common words. And brand recognition, brand following becomes a lot harder. We will be having speakers talk about brand. And it is important that things say what it does on the tin. The only problem with that is it’s very hard to track your brand. So for example, as KUB, it’s really easy vision 2 success is really easy. But if you’re called platform lift company, then you’ve got a bunch of generic words in there, which does help in the SEO on the site. But it was very hard to track your brand awareness. 

And it’s about projecting that expert authority in your sector, even if, you don’t get people searching for what you do, it is important that you have material on your site content on a site that does demonstrate you’re an expert whether they’re cases studies, pictures or before and afters. You’ve got to say to your customers, this is why we’re experts at what we do. And if you run with that approach, then you can charge more than the people who just pile it high and sell it cheap. Hopefully, it becomes a serious source of support. 

If you have in that bottom right-hand corner a thing called web chat, which is where people can communicate with you, then that’s a brilliant place to support people. It is the only thing you own so you can control it. And you can then just use it to generate new inquiries. 

So we’ll take a look at the fundamentals. So just remember the Search Engines objective, it’s about demonstrating your expertise, demonstrating your authority. Are you in the top three of you’re the experts in what you do in the geography or area that you’re interested in? Is what you’ve written about on the site relevant? And when people go on your site, so Google knows, because we’ve all got analytics, it knows how people behave on your site, it knows that if someone on a search has clicked on your link to go to the search and then come back to it. And that develops trust with both the users of your site and also with Google, which is very important if you want to rank and you want to get one. There is a thing called semantic search, which takes into the context of the whole site. So the site has to make sense. 

So fundamentals. So we’ve got a question here. Is the context keywords you’re referring to exclusive to your website or do SM keywords get picked up? SM social media? The keywords are exclusive to the website, you need to when you build your website, or develop the website or enhance your website, think about the keywords that people search for the buyer intent keywords, which we’re going to look at in a minute. It doesn’t pick keywords up from other areas like social media if that’s addressed. 

Very hard to find a book, however, did like this one. It’s slightly technical. But if anybody wants him to deep dive into Search Engine Optimization without getting completely geeky, then there’s this book that is well written. We do like this one. Not many books out there. When we were researching the, for this part of the book, it was incredibly difficult. We want to do a lot of research online. 

So few misconceptions. It’s not free, it does take a lot of hard work. And that’s why agencies do charge a lot for it, the thing I would say is that there’s a lot of things you can do with the free tools. Once you get a basic understanding of WordPress, we’ll be talking about the tool you can use. It’s stuff you can do but is a commitment. And people that say oh it’s always a quick result, Nope, it’s six to 18 months now to have an effect. 

Quite a few years ago, you could get to page one with a particular phrase if you worked hard at it. But now it’s working. If people say hey, I’ll get to the top page one it’s false promises because you’re going to get bored by the time they’ve achieved that, especially in very competitive areas, if you’re not in a competitive area, then you still can do well quickly, people say Google keeps changing? Well, Google came out in 2004 and the principles have never changed. The tactics, and therefore the gaming that people do can be. It’s sometimes difficult for people to understand that it can actually be quite challenging to get a site to rank, either because we’ve not got images or not got articles and so forth, it does take time to make them. But it is something you can do for certain industries. 

It can be sustainable. We’ve got sites that have been running for many years now 5-10 years, and because of this constant demand in the marketplace, and because they’ve been around a long time because they put the work in at the start. It is sustainable. 

How do you put the relevant changes, keywords change? Okay, that’s an interesting question. So the keywords are your buyer, so if your buyers are constantly changing, then your keywords constantly changing. We work with a pipe freezing company, and their keywords haven’t changed for 10, probably longer than 15 years, because people in the industry know what they’re looking for. And then they type that in. So it will very much depend on the products and services, your products and services change because your clients demand different things, then yes, your keywords will change. 

So, William, I know you sell wine online, so you’ll have a new case of a particular wine. You probably need to be able to rank for all the generic ones, Sauvignons and so forth, and then drive them to whatever wine choice you have of the day, I’d have a generic section talking about those particular ones for each of the type of wine you cover. And then you can then put in the particular make, yellowtail, and things like that. I’ve got a rack of wine. And if you can beat your competition, we’ll show you tools on how to do that. And if you can work along with search terms, you can then be found in your niche. 

Okay, so a few important things. It’s going to be secure and accessible. So we’ll be talking about us in a couple of weeks’ time, talking about websites we’ll make sure you’ve got that little padlock on the top left. We’ll make sure that it’s fast both on desktop and mobile – it has to be mobile-friendly. 50% of your traffic will be coming from a mobile on average. 

If you’ve got an old domain that’s brilliant. I have come across companies ago oh we want to rebrand and change our domain. Oh, okay. That’s not great. There are things you can do to mitigate it, but losing that domain age is not great. And we talked about optimising the content and simple technical SEO it’s about getting rid of the errors and so forth. This is developer country. 

Making sure that the user experience is great, so when you go on the site people can get to whatever they want. It is important for the customer journey that people aren’t mind readers, you’ve got to tell them where you want them to go. Again, this is a bit more work, creating backlinks for doing the backlink campaign for someone at the moment. It’s very slow and time-consuming. And generally, if you can put stuff on social media and LinkedIn and so forth, you get what’s called link bait where people go, oh yeah, I think I’ll link back to that, that’s a useful article, and so forth. Your social media – how well are your articles liked? And does it contain real business information or real information that’s useful to people? 

So we’re going to look at a longtail keyword. Now, these are three or four keyword phrases that are very specific to you. We’re going to look at some examples here. So if I was looking for a bookkeeper, based in Preston, I’d probably type in part-time, we use Xero. So we want to use Xero bookkeeping, since we’re interested in and where Preston, again, WordPress developer, these are all very specific. Someone’s looking for divorce this sort of stuff, and they’re looking in their locality. And there’s no reason why any of these companies can’t be found locally. They’d be not nationally but certainly locally. And then you know, one of the exercises you can do from today’s How can you get found. 

So, this is a longtail keyword. So if you type in bookkeeper, there’s 22 million, but if we get down to 0, freelance bookkeeper, part-time Blackburne, there’s 22,000 Come up, but what you’ll find is the top 10 are really useful links. So sometimes longtail keywords are called money keywords or buyers intent is because people are- when they’re down this end with longer phrases, they’re very specific with what they want. You remember from the marketing funnel, people at the top of the marketing funnel will be typing these sorts of words in, and when they get to the bottom they really nail what it is they’re looking for and they’re looking into these words, that are a lot easier to compete on, especially if you’re local. 

And so we come to Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest there is a limited free version, he does charge something for it. But it’s the only tool we can currently recommend, there’s Moz, and SEMrush, which are fantastic tools. But also, most of you will not be prepared to pay $100 or more for them, because you’d never get the use out of them. Because it’s quite intense. Whereas with Uber suggests even with the free version, you can jump in and out and do some meaningful work. 

And the reason I put this in here is we did really well with a thing called Calico it’s a legal solutions group of companies all collaborating together. And the SRA changed a lot of rules. So we wrote some quite long articles on what those rules changes were. And we got to the top of the page with those, even though we’re competing with the SRA themselves, and we used the Uber suggest tool. 

And so if you go to Uber suggest, the interface keeps changing, but if you type in your domain, into the keywords, you’ll see that there’s we typed in KUB, and these are the keywords that came out that we’re currently ranking for. And we can then look at how well we’re doing and see how can we improve on that. So it gives you lots of ideas on what you can do. And if you connect it up to your Google Analytics, which is a free tool from Google. And if you type in Google space analytics into Google, it will come up and hopefully, your developer will have given you access. They also use it to research competitors. So this is not so you copy off competitors as such, but it gives you ideas of some keywords they’re ranking for. You’ll tell whether they’re doing any good or not if they’re ranking for all the things you think you’d expect to be found by if it’s a bit of a mishmash, then they’re not doing anything, which means that with a bit of effort, you could actually out-compete them. 

One of the big things we find with websites is that they can have an incredible number of errors. Now these errors aren’t things you can see but they are errors that Google can see because things aren’t connected up correctly, the information’s not on the page correctly. And this is where you can collaborate with your web developer and say, Look, you know, we need to need start fixing some of these things. And it does rank them, so you’ve got critical errors, which is what we generally focus on, then you’ve got warnings and then recommendations. 

Another tool that you can use, make sure when you use GT Metrix, it’s free, but make sure you create an account. Because basically, you want to be doing the search from London, if you just do the free tool or not register, we found it’s Calgary in Canada, which means your traffic is being tested across the Atlantic, which isn’t great. So pick a local company. If you get an A B or C, it’s a decent result. And the thing is that this screen keeps changing. But it’s getting easier and easier to find the errors. And a lot of it’s down to image size. People don’t know that when they load images onto their website they can be adding several megabyte files which aren’t good enough. They need to load up files that have been crunched down if you can. There are various things like tiny PNG and so forth to help you do that. 

And then Google Analytics- we mentioned this before. If you go to google.co.UK forward-slash analytics hopefully your website developer has set one up for you. And if you ask them, they’ll then give you a link through to it and then you can look at it yourself. It is important that you do this stuff. And it’s a bit like profit and loss for your financial accounts. Well, Google Analytics, this particular screen shows you how well your site’s doing. So this is a previous year, this is this year. And we’ve obviously improved that performance. This is quite a high bounce rate. By the way, we have a lot of articles on where people go in, then go back out again, we’re planning to add a lot of video to the site. So that’ll keep people on the site a lot longer. 

This is another powerful tool, which some developers don’t set up. But it does take a techy to set it up unfortunately because you have to change add a record piece of information to the domain itself. It’s a five-minute job. It’s not a time-consuming job. But it, unfortunately, does involve messing about with some technical records, which ideally, you shouldn’t be messing with. So best to Google set it up, so you can say, hey, send this to the developer and the developer knows what to do. And it’s literally a five-minute job for them. So you know if anybody takes a sharp intake of breath, you know that they’re taking the mick. 

So what’s an impression? Okay, good question. So an impression is, when you type something into Google, it comes up with the answers below when you type that question in. That’s an impression when that line of text is shown to you that links through to your websites in search engine results. That’s an impression. When you click on it, that’s a click. And hope that answer which is really. 

So bringing it together, make sure you have full access to your website, including plugins. If you cannot see the word plugins on the left-hand side, you do not have what’s called admin access. So make sure you have that. It does make me quite angry when web developers don’t give admin access to customers. I’ll start to say you always access the website as an administrator, you could have two users, one for when you want to just check everything’s all there, and another for when you’re doing day to day edits, and so forth. But somebody in your company needs to have admin access. My view is not a shared view by some developers. 

You should have, in my view, full access to your Google Analytics and Search Console, they are free to use and relatively easy to set up. It’s a max 10-minute job for developers to do. You can test the speed of your website, you can have a play around with Uber Suggest, make sure that is your website being found, found for the keywords you want, has it got errors in it, and so forth. And then, if appropriate, start writing long articles around those keywords and create a dashboard for capturing those key things like the number of sessions and the bounce rate. That’s where the traffic goes in, and it comes straight back out again. That’s a bounce. If you then go on to read other articles, that’s good. And that’s the idea of what you want.

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