How long does it take to get a website ranked on first page of Google?

Introduction

It’s understandably one of the most frequently asked questions that most seo agencies will get asked.

And that is, how long will it take to get a business’s website on the first page of Google?

After all, that’s the whole purpose of an seo company, to get a business to rank as high as they can on Google, right?

That’s true, however before any agency owner pauses for breath, and then attempts to answer such a question, there are several things that each agency should consider first.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explain to business owners what a marketing agency should be considering, that’s before making an estimate for how long it will take to get a website onto the first page.

The level of competition  

As you can imagine, there’s no point in entering a sports car from the 1960’s into a race today up against a brand-new sports car. As you would expect, there would be no contest.

The more sophisticated car, with its complex and modern engineering would win hands-down.

And this is the same when it comes to assessing a new website up against the established competition.

Of course, there’s no point in having a defeatist attitude, yet that said, its of paramount importance to be realistic as well.

What we mean by this is that both client and agency have to be is realistic about their chances of getting on to the first page, that’s within the constraints of their marketing budget.

Therefore, to enter the race, the agency and client must have thought about if their chances are realistic. As otherwise it can mean that a business is wasting money.

So, in a nutshell, if you do have a phone call, or a meeting with a local seo company, and they start repeatedly comparing your website with your direct competitors, well this can only be a good thing.

Comparing your businesses website, with your direct competitors is not an exercise in displaying how weak your website is in comparison, but instead an exercise of weighing-up how much seo work is actually needed.

Therefore, setting a benchmark that needs to be met, and then exceeded is indeed a very important factor that your seo agency must consider.

This comparison of your website, with your direct competitors is essential in determining how strong your websites “ranking signals” are.

There are thought to be over 200 signals that can be optimised. Google, as well as the other major search engines keep which signals they use, and which ones are the most important secret to their business.

This is with good reason, as if seo companies knew how the algorithm works, well some companies would try and cheat the algorithm.

Instead most seo businesses look at which businesses are the strongest, then spend great deals of time working out how that business is holding such a high position.

New websites are simply much harder to optimise

You may well be launching a new business, and therefore your website is therefore likely to be new as well.

It’s something that some marketing agencies do not make clear from the outset, and that is new websites are much harder to optimise.

This means it normally takes considerably longer to optimise a brand-new website. The reason being is a new website is somewhat of a blank canvas, it will most likely have no backlinks, no onsite seo and therefore it will take much longer to catch up with the competition.

Be realistic about how much you will have to spend

There are some seo agencies that advertise their services in the form of fixed priced packages.

Now this is all well and good, as often the potential customer would like to have a vague idea of costs prior to picking up the phone.

However, its worth keeping this in mind, if say you work in a competitive industry, you really do have to be realistic as to what you can achieve for a low set fee.

By this we mean, some agencies will take the fee from a business knowing full well its going to be a drop into the ocean of what’s really needed.

Imagine for example what some car insurance companies spend on online marketing per year, then a car insurance broker who wants to get onto the first page for say £300.00 a month, well how realistic is this? Not very is the answer.

Therefore, your seo agency would sit down and carefully evaluate the competition, as we earlier mentioned, its only then a price should be delivered.

Don’t forget that your competitors can step up seo activity at any time

There will be those businesses that have occupied the top positions within the SERP’s for many years.

They have grown accustomed to the high volume of sales that can come from ranking high in Google.

So, when a new company, or a company that has ambition to knock such a company off the top spot comes along, its often the case that some companies will ramp-up seo activity.

That’s to say a business may well break-through and get into the top three positions, yet the businesses at the top may well come back by investing even more time / money to ensure that they once again occupy the top position.

So, with this in mind, this is often why most seo agencies are reluctant as to state how long it will actually take to get to the top.

Not all agencies are equal

In seo there’s the term “white hat” that’s used to describe doing the job properly. So, a business owner may think that all they need to do is find a white hat agency, that offers what they want at an acceptable price, right?

Well, the answer to that is no, and the reason is some rubbish seo companies call themselves white hat, knowing full well they are not using white hat methods.

So, here’s the thing, how long it takes to get onto the first page we believe depends on two factors, that’s the strength of your competitors, and also whether the right agency has been hired.

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How to create good quality content marketing for your business

Introduction

Do you run a business that has invested in a website? Yet you have found that your businesses website does not even come close to the first page of Google.

This has got you thinking, how do your direct competitors get onto the first page? And then the penny drops, that part of getting onto the first page is to publish blog posts on a regular basis.

So, this has got your cog’s turning, if you were to invest in content marketing, you can see how your website could reach the top as well.

Well, its true that content marketing if implemented correctly can help a business’s rankings, that’s for sure. Yet, with that said there are so many seo companies, and businesses alike do not get it right.

And not getting it right can result in a website incurring an algorithmic or manual penalty. So, for this reason its of the up most importance that a business invests in quality content marketing.

Yet what is deemed as “quality work”- what’s the gold standard that must be reached?

Well its fair to say that many seo agencies, including ours are in a continuous improvement drive to ensure that we creating the best quality work.

So why not have a read of the rest of this article, and pick-up some handy tips along the way of how to create good quality content marketing.

First things first, what is content marketing?

Content marketing is the term that is used to describe the work that is created to help market a business.

Now, don’t get us wrong, not all content marketing is created to sing the praises of a business. No, its more creative than that, it can be used to educate, and offer useful information to the business’s customers.

There is an overarching aim to assist the businesses seo, yet the central aim should be to help a business’s potential customers.

Therefore, content marketing can be in the form of written articles, like this article, or it could be an infographic or a video for example explaining the benefits of a particular product for example.

The overarching aim is to therefore help a business increase its sales, yet with that said, any seo company worth their salt will advise you that if you focus too much on the SEO then this can actually damage a websites ranking.

Now the emphasis has to be placed on helping the customer, helping them to solve problems they may have.

For example, someone may well be looking to purchase a new petrol car, and the customer may have queries about pollution and emissions to do with that car.

So, for example, that person may well be looking on a search engine to find “the most economical petrol car on sale in the U.K today”.

Which is quite a complex search string. Yet, with that said, a website that just focuses just on seo will not do very well here.

Yet, a car manufacturer that has spent the time to add content marketing which explains how its car is very efficient, and which answers the customers questions the best, well you guessed it, that business is likely to rank the highest for this question.

Quality matters

If there’s one point that we cannot stress enough, it is this, it’s that quality truly matters when it comes to content marketing.

So, what we mean by this is, say for example you run a business, that the business manufactures ladder. And this ladder business wants to improve their SEO, then you will naturally start writing blog posts to do with ladders, right?

Yet, the trap that businesses, and also seo consultants fall into is to target the keywords that they want to rank for in an overly aggressive way.

This can lead to what we here at this agency “overoptimization issues”- which can result in a penalty.

So, here’s a top tip, instead focus on writing articles that are of a very good quality. Articles that will help your customers.

So, let’s think off the top of our head, which articles would help the ladder business, here are some article suggestions that they may wish to use:

  1. Which aluminium step ladders are best for electricians to use?
  2. Which brands are some of the most popular when it comes to step ladders?

Valuable

Here’s another top tip, you have to make your content marketing valuable. By this we mean there’s no point in just writing content marketing that’s the same standard as your competitors- you have to look to surpass their marketing efforts.

Now, this doesn’t mean if they write an article that’s 1000 words, you should be writing 2000 words- it simply doesn’t work like that.

Instead the work has to be of a better quality in a more rounded sense. So, for instance, if someone is looking for DIY advice for example, on say how to fit a new kitchen tap, well make the article the best you can at answering that question. Strive to answer it better than any of your competitors.

Why not include a walk-through video, which explains step by step how to fit the tap? Why not then add a bullet pointed list to follow that video of how to fit the tap, and also whilst you’re at it, point the reader to other websites, where they could obtain more help?

How many words should our blog posts be?

In the past digital marketing agencies had a kind of unspoken rule, that is when writing content marketing articles for clients, it was somewhat of a standard practice to write an article to a 500-word count.

Yes, obviously there were some seo agencies that didn’t stick to that rule, and would write shorter, or longer articles.

Yet, with that said, it was very common for articles to be written to between 400-500 words. Yet how effective was that marketing strategy?

Well, the answer may well be not very effective. That’s because there has since been much discussion among those that work in SEO, and a lot of people now agree that quality articles, that have a longer word count work much better.

For example, why not have a read of this article, which discusses that articles with a higher word count may rank better.

Engagement and long articles

Now, we know what your thinking, your thinking brilliant, that’s the secret to improving a businesses seo- super long articles!

Well, no is the answer to that. The reason being is if you think you can stick the kettle on, make a coffee and write a super long article, and that’s all there is to it, well your mistaken.

The reason being is that most agencies, including ours believe that engagement is now a really important thing for marketing agencies to follow.

What we mean by this is you can’t just publish an article these day’s and just hope it helps the businesses marketing efforts.

No, you have to monitor engagement. For example, what’s the page’s bounce rate like? How long is the average visitor spending on the business’s website?

Low engagement, i.e a high bounce rate is not good, your digital marketing company should take action.

Bored readers simply bounce off, and then you lose what could be potentially a customer.

Take for example this article, it states that only one in five people actually read an article to the end!

So, in a nutshell, if you want your content marketing to help your business to generate more sales, its got to be intresting!

If my competitors have 30 articles, will 31 mean I obtain better rankings?

No. That’s the simple answer, and the reason being is when it comes to content marketing, it’s not about quantity it is quality that matters.

With that said, remember that a lot of companies now have quality and quantity. This means that to beat your competitors rankings, normally the best thing to do is partner with a respected, quality focused white hat seo business.

How should I be writing keywords into my businesses blog posts?

Keywords are what help’s Google’s algorithm to work out what your website is about.

So for example, as you would expect a dental practice that wants to obtain more customers that want their teeth made whiter, well they are not going to get many calls if they don’t start writing about teeth whitening.

Yet with that said, it is possible to over optimise a website. That’s to say if a website is not optimised in accordance with white hat standards, then yes a website could incur a penalty.

Therefore a website should naturally write its keywords into the content marketing. By naturally we mean offer really good advice, and if the sentence requires the keyword to be placed within the sentence, then do just that.

However, here’s another top tip, don’t write loads of articles about the same thing. You need to vary what you talk about, for example one week teeth whitening another week about teeth straitening.

Focus too much on one keyword and this is likely to mean your business will incur a penalty.

What are Google penalties?

There will always be businesses and seo agencies that want to cut corners. That’s to say not to do the hard work, yet still get their websites onto the first page.

Yet, thankfully to stop these companies cheating, there are loads of spam filters. Now in the seo profession we call these penalties.

Hummingbird

One important Google update you need to be aware of is the Google Hummingbird update. It is a very complex algorithm update, one which would demand its own blog post. So, if you do want to read more, follow this link about the Google Hummingbird update.

Also, before you start writing blog posts for your business, you may want to learn a bit more about what semantic search means.

In a nutshell, a lot of agencies believe that the content marketing that works the best, is the content marketing that is comprehensive.

So, for instance, if someone wants to learn more about what going vegan means, a short two paragraph article isn’t going to cut it.

However, an article that’s much more in-depth, and talks about loads of related issues, well this article is likely to do a lot better.

Semantic search is therefore works with something called the Google Knowledge Graph, which basically means that Google has an understanding of how topics interconnect.

You may have even read a few seo blog posts where industry leaders have talked about how us SEO’s may see a move away from backlinks being the most important ranking signal.

Hence the phrase “things and not strings”- well this is all to do with semantic search.

Let’s return to our vegan example, Google will know that related topics are do with nutrition, the welfare of animals, and even how being vegan helps to protect the environment.

So, the search engine knows these are all related topics to the entity, which is being vegan.

So, us seo’s believe that a more comprehensive article, one which includes related topics, will rank better than an article that is very short in terms of word count, and one which doesn’t cover related subjects.

Why you shouldn’t add too much work over a short period of time

Here’s another top tip, don’t add too many blog posts all at once, or over a short period of time.

Instead, space the timing of how frequently you add blog posts to your website.

The algorithm will reward quality work

Measure

Here’s another top tip, its important to measure and evaluate how well your blog posts are working.

For example, if your blog posts are not getting many visitors, well you should look to improve the blog posts.

If you are now wondering how do you measure, and evaluate if your blog posts are getting read, you need to get a Google Analytics account.

If you haven’t got the foggiest about how Google Analytics works, then why not have a read of this blog post by Moz.

Which keywords should you be targeting?

Okay, so it’s fair to say that a lot of seo agencies write blog posts that offer advice, yet quite often they don’t tend to go into much detail.

For example, most marketing agencies would agree that good quality content marketing can help a businesses SEO. And also, that keywords need to be written, yet how should a business know which keywords will bring in the most visitors?

Well, simply put there’s loads of tools to help you. For example, a lot of seo companies use Google’s Keyword Planner.

This can help to give you some idea of which keywords you may wish to use within your businesses content marketing.

Also, Moz has a good tool also.

Don’t expect results over night

It’s important to remember this, do not expect to add a new blog post, and then see the website shoot up the rankings. It doesn’t work like this.

Many good quality articles need to be written, and added over a long period of time in order to see results.

Must have meaning

Your content marketing efforts must have a clear goal. For example, say you manufacturer glasses, yet your glasses are no ordinary glasses, they are designer glasses.

This means your content marketing efforts must be focused on targeting people that would like to purchase designer glasses.

This sounds like common sense, right? Yet if you produce content marketing that doesn’t focus on your customers, well the work will lack focus.

If it lacks focus on which customers you would like to bring to your business’s website, well your website could incur a higher bounce rate. That’s because you may well be bringing visitors to your website, which are not interested in the glasses that you manufacturer.

Attention spans

Also keep this in mind, now that we are talking about bounce rates, its important to get your writing style correct when writing blog posts.

For example, a funky marketing firm can use a writing style that’s informal, like your chatting to an old friend.

Yet, if you sell a product that’s rather serious, like for example home insurance, well your going to need to adopt a writing style that’s more formal.

This is important, as you will want to reduce your websites bounce rate, and remember that if you bore your readers, they are likely to leave your businesses website. So, think about keeping your readers interested.

Duplicated content

Do not use duplicate content, that’s work you may have copied and pasted from a competitor’s website.

The reason being is if you use duplicated content, your website will incur a penalty.

Internal backlinks

Use internal backlinks, but only when it is helpful to the reader. For example, say you were a manufacturer of a brand of car, you may wish to have an internal link to another page, which allows the reader to find a dealership that’s close to them.

Bounce rates

Aim to keep your websites bounce rates low. If you require help with this do contact a respected seo company.

External backlinks

Sometimes an author will want to include a backlink to another website, and the writer should do this occasionally.

Yet, don’t add too many backlinks, that’s because you may find that you are losing readers, as the other website may explain things a bit better?

How we can help

If your business requires help with its SEO, then why not give us a ring?