Google Page 1

Page 1 on Google – is it possible anymore?

How many times have you heard the phrase – ‘we need to get on page 1 of Google!’ in your business circle? We hear it a lot. Sometimes we hear it from Marketing Managers, though most often we hear it from senior managers like CEO’s and GM’s who are sitting in on a Marketing strategy meeting or fresh from a Board Meeting where ‘online’ and fierce competition in the marketplace was a hot topic.

The simple answer to the article title is yes of course we can get you on Page 1 of Google. That’s actually relatively easy. The harder bits are answering questions like the ones we pose below!


What do you want to be on Page 1 for?

Lets get specific here. It’s important! Lets say you run a building company in Brisbane. First instinct may be to try and get on page 1 for the search term ‘Brisbane builder’. Sounds reasonable right? Lets break it down a little more. Lets say you get on page 1. Woohoo – let the customers flow! Not so fast though. You start getting lots of calls about small repairs and odd jobs – umm not what you wanted. If you are in fact a commercial builder, a builder who specialises in new home builds or perhaps a builder who restores old homes, then being on page 1 for a generic term like 'Brisbane builder’ does not in fact attract the correct type of enquiry for you. Without specific goals around what you want to be on Page 1 for – you will run the high risk of generating high volumes of the wrong type of enquiry. That’s bad.


How do you want to get there?  

There are a number of ways that ‘Page 1’ can be achieved. Fast or slow. Short Term or Long Term. We can help get clients on Page 1 almost immediately with an advertising plan across Google, Facebook, Twitter and lots of other Social platforms. This approach is short term for your brand. As soon as you stop advertising, you will disappear from Page 1. Sounds harsh doesn’t it! The other way to get to Page 1 is long-term effort for Organic Search results. There are no paid ads with this approach, however building shareable content (articles, videos, infographics) is key. The upside is that once a high page rank is achieved it has long lasting potential. It will not vanish overnight and the more people using your website the more likely you are at retaining Page 1 status. It becomes kind of self-feeding. But you need to be very patient and persistent to get there. It takes time and resources to create quality content and it needs to be aligned with your intended audience and business goals.


What is your budget? 

A serious questions that some find uncomfortable. However it’s crucial for clients to understand that these activities are central to your marketing strategy, not an afterthought. Whilst some campaigns can be executed for under $1k per month, typically micro to small businesses are spending $3-8k per month for the first 6 months to establish their online presences before reducing spend to $2-4k per month once the plan is in place and running smoothly. This type of spend buys you content creation, backlinking efforts, strategic planning, exposure on social channels, ad creation, ad testing and more. One of the first questions we pose to clients (and then help them answer) is this – is online the best way to spend your money? Sometimes it will be definitely the best way to go. Other times we should consider the best mix of online and traditional marketing channels, their relative cost, return on spend and of course how we can best meet their orgainsational goals with the budget they can provide. There is no one perfect answer, rather an ongoing effort and refinement of strategy, evaluation and tweaking.


What is the purpose of getting to page 1? 

The same people who say they need to be on Page 1 often cannot tell you why, except for some vague generalisation about getting ‘found’.  Lets get specific once again. What is the point of being on Page 1 unless it is to translate into specific and measurable business goals and marketing strategy? Lets look at our builder example from point 1 again. Achieving Page 1 for ‘Brisbane builder’ may have a positive affect on his business. If it did it would be dumb-luck in our opinion. More than likely the amount of noise this could generate to his business would be a distraction form what he really wants – pre-qualified potential clients. For what? Lets say this builder was based in inner south area of Brisbane and specialised in renovating old Queenslander style timber buildings. This is a specialised area of the building profession, where the average spend is $400, 000 plus and the average time to complete a renovation is 6-12 months. In this case the builder does not want to field calls from people interested in a repair job on their brick home on the Northside. They probably only intend to spend $4-5k. It’s not worth his time let alone the effort of being on Page 1 for ‘Brisbane builder’ is it? Imagine if instead the efforts were put into search terms like Queenslander Restoration Specialist, Brisbane South Restorations, even quality home restorations and building. Ranking well for these more precise terms are far more likely to deliver pre-qualified audiences to his website. The key is matching what people are looking for with search terms that provide quality traffic, not volume of traffic. We would rather deliver one person per day to a website that is genuinely interested than 100 people per day who will waste your time. Kapeesh?


What do you expect to happen when you are on page 1? 

Traffic, even qualified traffic does not equal sales. In fact depending on how well known your brand is, the goals should often be shifted away from making a sale and more towards capturing interest, providing education and then towards building trust and loyalty. The ‘sale’ will come after that. Just like in real life, most people need to be comfortable with the person or company they are dealing with. When someone visits your website for the first time it is important to have the website layout in such a way that you are encouraging them to take an action that you want. For example the Builder is not going to have someone see his website then order a renovation. But instead the client may be willing to receive newsletters, follow on social media, chat to a consultant or accept an invitation to visit a showroom. All these things are crucial in the path towards making that ‘sale’ and the website should be put together in a way that makes those activities easy to find, and easy to say yes to.


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