Have you ever been approached by a web design agency or SEO expert and they guarantee that they can rank your website on the first page of Google? Have you also been promised something like 20 keywords will also rank on the top page of Google?
If you have experienced such guarantees of high ranking - caveat emptor! Beware and avoid that agency. The simple fact is that nobody can validly make such promises truthfully.
If you need confirmation that the statements about guaranteeing #1 ranking on Google cannot be carried through, you need look no further than Google themselves. In their Helpful Guidelines section, Google explicitly states:
"Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever."
Why Can High Rankings Not be Guaranteed?
The Internet and its technology are fast moving entities. There will always be something new turning up and which will be added to the mix. There are many different reasons why high ranking cannot be guaranteed. Amongst these are:
- Google algorithms are updated and changed regularly.
- Local search results will affect what is displayed to users depending upon their location.
- Your competitiors may have "upped their game" and consequently be ranking higher than you.
- Your own SEO may not have been as productive and on the ball as in the past.
Google's algorithms are the one huge unknown to everyone trying to rank websites highly. Just one update can knock your website down the rankings and leave you wondering why this has happened. This scenario happened in the summer of 2018 when the medical sector, in particularly, was heavily affected. The algorithm was changed to place "authority" on medical matters. This meant that websites promoting alternative therapies and treatments often saw their rankings drop inexplicably overnight, whilst previously poor ranking mainstream medical websites rose in their rankings. In short, it seems that Google cross-references the blog or post's authors and business to the content of the post. If the person's qualifications and the nature of their business do not solidly integrate with the product or service being promoted, it is likely that the post will not rank well.
Beware Of Keyword Ranking Promises
Another area where we advise caution is where an agency promises to rank your website highly for 20 or 30 keywords, for example. Much like raking the overall website, keyword ranking is not something which can be guaranteed - especially if the keywords are competitive ones.
The promise of keyword ranking is often a sleight of hand. The agency giving you the guarantee will normally have researched keywords which have little or no competition and are therefore likely to rank highly. HOWEVER, those keywords may have no practical relevance to your service or product and despite ranking well, will bring you no benefit, as they are keywords which will not actively be searched for and will not result in click-throughs to your website.
Always check what the "promised" keywords are and evaluate their relevance to your business before accepting them.
Rankings or Click-Throughs?
Rankings are usually spoken of as the Holy Grail of SEO. However, have a think about this question - what use is it to rank highly, if you get no click-throughs to your website?
Yes, that's right! Ranking well is one thing, but what you really WANT TO ACHIEVE by ranking well is that you receive streams of visitors to your website. Therefore, surely it is better to rank a touch lower for an important keyword - and receive click-throughs - than to rank top for keywords which are irrelevant to your business and lead to no click-throughs. Have a think about that question next time you are "guaranteed" high search result rankings.
How To Get Your Website Ranking Well
Making guarantees about getting #1 ranking in the search results are not to be trusted, but there are tried and trusted methods to ensure that your website ranks as highly AS POSSIBLE.
Tasks you need to be aware of and implement, either yourself, or through your SEO specialist are:
- Optimising each page and post on the website for the keywords you want that page to rank. Try to keep a primary topic per page to help they keywords be picked up.
- Optimise the ALT Tags, filename and any other back-end settings of your image files to rank for the keyword on the page the image is to be used on.
- Where suitable, use well-optimised YouTube videos embedded into your page. This will help you enhance the visibility of YouTube.
- Engage with trusted forums, online directories and other spaces where you can post with authority and link back to your own website. This will help provide high quality backlinks to your website.
- Use social media to your best advantage to drive traffic to your own website.
A good web design agency or SEO specialist will employ all of the above and many other tricks of the trade to help you rank your website as highly as possible, but always be aware that rankings can never be guaranteed!
Implementing SEO well is a time-consuming and ongoing task. Specialist tools, such as Market Samurai and Google Keyword Tool, amongst others, can help choose high quality, low competition keywords. Cotswold Websites are experienced in helping organisations with their SEO and Internet Marketing. We would be delighted to hear from you if you are looking for help in improving your SEO, or general online visibility.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a background in international logistics and business analysis, Christopher uses his business experience to advise organisations how their website can and should work for them, along with helping them implement business strategies to use Digital Marketing techniques to boost their public exposure.