Unconventional ways to get to the top of Google
Reaching the top of Google is a holy grail for many companies, as it can bring a huge, sustainable flow of organic traffic to your site. However, ranking at the top of traditional search results may take considerable time and effort, plus it is very competitive. In this article, we discuss several new ways to show up at the top of Google, and how to leverage these to your advantage.
Standard search results.
First of all, let's touch on the traditional way of ranking on Google, which is through standard search results. These are the results that show up whenever someone conducts a search on Google. Getting to the top of these results requires a solid SEO strategy. It takes time and persistence to move up the ranks, especially if your niche is competitive and you are fairly new, but it'll be very worthwhile once you reach the top.
Have you ever searched for a question and had Google suggest you an 'answer', as well as related questions? By default, these answers are located at or near the top, so having your page featured as an answer would instantly boost your page to the top, above traditional search results. Needless to say, this is a super valuable location to aim for.
Start by researching what questions are relevant to your business. Search for these questions on Google to see if there's a featured snippet (not all questions will have featured snippets). Click into the answers and look at the content - this gives you a sense of what Google is choosing to promote. Once you've narrowed down the questions you'd like to target, create an informative page with the exact question as the page title. Avoid selling or promoting anything on the page, as Google tends to choose informational, educational pages as featured snippets. Keep adding high quality backlinks to this page to maximize the likelihood of Google promoting your page as a featured snippet.
Another way to show up on the first page of Google besides traditional search results is via local business listings. This works best if you have a physical location and would like to attract mostly local traffic. If that's the case, set up a Google My Business and optimize your keywords and content towards your local audience. Whenever possible, ask your clients to rate and review your business on Google to improve your local authority score.
The final way to show up on top of Google is via video. For certain search queries, again often informational queries, Google might suggest a video at the top of its search results. Optimise the thumbnail of your video to ensure a high CTR, but don't forget to also make the content as engaging and relevant as possible. CTR and watch time are important factors for the Google algorithm. As with featured snippets, be sure to keep adding backlinks to your video in order to improve its authority.
Traditionally, SEO strategies were designed to increase your rankings in Google's search results. Now, you can leverage alternative ways to overtake these search results and show up at the top of Google. Remember that content and authority are key to increasing the chances of Google promoting your page to the top.
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