The Google No. 1 ranking myth


Summary

Monday, Monday, Monday! In today’s Monkey Monday vlog, Matt and Chris are explaining why getting to number 1 in Google isn’t as important as you might think it is. It’s a popular myth that getting your website to number 1 is the ultimate goal, but there are loads of other, much easier and more cost-effective methods to attract traffic to your site.


Here’s the overview:

  • Understanding SERPs (01:29)
  • Our tips (05:15)

We cover a lot of complex stuff in this vlog, so here are some helpful links if you find yourself wondering what we’re going on about.

And here are those online SEO tools we mention at the end:

As always, if you have any questions or comments, just stick them below and we’ll try and address them in a future vlog.

Hit subscribe for more inspiring content from the Rusty Monkey team, and leave a comment with your ideas of subjects you’d like us to tackle next.

Finally, check out our very own video page for information on how we can help you make cool vlogs and other video content.

Happy viewing!


Video transcript

Matt: Hi, I’m Matt.

Chris: And I’m Chris. And we’re from Rusty Monkey.

Matt: It’s another Monkey Monday.

Chris: It is, very much so!

Matt: And today we’re going to address that age-old problem of getting to #1 in Google. You may, as a company, have got many emails, guaranteeing you the #1 position, and maybe you think that’s a good idea yourself – there’s no harm in that. But we’re here to destroy that myth and give you some other ideas of things you can think about.

Chris: Yes, and I don’t know much about web stuff, because I’m more a designy, creative, videoy guy, so I’m going to play the role of the shopkeeper. So I want to sell the smelliest cheese.

Matt: You want to sell the smelliest cheese? What is the name of your company?

Chris: Cheesy McCheeseface?

Matt: Hmm, is it Stinkiest Cheese?

Chris: Oh yes, that’s the one. So, how do I do it? How do I get to #1 in Google, Matt?

Matt: Right, well, we would argue that you shouldn’t really worry about that too much. It’s quite an old-fashioned idea, getting to #1 organically in Google. That’s what people kind of want to do. And there’s a reason for it, because back in the day, there was lots of value in that. However, things have changed over the last few years. So, why is it not that important?


Understanding SERPs

  • Stands for search engine results position.
  • The #1 organic ranking comes below a lot of other content.

Matt: Well, it’s important to understand SERPs – which is the search engine result position – that looks a little bit like this. So, you might do a search – what are we going to search for, Chris?

Chris: What is the smelliest cheese?

Matt: What is the stinkiest cheese out there? Now, when you search for that, you might get loads of different stuff, before you even get near that #1 organic position.

1. News and social media stories

So, there might be a big news story around the stinkiest cheese. You’re in the cheese market – anything going on?

Chris: Yeah, there’s a big cheese something in Switzerland.

Matt: Switzerland! Switzerland big cheese story. Perhaps you’ve recently done a video about the smelliest cheese. Somebody’s eaten some cheese that was so stinky they’ve been sick everywhere. That could show up here. Social posts talking about the Cheese Sick Incident in Switzerland could be up here. So, Google will propagate things that it thinks you might be trying to find out about from other sources, and put them up here, around what’s sort of being termed as Google position zero.

2. Paid advertising

You’re also going to get – and these sometimes move about – your paid advertising. So, you can pay for these slots, which is good if you’re trying to connect with ‘What is the stinkiest cheese?’

3. Google Answer Bank

You’re then going to have the featured answer – the Google Answer Bank stuff and the related questions around that. So there might be an answer to ‘What is the stinkiest cheese?’ here, done by somebody. What is the stinkiest cheese?

Chris: No idea.

Matt: Stilton, let’s go with that. So there might be ‘Stilton is the smelliest cheese, and here’s a reason why.’ And then you have some related questions – ‘What is the smelliest cheese’, ‘What cheese can I use to smell great?’ … I dunno… There could be a bunch of questions there.

4. Google Knowledge Graph

You’ve got your Knowledge Graph, so if you are the stinkiest cheese company, because that’s a branded search, perhaps you might be appearing here in the Knowledge Graph. So the Knowledge Graph – so the Knowledge Graph is like a business listing. It’s got your ratings and all this other stuff down here.

5. Organic ranks

Matt: And then sort of buried under all this information, is the organic rank, and there’s a really good argument at the moment, that people should be doing something called on-site SERPs, which is actually trying to get people or get the answer to their question, the thing they’re looking for, served somewhere in this real estate, and worrying less about this ‘Can I get to #1 in Google?’ And actually, only 30% of people actually click on this #1 organic rank.

Chris: Oh, that’s a bit rubbish!

Matt: So you might be fighting really hard for something that isn’t going to bring you a massive amount of return. Maybe. Now, getting there – if you are there, that’s brilliant. There’s loads of value there. Imagine a thousand people are searching for this and you’re getting three hundred people clicking through to you – there is some real value. But this can be a really competitive place to get to, whereas these things, if you’re doing a bit of long tail stuff, may be less competitive. Have you any questions, cheese shop owner?

Chris: So yes, so this [paid advertising] would be cheaper than that [#1]?

Matt: It absolutely can be, but it’s important to understand, there’s lots of different audiences searching for different things. So, you could spend an awful lot of money on this [paid advertising] but be connecting to the wrong kind of thing. You could be spending a lot of money on this [#1] and be connecting to the wrong kind of thing. So understanding your audience is a really key thing to working out what’s going to work best for you. You might have a really niche product. Stinky cheese may be a pretty niche product – there might be not much competition, so to get you here [#1] may be less contribution, financially, than spending money on paid. So it’s important to understand what those audiences are.

Chris: So, have you got any tips?


Our tips

  • Define your audience.
  • Set your goals.
  • Be patient.
  • Measure your success.
  • Expand your horizons.

Matt: Well, this is what Google looks like, and this is what we suggest you shouldn't maybe focus too much on, so instead… let’s flip this. I was going to do that in one nice smooth action, but it would only end up on the floor. Tadaa! We need to make a little fanfare noise come on the video.

Chris: Ah, that’s good, good fanfare noise.

1. Define your audience

Matt: Yeah, thanks for that. So, answering your question. Defining your audience is really important. So you can do some things like keyword analysis, or you can talk to online marketing agencies, you can Google this stuff and find out yourself how to do the right research, how to find out what audiences are out there for you, who is looking for the stinkiest cheese, and importantly why? Once you have that information, you can then set your goals.

2. Set goals and KPIs

Matt: And you can set your KPIs in those goals. So these could be pretty complex, you might assign them to your business goals, so you wanna sell – do you sell stinky cheese?

Chris: Yeah, I’d like to sell a thousand items of stinky cheese, would that be achievable?

Matt: It would be achievable, but what we’d need to do – or what you would need to do – is work out what your goals would be to achieve those sales. So, for instance, going back to the #1 position in Google – if you know you can get there, you can look at how many people are searching for that stinky cheese, and then you’ll work out how much traffic you’d need to get, and what you’d need to convert. So your KPIs could be around domain authority, which is the measure of how important your site is – so, how well you do in your SERPs. Your KPI might be around paid. So might be ‘I wanna make sure my cost per click is less than £1 per click, so you understand what value you’re going to make. You could set a whole range of goals, but it’s important to get them and understand them.

3. Be patient

Matt: I would say as well, be patient. Calm down.

Chris: How long is this going to take?

Matt: No, calm down, be patient.

Chris: I want it now.

Matt: No! If you are looking to rank organically, or get some of that position zero stuff, you need some patience, it takes a little bit of time. You’ve got to get that domain authority – how important your website is – built up. And that’s done through lots of different ways you can market your site, getting inbound links, getting traffic, to make your site more important. And then it’s got more of a chance of answering some of those questions, or if you’re really brand-focused, getting on that Knowledge Graph. Sometimes it’s good to have a long-term strategy for organic, and use paid to supplement your audience goals as you go along.

4. Measure

Matt: And you wanna measure these things as well.

Chris: Where do you see those? Where do you see the measurements? Where do they come in?

Matt: Okay, lots of different ways you can measure as well, so an online marketing company can give you an overview of what’s going on, or you can use all of the analytics data that’s out there – so Google Analytics, online tools such as Moz, or SEMrush. You can use these tools to measure conversions, set your Google Analytics up really well, so you understand the money going in and the money coming out into sales, so that’s a really important thing.

5. Expand

Matt: And, finally, we’ve just focused on one tiny little thing here, which is this madness that you can drive yourself crazy with of getting to #1 in Google – I kinda hope we’ve demonstrated that there are other ways of connecting to audiences in Google, and that really shouldn’t be your primary concern, unless there’s a good business case for it. There are loads of different audiences available. Google’s not the only means of connecting with your audience – you can do it through all of the social media channels…

Chris: Yeah, the Facebook Smelly Cheese Group – there must be one.

Matt: Yeah, you’d think so. We’re gonna sign up for that straightaway. So there you go, I hope that’s been enlightening. If you’ve got any questions – because I’ve probably used loads of terminology I shouldn’t have used or haven’t explained – ask them, and we can try and answer those for you.

Chris: In another vlog. Lovely stuff. Thank you very much.

Matt: You’re welcome.

Chris: Goodbye.

Matt: Goodbye.


Comments

Let's work together!

Send us a message

Cancel