Page rank in Google's search queries is a critical component of driving organic Web traffic, but climbing those page rankings has never been harder. Competition for the space is fierce, and as Google further limits the space it's become even fiercer. By monetizing search results and increasing the number of paid ads appearing above an organic search query, the search engine giant has shrunk the available search engine results page (SERP) space. The message to brands? If you want to be found online, you'd better dominate your search engine optimization (SEO) or you'll end up paying for the exposure.
Paid search is a viable strategy, but it's best paired with organic traffic, and any unpaid search traffic only comes when brand content is performing well and elevating the brand's presence into the most prominent search ranks.
However, it's easier said than done. Here are the top digital marketing tasks for ranking at the top of SERPs.
Pump Up the Content
Content is the foundation of an excellent page rank, and it's importance will only continue to grow. Content also involves a lot of related tasks that need to be executed well for the content to excel. Creating great, compelling content is just the first step. You also want to create as much volume as you can while still providing relevant, high quality and useful information. This will increase your opportunities to draw organic traffic while expanding your digital footprint.
Don't forget the basic principles of SEO, which directly affect content's reach. Focus on building a strong, well-informed keyword strategy to help your content find consumers running relevant organic searches.
Manage Your Listings and Put Google First
Online business directories remain valuable in providing a stable brand presence, both online and for brick-and-mortar stores, yet many of these listings can potentially offer inaccurate information that could hurt a business hoping to be found online by new customers. In turn, this misinformation could interfere with the directories' role in SEO.
Brands should go through these listings to periodically make sure information is correct, fixing any errors along the way. Start with Google. Its own business listings have the greatest impact on your SEO and page ranking, and they're a big source of consumer activity, even outside these functions.
Follow the Rules
Google has an intensive list of qualities it measures for every single website, and a failure to comply with its recommendations can ding your ranking in its mysterious algorithm. With SERP space gradually shrinking, these rules can't be dismissed. Brands need to adhere to major guidelines, such as the need for a responsive website, ensuring page load speeds aren't dragging down the online experience, while making sure even minor guidelines are followed.
Even the smallest recommendations from Google can have tiny, cumulative effects on your page rank that could produce a noticeable different in the amount of traffic you draw. Check out Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for some basic guidelines to accomplish this task.
SERPs are as important as ever, but climbing into the best real estate requires commitment and hard work in the short term and through the long run. Be mindful of this uphill battle and do everything you can to be found online through hard-earned organic traffic.