Search engine rankings are determined by the search engine’s (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) algorithm. The algorithm used for a search engine to populate results is based on several factors, the primary being the keywords the user typed in. The best way for people to find your business online via a search engine is by appearing on the first page of results.

First Page of Google

In the early days, getting a website to rank on the first page of Google or another search engine was simpler. The formula was quickly exploited and those sites who participated in keyword stuffing were penalized. This was the point I started to learn about ethical search engine ranking practices. It was clear that Google took spam very seriously from the beginning.

Ranking of the first page of Google is a common goal for many industries. As Google has grown and adapted to consumer needs, ranking on the first page of Google locally has changed how search engine experts approach their work. This is because when you get online to search for something locally, Google factors in your location based on your internet service provider. Sometimes it may populate a nearby city because of this.

The Only Way to Guarantee the First Page of Google Results

This is achieved through Google via one of their pay per click services. While several of our clients are found on the first page of Google organically, we would not advertise that we guarantee it as a search engine optimization service. The truth is that only Google can guarantee those results. We simply do our best based on our experience and interpretation of the information released by Google to achieve these results.

Why Do Search Engine Rankings Matter?

While we may turn to family or friends for a recommendation here are there, 81% of people report searching online for a product or service. Google dominates the market share of search engines with an average market share of over 70%, whereas they averaged 75% in 2019. (Accessed January 26, 2020, published September 03, 2020)

If you want people to find your business, search engine rankings matter. Your business can show up in several spots on any search engine. We’ll reference the first page of Google because it is the most popular. On Google, your top results will be pay per click advertisements.

If you are an industry that offers home services, you may qualify for Local Service Ads(LSA). LSA is a newer advertising platform from Google that guarantees your services to the consumer. You’ll go through a rigorous verification process (call 330-247-1389 for assistance) and with approval, you’ll unlock a new level advertising service. These verified ads build trust with potential customers before they call you.

The next area of first page results are the traditional Google pay per click (PPC) ads. PPC boast several features to entice users to click and learn more. This is where companies can blow through their budgets. PPC ads are great, but that is only part of the game. Your actively bidding against other advertisers for keywords. Furthermore, Google calculates how much people convert and engage with your ad in determining how much they show your ad.

The next area of results are considered organic results. Meaning that the company is not paying for that position per se.

Depending on what you are searching, you may find MAP listings next in the results. Map listings are configured through your Google My Business profile. While you cannot control where Google lists you in those results, you can properly optimize your profile to ensure you show up in them when someone is searching in or about your service area.

You may also find video, news, or Tweet results depending on the type of information you are searching for. The videos are typically from YouTube (owned by Google). Adding YouTube to your social media strategy is an excellent resource in search engine rankings for this reason.

Then you will find your organic web page results. When paid advertisements were first introduced by Google, the average consumer still scrolled past them and headed to these results. A lot has changed on the first page of Google since those days, but overall search engine rankings in this area are still very important. And once you are ranking in results, it’s not easy to maintain. That’s because Google cares that people go to your content and get something from it.

Over time if people are hopping off your page quickly, or another page is cited more than yours: you’ll lose your position. It’s normal and natural for pages to climb and fall, especially with changes to search engine optimization best practices.

How Much Does It Cost to Rank On Search Engines?

That depends entirely on your goals, industry, and competition. The best bang for your buck is always search engine optimization because you gain more traffic over time. It’s the only service that tends to drive the cost of traffic down over time. Plus, any professional search engine optimization plan is going to give you traffic insights which help steer your digital strategy.

One the low end, a localized search engine optimization plan is going to cost at least $250. It’s important to understand what you receive for the amount as well. If you really want to rank well locally, at least $500. And for national results you can anticipate spending between $1,000 and $3,000. This is because true search engine optimization revolves around content and building relationships with other websites to acquire links. A lot has changed in the way links are acquired, many purchased to ensure they come from credible and ethical practices.

Way back when phone books were the way we looked up business contact information, companies would spend thousands of dollars per month to be featured in those books. At least with digital, the lead volumes are higher and they provide additional insights for your business whereas phonebooks you were paying for paper, delivery, and a heck of lot overhead. With search engine optimization, you’re getting labor and creative content generated to improve your visibility across the web.

Now that most everyone has a website, there is a lot of competition to generate business online. The great news is that you can spend no money and show up in search results if you have a niche company. While businesses like this still benefit from light search engine optimization efforts such as digital accuracy. Digital accuracy management ensures that your business information is updated correctly across online directories such as YellowPages or Dex Knows!
When you work with an agency, you’ll be able to determine what kind of return you are getting for your marketing investment.

Speak with a Professional

Many businesses do not have the time to keep up with the rapidly changing pace of the internet. Working with a professional company is a great way to make sure that your marketing is working for you. Search engine rankings are a huge factor in this. Understanding that there is more than one way to rank in a search engine is the key to generating the most business for your efforts.