Getting your site performing well in organic search and ranking for the keywords that matter to your business can be a challenge. Google Search is a very competitive marketplace and over the years Google has adapted the search indexes in response to changes in search behaviour, and the consequence of this is that space once dedicated to organic results has been awarded to paid ad placements and informational boxes, making it more difficult to achieve natural organic visibility on Google Page 1.
Let’s see how Google Page 1 has changed over the years:
Google Ad Placements
We used to see Google ads in a panel on the right hand side, which meant there was a whole page of organic placements up for grabs, however now this panel has been removed, the ads are positioned at the top and bottom of the page and are taking up valuable space that was once dedicated to organic results. If you don’t rank on Page 1 organically for your target keywords, then investing in a Search Ad Campaign will give your brand immediate Page 1 visibility.
These were added a few years ago and have been adapted to allow a business to display much more information. Local listings are triggered when a user inputs a search query that is specifically searching for a local product or service, or has a geographical reference, such as the county or the town in the search phrase. These listings are displayed in a Local 3-pack which can be expanded to reveal other local businesses with pin markers to show their location on the Google Map.
You will need to create a Google My Business profile to gain visibility in the Local Listings pack. Once verified and live, you should work on optimising your profile by generating Google reviews, adding photos and video, posting articles, offers, events, showing opening times, and adding website links and contact information. Over time, your local listing will gain higher rank and could achieve one of the Top 3 positions if you commit to working on your profile regularly.
We also now sometimes see the Knowledge Panel appear for searches on businesses, which can help customers discover more about a business and easily make contact. This is great if that business happens to be yours, but if it isn’t, the amount of space left available for organic listings is reduced, making it harder to achieve the all-important Page 1 position.
The Knowledge Panel is also linked to your Google My Business profile, so it will have a chance to display if you have a GMB profile which is optimised effectively.
People Also Ask Box
Google has also recently added the ‘People Also Ask’ information box, which presents an opportunity to achieve more visibility. You have the chance of getting your content to rank here by answering questions through your website blog or pages. A good way of finding questions that need answers is to type your keyword into the search box and add ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘what, ‘where’ and see what comes up.
The questions that appear here are the most frequently asked questions. Gaining rank by answering questions is a great way to get your content in front of more eyes.
Mobile First Indexing
Mobile First Indexing was launched by Google this year. Google are wanting website owners to adapt their websites to present a good mobile user experience as research has shown that more people now search on their mobile devices than on desktops.
Many desktop sites can cause issues for mobile searchers because the content doesn’t load fast enough, readability can be poor and navigation can be difficult on a small screen. Google continues to have a single index, however, for those that have a separate mobile site or have adapted their desktop site to be mobile-friendly and mobile responsive will gain prominence in search on mobile devices over those that haven’t.
Get a FREE Website Audit
If your site is not performing well in Google, we can help. A Website Audit will identify any issues that may be holding your site back in search. Get a FREE Website Audit Today >>
Whizz Marketing is a Google Partner Agency and offers SEO and Marketing Services to businesses across the UK. Find out more at whizzmarketing.co.uk