#1 in Google Search Results!!
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
#1 in Google search results! Let me say that one more time because I'm excited.
I periodically check on my Florida client's website, gardenofestherpasta.com, to see how it's doing in the never-ending quest to rank well in Google search results.
In fact, as you may have gleaned from the title, it's now appearing as the #1 result.
I’d like to say I was calm and matter-of-fact when I figured this out, but no. I may have whooped and jumped out of my chair fist-pumping (not a good look for me). I have attained the Holy Grail of website design – landed my client in the number one slot! I am a wizard! A genius! An SEO ninja!
And then I stopped all that nonsense and got down to business. What, exactly, had happened to get her to the top result? Let’s do a little case study.
Garden of Esther was founded in June 2018. Esther makes fresh pasta and sells it at farmers markets in her hometown of Vero Beach, Florida, and wholesales it to area restaurants as well. By the time I’d met her in December of 2018, she’d amassed several hundred Facebook followers on her business page and was growing very rapidly. She had a barebones website she did herself but had already outgrown. She is a young, aggressive, go-getter entrepreneur and she lives and breathes her business 24/7. We launched her new website in late January 2019.
A little over two months later, Esther’s site was in the top 10 for what I would describe as “reasonable search terms” aka – if you were a normal person seeking a product like hers without knowing about her, what would you type into the search bar? Since that time, she's been steadily creeping up the results pages and today - boom! - a bunch of #1 slots.
I’d love to say that it was all me. But let’s be realistic. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was likely a combination of two categories of effort: stuff I did, and stuff she did.
What did I do?
- Created an attractive, organized, easily-navigated website and made sure Google indexed it (aka knew it was there).
- Wrote copy for the site that accurately described her products, including photo tags.
- Published over 160 blog posts since the site launched.
- Made sure her site was attractive on mobile devices, since increasing numbers of people are using their phones more than their laptops.
- And I regularly update her site to make sure it accurately reflects her products and their availability.
What did she do (and is still doing)?
- Decided to sell a product in an area with little or no competition.
- Consistently showed up and sold something people wanted.
- Grew her Facebook audience, which generated engaged customers.
- Created a Google business page, with reviews.
- Is out in her community participating in its life – going to events, forming relationships with other local businesses, etc.
- Constantly provides me with material – photos and descriptions - to put in her blog, including links to those other local businesses.
Technically speaking, no one knows precisely how Google delivers its search results. But there are some very smart people making some very educated guesses and this is what they believe Google likes best:
1. Sites that provide true value to visitors, as demonstrated by easy, logical navigation, and with new content being added frequently and consistently.
2. Sites that other sites link to, as demonstrated by “backlinks.”
3. Sites that provide internal as well as external links.
4. Sites that have been around for a while, aka not brand new.
5. Sites that are mobile-friendly.
#1 is primarily my job, but – and I can’t stress this enough – I can’t DO that job if my client doesn’t provide information. I can write rather well, but I can’t (or won’t) create content out of thin air. Esther and I exchange information several times a week, usually just quick texts or Facebook messages, and that makes a world of difference.
# 2 is a tricky one, since you can't do it yourself but must rely on others to do it for you. There are free sites/tools (you can find one here) that can tell you who links to your site (way cooler than asking everyone you know if they've linked their site to yours). Right now Esther's site has approximately two others linking to her, other than me. Aka, virtually none.
# 3 is also primarily my job because I’m the one putting the words and images onto the website and the blog, but again, I’m not a mind-reader. I don’t know who Esther is creating relationships with – and who she wants to link to as a result – if she doesn’t tell me. But she is terrific about forging and nurturing these connections and that makes this part relatively easy for me.
# 4 is obviously out of our control, but with each passing day that her site exists and remains current and valuable, it will be more appealing to Google search engines.
# 5 is pretty much me. In this day and age, people are using their phones more than their computers, and with that comes the expectation that EVERY website is not only mobile-friendly but also just plain mobile-wonderful. Remember a few years ago when you might visit a new site on your phone and then realize – oh, they aren’t set up for looking from phones? Now that’s about as acceptable as wearing hoop skirts. Plus Google likes mobile-friendly sites better, so if your site doesn't really work on mobile devices, Google won't show it to searchers.
So what have we learned? The question we started with was – how did we get Garden of Esther onto the first page of Google results? Now we know:
If you, the business owner, remain energized about your business, and you share that engagement with your website designer, miracles can happen. Your hard work on the ground, coupled with a website designer who is as excited about your success as you are, can yield fantastic results. Does it have to be a female web designers working with women entrepreneurs? No . . . but I like to think that helped create this level of success.
Like page one of Google results.