Google’s top 10 search results MATTER!
So you’d like to improve your SEO Google (search engine optimization) ranking? In a 2013 study, Chitika found that 91.5% of traffic went to websites on page 1 of Google search results. Page 2 claimed 3.8% of the traffic while page 3 had only 1.1%. Pages 4-10 each got less than .4%.
In fact, the first website listed in the Google search results can expect on average to get 32.5% of overall search traffic. The results for the top 10 are as follows:
You always knew that ranking highly in Google matters; now you know how much it matters. For example, if you rank number 1 for a keyword with a monthly search volume of 1000 searches you can expect 325 visitors per month from Google search alone. On the other hand, if you rank 10th, you can expect organic search traffic of 24 visitors per month. #math
SEO Google ranking factors are broken down into 5 major categories:
- User Experience
- Social Signals
Over the next week few weeks I’ll discuss each category in more detail. In this post, I cover Content.
What makes a website rank in the top 10 Google search results?
You’d think that it’s just one of those mysterious life questions… Luckily we can thank the good folks over at Searchmetrics for crunching some numbers. For their 2015 study, the good Searchmetrics folks analyzed the top 30 search results based upon a set of 10,000 keywords.
By reverse engineering Google search results, the outcome is a list of ranking factors. This list is not complete. I’ve broken down some major components, starting with content.
SEO Google Ranking Factor: Relevant Terms
Relevant terms are words found on your post/page which are related to the primary keyword. Or, in other words, the number of relevant terms present in your text similar to the original search terms.
If somebody Googles “SEO,” and my website shows up – how many words related to SEO appear on my page? These could be words like search engine optimization, search results, etc.
According to the data, the top 10 Google search results had a 53% proportion between keyword and relevant terms. Roughly the same amount of relevant terms were used as were the number of keywords.
Write about your topic naturally. By naturally writing about your topic, you will use relevant terms. Don’t feel like you have to stuff your writing with your keywords.
SEO Google Ranking Factor: Word Count
According to Searchmetrics, the average page in the top 10 Google search results contained a word count of 1,285. On average, the top 30 pages had around 1,140 words.
Google wants the internet to be full of high-quality information. In quantifiable terms, this means about 1300 words.
Aim to write longer, more substantial blog posts. The data tells us the top 10 results are in the 1100-1300 word range. However, it’s hard to produce that volume on a consistent basis. My recommendation is to aim for at least 500-600 words with a lengthy 1300 word piece every month or two.
RANDOM SEO Google Ranking Factor:
Flesch Readability Score
The Flesch Readability Score is a basic measure of how difficult something is to read. Websites in the top 10 Google search results have a Flesch score of 76.19. Sites in the top 30 have a score of 75.97. A readability score of 76.19 equates to a 7th grade reading level. Google has decided that on average, the web should be consumed at a 7th grade reading level. This of course, greatly depends on the subject matter. Therefore, academic sites will have a higher average reading level.
Keep your writing straightforward. Somewhere along the way we got the impression that using big words and long sentences made us sound smart. Google disagrees.
The copy score for this post is 75.7. So it’s in the 7th grade range.
Google serves as the Yoda of the world wide web, guiding us to create a web that is both informational and substantiated. A web whose information is backed up by sources and social proof. It makes perfect sense! In the early days, some of us remember searching for information on Lycos, and Infoseek, looking for our search terms. Then, one day Google came along and made the other search engines obsolete. Simply because Google gave us better search results. Google gave us what we were looking for.
As Google continues its mission to sort through Earth’s largest information warehouse, it’s important for us to learn what Google views as important. That way, we can do our part and contribute our own high quality content to the world. And, in doing so be discovered by people looking for answers to questions we happily provide.