How hard is it to rank on Google? | Ask The Experts

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 26, 2013: Businessman holding a signboard with the Google Web Search homepage

Over time an increasing number of students are choosing careers in advertising. There is a number of trends in the industry – costs of advertising going through the roof, an increasing number of businesses consider SEO as their main option for Lead Generation online. We wanted to get an expert opinion so we sat down with Sasha Matviienko – Director of Digital at growth360 – internet marketing agency in Toronto.


Sasha, how long does it take to rank on Google?

The honest answer is – it depends. It really does. Imagine a scenario where you are competing against a major player – for example, a bank or a news website or a bank. These are old, well-known websites with millions of traffic and millions of backlinks. If you never did an SEO on your end, it will be really hard for you to rank for an area like Toronto. 


Ranking for an area like this may take years.


Are there any exceptions?


Of course. There is a number of workarounds you can benefit from!


Imagine you are an advertising agency. You offer a number of services – you design websites, you offer SEO services and perhaps do online advertising.


Most companies on the market go after the most competitive opportunities, for example, “Toronto SEO” keyword. However, with millions of people living in the city, the competition is too high for you to rank fast for a keyword like this. 


You may want to go after more specific opportunities – these will be easier to rank for and may be more useful for your business.


Here is a couple of examples:

  • Going after smaller local towns – instead of ranking for a multi-million city, consider ranking for a town nearby, for example, areas close by the major city – Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Vaughan or Barrie. 

  • Or perhaps, consider being more specific with the service – for example, maybe your business services specific categories of clients for example – eCommerce, Construction companies, or Small Businesses?


This approach can be repeated for almost any business you run. Let’s say instead of services, your company offers products, for example, Security Cameras. While targeting by location and by business type will work here as well, another useful opportunity is to go after specific brands that your business works with.

How about the main pages on the website?

As for the main service pages, we recommend going after the major city opportunities. This makes sense because, from our experience, most of the prospects who visit a service page that is targeting a major area will assume that you also service smaller towns close by. Plus, the pages you list in the website header, tend to attract more attention and more links. Going back to our security camera and network cabling business, this is a perfect example of a page targeting a primary area – Network Cabling Toronto.


Building pages is hard, and building good pages is even harder. So the chances are that many of your competitors don’t even have a page for something niche – be it a town or s very specific service. 


The trick is to identify the right pages and approach them in the right way. 


You need to know if there is enough volume of searches to make your time investment effective and can you compete for this page?


That’s what we call – prioritizing pages on impact vs effort.


So if you build the right page, it will rank #1 right away?


In some cases, it will rank on positions one through five or on the first page relatively quickly.


In others, it may take a little bit longer in order to get to the very first position. However, if you chose the right page, it will start generating ROI relatively quickly. This will accelerate over time, so you will have more traffic, more Leads and more Revenue coming in from that page.


Not bad for a relatively small investment!

Not bad indeed, now multiply this by five, ten or a hundred and you’ll have a solid lead flow for your business. 


SEO is one of the best ROI channels long-term and now you know why. 


About Sasha Matviienko

Sasha is a recognized Digital Marketing expert. For the past 10 years he’s been helping businesses generate revenue online. Working with a range of clients – from startups & small local businesses to Fortune 100 brands. His background in SEO, Online Advertising & Web Development allows him to design comprehensive strategies that accomplish one objective – generate more Revenue for his clients online.


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