Can you buy your way to the first page of Google search results, or even the first position?
I get cold calls regularly from people who claim they can do just that for a small recurring fee. Sounds intriguing. But is there any truth to it? (Ranking first for your company name doesn’t really count.)
There obviously is a way to get listed first in Google search for money. It’s called Google Ads (formerly Adwords). That’s the paid advertisements that you see at the top of your Google search results. If you’re willing to pay the highest price per click for your chosen keywords and your website is deemed relevant and useful to users by the Google search algorithm, then you have a pretty good chance of being able to snag the first position in the search results.
Being at the top of the page could equal a big payoff, or it could wipe out your bank account. It all depends on how much you stand to earn per sale and how big your ad budget is. But clearly, buying that top paid position for the right price is a pretty good possibility.
But how about organic search?
Can you buy your way to the top of the Google organic search results?
The simple answer is no.
Google doesn’t sell positions in organic search results. They wouldn’t be very “organic” if you could buy them, would they?
The way to climb the ladder to the top of organic search results is via SEO – search engine optimization – which according to Google is a combination of lots of factors with the main one being superior content that gives value to the reader along with an awesome user experience. And lots of high quality links that point to your content pages.
Can money buy great content and SEO?
It sure can.
With the right budget you can hire writers to create a steady stream of new content around your keywords. You can also hire a marketing team to share that content on social media and anywhere else your target prospects might be. They can form relationships with influential bloggers who might then let you publish a guest post or 2 and reach a new, huge target audience.
Large companies have the resources to do all of that and more. Many of them are. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t compete in your own niche, as long as you can refine the parameters of that niche. You probably won’t be able to compete for a keyword like “shoes”, but you do have a good chance of competing for “shoes in Smithtown, PA” (insert your own town, county, area, zipcode etc).
No matter how narrow you target, you still need good, optimized content on your website or blog to get Google’s attention and love. You also need to share that content to spread the word and possibly get inbound links. If you can do all of that on your own or in-house, go for it!
Most small and midsized business don’t have the expertise in-house, and they aren’t willing or able to invest in full time talent. That’s where digital marketing agencies come in. We can create your content, do your SEO and social media marketing for much less than it would cost you to do it in-house.
So, can you buy your way to the first page in Google? By investing in superior content, SEO and social media marketing, you’ve got a good fighting chance.