The two faces of Google – how to be found on search engines

We're often asked the question: "how do I do better on Google". In this post I talk about 2 two pronged answer that I generally give. In short: Google Adwords and Content Marketing. Enjoy reading!

Content Marketing | WordPress SEO

Often when we are building a new WordPress site, somewhere in the throws of the process we’ll be asked “so when it’s online, how do we get onto the front page of Google?”

Fair enough question too.

There’s no point in doing all the work that’s entailed in launching a website only to find no-one can find you.

In this post, I’m going to cover two of the most common answers to the question. Keep reading though as toward the bottom I’ll also discuss how the two ideas can be used together.

There’s not a one size fit’s all answer to the question but usually the advice covers these two main ideas.

Google Adwords

If you really want to get on the front page of Google, now, you need to consider Google Adwords. I’m sure you’ve seen these ads, they are displayed as the first three listings on a search result page and then another group of ads will be displayed down the right hand sidebar of the page. See below for a screenshot the items with the yellow “ad” next to them are just that.


Adwords works by charging the advertiser (you) a small fee every time someone clicks on your ad. The system is also known as PPC or Pay Per Click. The fee depends on the keywords that you use and how much competition there is for those words. In your ads you specify which keyword you would like to buy and then bid on those words.

Measure your success

To be successful using Google Adwords you need to engage someone to setup the accounts, the ads and the campaign. Best practice is also put in place a system to measuring the results of the campaign. Track the number of visitors that are coming into your site, how many of them are doing something (that might be; making a purchase, sending an equity or perhaps signing up for a newsletter) and then form a view on the financial success of what you’re doing.

You need to know, that if you’re spending $200 exactly what kind of return you’re getting

Chances are, most of the tools for this you already have in place. Google Adwords, we set that up for every site that we build and Gravity Forms is our weapon of choice for building and tracking forms and enquiries in WordPress.

In short, using Google Adwords you can get traffic from Google almost immediately. It does pay to plan a little and definitely understand what you’re trying to achieve.

Oh you’ll need a budget to spend on the ads.

Content Marketing

An alternative approach is content marketing. I’ll say alternative for the moment but below, there’s a good argument for considering both of these options together for a time.

Content Marketing is mostly about blogging. Adding fresh, new, keyword rich, relevant content to your website. Regularly.

If Adwords is the hare in this story content marketing is the turtle

Google loves to see regular new content on a website. Outside Google not many know how the ranking algorithms work but one thing for sure is that sites that always have new content do better than those that do not.

Read more about content marketing in this post: Content Marketing for the uninitiated

Using both strategies together

Good Adwords is a quick fix, you can opt to buy keywords and be visible on Google now. Content marketing is something that is going to take time. For a new website you could choose to use both strategies together. The idea being that Adwords will get you a result now while you work your way up the natural search results by producing a lot of content on your site.

Adwords costs you money, content marketing costs you time

Of course time also costs you money, but if you learn the basics of content marketing this is something that many website owners or marketing teams can do themselves. The ultimate goal is that your natural search results will get to the point where they are doing so well that you can turn off the Google Adwords spend.

Just last week I reached this point with a client that we work with on an ongoing basis. Doing a Google search for many of their keywords resulted in the Adwords ad showing up first and then their natural result showing up directly below it; at placement number 1.

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