The Ultimate Guide To Ranking Well

by · August 15, 201214 comments

Jump into a search engine and look for the phrase, “how to rank well in search engines.” In Google, I get 88 million results. Now look for the phrase, “how to get content seen on Facebook.” I get 5.1 billion (with a “b”) results.

Ranking well, whether it’s in a search engine or in Facebook’s mysterious Edgerank algorithm, is critical to the success of many brand’s online activities. The better you rank, the more you’re seen. The more you’re seen, the more clicks, conversions and so on. It’s not the only way you can be successful online, but it is probably the most impactful determinant of online success.

For the last decade or so, many an expert has emerged to teach us how to rank well in search engines. Respected thought leaders like Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishkin and the like have built businesses and careers out of it.

We’re probably entering a time in the maturation of digital marketing when new experts will emerge to help you figure out the same ranking problem for Facebook. Folks like Jeff Widman and Dennis Yu are already making names for themselves in the “figuring out Facebook” realm. And we’re all better marketers for paying attention to them.

And while the advice of the above and many others in how to rank well on search engines and on Facebook is mostly sound, trusted advice, there’s one glaring gap in all this rank rancor. For you really and truly only need to do one thing to rank well on either platform:

Write amazing content

If you write amazing content, people will link to you. If you write amazing content, people will share it. If you write amazing content, people will comment on it. If you write amazing content, people will visit it.

Yes, you need to know all that other stuff, too. But the hard part of all this is that writing amazing content is not easy. Everything you write won’t be amazing. Everything you write won’t get attention … or links … or traffic. So having some technical tricks up your sleeve can help on those days when the content isn’t amazing, or the world is busy paying attention to something else.

But let’s not get lost in the busy-ness of SEO and Edgerank too much. Spend half the time you’ve spent studying ways to game the system and just produce content that games it for you.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Amy Fowler

    I agree with the premise of your article, but ‘great content’ that people will link to doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘written’ content. I think ‘create amazing content’ sums it up better than ‘write amazing content’…………

    • http://twitter.com/chrishall85 Chris Hall

      That’s semantics, though, Amy. It means the same thing.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      That’s fair. Great content can be visual, video, applications, etc. But I’m a writer. So there. Heh.

  • http://twitter.com/OpEdMarketing Op Ed Marketing

    Agree with both the article and the comment about creating any kind of valuable content.  And if it’s a video, do what Rand does over at SEOMoz: transcribe it for the Search Engines :)

  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Thanks, Jason. I was nervous that you were going to write a long how-to post. Yes, it really is as simple as writing great content!

    I started my site less than a year ago. I am no SEO guru. My SEO “strategy” is to write a ton of content (one blog post per day) that answers often asked questions around a single topic (Facebook marketing). I don’t have a backlinking strategy or a keyword strategy. I just write a ton of content that solves problems for my readers.

    It’s not even in a niche that’s lacking competition. But Google sends me 2,500 referrals per day anyway because I’m focused on one thing (you know what it is).

  • http://twitter.com/ZhoomMarketing Ciaran Mahoney

    Salient, well said…

  • http://twitter.com/AnthonySocials Anthony

    I couldn’t agree more..CONTENT IS KING! 

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Its so very true..”amazing content” is all what can earn good ranking.

  • https://plus.google.com/101820649114000230035 Kaushal Shah

    I believe in “awesome content can win link for you” but its requires effort and you have to mix your creativity into it. Don’t write common content, write something interesting. You have unique domain so why can’t unique approach to promote it by content.  

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  • http://www.wisestep.com/ WiseStep

    Good content is something which is well written, is informative and have unique ideas.

  • https://twitter.com/sanketpatel Sanket Patel

    There are so many factors which are affect for ranking. But, Yes Content is a king. Unique content create a a great effect to your web pages, But you have to write a proper content with good informative structure.

  • http://www.jabbrag.com/ nickie snyder

    Providing quality and unique content is the most effective medium to gain customer traffic and improving the page rank on search engine.
    http://www.jabbrag.com/