6 Ways to Ensure Better Rankings in Google Instant

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Google Instant has not killed SEO by any means, despite the rumors. It has simply changed the approach that search engine marketers must take in order to get websites to appear higher in rankings and with their best foot forward. Here are some ways that you can ensure better rankings in the new Google Instant.

1. Include a Keyword in Your Brand Name

If you’re just starting out, you’re in luck. Get your primary keyword in your brand name (preferably as the first word), and you will be halfway there, as the first results of the first keyword word entered into searches will probably attract a lot of clicks, especially if your brand dominates the first few results.

Google Instant Results for Guitar

2. Start Thinking Like Searchers Think

With “instant” results popping up, you have to really start thinking like searchers to make sure your site is optimized for the keywords that your potential visitors will likely be searching. What is the first word they are likely to type in to find you? Once you have determined this…

3. Include Google Suggest as a Keyword Research Tool

Considering that highlighting a Google suggested term will bring instant results, targeting the terms that come up for your primary keyword is now more important than ever.

Google Suggest Link Building

In some cases, tailoring your keyword for the most popular phrase (instead of just one keyword) might be a better route, as typing in SEO leads to Google Suggest and Instant opting to show results for the next popular phrase, SEO tips instead of just SEO, putting that single keyword at the bottom of suggestions.

Google Suggest and Instant Results for SEO Tips

This post on how to actually use Google Suggest for keyword research and beyond is a great place to start.

4. Get Locally Optimized for Generic Keywords

If your business has physical locations in one or more regions, now is the time to apply local search marketing to your website and your brand, both on-site and off-site. 73% of searches are for local content, which means you will want to make sure your business comes up instantly, showing people exactly where you are located.

Google Instant Local Search Results

Another interesting change with Google Instant comes for the localized keyword phrases. Since Google knows where people are searching from (whether or not personalization settings on or off), they don’t even need to enter keyword plus a city – if they type in type in just the keyword, they will be receiving instant local results when applicable without having to add on the city in their search.

5. Make Sure Your Online Reputation is Clean

Two of the new Google Instant features is the “Something Different” and “Pages similar to” sections in the left sidebar and beneath the first 10 search results. If someone is looking for your brand, and you have some negative entries in the top 5 – 10 results, chances are they will be easily tempted to check out your competitors instead.

Google Instant Results for Toyota

By having lots of positive online presences online (such as local search profiles, social media profiles, blogs, subdomains, etc.), you will be able to push down those negative results so that you will make a good first impression with your top 10 search results.

6. Dominate Search Results with Multimedia

It doesn’t matter whether your brand is a business or just yourself. Producing a wide variety of content will ensure that when someone types in your name or brand, they will only find you!

Google Instant Results for Toyota

Changes to Your SEO Campaign

What changes are you making to your search and link building campaigns in light of the new Google Instant? What results have you seen? Please share your thoughts with the search engine marketing community.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and blogger who develops high-quality content for businesses.
Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines
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  • Klaus Junginger

    Looks like ancient techniques are becomming relevant again like kw in domain/brandname and trying to think like an user would.

    Not bad

  • Pdebois

    I like this list. One caveat on step 1 — it can backfire if your business offers more than one service. I know of a few that started with, say, Sam's Guitar, only to scale into other services later on in the life of a business. If the URL was sams-guitar, the need to account for traffic related to the additional services could get more difficult because of the close initial association of the site to a URL with one keyword in it. Subdomains would help, or simply add an additional site, but you get the idea. It sounds trivial, but if the additional services/products are high-margin, then the triviality disappears.

    I am saying business should really think about what would be their offering first and imagine how its offerings could potentially scale. This may save some additional work later on.

    I like this list. Really awesome.

  • Andy Kuiper – SEO Vancouver

    Nice Article Kristi ๐Ÿ™‚
    Interesting reasons to include “city name” at the end of urls rather than at the beginning (for geo based sites).
    eg. “widget company anytown” rather than “anytown widget company”
    Andy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Scuba Diva

    Did we ever stop doing number 2? If so, shame on us.

  • seophilippines

    A good list here indeed, Kristi. Yeah I also find the geo-target suggestion interesting. the usual thing is the location first before the keywords. It's worth a try though.


  • Marty

    So Kristi: How are you taking into consideration the fact that GoogleSuggest, both from the drop down box in Google and/or the GoogleSuggest API, is personalized based on IP? For many searches, local influence is minimum. For others it's a very big deal. Just try the query “first” in instant from workstations around the country, using different IPs reflective of the geographic area.

    • Kristi Hines

      That's a good point. Most of the keywords I work with now are locally based, or they are not ones that rank for any local businesses. I have turned off my personalized search results, but it doesn't change the location. I would be interested in a workaround, if there is one.

  • Moosa Hemani

    The post is fine but don't really agree with point 3 “Include Google Suggest as a Keyword Research Tool” cuz some times Google comes up with the suggestion which are not really have any connection with the concern business… rest of the article is kool

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kristi Hines

      It's a trial and error thing… for some keywords, you're right – the suggestions may not fit your business and people will keep on typing in what they are looking for. But some keyword suggestions may steer people away from typing in the keywords you're optimizing for. It's just a matter of researching and seeing what will work right for you and your business.

      • SEO Company Australia

        I agree. It's good to try and see which relevant keywords are effective for your website.

  • Anand

    I'm completely agree with using your keywords research tool as per the Google suggestions to improve your search experience and what is most relate to the search query you are going to type in to.

  • JMDInfosys

    Hi Kristi !

    Thanks for sharing the information. I think for all the points are useful for known products and services. But for any specific keywords like pipe repair we need to think differently. Cause Google is not showing repairing if you type pipe but pipe repairing is a demanding service. Also there are some services which are unknown for SE's and general users. If Google shows spelling mistake then it can effect the traffic of any particular website. Otherwise your points are very effective.

    Thanks !


    • Kristi Hines

      Yes, a lot of it depends on your keyword – you have to research it (and if it's a local keyword, research it in that region) to see what is being suggested and how to go about optimizing it.

  • Software Testing

    Thanks for sharing this. Very useful tips. Especially for that google suggestions.

  • Damianousala

    I think instant search suggestion change also between country google domain origin.
    ie. google.it suggestion differ from google.co.uk even i put first word from the same ip address.

    • Kristi Hines

      The results definitely change based where you are searching from… if you look at all of the “ABC's of Google Instant” posts where someone types in just one letter to see which brand ranks first, some get Bank of America, others get Best Buy. It's location and personalized search based.

  • Craig

    This is a really good post Kristi. I've been reading numerous blogs on how or how not Google Instant will change the game of SEO, but none of them have hit the nail on the head like this one in my opinion.

  • Raj – SEO Australia

    Most times we ignore the facts that are just infront of our eyes. And few of your suggestions reveals this to me! But I should admit that your analyzation on Google Instant is impressive. But I feel a bit contrary to what you speak in your second point. You have mentioned to think about the way how potential customers would search to find you, but I would say as they are potential they don't tend to reach a site immediately after they start typing their first keyword. What I mean here is, people who are actually interested to reach your product(say potential) would have long tail searches in their search terms which Google Instant might not effect them to stop reaching you. What do you think?

    • Kristi Hines

      I think it's a good point. But I also think that if you sell a product that only ranks high for long tail, and someone else (maybe a larger vendor like Amazon) sells the same product and it ranks for a short phrase, people will see it before they get to you. Unless they are specifically looking for your business, they might get re-routed to your competitor instead.

  • SEO Freelance Philippines

    Great Kristi. I had a great time reading your post. Indeed, keyword searching is not an easy task, we should be focus on every keywords we generate. I am looking forward seeing other tips regarding SEO. Two thumbs up.

  • BlogSpot Money

    This article is really hitting home for me. Good stuff! I will be trying the city last and see how it works.

  • Term Quote

    Re Multimedia…If I were to make a video or two…Is YouTube the best option?

  • Marti

    Very nice post I agree with the author in every single point. I also have noticed that since Google instant has been implemented also Google Maps entries have changed a lot and again we need to concentrate on using kewywords in the URL name in order to be marked on the Map results. Looks like Instant search put a lot of weight on keywords in URL so happy days for those who have them there…

  • nettrackers

    With the advent of google instant, long tail keywords would act in the similar way what psychological keyphrases work. “Start Thinking Like Searchers Think”….people from all walks of life would prefer more elaborate keywords.

  • Nedim Bajramovic

    when Google announced instant search, I thought it will cause troubles for seo, but now, its seems that they just opened new opportunities and strategies.

  • Contemporary Wall Art

    Very nice article.
    thanks for sharing.

  • web hosting

    wow i guess i need to sharpen my skills a little more, is linking back to all my subpages for myapartment.info important to get more and higher ranking within google?

  • yuregininsesi

    This is a really good post Kristi. I’ve been reading numerous blogs on how or how not Google Instant will change the game of SEO, but none of them have hit the nail on the head like this one in my opinion.

  • Vrinsoft

    This is real information i have been seeking for my business since a long time. People are wasting time & money behind offpage,backlinking etc but nobody talking about conversion,ROI. Kristi,you have completely mentioned how visitor(customer) would be type your brand in search engine. I will surely pass this article into my marketing community.Thanks!