A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend and he was upset that his site wasn’t ranking first on Google for a particular keyword. We ran the search, and sure enough he was in fifth. I proposed a very simple challenge: click the top ranking, and then tell me if his site really deserves to rank higher.
In this case it was incredibly clear. His page for this keyword consisted of one sentence of text and a small photo gallery, while the top ranked site had a more text, photos, testimonials, and other great information. I told him that if I were Google, I’d absolutely leave that other site ranked at the top. He reluctantly agreed.
You can do the same.
If you’re being outranked for a particular search term, look at the pages that rank ahead of you and then make your page better than the ones at the top. Most of the time it’ll take some effort to simply match the top page, but go further. Give your page more info, better photos, clear calls to action, incredible resources, fast loading times, etc. Make it so it’s not even close.
There are certainly times when the top ranked page really isn’t very good, and figuring out why can be frustrating. In most cases, though, the work you need to do in order to take the top spot is pretty clear and you simply need to put in the effort to get there.