Google’s NEW infinite scrolling means everybody can “get on the first page” (video)

So, I’m sure you’ve got this email before in your inbox. And it typically comes from somebody who you don’t know.

It typically comes with a little bit of broken English. And it typically promises that they can get you on the first page of Google.

So, what I wanted to talk about today is how to deal with an email like that.

Pro-tip: The best way to deal with an email like that is to throw it in the bin.

But how can you interpret that email? Is there any value in what it offers? How can you understand what they’re offering and not offering?

So, I thought I’d show you how challenging it is to get on the first page of Google for a keyword that has a lot of volume, and how it might be better and in your best interests to get on the first page of Google for a keyword that has less volume.

And, importantly, I want to share a new Google update with you – called infinite scrolling

1https://blog.google/products/search/continuous-scrolling-mobile/ – that they have just released in the US for all mobile searches. This feature will be coming to you wherever you are in the world, so you’ll want to be aware of what it means. In addition, you’ll want to know how it will affect the concept of “getting on the first page of Google”.

Let me help explain.

So what you see in front of you here on the screen is the number of people interested in this keyword “laser eye surgery”.

Who ranks highest for “laser eye surgery” in the UK?

Now, these people are in the UK. So that’s a significant number of people searching using that one keyword — 40,500 keyword searches.

So that makes this keyword quite tricky. And if somebody says to you, I can get you on the first page of Google for “laser eye surgery”… Well, that’s a big deal because in the number one spot, you’re going to get a lot of traffic to your website.

Now, often these promises or offers don’t tend to come with any kind of caveats or any kind of conditions in the sense of how long would it take and what keyword we’re talking about?

I mean, look, I can get you on the first page of Google for your name in probably less than a couple of days. That’s easy. And is that what the spammers offer? Well, you could probably do that yourself.

Let’s start by answering the question, “Why does getting on the first page of Google matter?”

Why does getting on the first page of Google matter?

Well, number one, it’s certainly about the amount of volume. And as you can see, the volume for this keyword is significant.

The difficulty rating is tricky. That means that you will have to have at least 28 referring domains and optimize content to compete here for this keyword.

People outside the UK search for this keyword; however, the keyword phrase “laser eye surgery” is not as popular in the US.

Americans use words like “LASIK”, and “SMILE”, and “PRK”. So perhaps a little bit more of a sophisticated market when looking for actual procedural names. The results here show how many results Google generates for this keyword phrase.

That’s a lot of results, but of course, as we all know, 99% of the results people see are on the first page.
Now, what’s CPC? Well, CPC is the cost per click. And as you can see, this is the average cost per click that advertisers spend in the UK, on mobile, in pounds.

And that’s £2.40. So that sounds pretty cheap. Why do people spend so little on laser eye surgery compared to other keywords?

Well, I’ll get to that in a second. First, however, I think it’s also important to note that keyword variations are where it’s at.

So keywords like laser eye surgery are nice to have, and if you do a lookup for laser eye surgery, you’ll see that some people show up on the first page of Google. So how did they get there?

Well, number one, chances are you’re seeing local results. Google has become very locally oriented. That means that if I’m searching in Leeds for laser eye surgery, I’m going to get local results that are convenient for me as if I were searching for somebody in Leeds or the area around it.

If I’m searching in London, I’m going to get convenient results for London. So that’s why if you’re in a different area and you’re using Google to search, you’re going to find you’re seeing something other than someone in a separate area might see.

The other difference that might occur is the fact that you see your search history. So if you visit your site a lot, Google will assume that you find that site relevant.

So it will present you with your site on Google’s result page in a different way than it might give the random person who has never visited your site before.

It’ll also give you other sites that relate to your site or have similar content to your site or a similar history to your site.

So as you can see, doing your own searches is a bit of a challenge. And that’s why I would suggest you use a tool like SEMrush, or at worst, the incognito browser in Chrome, to see how you stack up against different people. And who’s actually on the first page of Google.

So if you can look at this here, we have this report in SEMrush, and you can see these are the pages that tend to show up on Google for the first page of laser eye surgery. And you can see here; you’ve got the NHS in the first place.

That makes sense. The NHS site has got

  • lots and lots of referring domains,
  • a high page authority score,
  • a large number of backlinks,
  • a lot of search traffic already, and
  • a lot of URL keywords that relate to laser eye surgery.

So as you can see, that is going to be a winner.

  1. The NHS, unfortunately for the private establishments who are competing on laser eye surgery, tends to be a big, strong player that Google just rates well because they’re good on laser eye surgery. They’re trusted.
  2. Optical Express comes second,
  3. Optimax comes third,
  4. Moorfields comes fourth,
  5. ABDO (and I don’t know what that is) comes fifth.
  6. Followed by BUPA,
  7. YouTube,
  8. Specsavers,
  9. Which? (magazine), and then
  10. London Vision Clinic is in 10th place. London Vision Clinic is the only independent clinic I see on this list that isn’t a government brand like Moorfields or a multiple-chain like Optimax or Optical Express.

It’s tough for independent clinics to rank on the first page of Google

So in the list above you can probably see some well-known people who are missing. I won’t get into those right now, but the point I’m making is that it’s not easy to get on the first page of Google for independents. Independent clinics and surgeons are the kind of people that I tend to work with, and we try as hard as we can, but it’s hard to score UK-wide for a page on a search result like “laser eye surgery”. However, the London Vision Clinic has done it.

That’s due to a substantial prolonged effort at generating lots of backlinks, a lot of good search traffic and lots of keywords, and a website that gives them a very significant page authority score. It’s the highest on the list.

So that’s “laser eye surgery”, but what would you go for instead? Well, here’s another example of a keyword called “laser eye surgery cost”.

(NOTE: Want to see how your practice marketing measures up against the best in class? Take this 5-minute quiz to see how you stack up in the 9 areas of practice marketing and get specific tips and advice on how you can improve your weak points and better leverage your strengths).

Who ranks highest for “laser eye surgery cost” in the UK?

I would recommend going for “laser eye surgery cost” over laser eye surgery. Why? Well, if you look, you’re not going to have the NHS show up highly on that.

So that takes them out of the running immediately. Why? Because the NHS doesn’t charge for laser eye surgery, they don’t even provide it.

So if somebody is looking for “laser eye surgery cost”, then they’re much more likely to be a buyer of laser eye surgery, as opposed to somebody who’s just looking at laser eye surgery.

Now that person could one day have laser eye surgery, but when somebody types in the word cost, they’re thinking about buying it at that precise moment.

So they’re determining whether they can afford it. So you can see a lot of different pages show up here,

  1. Optical Express’ laser eye surgery pricing page
  2. Optimax’s laser eye surgery treatment cost page
  3. Which? They wrote an article on laser eye surgery and what consumers can expect to pay. And it’s very much a consumer-oriented brand.
  4. Laser Eye Surgery Hub, which compares costs
  5. Laser Eye Surgery Clinic Compare; another cost comparison site,
  6. All About Vision, which also discusses costs across lots of different providers.
  7. Oh, look, there’s the NHS. I’m not sure why they would show up for “cost”. I bet you that they will eventually slide down the rankings.
  8. Alex Shortt, which is interestingly one of our clients who happens to have a great page on eye surgery cost
  9. Optegra and
  10. Ultralase

So you now see some different players who are a little more commercial but let’s take a look at this.

The keyword difficulty here is “possible” compared to “laser eye surgery”, which was rated “difficult”. Now back to “laser eye surgery costs”, it’s rated “possible”, meaning it’s “a competitive keyword to rank for; you will need well-structured and unique content”.

Suppose I said to you, I can get you ranked for “laser eye surgery cost”. Well, I probably have a better leg to stand on than if I were to say, “I can get you ranked on the first page of Google for ‘laser eye surgery’”.

And here’s the other thing; it’s also possible to rank for this keyword using paid traffic. It scores £1.19 for average CPC compared to £2.40 for average CPC for “laser eye surgery”.

So, it’s cheaper to get on the first page of Google via a paid ad. That’s another way that email spammers tell you, “I’ll get you on the first page of Google”. Yeah, sure. But you’ll have to pay for an ad. So that’s another thing to watch out for

The competitive score here is 0.71 compared to point 70. So that’s a wash. However, there’s much less volume now. Nevertheless, 35.2 K is a lot, and I’d be thrilled to receive that.

So, this is a little bit different. Now, I would prefer to rank on the first page for “laser eye surgery costs” than I would for “laser eye surgery”. Why is that? Because even though I’m going to get less volume, I’m going to get a significant amount of volume of people who are interested in buying laser eye surgery.

And if I’m running a clinic or advertising for a clinic, then I want people who are consumers. Now, I’m not going to say no to “laser eye surgery” on the first page. That’s great. Traffic is lovely, but I’m going to have more accurate stats if I drive people interested in the procedure to the website. That will give me a more educational value, and I’ll be able to make better choices for your account.

Who ranks highest for “laser eye surgery” in London?

Now let’s look at another keyword. That should be a little easier, which is laser eye surgery, London. As you can see here, the volume significantly drops. These searchers are most likely in London or want to have surgery in London. The keyword difficulty here is “possible”.

So it’s very similar to the keyword difficulty for “laser eye surgery costs”, but still much lower than the keyword difficulty for “laser eye surgery”.

So “laser eye surgery London” is a great keyword to end up for on the first page of Google. And that’s where we most definitely would like to put you if you were working in London and offering laser eye surgery.

 

So here you can see

  1. Optical Express, south of England search
  2. London Vision Clinic. There’s a pro-tip hidden here. When we helped name London Vision Clinic, we thought, “let’s put London in the name” because even in 2002, we were thinking, “Hmm, this internet thing, it’s not a fad. It’s not going away. And people are going to start searching for “London laser eye surgery”. Why don’t we call the clinic London Vision Clinic? And here we are today, second place result for “laser eye surgery, London”. That’s great. Especially since they’re only one of the few independents that ranks at that level here,
  3. you can see Moorfields Private
  4. Optegra, most likely their hospital in London
  5. Focus Clinics, which is also an independent provider and a former client of ours in London,
  6. LASIK eyes, who is a comparison site
  7. Accuvision, with whom I’ve never worked. I’m surprised they’re doing that well for “laser eye surgery in London.”
  8. Alex Shortt, who’s an independent client of ours
  9. OCL and
  10. OCL vision, who in a relatively short time has managed to rank quite high for the keyword “laser eye surgery in London”. Good for them.

They’ve done things that others haven’t, earning them a good ranking as a strong competitor. They’re actually in this search anyway, showing up twice. So that’s great.

Now looking at CPC, even though the volume is less, the CPC is five pounds.

Why is that? Because as an advertiser, I would likely pay more for ranking for that word than I would pay for “laser eye surgery”.

Why? Because I will get a lot more conversions from rankings for “laser eye surgery, London” than I would get for just “laser eye surgery”.

How do I know that? We do SEO everywhere across the world, and we always note that the more local and the more long-tail the result is that we’re ranking for, the better our conversions will be.

So that’s one of the reasons why we’re keen on ranking well for these kinds of keywords because…

It doesn’t matter if you rank for your name. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if you rank for generic keywords that nobody cares about. What matters most is that you rank for keywords with a decent volume and carry relatively high buyer intent for laser eye surgery.

Who ranks highest for “laser eye surgery cost” in London?

London likely has a higher intent than “laser eye surgery”, but “laser eye surgery cost” is excellent too. So let’s have a look now, finally at “laser eye surgery costs in London”.

Now the volume has significantly dropped. It used to be 1.3K and went up for “laser eye surgery costs” to 12.1K, then up to “laser eye surgery”, which was 4.5K.

And as you can see, the difficulty has also gone down. This particular keyword phrase is ranked “easy”. It is quite possible to rank for this keyword. “You will need quality content focused on the keyword’s intent.”

So this is great. That’s a keyword that I would happily want to put you on the first page of Google for, and here you can see the average CPC is £3.22, which is not bad.

I would pay for that keyword and think that that keyword will have higher buyer intent. Probably the highest buyer intent. I would expect to get a higher conversion rate from people who click on that result if it was on the first page of Google for “laser eye surgery costs London” than I would for any of the other keywords that I’ve discussed.

So this one’s a great one, and I would go for it. And the other thing too, it’s got excellent efficiency because it’s straightforward to get.

It’s probably so narrow that this tool doesn’t even show it, but I know that I can look at the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) myself to see how it shows up.

So “laser eye surgery costs London” would be a great keyword to rank for now. I hope that makes sense.

You’ve got to look at a lot of different things.

You’ve got to look at volume. You’ve got to look at the difficulty of the keyword. Is it worth ranking for that keyword (“laser eye surgery”) on the first page of Google, or should you spend your effort elsewhere?

Going after an easier keyword, like “laser eye surgery costs” or “laser eye surgery, London”, or even the more accessible “laser eye surgery cost London”, would give you a better conversion rate from your search results.

Like I said before, it’s essential to use a tool like this that shows you how things are ranking because this gives you a better picture of how competitors rank.

So you can see here (Rod points at a SERP) for “laser eye surgery, London”, you can see a Google map shows up, and you can see as well that these are local listings at the very top here.

There’s another snippet here that they’re showing and for reviews and whatnot, and then they start the actual results from a search perspective.

Now we don’t see any paid traffic results here, and the reason is simply because it’s omitting them here, but I have another tool called isearchfrom.com that can let you see paid traffic results and show you what they look like.

NEW: What is infinite scrolling, and what does it mean for Google Search Results Pages?

As you know, Google results are segmented into different pages, ten results per page. And at the bottom, you click on page two to see the next page of results.

Now, how many people do that? Very few. It’s close to about 1 to 2%.

Many people joke, a lot of SEOs included, that the best place to bury a body is on the second page of Google because no one’s ever going to find it.

But here’s the thing. Just two days ago, over the weekend, Google released infinite scrolling on Google on mobile devices, whether they’re using an iPhone or Android using a Google search.

What’s infinite scrolling? On Facebook or Instagram, you just scroll, scroll, scroll, and scroll – some people scroll for hours, but you might scroll for, you know, a few minutes before you get tired out and decide, “Hey, this is a waste of my life. I gotta be doing something different.”

But imagine if Google now goes to that format and modernizes their search experience as they have in the US just over the weekend to go infinite scroll everywhere.

And that’s going to happen here in the UK – without a doubt. People are going to love it. And everything I’ve shown you so far have been mobile results.

So, I think it’s crucial for what I’m showing you right now, but all of these previous ones have been mobile results.

Mobile vs desktop SEO results

Mobile is the place to rank your site for anything related to laser eye surgery because that’s where you’re going to get most of your traffic from – mobile.

So that’s the other thing, for those people that say “I can get you on the first page of Google”,- I say “Great! On mobile or desktop?” It matters because your site has to be fast to appear on mobile.

We’ve got sites down to less than a second load time. That’s how fast things have to be to do well on mobile.

So, that’s something to think about, but I want you to consider the fact that once the search result pages go to infinite scroll, maybe; just possibly, they might go there when it comes to desktops too, but they’re certainly going in that direction for mobile.

How will infinite scrolling change things?

What is that going to do? Well, it will make this argument about the first page of Google a little bit less relevant. If you’re just scrolling, you’re going to find that you can scroll for a while before you get tired. The click is a barrier, and if you remove that barrier, then you’re going to see a lot more scrolling.

And what that means is that now everybody is on the first page of Google! But in reality, you’re still going to be rewarded for being at the top. So basically, it will be a “scroll until I can tick the box” situation.

And the whole idea of clicking through to the second page is going to go by the wayside. It’s going to change that value of the real estate on page two, page three, and page four. It’s going to be a lot more valuable than it used to be.

So keep that in mind when it comes to the first page of Google. That whole concept is kind of going out the window.

Many tools can give you great insight into what people search for and what alternative keywords you might consider.

For example, this is just “laser eye surgery, London”, that’s delivered me 118 alternative keywords. If I want to rank for these keywords, I can look at my volumes. I look at my competitive breakdown. I look at my search features. I look at the number of results, and I go for the most efficient keywords.

So, I want to go for the ones that are a little bit less competitive but will allow me to score well and get the results I want to get from my clients.

So, in a nutshell, that’s where Google’s at these days

I’ve analyzed four keywords. I looked at

  • laser eye surgery.
  • laser eye surgery costs.
  • laser eye surgery London, and
  • laser eye surgery costs London,

And, looking at all of those, you want to be thinking, “what is my keyword strategy?”

“Which ones do I want to go for?” You know, it’s very tempting to say “I want it all”. But in reality, you’ve only got so much budget. You’ve only got so much time, and you’re in a world where there are lots of other well-funded competitors that are pushing just as hard as you are to get on that first page of Google.

So keep that in mind as an essential takeaway. That email that you receive offering to get you on the first page of Google is probably rubbish.

Bin that spammy email that promises to get you on the first page of Google

I would say the best thing to do with that email is to click “delete”. Instead of giving that email another thought, then spend your time and energy talking to your SEO agency about:

  • long-tail keywords,
  • keyword strategy,
  • how to evaluate where you rank on Google, and
  • how your search history influences what you see on Google.

Infinite scroll is here, and it will change how people search. Nevertheless, the idea of everybody getting on the first page of Google is IMPOSSIBLE.

Big promises end up often being little lies.

So that’s it for me. I hope this has been helpful. And yeah, let me know what you think.

And if you’re interested in getting on the first page of Google, well, we can talk. But, again, I’m not going to make any promises, but perhaps there’s an opportunity for you to score well where you are for the particular keywords that make sense for you.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our clients. He’s on a mission to double the size of 150 cataract and refractive surgery practices. He figures the best way to achieve that is by applying proven frameworks to discover & leverage the hidden growth opportunities in the very best practices. Rod is passionate about digital marketing.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded eye surgeons double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod Solar co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our clients. He’s on a mission to double the size of 150 cataract and refractive surgery practices. He figures the best way to achieve that is by applying proven frameworks to discover & leverage the hidden growth opportunities in the very best practices. Rod is passionate about digital marketing.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK