What is one reason that websites have pages that say “‘X Best” for SEO ranking purposes?
To help you understand why websites have pages that say “X Best” for SEO ranking, we asked SEO professionals and marketing experts this question for their best insights. From matching competitor blogs to indicating the website has a higher buying intent, there are several insights that may help you to best position your website content to achieve your marketing goals.
Here are eight reasons why websites have pages with the word “X Best”:
- To Match Competitor Blogs
- For Keyword Research and Click-Through Rates
- To Help the Right Customers Find You
- To Avoid Paying for Ad Space
- To Earn Backlinks
- To Enhance Better Search Results
- To Help Google Serve Expert Curated Content
- To Indicate the Website Has a Higher Buying Intent
To Match Competitor Blogs
One reason websites, especially blogs, have pages that say “X Best” is to match competitors that are currently ranking. If a business owner decides to do a blog post about a certain topic and finds that in the SERP the top results are “X Best” lists, they will want to match this. If “X Best” list format posts are ranking well, publishing a blog post in a completely different format won’t bode well with Google’s algorithm. Google is showing what type of page it favors for that specific keyword, so match what competitors are doing, and do it better.
Sophia Enlow, Markitors
For Keyword Research and Click-Through Rates
From a linguistic perspective, across many categories, industries, and niches, “best” is the most common search modifier. Many sites come across it in their keyword research and try to optimize for it. SEOs include a number at the front (“10 Best…”) to try to increase click-through rates as this format makes it seem like a definitive, well-researched list. Users are aware of the format and are more likely to engage and visit the site when the information is presented in this way.
Ryan Jacobsen, LaneTerralever
To Help the Right Customers Find You
Savvy companies include the term “best” on their pages in an effort for their site to appear higher in search rankings when potential customers are looking for their business. The strategy can work because someone searching for “Best ….” is probably in-market to purchase whatever service they are searching for.
However, what’s less talked about is the customer experience in using terms like “best.” Making bold statements about who you are and what you’re the best at, helps customers understand what you do. So, yes there is an SEO benefit in calling yourself “the best,” but you should also think first about how the statements position your company. It’s an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, and help the right customers find you.
Ryan Burch, Tobie Group
To Avoid Paying for Ad Space
One advantage of having pages that say “X Best” for SEO ranking purposes is that they bring in more traffic and don’t require you to pay for ad space. When you pay for ads, they stop appearing and stop generating results once the period is up. However, the pages appearing in organic results cost no money. One reason why websites have these highly-optimized sites is to provide value to users and appear on page one of search engines with organic results — all without paying a dime for ads.
Datha Santomieri, Steadily
To Earn Backlinks
Getting featured on a website’s listicle is a chance to earn a link, otherwise known as a “backlink” to your own company’s webpage, thus improving your SEO ranking. For example, you might see a listicle entitled, “X Best Career Coaches in Los Angeles.”
As a career coach in LA, if your business is not featured in the list, you can reach out to the article’s author and ask to be added. Offering the said author something in return, such as a free coaching session to determine if she wants to add you to her page would be both generous and appropriate. If you are then featured in the listicle, page visitors will likely click on your backlink and your SEO will grow as if by magic!
Michael Van, Furnishr
To Enhance Better Search Results
When you’re looking for a product or service recommendation, you might ask your friends, you might ask your neighbors, but you’re also going to ask Google. Your search terms might be “best summer hiking shoes” or “most affordable all-inclusive resorts.”
You’re not looking for a brand to tell you about their best summer hiking shoes. You want to hear from a (presumably) unbiased third party. And because these search terms are so competitive, once you scroll down past the ads, you’re likely to see big publications in the top spots.
That’s why it’s so important for brands to go beyond getting their own content to rank for these high-intent keywords. They also need to be mentioned in as many of those top-ranking list posts as possible. The process of identifying and obtaining more mentions, and, as a result, more share of search is called “Surround Sound SEO,” and sometimes “barnacle marketing.” It’s worth pursuing if these kinds of searches are important to you.
Alisa Meredith, Semrush
To Help Google Serve Expert Curated Content
“X best” search queries can drive a lot of traffic, and it’s a common formula used by media sites — especially affiliate sites. Google loves to rank “X best” articles in the search results. “X best” search queries are extremely common, and those queries mean that the user wants to see a curated selection of the “best” of a particular thing. Rather than Google “telling” a user which content is best, it refers searchers to media sites that have (presumably) done rigorous research to discover the “best” of any category.
For example, a music website might rank the “best” songs from a given artist. If Google recognizes that website as being authoritative in the music niche, it will trust the content and serve it high in the rankings.
Another example could be for technology products, such as TVs. If a user searches for “best TVs,” Google will want to rank authoritative technology review sites that provide trustworthy, detailed, well-researched reviews of a variety of relevant products.
Michael Sandford, Pink Wafer
To Indicate the Website Has a Higher Buying Intent
Websites that have pages that say “X Best” for SEO ranking purposes generally have higher buying intent. This is because users searching for these keywords are typically further along in their buyer’s journey and are thus more likely to convert. While there is a multitude of factors that go into SEO rankings, having keyword-rich titles can be a helpful signal to search engines that your website is relevant to what users are searching for. In turn, this can help improve your click-through rate and potentially boost your overall rankings.
Maneesh Sharma, Donorbox