5 Things to Look For If You Want to Rank in The Top 3 Search Results

You need to check these before writing an article for your blog.

Nick Nolan
5 min readJun 21, 2022


Photo by Dung Anh on Unsplash

One reason I love SEO is that the barrier to entry is low. Anyone can build a website and figure out how to rank that site in the Google search results.

One of the best-kept secrets about SEO is that there are no secrets.

Google shows you exactly what they like whenever you type something into the search bar. The top result is the page that Google says is the best. The #2 result is the second-best. And so on.

You can click over to the 8th page of results and see the pages that Google doesn’t like.

There are SEO tools that can give you some helpful insights and numbers, but you need to visit the actual results page. If I find a keyword or topic that I want to write an article about, I always check the Google results.

For example, if I want to write an article about a chocolate chocolate chip ice cream recipe, I’ll start by searching that term in KeySearch.

Screenshots from KeySearch

Tools like KeySearch, Ahrefs, or Semrush give you the search volume, estimated difficulty to rank, and some info about the pages ranking, but you need to see what Google is showing the searchers.

My next stop is the search results from Google.

Here are the 5 things that I check when looking at the results.

1. Check the type of content

The first thing I check is the type of content Google is putting in the search results. Depending on the type of search, Google adds a lot of extra things that aren’t just a link to the article.

There can be videos, images, shopping links, maps, Google My Business listings, recipes, or featured snippets.

Whatever type of content you see at the top of search results is the type of content you’ll need to create.

For my ice cream example, Google shows a list of 3 recipes.



Nick Nolan

Freelance marketing consultant | Writing about Copywriting, SEO, and Social Media

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