Do you want to know how I get my website on the first page of Google?
In this article I will show you all the techniques I use and I will explain the most important factors that affect Google’s ranking of posts that you can control, so that you too can get your articles ranking on the first page of Google’s search results!
If you haven’t started a blog yet and want to know how to start one, you may want to read: How To Start A Blog!
HOW DO I GET MY WEBSITE ON THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE
Why Is It Important To Aim For The First Page Of Google?
Before we look at the ways in which you can rank on the first page of Google, you might be asking WHY is it important we aim for it? Getting your article onto the first page of Google is so important for a number of reasons:
- It puts your work in front of your target audience and makes it visible to them.
- Around 90% of people never even look at the second page of Google.
- You will get a significantly higher click-through rate (more website views) if your website is on the first page of Google.
- More website views means your organic traffic will increase.
- More website views means you can make more money: potentially making more sales if you sell products on your website, increased passive income if you have ads on your website, and potential increased earnings through affiliate links as more people are seeing your work and so more likely to click on your links.
- It establishes your authority in a subject.
- If you are showing up on the first page of Google regularly it shows that GOOGLE TRUSTS YOU. This will then mean that consumers will trust you.
Getting onto the first page of Google should be a priority if you want your business to succeed in the long-run.
GETTING ONTO THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE ISN’T ALWAYS ENOUGH – YOU NEED TO AIM FOR THE TOP SPOT!
Getting onto the top spot of Google should be your goal – not just getting onto the first page!
This is because there are significant differences in the amount of clicks the #1 article on Google will receive as opposed to the number of clicks the article at the bottom of the first page will receive.
The article that ranks on the number 1 spot of Google receives A LOT more traffic than the article at the bottom of the first page.
In fact the article that ranks first will receive roughly a staggering THIRD OF ALL TRAFFIC! On average these are the Click-Through Rates (CTR) on the first page of Google:
- the top ranking article receives 31% of all traffic
- the 2nd ranking article receives 14% of all traffic
- the 3rd ranking article receives 10% of all traffic
- the 4th ranking article receives 7% of all traffic
See the significant drop in click-through rate the further down an article is. And that is just on the first page! So you should always aim for the top ranking spot in Google to maximise traffic to your website!
Knowing the relationship between the position of an article on Google and the CTR is important, as the lower down you are, the more clicks you are missing out on!
Aiming for the top spot is even more important these days as you’ll find there are often ads, YouTube videos, snippets and other new features that appear when you search for something on Google.
So there is even less space on the first page for websites to rank! (It used to be around 10 articles on the first page of Google, but sometimes now it can be around only 7!).
You may also notice when you do some Google searches that a large answer box comes up at the top of the search that displays a lot more information. This is known as a featured snippet.
It gains the website immediate exposure and makes it more likely people will click on this article as Google is telling you it recommends this one.
It is not always guaranteed that if you are ranking on the top spot of Google that your article will get featured as a snippet, as some searches don’t display snippets. BUT it is another reason to aim for that top spot as it will lead to more website clicks!
Here is an example of a snippet:
Should You Write Your Articles For Your Social Media Audience Or For A Google Audience?
Before you go any further you really need to know the difference between these two audiences and which one you need to be focusing on if you ever want to rank on the first page of Google.
It can be tempting to write articles that you know your social media fans are going to want to click on.
When you go to advertise the post to them you will get a lot of immediate traffic, but a day or two after you have promoted your post, if you haven’t worked on SEO and keyword research the traffic to the post will drastically die down.
Of course write articles about subjects that will be interesting for your social media following, but don’t write it just them: write it for a Google audience.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS WRITE YOUR ARTICLES FOR GOOGLE AND NOT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA.
It is true that it can take several months for an article to rank well on Google. But it is also true that articles can appear on the first page of Google the same day they are published.
It is totally possible to start getting Google traffic from a post fairly instantly if you know how to optimise it well enough! And this traffic will constantly be there – it will not die out like traffic coming from social media sources.
Traffic to your website from Google is passive – this means it will keep coming consistently without you needing to advertise it! This is ALWAYS going to benefit you more in the long run!
GOOGLE IS THE BEST WAY TO DRIVE ORGANIC TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE.
If you don’t focus on writing your articles for Google, and instead you purely write for your Social Media audience you will only ever have the potential to reach your Social Media following.
So if you have say 20,000 followers on Instagram you only have the potential to reach these people (unless in the unlikely event your post goes viral and shared a lot on Instagram).
But if you write your article so it is optimised for search engines such as Google you have the potential to reach an infinite amount of people.
In fact the majority of the people that read my articles don’t even follow me on social media as I am able to reach such a wide audience by optimising my posts for Google.
How Does Google Choose What Websites To Put On The First Page?
Whilst it may seem like a hard task to achieve, if you do your research properly then getting onto the first page of Google can be quite feasible.
You just need to understand some of the ways in which Google decides which websites to place on the first page. You then need to make sure you follow these patterns.
Google always has a fair and logical way of deciding page rankings. There are actually over 200 factors that go into deciding how well a page will rank, but the most important thing you need to remember is:
Google wants to find the most useful and relevant article for the user.
Google wants to make the user happy and answer the questions they are asking. User experience and satisfaction is extremely important for Google.
Google never wants to send a reader to a poor quality website or a website that provides a poor user experience.
You may look at what is ranking on the first page of Google and think it is unfair or biased because your article isn’t up there. But instead of thinking like that, look at it like this:
Any website has the potential to rank well on Google if it will give the user the information they are looking for. This is an opportunity for small businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers such as yourself to get exposure and get your work seen by many for free.
If you can create quality content that appears on the first page of Google even if your website or company isn’t very well known or established yet it can be incredibly powerful.
If Google recognises an article satisfies the needs of the users it will want to rank it higher.
So if you understand how to rank well on Google it will work in your favour and you can use it to your advantage to succeed. But providing quality information is the key.
If you can include more information that will help your audience than other articles have, then Google will be more likely to favour you.
This is not to say that if you write a really informative article you will automatically get onto the first page of Google. There are several other things you also need to consider which we will look at in detail later.
Myths About How To Get Your Website Onto The First Page Of Google:
You can only get onto the first page of Google if your website has a high Domain Authority (DA).
This is NOT true! First let me explain what Domain Authority (DA) is.
DA is a measure of how likely a website is to rank. Every website is given a score of between 0-100, with the highest ones being more likely to rank better on Google.
Statistically if a website with a high DA and a website with a low DA write very similar articles on the same subject, the website with the higher DA would rank higher on Google.
BUT if a website with a lower DA has an article that provides more information than an article on a website with a higher DA it CAN outrank the website with the higher DA. DA is only one factor to determine how high an article will rank on Google.
The more articles you have on your website, the more likely you are to rank better on Google.
This is also not true! Google prefers QUALITY over QUANTITY. It is much better to write only one quality post per week of 2,000+ words as opposed to 5 low quality posts per week of only 300 words.
HOW TO GET YOUR WEBSITE TO RANK ON THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE
So now let’s look at what you can do to help your website appear on the first page of Google.
As I mentioned earlier there are so many factors that affects Google’s algorithm about how it ranks posts. Many of them you have no control over but some of them you do. The main ones that you have control over are:
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Placement
- Image Alt Descriptions
- Get links from related articles
- Updating old content
- Create consistent high quality posts
As these are the factors we have control over, they are the ones that we need to focus our energy into.
If you want to increase the chances of your website appearing on the first page of Google you need to work on SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO).
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving your website so you can increase it’s chances of appearing on search engines.
With every article you write, you should be writing it for Search Engine Optimisation purposes – in other words: you should be optimising each post for Google so it will rank well.
SEO may seem daunting and a bit overwhelming at first, but it is actually surprisingly easy once you understand how it works.
When you have a good understanding of SEO and implement it into your articles it will greatly increase your chances of getting on the first page of Google, which will then in turn greatly improve the amount of organic traffic coming to your website.
SEO may seem like a boring topic to some but it is the backbone to successful blogging and obtaining organic traffic and the sooner you learn it the better.
Who Is This Article For?
This article is for people who want to focus on the long game of SEO. If you came here thinking there would be some tricks or a quick shortcut to success I’m afraid you wasted your time.
Growing organic traffic and ranking well on Google is about putting in the hard graft, creating high quality content and waiting for the results.
It is a long game: a marathon and not a sprint. If you think you can do some black-hat techniques, buy viewers, trick Google or simply manipulate things and buy your way to the top, your website will get penalised.
Those tricks may have worked for you on Instagram but Google is far too smart for that.
You NEED to put in the hard work and you need to be smart about what you write about (work smarter, not harder yeh?). It will be a lot of effort but it will absolutely be worth it in the end. Google will reward you with consistent traffic day on day, year on year.
The key to getting SEO right is to make sure you do adequate KEYWORD RESEARCH before you start writing your article. I cannot stress this enough.
First work out what you want to answer in your post ie: what your article will be about. This will be your keyword. A keyword can be a single word (known as short-tail keywords) or a phrase/group of words (long-tail keywords).
You will want to focus on choosing long-tail keywords for your keyword research. And each post you write should target a different set of keywords so that they don’t compete with each other in Google rankings.
If you choose a short-tail keyword such as “Paris” you won’t succeed in getting your article to rank on the first page of Google. There is just too much competition and it is too vague.
If the person is typing simply ‘Paris’ into Google – what do they want to know about Paris? Things to do in Paris, what is the weather like in Paris, what football teams are in Paris, the history of Paris, how expensive is Paris? Who knows. It is far too vague.
Plus it is incredibly difficult to rank for as the amount of websites with ‘Paris’ in is huge.
Instead you need to target long-tail keywords if you want to be able to rank on the first page of Google. Long-tail keywords are in essence longer and more specific keyword phrases.
Users are much more likely to type long-tail keywords into Google as they want to find out the answer to something specific (for example: ‘Best Photo Spots In Paris’).
These long-tail keywords are more specific, there is less competition in terms of people writing about them, and therefore it is easier to rank on Google.
RESEARCHING LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
When you have an idea about what long-tail keyword you want to write about you need to check:
- how many people are searching for this keyword every month?
- how hard is the competition in ranking for this keyword?
- is there a better keyword combination I should use?
You want to make sure you end up picking the right keyword selection, which is the one that your ideal viewer/customer will be typing into Google to give them what they are looking for.
The best website for doing accurate keyword research is Keysearch.
You can see how many people are searching for the keywords and if you have a chance of getting onto the first page of Google if you decide to use those specific keywords.
It shows you who is currently ranking for those keywords, as well as how many backlinks they have to that article and how high their Domain Authority is.
It also gives you other options for keyword variations if that keyword is too hard to rank for or nobody is searching for that particular combination of keywords.
Alternatively you can use them as secondary keywords in your article so Google can also rank you for more than one keyword.
On Keysearch it is also possible to see how many keywords you rank for overall, what position they are on Google, what backlinks you have to your website, and you can also track your competitor’s rankings which is really useful.
KEYWORD SEARCH VOLUME
In SEO world there is NO point writing an article if nobody is searching for it on Google! You need to check people are actually searching for your keyword.
If you are using keywords that nobody is searching for, nobody is going to find your article as it will get buried in Google. And after you’ve put in all that work – you want people to see your content.
In Keysearch type in the keyword or the potential title you would like to give your article. On the right it will then show you how many people are searching for this keyword each month.
Obviously the more people that are searching for it the better. But often the more people are searching for it, the more difficult it will be to rank (it will be given a ‘Score’ of difficulty to rank). It is not always the case though.
Once you have typed in your keyword and can see how many people are searching for it – on the far right hand side you’ll see a column saying ‘Score’.
Each keyword is given a Difficulty ‘Score’. The higher the number of the Score, the harder it will be for you to rank for this keyword.
Generally if the score is more than 36 I won’t try to write an article on it as I know I won’t rank on the first page of Google. I will only write the article if I am pretty sure it will end up on the first (or worse-case scenario, second) page of Google.
This is just the number I use – another blogger may prefer to cut the limit at a higher number so just use this as a guideline.
The Difficulty Score is based mostly on looking at the websites and articles who are already ranking on the first page for the keyword. You will see these websites in the table on the left of the screen.
Looking at this table gives you a pretty good idea if you will be able to rank on the first page. The most important columns in the table are: DA, Auth and Links. ‘Auth’ + ‘Links’ refers to the amount of backlinks the article has.
‘Auth’ is the more important one of the two as it means the link is coming from an authoritative site. The last three columns are also important: if the keyword is in the title, description and URL.
Looking at these columns across all of the websites who rank on the first page, I will identify the ‘weakest’ article on the page and see if I can outrank it.
Note that ‘weakest’ doesn’t mean the lowest quality written article as looking at these metrics gives you no indication of how good the article is. ‘Weakest’ simply refers to the website which has the lowest DA there, or the one that has no backlinks.
If you can identify a website on there that has no backlinks and a DA similar or lower to yours then there is a pretty good chance you can outrank them if you write a higher quality article than the one they have written.
Even better if the last three columns aren’t yellow as it means you can target the keyword more.
These websites are in essence, your competition. You want to write an article better than them and SEO optimise your post more so that it will rank higher.
Some topics are a lot harder to rank on the first page of Google than others. This is because some keywords are a lot more competitive to rank for than others as many people have written about the subject and targeted the keyword.
The best combination is a highly searched keyword with a low Score to Target. This is the easiest way to rank on Google. You’ll know when you come across these batboys as the score is in a blue box.
If you ever see this blue box, write the article straight away as you will have a really, really good chance of ranking as competition is low!
Now you have identified your keywords you can start writing your article! Write your keyword in the ‘Focus Keyphrase’ area of your Yoast SEO Plugin that is below the post.
This will help keep you on track and increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google as it will tell you points you need to improve on.
You want to place your keyword in places that make it easy for Google to scan your site and determine what your article is about.
This will subsequently then make it easier to rank your article. Keywords need to be inserted in the following places:
- in the title
- in the meta description (you’ll find this under the ‘Focus Keyphrase’ part of Yoast)
- in the URL
- in the alt descriptions
- in at least one heading in the article
- in the opening paragraph as well as in a couple of other places throughout the article.
This is how searches appear on Google. You can see my keyword (‘Flight Attendant Blog’) is in the title, the meta-description and the URL.
When you click on the article, you’ll see the keyword is in the opening paragraph as well as scattered a couple of times throughout the article.
You will always want to try and get your keyword in the first sentence of your article and not just the opening paragraph as this will help Google identify super-easy that your article is relevant.
Also you should include your keyword a few times in the article and at least in one heading, but you definitely don’t want to go overboard.
Take a little time to write your meta-description. Not only does this indicate to Google what your article is about, but it also it your ‘bait’ to entice readers to click on your article and not the other articles!
By reading this at a glance, the reader can tell what information they can get if they click on the article.
The URL will consist of your website domain, then a forward slash and then some words, each separated by a dash. Including keywords in your URL is another way to help Google easily identify what your post is about.
Keep your competition (the websites in the table) in mind as you write your blog post. You goal is to make your article better than theirs so Google will have little choice but to rank you up there with them!
DO NOT KEYWORD STUFF YOUR ARTICLES
Be very wary of keyword stuffing an article. You have probably come across this before but were unaware of it.
When someone keyword stuffs an article, they try and put the keyword anywhere and everywhere into the blog post as they think it will make them rank higher on Google. But they use the keyword so excessively that the sentences don’t even make much sense!
Before I was aware of keyword stuffing, I would read some articles and thought how bad the person’s grammar was as the sentences just didn’t flow properly. They kept saying the same words and it got quite frustrating.
I know you want to rank well on Google, but you are writing your article for humans. The keywords need to be naturally incorporated into the article.
At the end of the day, if you article becomes hard or painful to read, people will click off it – it’s as simple as that. Google can detect keyword stuffing and if it deems you are doing so, it will definitely not place your article on the first page.
Image Alt Tag Descriptions
An Alt Tag is a text alternative of an image. When you add images into your blog posts you should always edit the Alt Tag to describe the image so Google can identify what the image is about.
Make sure some of the Alt Tags include the keyword as this will make Google more likely to rank your article on the first page of Google. It will also mean that some of these articles may rank on the ‘Images’ section of Google search, which could also bring your website more traffic.
Many people actually use the ‘Images’ tab on Google so don’t skip this step out as it is another way to bring traffic to your website.
If your photograph appears near the beginning of the image search and is eye-catching it will make people want to click on it for more information and thus drive traffic to your website.
Also if you embed your videos into your article these can rank too – underneath the ‘Videos’ section of the Google search.
Get Links From Related Articles
If you can link one or more of your other articles on your website to the article you are writing now, this will help Google determine what you are writing about. When you link a blogpost back to another one of your blog posts, it is known as inbound linking.
If you have lots of related article that link back to each other it shows Google you are an authority in that subject and so it is more likely to rank your articles higher. Linking back to relevant content in your website also increases your Page Authority (PA).
Whilst inbound backlinks are great, backlinks that come from external sources are more valuable. They will help to increase your DA as well as help your article rank higher on Google (remember the links column in the table on Keysearch above).
If you produce high quality content you will naturally start to get link backs to your articles from other websites as people are considering you an expert in the topic.
Updating Old Blog Posts
Once you have published a blog post it doesn’t just disappear into the abyss and you can forget about it. Updating old content is really important!
It can help to maintain the position of your article in Google (otherwise fresh content may push your article down in the rankings) and it can also help you improve the Google rankings of your article!
When selecting which blog posts you want to update and optimise, it is always a good idea to optimise the ones that are ranking on the second page of Google first.
The reason being that it should theoretically be easier to bring these up to the first page of Google than it will be to bring an article that currently isn’t ranking at all.
You should also optimise a post that is at least six months old as it will have had a chance to rank on Google by then.
Updating an old blog post can mean adding more up-to-date relevant information (perhaps a new hotel or restaurant opened if you wrote a destination guide), adding more images or a video to an article, editing the text and making it more detailed.
Whatever you can do to improve your article and provide the reader with more useful information. Just never EVER change the URL of a blog post!!
Create Consistent High Quality Posts
As I mentioned earlier, Google is going to rank articles on the first page if they are useful, informative, easy-to-read and they provide the answer the user is searching for.
By creating high quality articles that provide the information people are looking for, you are increasing your chances of appearing on the first page of Google.
Take your time writing your posts – ensure you include accurate information and your articles are detailed enough.
If all the articles ranking on the first page of Google for your keyword are over 2,000 words long, chances are that if you write a 500 word post it is not going to rank.
Always remember that Google will rank articles that are valuable and helpful to the reader.
So if your article doesn’t contain enough information to fully answer the reader’s question, Google will find an article that DOES, and it will rank that article instead of yours!
Remember Google much prefers a website with fewer articles that are of a high quality, as opposed to a website with many articles that are only around 300 words and don’t provide the viewer with enough information.
Some sources say that Google prefers articles that are over 2,000 words in length whereas other sources deny this. The most important thing to remember is not to focus on the word count, but just focus on providing quality information.
Other Important Factors To Consider To Help You Rank Well On Google:
The speed of your website is important to Google. If it takes a long time for your website to load, people will get impatient and click off it before it has even loaded.
This is not a good user experience – and remember I said earlier it is very important for Google to create a good user experience. If your slow site speed makes people click off your site, Google will rank your article lower.
These days most Google searches are done on mobile devices and not on laptops or computers. If your website isn’t mobile responsive Google won’t prioritise it as it won’t provide a good user experience.
Make sure you actually check if your site is mobile responsive and fix it if it isn’t!
BROKEN LINKS, GRAMMAR MISTAKES & SPELLING ERRORS
Broken links, grammar mistakes and spelling errors all give the impression that you are not professional. Make sure you eliminate them so Google will see you as a trustworthy source.
Making sure your article is https:// and not http:// shows that your website is secure and therefore more trustworthy, which will in turn help your website to rank higher on Google.
Paying To Get Your Content Visible On Google
Some businesses may consider using Google Ads to get more exposure, get in front of customers and grow their business. Google Ads appear at the top of a related Google search and the business owner will only pay if people click on the link.
I have never used Google Ads as it is not necessary for my business (and I don’t yet have a budget for advertising!) but I am pretty sure you would need a fairly large budget for it (I’m talking thousands of $$ every month!).
If you are looking for more information or to advertise your website on Google visit Google Ads.
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So in short, if you want to rank well on Google you need to put in the work. There are no shortcuts with SEO. Take your time creating quality content that is valuable and helpful to the reader.
Do your keyword research and keyword placement well and it will definitely increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google and increasing your website traffic. If you have any questions just drop me a message and I will do my best to help!