How To Get On The First Page Of Google: A Complete Guide.
Don’t Be Evil. This used to be how Google viewed the world as this motto was their official corporate code of conduct. Today, Google is seemingly omnipotent and all-powerful. With over 3.5 billion daily searches made on the platform, Google represents a market share for search engines of over 92%. This has made other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo! marginal at best and irrelevant at worst. On any given day, Google will crawl 80 billion web pages. Google has developed algorithms to determine the value of any web page. Google is the sole arbitrator of information distribution on the web. If Google doesn’t know you exist, you don’t exist. Lets discuss today how to get on the first page of Google.
Why is it so Important to get on the First Page of Google?
The search results on Google are relied on by millions of people every hour. We expect them to be valid and reputable, representing the best possible solution for whatever it is we are searching for. The level of trust established by Google and its users adhere to the philosophy of Don’t Be Evil. This is why showing up on the first page of Google is so important. In doing so, you have instantly established trust with potential customers. For many of us that own a small business, getting on the first page of Google might seem unobtainable. However, learning the fundamentals of what Google tells us and applying this knowledge consistently over time can help you achieve the seemingly impossible. If you are willing to make the effort, you can get your website on the first page of Google.
First Page of Google? Here’s Proof in the Pudding
With over 20 years of experience running a web design agency, I have come across many a SEO “expert” that claims miraculous results in a short period of time. Anyone that makes such claims should be dismissed and discarded immediately. Also, anyone who guarantees #1 placement on Google is being disingenuous, as this will always depend on the specific industry you are in and the keywords you are hoping to rank on. In short, the SEO industry is comprised mostly of charlatans selling snake oil that will most likely get you blacklisted on Google.
But before we delve deeper into the evils of SEO, allow me to demonstrate in real time that we have achieved first page results on Google using keywords that are relevant to us.
Target Keyword: San Francisco Web Designer
Google. First Page Results!
Bing. Two First Page Results!!
Yahoo! Three First Page Results!!!
So as you can see, we were successful in achieving our goals.
But how did we do it?
Ahh, but isn’t that the ancient Chinese secret? The truth of the matter is, we obtained first page on Google by following guidelines provided by Google themselves, avoiding tactics that can get you blacklisted and putting in the hard work.
What Does Getting your Website on the First Page of Google do for your Business?
Getting your website on the first page of Google is like being in the middle of Times Square on a Saturday night (pre-pandemic) versus an hour’s drive outside of Little Rock, AR. Getting your website on the first page of Google brings massive exposure and visibility to your business. Statistically speaking, once you fall out of first page results your website exposure will drop dramatically and you will receive fewer clickthroughs of several orders of magnitude. In fact, whereas a first result placement may have a clickthrough of almost 40%, that rate will drop down to less than 2% on the second page. That is a LOT of eyeballs you are missing out on, so don’t fool yourself into believing that second page rankings are sufficient. The goal is load and clear: you need to get your website on the first page of Google.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of getting your website on the first page of Google:
Increased Visibility & Brand Awareness
Once you have achieved first page ranking on Google, you will see a dramatic increase in your website’s visibility. If you use metric tools such as Google Analytics you will see a huge spike in overall traffic the very day you reach first page ranking.
Increased Lead Generation
With almost 200 billion searches per month, Google is a certainty in target audience lead generation. Once you achieve first page results, your conversion rate and website traffic will spike as potential customers are searching for the product or service that matches their query with your business. These people are much more likely to convert from prospect to customer.
Increased Website Engagement
As we stated earlier, Google is like a big brother when it comes to helping you establish trust with potential customers. In many cases, by the time they actually click on your link they have already made critical decisions about becoming a customer.
Increased Industry Authority
An intrinsic benefit of getting your website on the first page of Google is that Google trusts YOU as an authority in your industry. Based upon the quality of your website and its content Google has rewarded you with its endorsement of your expertise and is confident in sending THEIR customers to your website. It’s one thing to get first page ranking on Google, it’s another to keep it. By creating fresh, evergreen content, such as writing a blog, you are maintaining your industry expertise in the eyes of Google.
Trust has been a consistent theme throughout this article, but I will say it again as it’s simply that important. For years, Google has been playing a game of cat and mouse with the SEO industry. So-called “black-hat” tactics are designed to find find holes in Google’s algorithms that they can exploit to temporarily increase site traffic. Google ALWAYS catches on to these tactics eventually and updates their algorithms. The result for websites that get caught is they are blacklisted, and it can be exceedingly difficult to undo this. When your website is consistently showing up on the first page of Google without using black hat tactics, it means that it is trusted as a valuable and credible source of information. This good faith by Google leads to trust with potential customers.
How Do You Show Up on the First Page of Google?
To answer this question we must first understand what it is exactly that Google is looking for. Google has long stated that its focus for content has always been about quality over quantity and their algorithms are designed with this in mind. So let’s break down a typical Search Engine Result Page (SERP) to see the content that Google displays:
More and more, the SERP page is becoming dominated by paid ads 🙁 Google offers a paid service called Google Ads.
This section continues to grow in relevance as users prefer local searches. This sub-category of SEO is called Local SEO and is set up through your Google My Business listing.
Directories are actually organic links that companies pay to be listed on. This can cost just as much as running a Google Ad campaign with far less ROI.
This is the sweet spot. This is the section of the SERP that displays results that Google trusts the most. Links in this section can go to a home page, internal page or blog page.
How to Get Your Website on the First Page of Google?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing a website so that it appears high on search results, which will improve your online brand visibility and better connect you to your target audience. SEO is a very simple concept to grasp, yet can be extremely tedious to execute.
Properly optimizing a website requires a 3-prong strategy:
#1. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the foundation of proper site optimization. This includes code review to ensure that your site is not getting penalized, checking for plagiarism and duplicate content and overall code efficiencies. A well optimized site ensures that it complies with strict W3C and ADA standards.
#2. Inbound SEO
Inbound SEO is all about the quality of your content. Your website needs to be unique in the eyes of search engines with “evergreen” content and have the right balance of specific keywords and meta-descriptions. Writing a blog is a great way to keep content fresh and of value to folks searching for you. It’s important that Google understands the keywords you are trying to emphasize on each page or blog article. Make sure to use a unique target key phrase (eg., San Francisco Web Designer), SEO title, meta description, slug and alt tags for images on every page you create. If you are uncertain of which keywords you should choose, try this free keyword tool by WordStream.
#3. Outbound SEO
Outbound SEO uses external sources to convince search engines that you have relevancy and to drive traffic to your website. Connecting with social media, directory listings, and partner sites is critical to effective outbound SEO. In fact, one of the most important criterion used by Google when determining site relevancy is the number of external webs page that link to your site.
The effective deployment of these strategies will ensure that you are giving your website the absolute best chance to prove its relevancy. Just for starters, if you would like to assess the current status of your website’s popularity use the Site Info Analysis Tool at Alexa. Alexa places its criterion on your overall site traffic and pages-viewed-per-visitor to determine you website’s global popularity by assigning you a rank number. The lower the number, the more popular your website is. Although this data is a rather simplified “Big Picture” snapshot of your website metrics, it can be of tremendous value when comparing your Alexa ranking with those of your competitors.
Other Important Factors in Getting your Website on the First Page of Google
Once you have completed your initial SEO, there is more work to be done. Here are a list of other considerations you should follow.
- Local SEO / Create a Google My Business Listing
- Create Profile Pages on all Major Social Media Websites
- List Your Website in Search Directories
- Consider Setting Up a Google Ads Campaign
- Optimize for Mobile / Responsive Web Design
- Focus on UX/UI Design
The issues we covered in this article represent just a few critical actions you can take to get your website on the first page of Google. Although there are technical steps that can improve a website’s performance it is important to note that SEO is not a quick-fix or one-time task. Effective SEO requires ongoing strategies that take time and commitment in order to deliver on desired results. If your business or non-profit organization is interested in professional SEO services please contact us today and request a complimentary SEO assessment.
If you are interested in Search Engine Optimization please contact us today for a complementary assessment.
About D E E P B L U E
D E E P B L U E is a full-service, custom San Francisco web designer that specializes in creating an entirely new user experience through responsive design, placing an equal imperative on both desktop and mobile devices. They create impactful multi-platform solutions for meaningful brands. DEEPBLUE offers a suite of creative services to improve the online visibility and impact of your business. Their capabilities range from custom websites with responsive design and robust CMS solutions to branding and marketing campaigns, all with a deep focus on the user experience. They succeed in providing their customers with a unique and engaging multi-platform experience. DEEPBLUE’s clients range from small business to Fortune 500, from start-ups to 100-year-old stalwarts, from non-profits to government agencies.