For almost every business that finds themselves online, getting on the first page of Google is like the light at the end of the SEO tunnel. It may seem like a triumphant win in itself (who doesn’t like to be Number 1, after all?), but being on first page of Google also means more visibility, more audience reach and of course, more traffic … and a solid opportunity to outsmart your competitors.
Boosting your business up onto the first page of Google naturally is by no means an easy feat. But it is do-able with a range of continuous and ongoing techniques that stem from your website and its related content. If you do decide to try and get your website on the first page of Google organically, here are a few tips:
1. Understand How Google Works
It’s crucial to understand that getting your business on the first page of Google only applies to certain words or phrases. Google works by bringing users the most relevant results for what they type in to a search. This is known as a ‘search term’ and more commonly as a ‘keyword.’
When a user types in a specific keyword or keyword phrase (like “cheap high heel shoes online”), you might show up on the first page of Google, but if they use a different combination of words, you might find you’re actually on the tenth page. Choosing the right keywords (this is where an SEO professional can help) is often the key to ranking well landing yourself on the first page of Google.
2. Optimise Your Content
Once upon a time, high ranking websites used to be based predominatly around keywords. The more keywords that were used, even in a natural way, the higher the ranking. This is still true, and search engines still do search and rank by relevancy, but optimising your site these days also means creating relevant and high quality content that’s not just there for the sake of showing off your keywords.
A good site experience coupled with good content is one of the top things that search engines consider – and so you will need a combination of great writing, useful information and careful keyword placement (without keyword stuffing) to help get you on the first page of Google.
3. Create a Backlink Campaign
Google PageRank is also used by search engines in determining your place in Google SERPs, and one of the biggest factors that PageRank takes into account is the quality of links from other websites to your website (otherwise known as backlinks). While lots of links are great, remember that quality is key when getting to the first page of Google, rather than quantity. Similarly, any linking “tricks” or dodgy practices like link buying, will likely see you at the bottom of results.
There are many ways to create backlinks for yourself, including: submitting useful articles to article directories, submitting your website to business directories, creating a topic-driven blog, investing in advertising online and participating in forums and other blogs.
4. Get a Location
Never heard of Google Places? Google Places is now considered mandatory by many SEO professionals to getting on the first page of Google and since 2011, it has been incorporated into Google’s search engine results. This means that if you’ve listed your business on Places, you’ll like show up as a more relevant business to users searching in your same location (generally speaking).
5. Make Use of Social Media
Social networking also works to enhance your visibility and is a great way to reach new customers and increase your traffic. But your activity on social networking sites must bring value to your customers. The most popular social network sites include Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – the latter of which is Google-owned and can also influence your rankings, especially if you’ve got lots of great content that has been “+1’d” or if users in your circles are conducing personalised searches. If you post blogs, don’t forget to include social media buttons on all your content, too, so that other users can share and promote your content.
6. Find an SEO Professional to Help You Stay High
If you’re finding that all of these tips sound like a lot of work, you’re not wrong! Getting your business on the first page of Google is possible, but it’s staying up there that’s the challenge. Remaining on the first page of Google requires the constant task of employing all of the above strategies – and more – in order to maintain your rankings.
Because of this, many business owners will actually hire an SEO professional or an SEO agency, as they don’t have the time to constantly spend upkeeping their SEO techniques and wondering if they are doing the right thing by Google.
SEO professionals work solely to boost and sustain your first page rankings on Google by analysing your entire content spectrum – from your website structure to your external articles – and determining the best strategies to keep you ranked well. Remember, it’s great to be on the first page of Google for a short time, but if you don’t keep working at your rankings, your website will drop down again fairly quickly … and you’ll lose all that traffic once again!