Ranking on the first page of Google is tough. But you can achieve it by following the proven SEO practices consistently and diligently.
Even if you have just created a website, these tips can increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google.
Let’s first see why you would want to rank on the first page of the search giant.
Why Rank On The First Page of Google?
Google dominates 86.6% of the global search market, followed by Bing (6.7%), Yahoo! (2.71%), and Baidu (0.54%).
Nearly 3.5 billion searches are performed on Google every day. With this much demand, ranking on the first page helps you dominate others.
In fact, organic results on the first page of Google get 90% more traffic compared to the results on other pages.
The high number of clicks on the first page is quite obvious as Google shows the most relevant results on the top based on your search intent.
Along with that, ranking on the highly controversial first page can help you go way beyond your competitors in terms of performance, traffic, and profits.
With that, let’s learn how to rank a website on the first page of Google.
How To Rank On The First Page of Google?
If I say that ranking on the first page of Google is easy, I’d be lying.
However, it can get easier if you apply a few simple techniques and combine them with a strong SEO strategy.
The given methods are white hat (legitimate) SEO techniques that might take a while but increase the chances of ranking on the first page of Google.
It contrasts the black hat SEO techniques that can get your website penalized by Google.
Below are some tips to help you rank on the first page of Google search results.
1. Ensure Your Website Is Indexed
Before you try to rank your website on the first page of Google, you first have to make sure that it is indexed.
You can’t find a book in a library if it isn’t on the shelves.
Similarly, Google won’t even consider ranking your website if it isn’t indexed.
You can check if your website is indexed or not by simply searching in this format: ‘site:yoursite.com’
Replace *yoursite.com* with the domain name of your website.
If your website shows up in the search results, it means it has been indexed. If it doesn’t, you need to get it indexed.
The process of indexing is simple. Submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console by clicking on Sitemaps under the Index section.
This should nudge Google’s web spider to start crawling your website. You can control the pages that get indexed with the help of a robots.txt file.
Now, let’s cut to the chase.
2. Focus On Search Intent
Google uses advanced algorithms to determine the search intent.
Based on the search intent, it presents results that satisfy the underlying motivation or desire of the user.
Therefore, it is an important factor for showing up on the first page of Google.
Understand it with this example:
The users searching for ‘how to tie shoelaces’ need a quick step by step visual guide to do it.
Google’s smart algorithms figure this out and show a video that teaches how to tie shoelaces.
It ranks other results below it as a video would best satisfy the user’s search intent.
So, search intent is better understood as the ‘why’ to the ‘what’ of a search query.
To get it, put yourself in your user’s shoes and get a feel of:
- The kind of searches they make
- The sort of search suggestions they get
- The results showing up for a particular query
- The type of content that ranks on top
It will help you come down to the four main types of intent:
- Informational: User wants to know
- Navigational: User wants to visit
- Transactional: User wants to buy
- Commercial: User wants to buy from available options
Once you understand the search intent of the queries in relation to your site and its content, you are all set to rank higher on Google.
So, focus on user intent!
3. Perfect Your On-Page SEO
On-page SEO elements help Google’s algorithms understand the context of the content it contains.
And it’s really hard to get on the first page of Google if your on-page SEO is not on point.
Here are a few tips to optimize your on-page SEO:
- Title: Include keywords in your title without modification
- Meta Description: Ensure it is not more than 160 characters
- Headings: Structure your content with header tags
- Alt-Text: Include keywords in the alt-text of your images
- URL structure: Include keywords in your URLs
- Keyword Density: Use keywords naturally and maintain a keyword density of 1-3%
- Security: Ensure you have HTTPS security (SSL certificate)
- Page Loading Speed: Reduce your page weight to load in less than 3 seconds
- Internal Links: Add links to other relevant pages on your website
To analyze your website’s SEO performance, use our Website Analyzer tool. It will give you a report of your on-page and off-page SEO efforts within a few seconds.
4. Aim For Mobile-friendliness
Google uses mobile-first indexing to crawl, index and rank sites.
It checks the functionality, loading time, user experience, and design of your website’s mobile version first. Then, it scans the desktop version.
After doing so, it uses the site’s mobile version to rank pages in the SERPs.
The mobile version of a site is the preferred version for Google. Besides this, it reduces your bounce rate by offering a better user experience.
So, you must ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. To start, check:
- It’s mobile-friendliness using RankWatch’s Mobile-friendly Checker.
- Its eligibility for mobile-first indexing using Google Search Console.
Once you find the issues, work on them and make your site perform better in the SERPs.
Here are some tips to help you aim for mobile friendliness:
- Use a responsive web design
- Use standard fonts and sizes
- Provide short and simple menus
- Avoid flash and animations
- Don’t go for screen-blocking pop-ups and ads
- Keep enough space to scroll
- Ensure it loads fast
- Use icons and buttons wherever possible
- Give a search option on your website
Remember, mobile-first indexing and mobile-friendliness are two different things. But go hand in hand.
Having a mobile-friendly site will impact your search visibility (because of mobile-first indexing). So, you must aim for mobile-friendliness.
5. Register On Google My Business
Google my Business helps you rank better for searches with local intent.
Thus, it is one of the easiest and fastest ways for local businesses to get on the first page of Google.
With Google My Business, you can:
- Add your business information to Google Maps, Search, etc.
- Create or get access to a Business Profile on Google
- Manage how your business information shows up across Google
Here are the steps to register yourself on Google My Business:
- Sign-in to Google My Business
- Enter the name of your business
- Enter the address of your business
- Choose if you serve your customers at the address or not
- Search for and select a business category
- Enter a phone number or website URL
- Verify your account
Once your business is verified, it will start appearing in SERPs for location-specific queries.
Also, you can create different types of GMB posts:
- What’s new posts
- Events posts
- Offers posts
- Welcome offer posts
- Product posts
Whenever you create a post, it shows up on Google and its products, thus enhancing your visibility.
Besides this, you can collect reviews from your customers on your Google My Business profile.
It gives signals to Google about your business’s reputation. So, it might help push you upwards in rankings, maybe even the first page.
6. Target Long-tail Keywords
The secret to ranking on the first page of Google is to ditch the popular keywords. Yes, you heard that right.
Most big marketers and SEO experts target short-tail, highly competitive keywords.
However, you can rank on the first page of Google (for most search queries) if you target the search queries in the form of questions or sentences.
These are known as long-tail keywords. In general, they are:
- Less competitive
- More targeted
And they contain short-tail keywords in them. So, you hit two birds with the same arrow.
Suppose you are a manufacturer of apple cider vinegar and want to rank for apple cider vinegar, a very competitive keyword.
You can start targeting long-tail keywords related to apple cider vinegar, such as:
- How to make apple cider vinegar
- What are the uses of apple cider vinegar
- How do we prepare apple cider vinegar
- Why apple cider vinegar is beneficial for health
- What can we cook using apple cider vinegar
When you start ranking for these long phrases, you will easily rank for apple cider vinegar later.
If you wonder how to find long-tail keywords, RankWatch has a free keyword research tool.
Just enter the root keyword, and it will give you a variety of keyword suggestions, including questions.
Also, you’ll get the search volume, competition and cost per click of the respective keywords.
These keyword metrics help you in the selection of keywords.
Once you have relevant long-tail keywords in hand, start creating content that targets them.
In this way, you’ll be able to rank on the first page of Google (for the keywords you’ve targeted) easily.
7. Optimize For Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are rich content formats shown on the top of Google’s first-page search results.
They display content from a web page to answer the search queries whenever possible.
If you rank for featured snippets, your content will automatically rank on the first page of Google.
But, you cannot mark or submit your web page to be a featured snippet; Google does that itself.
However, you can always optimize your website content to be suitable for being a featured snippet.
Here are a few tips:
- Create question-answer content pieces
- Include relevant keywords
- Use headings and subheadings
- Write short sentences and paragraphs
- Be concise and clear
To find common questions, you can use the following:
- Google people also ask boxes
2. Google autocomplete feature
3. A tool like SearchResponse
With that, creating content that ranks at the top-most position in Google SERPs should be easy.
8. Build Authority In A Niche
Google uses E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust) as a ranking factor and prefers results from websites with high-quality, expert content.
- Expertise: The author has relevant experience, skill, or knowledge
- Authority: The website has a good online reputation and influence
- Trust: The website provides accurate and transparent information
Suppose you are searching for omicron updates on Google.
The top search results are from news websites and WHO. All of them have good E-A-T value for omicron related information.
On the other hand, if you search for google algorithm updates, you’d be getting results from authoritative sites in the SEO niche. The reason is again E-A-T.
So, if you regularly create content related to a particular industry, you build an authority in that niche.
And it helps your content to rank higher on Google and soon find a place on the first page.
Now you might think, ‘How much content can one person make?’
The answer is guest posting.
It hugely increases the chances of your website reaching the first page of Google.
Benefits of accepting guest posts for your website include:
- Getting more high-quality, informative content
- Diversifying your website’s content
- Leveraging mutual link-building opportunities
- Attracting more readers
- Enhancing the online footprint
But this doesn’t mean you won’t publish your own high–quality blogs.
You must plan and prepare a content marketing strategy that helps you build authority in your industry.
Publish expert content regularly to compensate for the lack of guest posts on your website.
You can even have a team of in-house writers who have the expertise and knowledge of your industry to write blogs.
That way, your website’s authority will increase and its chances of ranking on Google’s First page too.
9. Earn Quality Backlinks
Backlinks help search engines understand the relationship between two sites.
Also, they vouch for the site’s content or page and indicate that it is worth displaying in search results.
However, link building isn’t as easy as throwing a pile of cash at a few link farms and collecting links. And you should never indulge in buying links.
But, you need to build high-quality backlinks to rank higher on Google and show up on its first page.
The best way is to go for a link exchange or publish guest posts on other high-quality sites.
It can be effectively and efficiently done with targeted outreach to the referring domains of your competitors.
Here are the steps:
- Find out your competitors referring domains
- Extract emails associated with those domains
- Draft a compelling pitch for link exchange/guest post
- Reach out to the domains with your pitch
- Get approvals for the link exchange/guest post
Once you get the hang of it, you can scale it up and reach out to many sites every day.
You can better your pitch, get more positive replies, and build a large number of quality backlinks to your website.
But, tracking your link-building progress is important.
Rankwatch’s free Backlink Checker Tool provides you with a quick overview of your backlink profile.
Enter the URL of the page you want to check and get the following data related to its backlinks:
- Active Backlinks
- Deleted Backlinks
- Do-follow Backlinks
- No-follow Backlinks
- Referring Domains
- Anchor Texts, etc.
10. Make Use of LSI Keywords
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) is a natural language processing technique that finds related terms for a search made by a user.
As search engines evolve, they have started analyzing the LSI keywords present in the content.
It helps them to rank the content for relevant and related search queries. So, you must make use of LSI keywords in your content.
For example, you are writing content related to coffee (main keyword).
Intuitively, you can figure out the following LSI keywords related to it:
- Coffee beans
- Coffee art
- Drink, etc.
Otherwise, you can use the LSI keyword generator available online to find them.
You’d be using them naturally in the content if you have expertise and knowledge about the subject.
But it is good to keep the list handy and incorporate them strategically in your content.
The more aspects of a topic you can cover, the better. Just remember to keep it natural and avoid keyword stuffing.
This way, there’s a great chance that you start ranking for queries you never targeted. And your website gets to the first page of Google!
Reaching The First Page Of Google Takes A Lot
Showing up on the first page of Google isn’t easy. It is similar to growing a tree, which takes time, resources, and knowledge.
As time passes, you enjoy the fruit – you show up on the first page of Google.
If you are getting the desired results, it might be due to some recent Google updates.
Keep checking them at regular intervals and improvise your SEO strategy accordingly.
How many pages of your site rank on Google’s first page? What did you do to get them ranked? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.