How To Get On The First Page Of Google & Stay There
Throughout our blog, we talk a lot about Google. And for good reason. Whether you like it or not, increasing your visibility on Google is critical when it comes to growing your business.
By getting in the top results of Google’s search engine results pages, you’ll increase organic traffic & get more exposure for your business which will hopefully translate to more sales.
While this all sounds great in theory, the actual implementation of search engine optimization (SEO) is quite technical.
For this reason, we’re offering the following blog post. Hopefully, after reading, you’ll have a very basic understanding of what it takes to get on the first page of Google & stay there!
Getting On The First Page Of Google: Organic vs Paid Methods
Before we get into the actual execution of methods, you must understand that there are only two ways that you can get on the first page of Google.
The first way is through search engine optimization. Search engine optimization refers to optimizing your listing or website so that you rank for keywords organically.
The second way is through paid advertising, specifically with a Google Ad campaign that places your listing or webpage on the first page of Google’s search results.
How To Get On The First Page Of Google Organically
We’ll now discuss the first method of getting your business on the first page of Google: by optimizing your listing and/or website for search so that you show up in the “top spots” organically.
List Your Business On Google
For local businesses, the first step in getting on the first page of Google is pretty obvious: you need to list your business on Google. And fortunately for you, listing your business on Google is extremely simple. All you need to do is set up your Google My Business account.
In the case that your listing has already been made, all you need to do is claim & verify ownership of the listing.
For a full explanation on registering your business with Google, read our article here.
Don’t know if you already have a listing? Search for your business on Google Maps. If you don’t see a listing, then you need to create one. If you do see one that you yourself never created, then you need to request ownership of & verify the listing.
Once you own the listing, it’s off to the races! Google will then start placing your listing in search results for your business category & product offering.
However, if you want your listing to be in the top ranking, you’ll need to do some more work. We recommend adding enhanced content (descriptions, bios, photos & customer reviews) to your listing for optimum search performance.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- How To Craft The Perfect Google My Business Description For SEO
- Google My Business Photos: How To Add Them & Look Your Best Online
- How To Get More Google Reviews & Increase Local Search Ranking
Submit Your Sitemap To Google
Although a listing will undoubtedly give your business much-needed exposure, we also recommend that you have a website potential customers can visit after viewing your listing.
Not only does a website give you more ranking & visibility opportunities, but it also makes your business look more credible to consumers.
In order to submit your site to Google, you’ll need to register your domain on Google Search Console & submit your sitemap. Essentially, a sitemap is a roadmap for your website. By submitting it to Google, you provide Google’s crawlers with that roadmap & let them know exactly what needs to be crawled.
Submission of your sitemap can expedite the crawling, indexing & ranking process. Google will periodically recrawl your site as changes or additions are made.
We’re now going to discuss how Google places listings & websites in search results so that you can better understand how to get yours on the first page of Google.
How Does Google ‘Rank’ Listings & Webpages In Search Results?
When we talk about search engine optimization, we’re referring to optimizing your listing and/or website for ranking algorithms (specifically Google’s). What this means is that you (or a trusted agent) are enriching your listing or website with content that helps you rank higher than other businesses that are talking about the same topics that you are.
The reason I bring this up is that ranking signals are at the heart of Google’s algorithm. Therefore, whether or not you’ll rank on the first page of Google for a certain keyword is largely dependent on how you present yourself to Google.
You see. Google has bots that crawl & index listings & webpages for relevant keywords. Google then has an algorithm that ranks those pages for relevant keywords. Therefore, when a user searches for a keyword, Google will return the pages that have been ranked for that keyword.
In essence, Google’s ranking algorithm attempts to provide its users with the most relevant information possible. Keywords play a huge role in helping Google deem what a piece of content is about & which keywords it should rank for.
As such, the keyword is at the heart of search engine optimization. But without displaying the proper ranking signals, you won’t get on the first page of Google for the keywords that your listing or webpage displays.
Therefore, your goal is not only to show consumers that you offer a product or service that they are searching for, but your goal is also to show Google that you are a credible provider of said product or service. Ranking signals play a big role in this.
But before we get into the ins and outs of core ranking signals, let’s discuss where you should place the keywords that you want to rank for.
Where Should I Place Keywords That I Want To Rank For?
It’s best practice to include the keywords that you want to rank for in the following places:
On Your Listing
- Listing DBA
- Product Offering
On Your Website
- Website URL
- Title of your webpages
- Body of your webpages
- Meta Description
At this point, you may be asking yourself what ranking signals are exactly. Don’t worry. We’ll break down some of the most important ones for you.
General Overview Of Google’s Ranking Signals
As of 2020, Google has over 200 ranking signals in its core ranking algorithm RankBrain. Keep in mind that these signals are updated sometimes abruptly. As a result, rankings are volatile.
In order to account for such changes, we recommend a holistic approach to SEO in which you focus on maintaining the core health of your listing and/or site with proven best practices.
Among Google’s core ranking factors, the most prominent ones are as follows:
- Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
- Websites that are mobile-friendly
- Schema markup
- Webpage content quality
- Webpage content length
- Page speed
- Social signals
- Quality backlinks
- Optimized images
- Domain age
- User experience (UX)
Google provides the following guidelines for optimizing your Google My Business listing for local search:
- Enter complete data
- Verify your location(s)
- Keep your hours accurate
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Add photos
Google also provides the following local pack ranking signals:
- Relevance – how closely a business’ description & product offering matches a user’s search phrase
- Distance – how far a business is from the user who is searching
- Prominence – how well known a business is
In order to optimize your listing & website for search, you’ll want to follow these best practices. Use them as guidelines at the very least.
Get On The First Page Of Google With Pay Per Click Google Ads
Organically ranking for keywords can take some time. Our local SEO technology, however, can help you rank for desirable keywords. Nevertheless, many businesses opt for Google advertising campaigns in order to boost their listings or webpages to the top of Google search results.
Keep in mind that Google Ads can be extremely expensive, especially with some keywords costing over $40 per click. However, this isn’t the norm across the board. The cost per click, or CPC, for your industry-specific keywords, will vary depending on the competitiveness of your industry.
Types Of Google Ads That Get You On The First Page Of Google
Among the different types of Google Ads (Search, Display, Shopping, Video, App), the following campaigns will display your ad on the first page of Google.
Search ads often refer to text ads that display the search result of a landing page on your website. Most recently, search ads have also included ads in the Google My Business local pack. Google search ads often display as search results in the top 3-4 spots of a SERP.
Shopping ads refer to ads that display pictures of retailer products. These ads either display in search results or in the shopping tab of Google’s SERPs.
What We Recommend: A Multi-Channel Approach
We are advocates of both an organic & paid approach to marketing your business on Google. Our local SEO technology can help boost your listings in organic rankings. If you decide that you’d like to implement a more aggressive strategy, our team of paid search advertisers can give you the exposure you need while maximizing the efficiency of your ad spend.