Think you’re missing out on valuable internet traffic to your site? If you’re not on the first page of Google, then customers may very well just be walking past your invisible door.
We hide dead bodies on the second page. Third page and beyond? Well, why have a website at all?
While the truly determined internet users will delve into the depths of a search engine to find the result they’re looking for, these people are in the minority. So, how does the typical user find you?
When you search for a certain query or “keyword”, Google brings up the web pages it thinks are most relevant to your search. For instance, search “digital marketing company” and Markitors is sure to be within the first few results. Of course, there are several factors that influence this relevancy, and it may not be as natural and obvious as we’d all care to think.
Let’s take a look at one of the most effective forms of inbound marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here’s how to get your website on the first page of Google, explained in simple terms everyone can understand.
Tip #1: Optimize your main pages for the web (aka, spread the SEO love)
Simply put, SEO is optimizing a web page so that search engines can more easily find it and assign it to certain keywords.
Take our example of “digital marketing company” and Markitors. Because that’s a term that describes our line of business, we’d want to optimize our homepage for it so potential customers can find us. While your homepage is a crucial page to optimize, it’s also smart to optimize any other money page that describes your products or services.
Here are some of the SEO basics that anyone can follow:
- Target a keyword relevant to your web page, such as “digital marketing services” or “seo services for small businesses”
- Naturally include that keyword within the page’s text a few times
- Use synonyms and other more specific, related words within the article as well
- Include the keyword in other crucial locations, such as in the meta description, title, URL, etc.
Of course, these are just a few surface-level steps. Once you dive deeper into strategy and competition, there are several more caveats to look out for.
Tip #2: Blog regularly
If you’re looking for more opportunities to blanket search engines with your website’s pages, then it makes sense to just create more pages.
By targeting a distinct keyword in each new blog or page that you write, you will start to create a network of relevant keywords all leading back to your website domain. For instance, if you have a yarn business, you’ll probably want to appear on the first page of Google for more than just “yarn”. You can create blogs around “the difference between alpaca and merino wool” or “what’s the best yarn for a warm sweater“.
Why is it important to rank high for more than just a handful of core keywords?
Your target customers may be searching for a variety of different terms. Whether they’re looking for answers to questions about your subject-matter area or wanted to learn more about the types of services or products you sell, drawing in these people through various channels will help drive interest and sales.
Tip #3: Get other websites to link to your website
A vital component to healthy SEO on a website is linking. What’s that mean?
Essentially, the more external websites that link back to your website, the more authority your site has in the eyes of Google. So, if you notice that your company gets mentions on blogs or news stories, but doesn’t have a hyperlink back, that’s a golden opportunity to capitalize on untapped potential.
Moreover, it’s not just the number of links that matters. In fact, the words used to link back from (called anchor text) also strongly influence the keywords your website will rank for. So if we want our yarn shop to improve its search engine rankings for “online yarn shop”, you’d do the following the next time you’re featured in an article. Ask the article’s editor to include the link back to your site from the words “online yarn shop“, rather than something like “click here“.
Tip #4: Sign up for Google My Business
A very simple and foolproof way for how to get on the first page of Google is by signing up for a Google My Business account.
By registering your brick-and-mortar business with contact information, a physical address, website, and opening hours, your listing will show up on Google Search and Maps. It’s a great way to ensure local customers can quickly and easily find you by searching either your company name or a related keyword.
Tip #5: [BONUS!] Implement technical SEO
Tech SEO works behind the scenes with search engines to ensure your website is getting properly crawled and indexed. While SEO content is visible by users, tech SEO tweaks back-end things like site speed, sitemaps, mobile responsiveness, and image optimization, just to name a few.
Like coding, tech SEO is one of those areas you probably shouldn’t touch unless you’re very familiar with what you’re doing. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good!
So, is it absolutely necessary to do tech SEO to get on the first page of Google? Well, if you want to scale out and have a sustainable future with SEO, then you might want to look into it.
Where to go from here?
For the average small business owner or marketing manager, learning SEO from the ground up isn’t always feasible. To avoid stepping on a landmine that might take your website traffic in the opposite direction, it could be a better investment to hire a full-service SEO marketing agency.
If your online audience is your biggest asset, then some good SEO may be the best way to go to get that site on page 1!