Do I really NEED to be on the first page of Google search engine results?
Almost all questions in this day and age are answerable by Google and understanding how to get your website on the first page of Google search results is one of the most profitable moves you can make for your business. In fact, Google occupies 92% of search engine market share with Bing at 2.28% and Yahoo as even less at 1.52%. I dare say Google’s powers are boundless and can even help you gain website traffic while spiking revenue!
Many entrepreneurs don’t fully understand how to use Google’s boundless powers to their benefit. Here is where the rubber meets the road: consumers don’t want to click more than they absolutely have to. If desired results show up on the first page of Google’s search engine results, you can bet the farm customers aren’t going to continue clicking through page after page when what they’ve searched for is staring them in the face on the first page. In fact, 75% of users don’t even want to think about clicking to the next page. Why bother?
Yes, and here’s how to get on the first page of Google!
Here’s where you, as a business owner, come in. Let me start by saying one thing: if you’re excited that your company shows up on the third page of Google’s search engine results, prepare for me to burst your bubble. You are are not visible to your customers unless you have a first page presence and here’s how it’s done:
- Communication is key! Notify Google right away that you have a company website. Google bots are extremely thorough, never missing a beat when crawling the web for various websites. It can take some time for the bots to pick up on your website and, while waiting around is one way to do things, it’s best to submit your website to Google Search Console pronto. The program is free and breaks down your performance on Google search, emailing you suggestions as to what you can do to enhance your website’s visibility. It’s still important to login regularly in order to make sure all is well. For step-by-step instructions, visit “The Beginner’s Guide to Search Console” in Google Search Central.
- Be strategic in targeting brilliant keywords. There is a great deal I could say about keyword selection, but I’ll try to keep it short. Finding the right keywords is the beginning of your process in ranking your website on Google’s first page of search results, but what is right to one business owner may seem wrong for another. Fortunately, there are some basic principles that apply to everyone:
- Think about words best describing your products or services and think like a customer. For example, what would a customer type in the search engine bar if they were shopping for a reputable lawn service?
- Shoot for phrases with the three to five words your customers are most likely to type into the search bar. If your keyword consists of those matching your website and coincide with what customers are likely to enter, then your website will most likely appear in the search engine results. Stay with me. This is just the beginning!
- Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes. Really get inside their heads and think about the types of questions they will ask on Google. This will help you generate keywords specific to your website, easily located by Google’s search engines. Be sure to do a search in order to learn which phrases are most commonly related to your company.
- Once you decide on your keywords, be sure to weave them generously into your content, communicating to Google that your company website exudes authority and is the place where customers need to go in order to gain the right answers to their questions. This will help boost your website ranking on Google’s first page as you stand out from your competition.
- Research your competitors and find out how they got on the first page and what is keeping them there. You know the olds saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. In this case, keep your customers close and your competition closer by researching your competitors. You might be up against some tough competition with an impressive audience. Don’t be intimidated! Type your desired keyword into the search bar and learn what and who you’re dealing with! This will allow you to adopt a strategy and select keywords best geared to your target audience. Furthermore, try to learn why your competitor ranks higher for the same keywords and whether they are gaining popularity due to paid campaigns or organically. You might even discover that you can target keywords your competitors haven’t yet implemented! In addition, research long-tail keywords that your customers might be using and grab keywords targeted by your competitors. You can strategize about ways to beat your competition at their own game by using them more effectively.
- Make sure you create a page which supports search intent. Let me be clear in saying that web pages and not actual websites rank on Google’s first page. For example, you might rank for “how to spot clean a sofa” and “carpet pet stain removal” as two separate web pages, both landing on separate search engine results pages. It is entirely up to you as to which page you’d like to rank, but the options are limitless. You may choose as many as you’d like as long as you understand that website authority will affect the ranking of each individual page you select. Just be sure that your page content is chalked full of info that Google can rank for your target keyword as your chances are better when your content lines up with the content of search intent. Don’t be tempted to tamper with your web page URL so as not to compromise established quality backlinks. If you absolutely must reconfigure your URL’s, don’t forget to direct the old ones to the new ones!
Develop a content angle, addressing your target audience and be thorough in your content descriptions and discussions as the authority on the subject(s). Stick to subjects directly related to your website and industry.
- Incorporate both internal links and quality backlinks. Backlinks will serve to enhance page authority and higher authority websites mean higher ranking on search engine results pages. You can easily acquire quality backlinks by looking for sites similar to yours. You can email those sites with requests that they link a relevant post to your website. You can even add internal links which are relevant to your industry in order to boost authority. Both backlinks and internal links which point to your business website, communicate with Google that consumers consider you a reputable authority. All the more reason to ensure that your backlinks come from reputable sites in order to boost your rankings. Be sure you aren’t incorporating SPAM!
- Shoot for snippets featured. Short text snippets located above various Google search results offer quick answers to search queries and are even better than having your web page rank on Google’s first page of search engine results. Google selects the featured text, so there is no magic trick for achieving this and it is not automatically generated. The best thing to do is alter your content in order to boost your chances of having featured snippets. You can also implement a bulleted format, create bulleted lists, and incorporate sentences beginning with how, why, where, when, what, and who. Extra points for developing content that immediately answers these questions.
- Take charge of your meta tags and manage them well. The short text appearing in Google search results are called “meta tags” and they are content descriptors which are shorter than featured snippets. Meta tags consist of no more than 120 characters, containing the most crucial info plus a keyword. While they don’t show up on a website, they are made up of clear, concise verbiage specific to each individual web page on your website. Keywords should be incorporated in your meta tags, so be creative!
- Make sure your web page is mobile optimized. Half of global internet traffic takes place on mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads. Users get frustrated when web pages don’t load or they cannot be viewed in full, so it’s paramount that you ensure your website is optimized for all screen types. Customers will avoid your page if the experience is poor.
- Include your location! Customers want to know whether you are locally based or overseas. Increase your chances of getting on the first page of search engine results by incorporating your locale in your keywords. Many consumers want to do business with companies located in specific cities or states, so adding your business to local directories such as Foursquare or Yelp will only gain your higher search engine visibility, boosting your online presence.
Web page visibility entices consumers to click in order to learn who you are and what you’re about. Don’t shy away from tools such as social media and chat forums in order to show consumers what they’re missing. Establish your authority and expertise regarding your products and services and you are sure to turn the right heads as you show consumers they can rely on you for questions regarding your profession. Keep your target audience engaged with consistent, fresh content, leaving them hungry for more. Better yet, consult your local small business SEO Jacksonville Florida expert today!