This has got to be one of the most sought-after questions and frustrations by online business owners, “How to rank on the first page of Google?”
I reached out to the Internet marketing community and asked what strategies they’ve used to get first place rankings, and here’s what they had to say:
*** 3 Requirements to Rank on the First Page of Google ***
“As a career agency professional specializing in search engine optimization for the past 20 years, I have a few thoughts regarding ranking on page one.
“For a website to rank on page one, it needs to meet the following three requirements:
- Relevant (unique keyword-relevant text) Content
- W3C-compliant source Code (that is easy to index)
- Credibility (via inbound links and citations/mentions)
“When I first started optimizing websites in 1996, all I had to do to rank a website was to incorporate target keywords into the meta keyword tag. Back then, there were roughly 14 search engines to optimize for and none were Google (yet).
“Shortly after Google came on the scene in 1998, the keyword tag become obsolete and we had to focus on securing inbound links from popular and relevant websites. Since my background was public relations, I’d already secured a good deal of links for my early clients and they instantly ranked well on Google.
“So what’s changed in 20 years? Mostly social media and mobile. Social signals meaningfully impact rankings, as does the use of multimedia (videos and images). Mobile-friendly websites (now utilizing AMP code) and schema markup all fare better in rankings.”
Kent Lewis, Anvil Media Inc.
*** Target Long-Tail Keywords ***
“I’ll just target one dimension of the increasingly complex world of 1st page rankings here. It’s something that has really helped me launch my new classical music podcast, Backstage Podcast. Here’s the tip: *target long-tail keywords, NOT generic ones.*
“In other words, you’ll never land on the first page for new Mercedes Benz. However, you can definitely rank for new Mercedes Benz CLA class in Newark, NJ. I’ve done that for clients. And guess what? The latter phrase will deliver much more relevant visitors to your site as well as rank you higher!
“So how do you implement this?
- Create a list of keyword phrases to target.
- Assign one phrase per relevant web page–don’t try to target too many
phrases on a page. Write at least 300 or so words of content targeting that
phrase in a relevant way (sounding spammy will earn you a penalty).
- Use your blog posts to target highly specific long-tail keyword phrases.
“In the post, include an optimized page title, meta description, H1s, body content, and an image with optimized Alt. text. If you have a WordPress site, let the Yoast plugin be your SEO guide. It will make your life so much easier.
“This all takes time, but it reaps long term rewards, unlike buying links and that sort of nonsense.”
Adam Gingery, Backstage Podcast
*** Getting .edu Backlinks with Scholarships! ***
There are no silver bullets to get your page to the top of google other than link building. It takes time and effort to build relevant content so google recognizes your page as an authoritative source.
Scholarships are one of the best ways to help with link building. Most universities have DA’s of over 70 and 80. Those back links are worth thousands and a scholarship may run you $500 or $1000. You can tailor your scholarship towards any field of study and knowing that you are giving to a worthy cause is very gratifying.
As recipients of scholarships similar to our, our co founding team decided to initiate our own scholarship to give back.
Gene Caballero, GreenPal
*** On-Page SEO and Backlinks ***
“How to rank on the first page of Google? It still all starts with great on page seo.
“If you don’t optimize your URL, title tags and h1’s, then you will surely lose. Google knows most of what your site is about in those three things. Plus it tells the reader what your article or piece is about.
“Obtaining high quality backlinks is still the backbone of high performing sites. Backlinks are the online equivalent of a vote of confidence.
“Sharing an article on social media is similar to saying, yeah that is a nice person to talk to. Whereas the link is someone saying I’ve vetted this person. They are legit. Social shares are nice and drive traffic but the links from related or at least highly respected sites are the #1 ranking factor.
“Best way to do that? Guest posting. Which requires work. That’s why so many fail, because it is hard.”
Steve Twomey, MasterMind Digital Branding Solutions
*** High Quality Backlinks ***
“One of the best ways to rank your website on Google’s first page is to take advantage of local search. To get started, you can:
“Claim your Google My Business page.
“Many people will not include their location as a keyword when searching for a business near their home or place of work. Google however, will utilise their device’s location for these searches to narrow down results and provide the most relevant answers. This often takes the format of a section dedicated to local businesses, their contact information, and their place on the map, conveniently located on the top of the first page of the SERPs.
“By claiming your My Business page, your company’s website stands a strong chance of appearing on the top of the first page via the local listing section. It’s quick, easy, and cost-free.”
Alice Bedward, Helping Australia
*** $150 Strategy That Beats SEO Companies! ***
“Hi John, I’m not an experienced seo guy, nor do I have any idea what that is…LOL, but I do know that writing stories about my jobs and using a wordpress.com mobile friendly site has kept my little $150 a year in costs website www.centralcoastwaterproofing.com first on page one of results in Google over decktech.org who spends thousands with a web design and seo company.
“Real stories, personal, relatable, easy to read = winner.”
Bill Leys, Central Coast Waterproofing
*** A Common Misconception About Google Rankings ***
“One of the most common misconceptions is that Google ranks websites. They don’t; Google ranks individual web pages. Because of that, every single page of a website is a unique opportunity to rank on page one for one or more keyword phrases.
“The key to page one success in the search engines is determining what phrases you actually have a chance to rank for. Before we even consider building a website, we do keyword research to determine what phrases people are using to search for products or to get answers to questions related to our market niche.
“It’s important to know how often the search phrases are being typed in and how strong the competition is on page one for those queries. We use our own proprietary tool but there are various keyword research tools available online that can help you determine that.
“Next, we put our keyword research list away and build our sites for real people. When that is finished, we break out our keyword research list and start tweaking our web pages for search engines, optimizing them for the search phrases that we discovered in the keyword research stage.
“And, of course, we do our best to get other sites to link to our targeted pages because those links are very important in getting those pages to rank.
“There is no magic in getting pages to rank; no secret formula. It’s always about links and the content on your pages. Knowing which phrases you have a chance of ranking on page one for is the key to success or to a whole lot of wasted time and energy.”
Dave Hermansen, Store Coach, Inc.
*** Google Search Console is Invaluable ***
“Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster) search data is invaluable in optimizing your site. Not only does it give actual Google search data for your site, it breaks it down by specific urls, clicks, impressions and average rank position.
“This is a wealth of information directly from the horse’s mouth. This data is extremely useful in understanding which of your keyword groups are doing well, and what needs to be improved.
“With some key on-page optimization, your SERP can jump considerably. For off-page optimization, Google Search Console provides backlink data at a very granular level. This helps you strategize your link-building efforts. Armed with this information, you can go to town optimizing your site for significant gains in search rankings.”
Zaki Usman, Pagezii SEO
How To Rank On The First Page Of Google – Your Thoughts! ***
Is there something you do that helps you rank on the first page of Google that hasn’t been mentioned by these SEO experts? Leave a comment below!