5 Ways to Carve Out a Top Spot in Google Search Results

Everyone wants their website to be on the first page of Google’s search results pages (SERPs). Since 95% of all clicks are made on the first page, it makes sense. Knowing this doesn’t really help you, though. What you really need to know is how to get your site ranked on the first page of Google’s search results for as many keywords as possible that your customers use.

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“Search Key,” Creative Commons license. | Credit: Flickr by GotCredit

Everyone wants their website to be on the first page of Google’s search results pages (SERPs). Since 95% of all clicks are made on the first page, it makes sense. Knowing this doesn’t really help you, though. What you really need to know is how to get your site ranked on the first page of Google’s search results for as many keywords as possible that your customers use.
The following are some of the ways to carve out a top spot in Google search results.

Keyword Research

It all starts with keyword research using Google’s keyword planner tool.

This keyword planner tells users how many people search for a particular keyword phrase (the phrase Google users put into the search bar), and also gives you additional relevant keywords that you may not have thought of on your own.  Think of it like a thesaurus. Type in some keywords you think your customers are searching for and Google’s keyword planner tool will give you additional relevant phrases.

With this information, you can optimize your site with keywords your consumers are using, and have a better chance of making the first page for them.

Optimize Your Site for Search Engines and Users

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just about the “search engine.” It’s about the users of that search engine.

With the keyword research out of the way, you are ready to optimize your site. These keywords should be the basis for your site’s content. They tell you what people want to find on websites, so you need to give it to them.
For instance, if you have a keyword like, “benefits of essential oils” because you sell essential oils, you want to have a page that explains the benefits of them. You need to use “benefits of essential oils” in the title tag, meta description, headers, and of course in the text of the page.

You also want to add the page on your site where it is easily found by your site visitors. You may have a link on your website’s navigation that says, “Resource Center” or “Help Center.” You can then place your page there.

Review your keywords and group the similar phrases together.  Then for each group, you should create a page that provides detailed information and is easy to understand.

Increase Your Site’s Visibility

Google uses many factors when trying to decide which sites warrant ranking on the first page. One of these factors is how popular the site is according to other sources.

How does Google measure your website’s popularity?  The biggest factor is the quantity and quality of links from other websites.  If a lot of other relevant and credible websites link to your website, then Google will boost your website’s rankings. Think of it like credibility by association.

How do you make this happen?

Push your website as much as possible. This means reach out to website owners to ask if they would be willing to link to your site. It’s best to contact ones that have content that is similar, but not offering the same services and products. This way there’s no competition, and the website owner is more likely to agree.

Social media is another outlet to capture the attention of your consumers. Post on social media often, and ask people to visit and share posts that have your site’s URL. The more people you can send to your site that will be interested in the information, the more likely you’ll attract more links and, in turn, boost rankings.

Ensure Functionality

Google doesn’t want to send its users to sites that don’t provide a good user experience. The best way to know if your site delivers the functionality Google and its users want is to make sure your site meets all of the following criterion.

  • Every page loads quickly.
  • The site’s architecture makes sense, and people can usually find the information they need within 2 clicks.
  • It’s secure, especially if people can buy your services or products on it.
  • All pages are active, so there are no 404s.
  • It’s mobile friendly.

Google recently announced page speed was a big factor in rankability along with mobile friendliness. With so many people using their mobile devices to search now, they want to ensure that their users are shown the best functioning websites.

Update Your Website Regularly

Think about this from Google’s perspective.  Does it make sense for Google to show outdated information on the first page of their search results?

Author: Phil Frost

Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.

Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.

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