Be featured on page 1 of Google Search is a goal for any online business.
Most people won’t go past the first results when searching the web. So if you want to sell, your website must be among the top 10.
But how to get to the top of Google Search results? This is what we are going to tell you in this article.
Before we get it started, find out your average position on your Search Console.
Are you on Page 2 of Google Search? Or far away from it?
Once you know the answer, check below what you should do on each case.
Your website is on page 2 of Google Search
You are missing the first page by only a few positions, congratulations!
There is plenty you can do to see your website among the top results. And most solutions won’t become an extra cost in your budget.
Here is how to get on Google’s first page for free:
1 – Check your competitors
Start by checking who is now on the first page results. Believe it or not, your competitors are your best teachers. If they are performing better than you on Search, it’s because they are doing something you aren’t.
You won’t be able to check their data, sure, but you can have a look at their content and compare it to yours.
- How does it answer the search query?
- How do they use and place keywords?
- How do they design pages and posts?
There are other reasons why they might be on page 1. You will find them in the following tips. But, yes, it can also be because they are using black hat SEO. In this case, just sit and wait. Google will penalize them sooner or later.
2 – Work on your authority
One of the reasons why Google might not be taking you seriously is because your website doesn’t look reliable. On recent updates, this search engine pushed down the rankings of many websites because they appeared shady.
As a legitimate business, you expect not to be affected by such an update. But:
- Does your website present you as a reliable business?
- Does it look professional and has a modern design?
- Do you have About Us and Contact Us pages that clearly inform your audience who you are and where to find you in case they have a problem?
Remember, at the end of the day, you are trying to convince an algorithm as much as your audience. Subtle information won’t be enough.
3 – Watch your backlinks
Check the external links pointing at your website, known as backlinks. You will find them on your Search Console.
Do you have online articles and pages pointing at you, telling your business is reliable, that your information is correct?
The more reputable the source of these links are, the better for you. It’s not just about quantity, even though it also counts. But links coming from poor websites won’t help you much.
And avoid the temptation of buying links. Google has its way of finding it out, and you will be penalized. Use only White Hat link building strategies, such as guest blogging and submitting your URL to web directories.
4 – Write more (and better) content
The number of pages and posts on your website can influence your ranking. Yet, again, this isn’t only a question of quantity.
Your content must prove you are the best source to answer a query, a one-stop-shop for that type of information. And you can’t get this title after publishing only a couple of articles. You will need volume to show authority.
There isn’t a right number, though, but around 30 articles should be enough to make Google notice you. Quality must be high throughout all your content, meaning you might need to invest more on your team of content creators.
5 – Optimize your content
Optimize your published content to improve your ranking. This is especially a good idea if you are very close to Page 1 – fixing a few things might get you there. So do the following:
1. Go to your Search Console and find out the more promising pages or articles, those with ranking just below Page 1.
2. Compare them to those already on the first page. If you have none, use your successful competitors as a parameter.
3. Answer this: in which way the top-result pages or articles are different? It could be their structure, design, writing style, etc.
4. Once you figure out the above, optimize the rest of your content accordingly.
5. Take note of when you did the optimization.
6. Check your Search Console after 1 month to see if there was an improvement in the ranking. If not, repeat the process until you figure out what you need to change.
6 – Find your way on Google My Business
If you run a business with a physical address, Google My Business can put you on Page 1. In this case, inside a lateral box at the very top of the results – you might have seen it after searching for a product or service offered in a specific location.
The info displayed includes your website URL, directing potential costumers straight to you. And if you have plenty of 5-star reviews, you increase your chances of being at the top. This service is free of charge, but your location will be verified.
7 – Check if your website is mobile-friendly
Most online traffic coming from mobile devices nowadays. For this reason, Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.
So your website must be optimized to be seen and experienced perfectly on phones and tablets.
Try to solve the challenges related to small screens. For instance:
- Consider changing your font size
- Remove infographics nobody can read
- Find a way to keep buttons easy to click
But don’t stop there. Do your best to turn mobile-friendly into mobile-first. Google will like you even more.
8 – Verify your loading speed
Nobody has time to waste nowadays, and a fast internet connection can be found almost everywhere. Meaning your visitors won’t understand why they have to wait for your pages to load. Neither will Google.
Loading speed has been a ranking factor for a while, so check on your Search Console how you are performing. If you have a multi-regional website, also ask local people to test it. You might not be getting the full picture from your base, even using a VPN.
If there is an issue, start by checking your images. They might have been saved in the wrong format or size, one that is slowing things down. Also, consider hiring a web developer to analyze the situation and present solutions.
Your website isn’t on page 2 of Google Search
If your website is on Page 3 or beyond, you must be wondering: how to make my business show up on Google Search?
But where there is a will, there is a way. Nothing is impossible in the online world.
Still, you will need to work hard to get your website on Google’s first page. Money and time will be involved, and maybe the support of specialists.
1 – Add a blog to your website
Does your website have a blog? If not, create one asap. Google Search is the home of non-commercial articles, information capable of answering questions. The pages of a commercial website, especially an online shop, it’s unlikely to do it right.
On the other hand, a blog can be where you provide helpful information to your audience. You can create how-tos related to your products, publish interviews, talk about your production process. And all this can help you to rank better on organic results.
2 – Learn more about your audience
Another reason why you might not be ranking well is a poor understanding of search intent – as in the reason why someone is looking for something online. To fix it, learn more about your audience. Not only the keyword they type, but why they are typing them. This way, you can decide what content you should create.
The format and angle of your content must be aligned to search intent so a search engine can match it with a query. For instance, someone looking for a how-to isn’t likely to be ready to make a purchase. You shouldn’t try to direct them to a sales page.
3 – Invest in public relations
Authority is an important ranking factor. But you can’t build it overnight. It takes time and effort to make an audience believe you are the best source in your field. And you already have competitors well established.
Public relations strategies can help you with this. Hire an agency or a seasoned professional to promote your business through press releases and interviews. Being cited by reliable sources will increase your authority.
But don’t forget: you want to be featured on media outlets with an online presence. This way it will have a direct impact on your ranking – especially if their articles have links pointing at your website.
4 – Evaluate the quality of your content
Sadly, there is a chance you aren’t ranking because your content isn’t good enough to be on page 1. To find it out, compare the content currently on the first results with yours. Be honest: are your pages or article at the same level?
It’s OK if you feel unable to create copy with the required quality. The online market is extra competitive these days. But you might need to hire a professional content writer or copywriter to do it for you. Or an experienced editor to evaluate your website and perfect it.
5 – Try video instead
For many searches, Google shows videos above the top results. This is because a growing number of people prefer to consume information visually. So if you create your own videos, they can be your ticket to the first page. You can add a link to your website to the videos themselves or their descriptions.
Test some queries and see what comes up on Search. Are there any videos already ranking? If yes, watch them so you can have a good idea of what you should offer. If not, define format and quality based on the expectations of your audience. Start simple and take it from there.
6 – Move to other long-tail keywords
You probably know how hard it’s to rank for short-tail keywords. For instance, trying to be among the top results for “iPhone”, “vegan”, or “jeans” is nearly impossible. Unless you have the budget of a megacorp.
Your goal is to rank for long-tail keywords, those with 3 or more words together. But if you are also struggling with this, it can be because you chose the wrong ones. Maybe they are too competitive or not right for your business. Try and create content aimed at other options and follow the data. It might do the trick.
7 – Check for technical issues
Another possibility is that your website is poor, technically speaking. Have a look at your Google Search Console and see if you can find any error notifications. Check for loading speed problems, critical mistakes in your robots.txt, or a less than perfect sitemap.
This is an area you might need help from a website developer. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire one to fix things for you, consider paying for a thorough check-up. Maybe the solution is something you can do yourself.
8 – Pay for Google Ads
When nothing works, it’s time to pay to sit on the first rows. Google Ads are displayed above the top results of Page 1, and they might be the only way for you to be there. This is especially true if it’s hard to create helpful content linked to your products or services.
Still, you might need to spend a substantial amount of money bidding for ads. Some keywords are more competitive than others (meaning, more expensive). Yet, don’t decide your strategy based on cost, but on your goals and the search intent of your audience.
Keep learning and improving
Putting the suggestions above into practice will help you to see your website on the first page of Google Search. They are tested and proved.
Still, Google is secretive about how their algorithm work. Nobody knows for sure how they determine ranking. And when someone gets close to figuring it out, a new algorithm is released, sending everyone back to square one.
So, understand we are talking about a never-ending battle. Your ranking position can change overnight, despite your best efforts. Be prepared for continuous learning and improvements.