Number one rank

How to get a page 1 ranking on Google: the essentials…

When searching online, when was the last time you scrolled through the entire first page of Google results, failed to find anything that interests you and resorted to the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the screen? According to HubSpot, 75% of Internet users never get beyond the first page – and for local searches, that figure rises to a staggering 98%.

Think of a page 1 ranking as the equivalent of winning Champions League qualification – and getting right to the top as lifting the cup. If you’re currently languishing in Serie D with zero hope of promotion, here’s how to lay the foundations for this season’s campaign…

Start thinking like a ‘real person’.

This isn’t 2007. Forget about trying to game Google by stuffing your website with keywords in an unnatural way – or (even worse) buying links to spammy sites in an attempt to convince the Search Engine that yours is an awesome site when in fact, it’s pretty rubbish. The Googlebot got smart – and it’s still learning. Here’s what it’s looking for and what you should focus on when putting together your SEO strategy:

  • Relevance. Create content that directly addresses what it is that visitors are searching for.
  • Authority. Focus on attracting links from quality, high-ranking sites relevant to your niche and positive social references from respected accounts.
  • Performance. Is yours a slow-loading, non-responsive site? If so, Google’s hardly going to be keen to send traffic your way.
  • User Experience (UX). How long are website users staying on your pages? Do they click through to the next stage – or do they bounce back to the search results page without sticking around? A high bounce can be a sign that your visitors aren’t engaging with your site.

Get to grips with keyword research

Are you running a PPC campaign? If so, use the Google Keyword Planner via your Google Adwords account to help you identify search terms, to check out the volume of searches for those terms and to gauge how hard it is likely to be to search for those terms. Tools such as and SERPWoo can also help with research.

Be realistic: focus on a handful of ‘low’ to medium’ keywords relevant to your product first of all. Longtail keywords are your friend; you’ve got a much better chance of ranking for ‘VOIP maintenance engineer in Kuwait City’ than for ‘VOIP’.

Take on-page optimisation seriously

At the very least, cover the basics so the Googlebot and real people can see what your page is all about:

  • Title tag: what appears at the top of a browser: try and work a keyword into it for each page.
  • Meta description: a concise snippet of info that appears below a search result link. Give a compelling call to action to encourage visitors to enter.
  • General content: try and incorporate keywords into your content – but above all, stay natural in tone.

Understand your audience

What makes them tick? What problems are they trying to solve? Understanding this not only helps you hone your keyword research; it also helps you provide a better UX and can help you build up authority through the creation of content that really hits home.

So your SEO efforts are starting to pay off and a steady stream of organic traffic is reaching your site. What next? Traffic means little if you’re not converting it into sales. Find out about how on-site intelligent campaigns can help you do just that.

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