Many businesses dream of having their website show up on the first page of google.
It could help them grow their business by sending a consistent new stream of customers who have already expressed interest in their offer, hence why they are searching for it.
The problem is that most business owners find that SEO is quite an overwhelming topic, and ignore it.
Doing so, they miss out on the opportunities that SEO offers and also on growing their business.
In this article, we are going to take a look at how to get your website on the first page of Google search, so that you don’t have to miss out on these opportunities.
Understanding How Google Works
Google is an algorithm that works based on ranking factors.
This is because there are billions of pages online, meaning it’s not possible to choose the results manually. That being said, sometimes there can be manual reviews either when something gets flagged, or when Google feels the need to check something.
Google has over 200 ranking factors, and if we’d try to explain them all here, that would probably leave you with more confusion.
Instead, we’re going to break down the main ones, as most of them will fall under one of the categories we’re going to cover.
Breaking Down The Main Ranking Factors
As mentioned earlier, there are over 2oo ranking factors that affect where your site ranks in Google.
However, most of them all fall under these categories:
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Interaction Signals
There are a few ranking factors that don’t fit into any of these, for example, domain age. However, these are mostly less important ones that you can’t necessarily control or not as easily.
Technical SEO in a nutshell is making sure you have a healthy site.
By “healthy”, we aren’t talking about making sure the user experience is good, and that Google can find all of our pages.
Some parts of technical SEO include:
- Site speed
- Is there duplicate content?
- Is the site secure?
There are a couple of others as well, but you don’t need to check all of these manually other than how fast your site loads. For site speed, you can use GTmetrix or Pingdom to see how long your website takes to load.
If you are using WordPress, you can easily speed up your site using WP Rocket without needing any technical or coding knowledge.
For the rest, you can get a technical SEO audit from a tool like SEMrush. If you feel doing it yourself is a little too confusing, you can also get in touch with us for a free consultation, where we help you find the right solution for your business.
On-page SEO is how well your website is optimised, hence the name “on-page”.
This includes things like:
- Keyword density
- URL structure
- Keyword in headings
- Meta titles
- Meta descriptions
- Length of the content
On-page SEO helps Google understand what your pages are about.
This is important, as it plays a big role in helping Google match your page to the user’s intent.
The best way to learn how to optimise your pages is by installing a plugin such as Yoast SEO which will teach you the basics. However, it can also often be a little inaccurate as every SERP (search engine results page) is different.
It’s a good way to learn the basics if you are looking to do it yourself. But, for the pages you want to rank, you should always look at what’s already ranking so that you have an idea of what Google likes.
From there, you can analyse the on-page SEO of the top results to see what works best.
When we provide content for our clients, we use a software called Page Optimizer Pro that calculates how a page should be optimised to rank well. If you’re interested in having us write your content, you can learn more about our writing services here.
Off-page SEO is everything that doesn’t happen on your website such as link-building.
Having a social presence, and getting shares are also extremely important, but link-building will usually have a bigger impact.
If your content is good, it can often naturally get links if you promote it on social media and to the right people. However, for smaller sites and businesses this can be quite rare.
We may cover link-building in the future, but for now, we’ll give you 2 quick strategies that you can implement. Also, keep in mind that your links should come from relevant authoritative sites in your niche. Low-quality links can harm your rankings long term, so avoid them.
- Guest posting
One way to build links to your domain and individual pages is by guest posting.
As the name suggests, this would be when you write a post for another blog or website and link back to your site. This is one of the simplest and effective ways to build links and it’s one of the methods we use in our affordable SEO packages.
Our packages are a completely hands-off solution, meaning you won’t have to do any of this yourself.
If you are looking to build your links yourself, you can also check out our blog post on 43 Australian guest blogging sites you can submit to.
- Sky-scraper outreach
This is a technique that we use if it’s suited for a particular campaign.
Here are the 3 steps in a nutshell:
- Analyse the content ranking
- Create something better
- Reach out to the sites linking to the other content, and let them know how/why your content is better.
This works well too, but only on specific campaigns where the competitor has lots of links. If it’s only a couple of links, then it might not be worth it as the conversion rates are rather low compared to guest posting.
Which Pages Should You Build Links Too?
We also wanted to give you some tips on which pages you should build links too.
The simple answer to that is all of them.
Google’s main ranking factors related to links are:
- Links to the specific page that is competing for a keyword
- Links to the domain
However, the power of a link is passed from page to page. This means building links to your supporting pages that are linking to the page you’re trying to rank will also help.
If you are building lots of links, you will also want them going to a variety of pages, not just one that you’re trying to rank. This is a sign of natural link-building, and if your links seem unnatural, it might flag your site for manual review which could lead to you getting penalised.
This is why it’s probably best to either research heavily before starting, or hire experts that can do it for you.
The last main category of ranking factors is interaction signals.
This is how users are interacting with your site, as it gives Google an idea of whether they like it.
For example, imagine you’re ranking in position 2. Most of the users searching for the keyword, click on the first result but then they go back to the result, click on yours, and stay on your page for most longer. This gives Google an idea that they might be looking for your page, not what’s ranking in the first position.
Things that Google takes into account for this are:
- CTR (Click-through rate)
- Dwell time (how long they are staying on your page)
- Scrolling behaviour
SEO is a Long Term Process
SEO is a long term process. Even, if you get all of these things right quickly, it will still take time to rank.
You have to make consistent improvements and have a real strategy behind what you’re doing.
If you’re interested in letting us run your SEO campaigns, you can check out our SEO services.