How to get on the first page of Google search results

Written on 21 December, 2015 by James Baylis
Categories: Search Engine Optimisation | Tags: adwords, google, keywords, marketing, online marketing, ppc, search engine optimisation, seo

You’ve built your website. It’s mobile-friendly, showcases your products and the design looks great. You’re ready to drive traffic to it and you know that Google is one of the most important ways to do so, but how can you get on the first page of Google search results?

While not the single deciding factor on the success of your website, your search engine ranking plays a vital role in the amount of traffic your website receives – and how your site helps achieve your long-term business goals.

So how can you get on that elusive first page?

Search engine optimisation

Almost everyone is aware of search engine optimisation (SEO). At its most basic, SEO is about improving your page’s ranking on Google to drive more traffic organically and be found when clients search for your product or service.

A report from Search Engine Watch showed that the number one search ranking on Google receives almost 33% of traffic, and the figures decrease to approximately 18% for second place and 11% for third. By the time we get to number 10, only about 2% of traffic is clicking through – and it’s even less for the second, third and fourth pages of results.

If you want to get your business to the first page of Google – and, better yet, into the top three results – there are a few things you can do.

  • Ensure your website’s foundations are optimised for SEO: This includes things such as loading times, website code, alt-tags on images, broken links and whether your site is mobile-friendly.
  • Have a list of keywords to rank for: Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, and speak to current clients to put together a list of commonly used search terms. Incorporate these throughout your website to bolster your rankings, and don’t forget to include long-tail keywords.
  • Build genuine external links back to your site: Whether through guest posts, PR activity or sponsored posts, external links have a big impact on the ranking of your site.

Pay-per-click advertising

While SEO is essential to your business’s traffic, and something you should strive to improve at all times, it can take months before your efforts pay off in a noticeable way. In the meantime, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can help your business mitigate the impact caused by not being ranked highly on Google. Google displays ads above the number one ranking for searches, and PPC gives you the chance to put your business back on the front page.

PPC on search results involves using Google AdWords to bid per click on the keywords clients use to find your product or service. For example, a flower store in Sydney might bid on “buy flowers Sydney” so their ad comes up first on that search.

Whether or not you’re currently on page one, PPC is an effective way to drive traffic to your website and should be part of any business’s search marketing strategy.

Tips to succeed with PPC

  • Use SEO keywords: Use them as a starting point for the keywords you want to bid on. Keep in mind that competitive keywords (such as “flower shop Sydney”) will cost more per click than long-tail keywords.
  • Monitor click-through and conversion rates for PPC ads: If your click-through and conversion rates are low, that will affect how much you will need to bid to come up first on your keyword.
  • It’s not just about your text ad: Make your ad stand out from the rest with ad extensions, including your business’s address and links to the main page of your site.

Search marketing is an ongoing process and needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy. However, it can be time-consuming, resource-heavy and difficult to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates.

To ensure you’re heading in the right direction, managed search marketing services are a great tool to set your business up for success. Managed search marketing services help you develop a tailored search strategy for your business, as well as provide you with all the essential tools, expertise and reporting you need to succeed in SEO – and, ultimately, in business.

Contact WebCentral to find out how search marketing can benefit your business.