How to get to page 1 of Google
The most frequent question I get asked is will my website get page 1 of Google? The answer to this question doesn’t have a straightforward answer. However, there are certain things that you can look at. These include
- What keywords you are trying to rank for
- The size of your website
- What market you are aiming for
- How often your website is updated
- Your domain name
- The website content
- Many other factors
Let’s look at each of these one by one.
What keywords are you trying to rank for?
A keyword is basically what you type into Google when you are searching for something. So, for example, if you wanted to buy a new office chair you might type into Google “office chairs”. Office chairs would be the keyword. If you wanted to rank for office chairs there would be a lot of competition in Google. Instead what we try to use is something called long tail keywords. So, for example we might use the keyword “leather office chair”. This is much better, but it can still be narrowed down even further. If we use the keyword “brown leather ergonomic office chair” we would have a much better chance of ranking for that keyword. There would be fewer searches for that particular keyword but if you did that for each keyword the volume soon builds up.
Depending on your niche I would strongly recommend that you carry out some keyword research before having your website designed or have someone carry out the keyword research for you. Some markets such as health and fitness are extremely hard to rank for. If you know this before your website is designed, you can go into it with your eyes open and understand that you will need to carry out a lot of SEO work and potentially spent a lot of money to rank your website.
The size of your website
Google likes content. The more content that your website has, the easier it will be to rank. In an ideal world you would have a page for each of your keywords. This doesn’t mean to say that a small website can’t rank. It can. However, it will depend on the niche and the competition in that market. For example, I have a client who is a hypnotherapist. Her website is just one page but it is ranking on page one of Google for several search terms.
I recommend to all my clients to add a blog to their website. This is a good way of adding new content on a regular basis and therefore growing the size of your website. This is also something that you are able to do yourself so is a very cost-effective, rather than paying for lots of content to be added at the start.
What market you are aiming for?
Generally speaking it is easier to rank for a local market than a national or international market. For example, if you are a tradesman or offer a local service then your website may be easier to rank if you sell nationwide or internationally. For a local market Google is your friend. There is something called Google My Business (GMB) for local businesses. This is very easy to set up I can help your website rank if done correctly. It also allows your customers to leave reviews on Google. This can also really make a great impact on your rankings.
If your website has a nationwide or international market, then you need to look at the content much more carefully. A one page website will be almost impossible to rank nationally or internationally.
How often your website is updated
Google likes websites that are updated frequently. This means adding new content to your website as often as you can. Although it is very possible to rank your website without adding new content, by doing so you increase your chances of keeping your ranking position. Although you might think this is time consuming, if you have a blog on your website then just spending 2 hours a week writing content can make all the difference. I recommend that all my clients do this and provide full training on it. And of course, if you base your blog posts around keywords then you can start writing for other keywords also.
Your domain name
I have written an article about using domain name here https://www.websitesbydiane.com/how-to-choose-a-domain-name/. It’s really important and can make all the difference about whether or not your website ranks.
The website content
Writing content for your website can be a bit of an art. You want to relate what you do to your website visitors while at the same time including keywords for Google. Getting the right balance can be tricky. I always recommend that you write from the heart first of all and then look at your content and tweak it where necessary for keywords. Your web designer should also adding something called tags. These basically tell Google how important the words are on your page. When configured correctly the tags help your SEO.
Your images can also help SEO. It is very common just to name your images with numbers. When Google finds an image it doesn’t know what the image is unless you tell it. If your Image file just has a numerical name then Google will think it is a photograph of numbers. Instead give your photographs meaningful names. For example if you’re selling a brown leather chair name the image file “brown-leather-chair”. This can be very time consuming but is really worth it. In Windows to rename an image simply right click and select rename.
Many other factors
All the above will give your website a really great foundation for SEO. For some niches this will be enough to rank your website. For others, you will also need to get backlinks. Some of these are very simple backlinks such as from directories. Personally I think that Google should change backlinks as a ranking factor as a whole industry has grown around this. Just try Googling “get backlinks” and look at the results. People are buying backlinks rather than getting them naturally. For me this completely goes against logic and often skews the results. If you’re listening Google change this please ?
Social factors such as Facebook and Twitter might also play a part so if you are going to update these then they are also a great addition to your website.
Many people think that once they have a website, they will automatically appear on page one of Google overnight. Much as I wish this was the case Google themselves say it can take up to 6 months for a site to be indexed. Although in my personal experience it is usually significantly quicker than this, if you have a 6 month time frame in mind this is much more realistic. Don’t forget there are hundreds of other websites and in some cases thousands, also trying to get page to page one of Google at the same time as you. However if you follow the basic steps listed above, and depending on how competitive your niche is, you have a chance of ranking on page one.
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