If you’ve ever tried to find something via a search engine like Google, you will probably not even have scrolled down to find what you're looking for, let alone viewed the second page of results. 71% of clicks come from the first page of Google while only 6% are made on the second page.
Getting your business to rank highly on the first page of Google is a powerful way of reaching potential customers. This doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, there are lots of things you can do for free to get your website or business to list at the top.
In this blog, I'm going to show you why you need to care about where your website ranks and what actions you can take today to keep ahead of your competition.
Why is page one important?
Google’s search engine results page (SERP) has many features you might not even notice as you navigate your way through the web, but all of these features give you a great opportunity to put your business in front of new eyes.
As I mentioned before, you probably don't even scroll down to find what you're searching for, and you wouldn't be alone. The lower down on the first page you rank, the less traffic, impressions and click-throughs you're going to get for your website. This graph shows just how big of a slice of the pie your website can expect for each position you may rank in.
As you can see there is an exponential drop off in click through rate as you rank lower on search results.
What can a top position mean for my business?
- Gives your brand more exposure.
- As mentioned above 71% of clicks happen on the first page so this is where people are going to see your content.
- Generates more leads.
- And when more people see your content more people are going to be converting on your website and turning into leads.
- Improve your industry authority.
- When your business is on the first page it stances your brand as a thought leader in your industry
- Foster trust in your brand.
- Being an industry leader builds trust in your customers as you have proven yourself as a notable brand.
How to appear on Google’s first search results page
There is more than one way to skin a cat, or more specifically, to appear on Google’s first search engine results page.
Here are the four ways you can get your business to rank on page one and reap the benefits listed above:
- Blog post or website
- Google My Business Listing
- Featured Snippets
Now you know why you need to get that top spot and what those top spots are, let’s get into what you have to do to get them…
1) Focus your content for SEO
SEO is the most powerful tool your website has in its arsenal to improve its organic listings, rankings, and performance.
If you want to learn more about SEO check out our guide right here 👉 What Is SEO
To optimise your keywords, you need to identify what keywords you want to compete for. Next, you should create blogs and pages on your website to target those search queries so Google knows what your page is about and can direct your content to the people who are looking for it.
For example, my keyword research for this blog showed me the most popular search queries and the competition I can expect for each one. I have worked these keywords into my titles and text so a search engine knows that I am answering the question “How to get your website to the top of Google” and will show it to the people who want to know the answer.
2) Let Google know which keywords you’re using
Google needs to crawl millions of pages to try to find the best resources to answer your query. To do this, Google scans through its more organized index, instead of reading every single page.
To make the most of this, you want to make it as easy as possible for Google to find your page by putting your primary keyword in a few different places:
- URL - This is the long link you can use to get to a page when you create your page. This is customisable in your CMS, and may be known as a “slug”.
- Meta Title - This is the Title you will see on the SERP that says what the page is about.
- Alt Tags - These are the tags you use on the images in your page to tell Google (and screen readers) what they are. This will also help your page rank higher on image searches.
- Meta Description - These don’t help with rankings but this is the blurb you will see under a website telling you what a page is about and helps with clickthrough to convert your impressions.
3) Create a Google My Business Page
Your website isn’t the only thing that can show up on the first page. Your directory listings can also appear as features.
Google My Business is completely free and one of the best tools for local businesses to use. Both Maps and Google search results pull through your Google My Business page, showing people where you are, what you do, and more core information about your business.
Set up your Google My Business account and verify your business to benefit from all of its perks. To take advantage of this resource even further, you should optimise your listing with images, extra information, and make sure all your details are accurate and consistent with what is on your website.
Google My Business doesn't just benefit search engines though. Potential customers love to see what other people think of your business and gathering glowing reviews and lots of 5-star ratings will help build trust with your customers and set yourself as an authority in your industry.
4) How to get a Google featured snippet?
Google featured snippets are simply the little section of text Google will often display on the top of the page with a concise answer to your search query, and can get up to 8% of all clicks. This text is what Google determines to be the best answer to what you’re looking for.
Generally featured snippets fall into three different categories
These are the excerpts of text Google will take from a page (often alongside an image) that will answer a question.
Make the most of these by writing in a way that will intrigue people to click through to your actual page. Often someone will read the featured snippet paragraph on the SERP and have no need to click through, which will provide no benefit to your website.
Paragraph snippets will often appear for questions such as:
- How to…
List snippets are simply a list of steps or items that you may have been looking for. A good example of these would be recipes or rankings.
These features will display up to eight points or steps. To take advantage of this, it can be good to make your content piece longer than just eight steps to encourage users to get a taste of your content and have to click through to see the other points you make in your article.
List snippets often appear for search queries such as:
- How to...
These are a way for Google to extract information from your page and display it as a table. This information can be formatted like this on your page, or Google can format your information as a table to improve usability.
Similarly to featured lists, you can optimise for any table snippets you may receive by using more than four rows to encourage users to click through for the rest of the data. Google will then display how many more rows users can view by visiting your website.
Table snippets will appear frequently for queries such as:
5) Write for humans
You can use all of the above to help get you rank better on SERPs.However, it is also incredibly important to write with a human audience in mind. This will help keep readers engaged and on your site for longer.
Furthermore, Google can detect the quality of content and will downgrade your page if it thinks you are keyword-stuffing to try and game the system. You must make your content useful, trustworthy, and easy to read.