How Google Ranks First Page Results and How You can Get There

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 08 Sep, 2017

An Explanation of Who is on the First Page of Google and Why

As a digital marketing agency, we get a lot of customers saying they want to rank in the top spot on Google. For many, their goal of having a professionally created website is to magically make their way to the first page overnight (or within a few weeks). While it’s great that people have such high aspirations for their company’s digital marketing campaigns, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds to show up on the first page of Google.

This is something we explain to our clients time and time again. We understand that Google is a tricky business, and it’s ranking system doesn’t always make sense to those who aren’t involved in digital marketing. That’s why we make it our goal to explain those first page results, as well as how a marketing strategy can help your website rank higher.

Here’s how Google ranks content on the first page, and how to work your way up there.

1. Paid Advertisement

Simply put, the very first listings Google shows are those who pay to be there. These are the listings that show up in the top several spots and say ‘Ad’ next to them. If companies are willing to pay money to appear first on the first page, Google will gladly rank those pages higher than those who aren’t paying anything.

As The Joker famously said in The Dark Knight , “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” In the world of search engine results, Google definitely adopted this saying by ranking those willing to pay for top ranking spots above those who aren’t. Sure, Google doesn’t make everyone pay to show up, but for those who are really determined to make it to that coveted top spot, the search engine is going to make you shell out a little bit of cash.

How to get here: The only real way to make it to those number one spots for certain search terms is to invest in a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign. This involves paying Google a certain amount to show up first (or second or third, depending on who is paying the most) when people search for specific keywords. Everyone wants to organically show up as the first option, but the fact is, more and more business owners are opting for paid ads because they’re more effective. And when it comes to showing up for the right keywords and location, PPC advertising is your best bet.

2. Google My Business/Local Listing

As a business owner, the easiest way to rank in the top spots without paying for ads is by using Google My Business to claim your local listing. If you aren’t quite sure what your local listing is, it’s the box of information that appears on the right side of the screen when you click on a business’s profile. It gives specific details about your business, including business hours, location, description, photos and a link to your website.

How to get here: Start by claiming your local listing on your Google My Business account—something all business owners should have. By claiming your local listing, you can make sure that the information is totally accurate. Additionally, you are guaranteed to have a top spot in Google rankings when your business shows up as a result.

3. Organic Rankings

Now on to the meat and potatoes. After paid ads and local listing results, Google shows organic, unpaid results, based on keywords and information on the pages that the search engine recognizes as the most relevant to the topic. Of course, one of the most important ways to show up on Google’s top page is to rank organically from SEO-friendly keywords on your page. This means Google has deemed your page the best option for searchers.

This is what everyone wants to rank on the first page for, because people trust that Google is giving them the best possible answer to what they’re looking for. It’s also the reason it’s important to have keywords that are optimized for popular searches (i.e., using popular keywords and phrases that people will be searching for to land on your website). Chances are, you probably already have these keywords throughout your website.

Incorporating an SEO strategy in your website content is what makes your site appear in relevant Google searches, whether that’s on the first page or later pages. It’s important to understand that SEO is one of the many keys to a successful website and organic first page rankings, but it won’t get you there immediately.

How to get here: The hardest part about organic rankings is that they usually take a while to get you to the first page. Google takes authority into account when selecting rankings, which means your site has been around for a while, has provided helpful content for other users and gets a decent amount of traffic. This established credibility develops over time, so the longer your SEO strategy is in place, the better your chances are for landing on the first page.

Here’s a few of the most important features your website will need to rank on the first page organically:

  • Relevant content
  • Popular keywords
  • Meta descriptions
  • Responsive web design
  • Headlines that use keywords and attract clicks
  • Internal links

Think of your website as a sandwich: with just one or two of these key ingredients, you don’t really have the end product you want. But the more quality ingredients you use, the better your results will be.

Ranking organically on this first page will take a bit of time (it’s hard to say how long, because it’s different for everyone), but it’s where you want to be.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 17 Nov, 2017

If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.

So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.

But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?

That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.

By Jackie Petre 10 Nov, 2017

Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.

Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.

Our solution: an online review presenter.

By Jackie Petre 01 Nov, 2017

The digital world is constantly changing. Every day, programs are updated, trends shift and Google edits its algorithms. With so many frequent changes, anyone who wants to maintain a successful online presence—like all digital marketers—has to keep up with the trends. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game if they don’t want to fall behind.

Several months ago, we published an article that explained why it’s crucial that your website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches. For example, instead of searching for “flower shop Cleveland, Ohio,” more searchers were replacing the location name with “flower shop near me.” It provided more accurate results based on the user’s physical location, rather than the broad location.

By Jackie Petre 27 Oct, 2017

A lot of people fixate on being the number one result on Google. It’s easy to understand why; those number one results are often the first links we click on when doing a search. After all, Google puts those results at the top of the page for a reason, right?

Many times, Internet marketing performance is solely judged by rankings and how high you can get on Google. But contrary to belief, this is not the best way to measure your return on investment. There are other metrics that will tell you way more about the success of your campaign’s performance than just the average position.

By Jackie Petre 18 Oct, 2017

We’ve discussed how important it is to have reviews of your business on your website, and you know that reviews can have a positive effect on your business. But the more difficult part is figuring out how to get clients to leave reviews in the first place. Where do you start? How do you get people to only leave positive reviews? It might seem like a tricky business—and we’ll admit, there is a formula to it—but getting clients to write reviews isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Here are five easy steps you can follow to motivate your clients to leave a review of your business.

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When making any important decision, it’s important to weigh your options. In the case of creating a new website, the advantages that come with each option can be a major determinant in which website platform you decide to go with. In our two recent blogs detailing the Locallogy Rapid Platform , we’ve covered what exactly the service is and the functional features that you have access to as a user. Now, we want to tell you about the advantages to using our website platform.

In addition to having a cost-effective, customized website built by our team of professionals, you’ll experience a number of management advantages that help your website run faster, safer and smarter.
By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

We recently unveiled the Locallogy Rapid Platform , our newest web building service that allows you to have a cost-effective website created for you by our team of digital marketing experts. It’s the best way for your small business to quickly get a customized website without paying top dollar to have your site maintained by the professionals who are creating your site.

So how do we offer such a quality service for a low monthly price? We’ve built in a variety of great features that let you directly manage your website so you can quickly and easily make edits without crashing your own website.

Once your website is up and running, there are a number of helpful features that make editing and using your site easier on both the backend (what you can edit) and frontend (what visitors will see). From choosing your own color scheme to previewing capabilities, these features work together to create a flawless user experience.

These features all boil down to three specific functions that are crucial for any website platform: customization, usability and responsiveness .

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When it comes to building a website for your business, you typically have two options: invest in a high-end, custom-built website made by digital marketing experts, or go with the cheaper option by using a content management system like WordPress or Wix to personally manage your site on a template platform.

For some businesses, a website fully designed from scratch is the best option. It gives the business owner the ability to customize every last detail, down to the coding on each page. For others who don’t need a complex site, a simple CMS that allows content to be easily managed will suffice. But for many businesses, neither of these options are exactly what their looking for, which is something in the middle. Something that allows for a customized website built by professionals at a fraction of the cost of a full website design.

Something like the Locallogy Rapid Platform.

By Jackie Petre 26 Sep, 2017

Video content is taking over the Internet. Several years ago, the place you were most likely to find this kind of content was YouTube, where you could look up any kind of funny, instructional or music video imaginable. Today, you can find Internet videos everywhere you look: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and news network websites. And according to data, it’s a trend that’s not going away.

In a recent visual networking report done by Cisco , it is estimated that global “video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.” So it’s no surprise that businesses have been jumping on board in an effort to keep their audiences’ attention and create content that has more share potential.

Incorporating videos onto your site might seem like something that doesn’t apply to a service-based business like yours. But visuals are a pretty powerful tool when it comes to getting (and keeping) the attention of your customers. Yes, images are crucial to a successful business website, but customized videos are a more engaging way to showcase your products or services. In fact, it’s something we use as a marketing tool for our customers.

By Jackie Petre 21 Sep, 2017

We’re all familiar with the concept of saving the best for last. But when it comes to the content on your website, your approach should be the exact opposite. You may not realize it, but the order of your content often determines the rate of conversion your website sees. This concept is known as content hierarchy. Whether you’re a business owner who is creating services pages on your website or you’re just running a personal blog on the Internet, content hierarchy is something that affects the success rate of your web page.

Let’s start at the beginning.

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