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 14 Sep, 2017

People are increasingly choosing the Internet as their preferred method of finding products or services they are looking for, rather than more traditional sources like radio, television or even print media. So, it makes sense that the Internet is becoming a more popular platform when it comes to advertising, too. As online searching becomes more widely used by consumers, PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is becoming the new norm for marketing.

PPC is the most effective way to get your business seen by the right people when they’re looking for the products or services specific to your business and location. This shift from traditional media to the Internet as a marketing platform poses incredible advertising opportunities for local businesses, especially for those smaller budgets not large enough for traditional advertising.

Here’s why PPC advertising is better for local businesses than traditional advertising.

By Jackie Petre 08 Sep, 2017

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.

By Jackie Petre 30 Aug, 2017

Have you ever gotten a positive review from a customer and not known how to respond? When it comes to managing your business’s online reputation, it can be difficult to know how—or if—you should respond to customer reviews. Some businesses tend to only respond to negative reviews or not respond at all. However, the rule of thumb to abide by when you see an online review of your business is to always respond to your customers.

Previously, we’ve discussed the proper way to respond to negative reviews online , which is tricky and requires a very calculated response. While responding to positive reviews isn’t quite as difficult as reaching out to a dissatisfied customer, it still requires acknowledgement and appreciation. Here’s how to craft the best response to positive online reviews about your business.

By Jackie Petre 24 Aug, 2017

The famous ‘three A’s’ have long been a psychological approach to dealing with a problem, typically when it comes to addiction or criticism. However, we have found that the 3 A’s can also be applied to digital marketing as a way to test, measure and achieve your success.

In the marketing industry, the three A’s allow you to try out various strategies and compare the results at each stage. In the end, the campaign that performs the best at all three levels is ultimately the one that you should continue pursuing.

When it comes to creating goals for your marketing strategy, these are the three golden A’s to abide by:

  1. Awareness
  2. Acceptance
  3. Action

By Jackie Petre 16 Aug, 2017

Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.

In recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent survey choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.

By Jackie Petre 09 Aug, 2017

When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’

And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.

People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.

By Jackie Petre 03 Aug, 2017

Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.

For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.

Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.

Sounds pretty great, huh?

By Jackie Petre 27 Jul, 2017

When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.

When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
By Jackie Petre 26 Jul, 2017
While it’s obviously important to have quality images of your products or service jobs on your website, you don’t want to overlook the content portion of your site , particularly in the form of descriptions. Providing the visitor with detailed product and service descriptions gives a better idea of what to expect when working with you.
By Jackie Petre 20 Jul, 2017

The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot. 

Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office. 

More Posts
Share by: