How to rank a website on Google first page? Boost your SEO ranking
June 10, 2023
So, you want to rank on Google’s first page? But, the main question is how will you do that? Unfortunately, organic ranking on Google’s first page is not guaranteed. It depends on many factors including but not limited to page speed, content quality and length, keyword intent, competition, internal and external links and many more. Also you should have a good grasp of SEO and avoid all SEO myths that are preventing you from getting ranked.
We will divide this article into three parts and discuss the most significant elements in each.
Why is ranking on page 1 so critical?
First of all, it’s a known fact that results on page 1 get more results than on pages two or three. However, CTR (click-through-rate) also falls dramatically on the second and third page of Google’s SERPs.
According to Backlinko’s research only 0.63% clicked on something on the second page. So, if you’re not at the top of Google search results, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic.
Image credit: Backlinko
How to rank a website on Google first page?
In order for your website to rank well, it must perform well in all three areas of SEO. As mentioned earlier there are over 200 ranking factors according to Google. We cannot cover them all in this article. But, we will try to explain the most relevant ones. The list of elements in each department are there in the table of contents above.
What is on-page SEO?
The Google algorithm can’t detect what our content is about and if our content really satisfies the search intent of people searching Google. Hence, we need to structure our content in a way that search engines can understand.
In this way, we can define on-page SEO as any change to our website to increase its visibility. On-page SEO examples include putting your content’s title in the H1 tag and updating it regularly, editing your site’s meta description pages, and optimizing internal links.
As an analogy to on-page SEO, we use a car example. Chassis, tires, and other vehicle components are on-page SEO, while the engine is off-page SEO. If you have the strongest engine in the world but your car runs only on one tire, it can’t win any race ever. So, it explains that alongside off page SEO, on page SEO is also critical to your campaign success.
The three kings of on-page SEO
There are certain placeholders that play an important role in ranking your site. In that order, they are your site URL, SEO title and page title, sometimes referred to as the H1 tag as well. Below that are H2, H3 and your content.
Optimizing for the first king
Optimize your URL’s properly. This is important because Google checks URLs to see if they contain targeted keywords. And whether that URL is SEO friendly or not?
Consider these factors for a healthy and optimized URL.
- It would be helpful to use only targeted keyword in your URL’s. For example, if your target keyword is shoes for men, then a good URL would be “website.com/men-shoes”. A bad URL example would be “website.com/shoes-small-large-sizes-men-uk-co”.
- Never change any old URL. if you insist and you have to, then you should use 301 redirects.
Optimizing for the second king
The second king is your SEO title tag: this is the main heading text you will see in Google search results.
This is already filled up if you use an SEO plugin like Yoast or Rankmath in WordPress. For HTML websites, you need to manually add it to the HTML header. Consider the points below for maximum effectiveness.
- Try to use your targeted keyword at the beginning of your SEO title. As it carries more weight and delivers a strong ranking signal to Google.
- Try to write your SEO title naturally and avoid using keywords that will appear spammy.
- Do not repeat your keywords as it’ll lead to over optimization and declined ranking in some cases.
- Keep your title to a maximum of 60 characters.
Optimizing for the third king
Optimize your page title. So, what is the page title? This is the page title or H1 tag you need to insert on the page edit screen. The H1 tag represents the main topic of your page. It is similar to SEO title.
- Always keep page title in H1 tag and don’t
- Don’t add more than one H1 tag to a single page
You should make your page title unique or include some valuable words to make it similar to an SEO title.
Image Alt tags
Image alt texts stand for Image alternative texts. It describes the appearance and functions of an image on your website. An alt tag has many uses; it is used to:
- Help visually impaired people with screen reader accessibility, so they can understand your content.
- It is used instead of your image if it can’t load properly.
- It can also help search engine crawlers better understand your content and rank your images properly in Google images search.
So alt tags are really, really important.
For writing effective Alt tags, I would recommend to simply describe the image in max three or four words.
So, firstly what is an internal link? Internal links are links from your pages to another. Both of these links must be on your site, hence it is called internal links.
Relevance is improved by internal linking. And it is a massive ranking factor in Google’s eyes. For example, if you have enough internal links on your pages it increases the relevancy of your content and signals Google that you’re writing similar content.
As previously mentioned, internal content plays a huge role in convincing Google about page relevancy. The more internal links you build, the better. But, remember that it should be relevant and consistent. For example, if you link to a page without relevance to the topic, this may confuse Google, which might hinder ranking on both pages.
What is off-page SEO?
Activities outside of our website to increase its visibility are off-page SEO. The term backlinks or link building is often used to describe it. Backlink is any mention or link to our website on another website.
Back in the car analogy, we described car’s tires and chassis as on-page SEO and its engine as off-page SEO. Now, suppose you have the finest tires and chassis in the world but your engine is from 100 years ago. Obviously we wouldn’t get the most desirable results.
A backlink represents a vote of confidence from other websites. It basically signals to Google that they trust this site and recommend it. According to a study, backlinks will still be one of the biggest ranking factors in 2023.
What is anchor text and why is it important?
Anchor texts are clickable links used to connect one page to another. The text color is usually blue but it’s up to the website owner to choose whatever color they like.
It is recommended that anchor text should be relevant to the site you are linking to. Google can read your anchor text and will take it into account when ranking your website. For example, if you connect through an anchor text “body spray”, Google will assume that the linked website has some relation to body spray.
What pages should I build backlinks to?
The answer to this question is simple. A backlink can improve a web page’s ranking. A straightforward answer is to build backlinks for the pages you want to rank higher.
For example, that could be your home page, blog posts page or your product page. You should build backlinks for every website page that has value for your audience.
Dofollow Vs Nofollow
You already know what a backlink is, but what are Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks? Let’s start with Dofollow links.
- Dofollow is a backlink that passes SEO authority or link juice to the referring website. Google will follow a Dofollow link to the linking website, thereby transferring link juice or SEO authority.
- A Nofollow backlink is one which is not followed by Google bots and hence does not transfer any SEO authority or link juice
You might think one would rely on Dofollow backlinks for better ranking. But that’s not the case. No-follow backlinks are also important.
The good news is that creating Nofollow backlinks is relatively easy and it is advised to have a ratio of 60 percent Nofollow and around 40 percent Dofollow backlinks.
You can use Moz free tools to analyze your backlink profile.
What makes for a quality backlink?
Not all backlinks are created equal. Just because a website is looking shiny and clean doesn’t mean that a link from that site will have the most benefit Quality is way more important than quantity when it comes to SEO and link building.
Here are the characteristics of a high quality backlink.
- Good websites have good domain authority. Target a domain authority of at least 25 or above. You can check it by visiting Moz’s free tools under the domain analysis section.
- Check how many keywords a website ranks for. Good websites rank for allot of keywords. Target websites with at least 100 or above ranking keywords.
- Check if the website has a decent amount of organic traffic. There are no specific numbers for this one but I personally like to see at least 300 monthly organic visitors for any website. Use ahref’s free traffic checker.
- Check the referring domain for any website. A site could have allot of backlinks but most of them might come from the same websites with multiple backlinks from them. So it’s important that it has a healthy number of referring domains as well.
Technical SEO refers to the optimization of the website for search engine crawlers and also activities that are meant to improve the user-experience. The following are some recommended best practices for technical SEO.
Site speed is crucial in SEO as it directly impacts user experience and search engine rankings. A slow-loading website can lead to a high bounce rate, which negatively affects user engagement and search engine rankings. On the other hand, a fast-loading website can improve user experience, increase engagement, and boost search engine rankings. Therefore, it is essential to optimize site speed by compressing images, minimizing HTTP requests, using caching techniques, and reducing server response time. This will improve SEO performance.
Google’s page speed insights is one the best tools available to check and optimize your site speed.
Mobile friendly site
Mobile friendliness is another critical factor in SEO as more and more users access websites via mobile devices. Mobile-friendly websites offer seamless user experience, easy navigation, and fast-loading pages, which improve user engagement and search engine rankings.
Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its search results, making it essential for businesses to optimize their websites for mobile devices. Therefore, optimizing a website’s mobile responsiveness by using responsive design, enhancing images and videos, and improving page speed on mobile devices can significantly impact SEO performance.
Sitemaps are an essential tool in SEO as they help search engines crawl and index website pages more effectively. Sitemaps are files that contain a list of all pages on a website. This makes it easier for search engines to understand the site’s structure and content.
By submitting a sitemap to search engines, website owners can ensure that all their pages are crawled and indexed. This improves their chances of ranking higher in search results.
Sitemaps also provide valuable information about website priority pages, update frequency, and last modified dates. This can help search engines prioritize their crawling efforts. Therefore, including a sitemap on a website is crucial for improving its visibility and SEO performance.
Find and fix crawling errors
Crawl errors can negatively impact SEO performance by preventing search engines from properly crawling and indexing its pages. To find and fix crawl errors, website owners can use tools like Google Search Console to identify any issues with their site’s structure. These issues include: broken links or missing pages. Once errors are identified, website owners can fix them.
This includes redirecting broken links, updating page titles and meta descriptions, and ensuring that all pages are accessible to search engines. By addressing crawl errors, website owners can improve visibility and search engine rankings.
Why should you trust me?
I have been in the SEO industry since 2015. I know exactly what it takes to rank a website and what tools one needs on their SEO journey.
I have created dozens of WordPress websites for my business and clients in the past. I know what themes, plugins and tools to use for your website and SEO.
Using different SEO tools over the past years has given me the knowledge, experience and expertise to differentiate between successful and bad ones. I can recommend the best ones according to your requirements.
My goal in this article was to explain everything you need to know on how to rank a website on Google first page. You will have a fair chance of ranking your website if you implement these tactics.
Those aren’t everything about website ranking, but they’re the most important ones. I personally use more and less of these strategies to optimize my website for ranking. And you may use them as well.
I really hope you enjoyed this article and find it useful in your quest to rank your website on Google’s first page. Do you have any other ideas? Please let me know in the comments below.
Anyway, this is Ehsan Samadi saying Goodbye to you. We will meet in another insightful article. Till then, have a good one. Cheers