Did you know that most users never go beyond the first page of search results? In fact, it’s a popular saying that page 2 of Google is the “best place to hide a dead body!”
That is why it is so important to get on the first page of Google and why so many website owners and businesses are obsessed with it.
But, not everyone is successful at it. In fact, if you think about it, extremely few people are actually successful at ranking on the first page of Google.
Still, if you apply the right strategies, it is not only possible to get on the first page of Google but to stay there for a long time.
The question is:
How can you increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google?
Well, that’s what this article is all about. In this post, you will find six of the most effective ways to get on the first page of Google organically.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: This content contains some affiliate links for which we will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you). This is to ensure that we can keep creating free content for you.
Why Getting on the First Page of Google Matters
All marketers want to learn how to get on the first page of Google, simply because that’s where their prospects are. A recent study shows the first search result in Google gets a click-through rate (CTR) of 28.5%.
The CTR falls quickly to 15.7% for the second result and to 11% for the third result. This means that the first three results for Google search receive about 55% of all clicks. And the clicks go down to just 2.5% for the tenth position even if it is on the first page.
Another 2022 study confirmed these findings. Per this study, the top 3 search results on Google get 68.1% of all clicks.
Snippets, which are the #1 in the list of organic search results get the maximum CTR of 43.7%
What’s more, these snippets or the top organic search result gets 19x higher clicks compared to the top paid ads.
Take a look at this table below to see why every marketer focuses on learning how to get on the first page of Google.
Image via FirstPageSage
With 40,000 search queries being keyed in every second and over 3.5 billion searches being conducted each day, you can calculate what a CTR of 55% to 68.1% translates to.
That can’t be bad for business, right?
It isn’t all about traffic and leads though. If you know how to get on the first page of Google, your business will also come across as authentic and credible.
Data shows that users not only think the first few websites that appear on the first page of Google are the more authentic ones in their industry, but trust them enough to make important decisions.
Image via Moz
As you can see, over 50% of the participants polled say they make important financial, legal, or medical decisions based on Google search results, very frequently or often.
If your website ranks on the first page of Google on the basis of informative, high-quality content, it will help boost user engagement.
All of this, when combined, can translate into higher conversion rates, and sales.
Now that you know why, let’s get on to the core topic of how to get on the first page of Google.
7 Tips on How to Rank on the First Page of Google
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need to first understand how difficult it actually is. In almost every niche, there will be some high-authority websites that will dominate.
So, to be able to rank on the first page of Google, you have to be more creative, especially if you want to rank in the top positions. Your goal should not be to compete with the Google(s) and Amazon(s) of the world but to avoid competing with them altogether.
All of the strategies mentioned in this post have been compiled keeping that in mind. You don’t need to go head-on with the biggest players but find your niche.
Curious to learn about these strategies?
Here you go:
1. Target Long-Tail Keywords
If you are starting a new website, then the chances of you getting on the first page of Google are extremely slim. This is especially true if you want to target popular keywords that cover a broad topic or industry.
Let’s take an example of a simple keyword, “SEO tips.” When you search for this keyword on Google, the first page results that you see are all extremely authoritative websites.
Image via Google
For a beginner, it is nearly impossible to outrank these websites that have built their domain authority and backlinks over several years.
So, how can you get on the first page of Google?
Well, you can avoid targeting highly-competitive keywords and go for long-tail keywords. Usually, keywords with a single word or two-word phrases are more difficult to compete for than longer keywords.
Taking the previous example, if you want to get on the first page of Google, you can make that keyword more specific by adding more details. Take “SEO tips for startups in 2023” for example.
Image via Google
If you pay attention, you’ll see that many of the top-ranked posts do not even target the exact topic as your keyword. So, if you create a high-quality article optimized for the long-tail keyword, “SEO tips for startups in 2023,” you are likely to stand a chance to get on the first page of Google.
Use a good keyword search tool like Wordtracker or Semrush to conduct keyword research and find the most relevant, long-tail keywords for your website. You can also find top-performing keywords and create long-tail keywords of your own.
This strategy will help you avoid competing with the top players while still managing to get on the first page of Google.
Also, you don’t just have to follow this strategy for new content creation, but you can also optimize your old content for long-tail keywords. So, perform a content audit, and update and optimize your old articles that are not ranking well in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
While on the topic of how to get on the first page of Google with the right keywords, we can’t afford to ignore the role played by search intent.
Search intent is the purpose behind a user's search. It is the reason why someone types a query into a search engine.It’s important to understand search intent because it helps you create content that meets the needs of your audience.
There are four main types of search intent:
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or page.
- Informational: The user is looking for information about a topic.
- Transactional: The user is looking to buy something.
- Commercial: The user is looking for information to help them make a purchase decision.
For instance, those searching for “‘how to repair a leaky roof’ need a visual, step-by-step guide. By figuring out the search intent here, Google’s algorithms show a video that explains how to fix leaky roofs.
Remember that what ranks on the first page of Google is not your entire website but individual pages. You can pick any web page, not limited to the home page, to rank on the first page of Google.
However, how well the landing pages rank on the first page of Google will depend on your site’s authority.
Once you pick the keywords you want to target, make sure to create content that contains your target keyword and matches the search intent of users. Apart from landing pages, you can create product pages, blog posts, and category pages to cater to your prospects’ search intent.
Pro Tip: Create keyword lists on different topics and then add more specific details to each keyword to create long-tail keywords.
2. Create Skyscraper Content
This is an expert-level strategy to get on the first page of Google, which very few people have actually mastered.
The skyscraper technique is the brainchild of SEO expert Brian Dean, who found that both organic search traffic and page rankings improve as a result of this tactic.
The idea here is to find the top-performing content on any topic and then create better content to beat it.
Now, don’t get me wrong: This does not mean that you can beat authoritative websites for highly-competitive keywords. This strategy needs to be leveraged in tandem with the previous strategy of targeting long-tail keywords.
Remember, that it is extremely difficult to beat websites with high domain authority as a newcomer. What you can do is to find top-performing content on niche topics and then create better content to rank on the first page of Google.
To find content with a good number of backlinks and referring domains, you can use tools such as the Ahref’s Site Explorer.
Add a popular website in your industry, known for publishing great content and click on ‘Best by links’ option. Once you get a list of pages that have the maximum link authority, sort them by referring domains.
You can potentially target any page that has over 50 referring domains,
Alternatively, you can also use Ahref’s Content Explorer tool to enter a topic related to your niche. Set the filter on referring domains to 50 and also choose a target language.
The tool then lists the top-performing content or ‘skyscraper opportunities’ in this niche.
The next step is to elevate the content to the next level by focusing on these aspects:
- Length: Optimize the length of top-performing content by adding relevant details that offer value.
- Design: Make the content visually appealing with infographics and images.
- Depth: Provide actionable, in-depth information.
- Freshness: Ensure any outdated content is replaced with the latest data, screenshots, images, and so on.
After you improve the content, you’ll need to reach out to bloggers or sites who have linked to top performing content that you have improved upon.
The concept behind this is that these bloggers who have linked to similar type of content are likely to link to more authoritative and fresh content.
Pro Tip: Use a good SEO tool to find top-performing content for specific keywords to use this strategy effectively.
3. Be a Prolific Content Creator
Another effective strategy to get on the first page of Google is to increase your probability to rank by creating more content. The more content you create and the more keywords you target, the higher your chances of ranking on the first page of Google SERPs.
Does this mean that you should prioritize quantity over quality?
No! It does not, in any way, mean that. The idea is to target as many keywords as you can and create tons of content on niche-specific topics.
However, if you do not have the time or resources to do that, then create only as much content as is feasible for you. Do not compromise the quality of your content as that is one of the most important ranking criteria for Google.
Still, if you can manage to devote more time and effort to creating content, especially when you’re starting out, it will help you in the long run. You can even hire freelance writers if you don’t have the resources in-house.
Pro Tip: Create a detailed content calendar and hire freelance writers as and when needed to stick to your publishing schedule.
4. Participate in Expert Roundups
There is more than one way to get on the first page of Google. Even if you are struggling to get your website pages to rank organically, you can still get on the first page of Google by participating in expert roundups.
What are expert roundups?
It is a type of content where an author asks various industry experts a question and posts a collection of all of their answers. Anyone can create an expert roundup for any topic or question relevant to their industry and approach experts to share their views on it.
Here’s an example of an expert roundup that we had published on our blog:
Image via Attrock
You can participate in expert roundups for authoritative websites that usually rank on the first page of Google SERPs. Most of these roundups allow you to add a link to your website, which means that anyone who visits the roundup post can check out your website content as well.
This is not a conventional way to get on the first page of Google, but still solves the core purpose: getting more people to visit your website. Moreover, it is one of the best link-building strategies as well, so it provides dual benefits.
Pro Tip: Participate in roundup posts from high-authority sites as it will help you build valuable backlinks for your website.
5. Focus on Local SEO
One of the best ways for a small business to rank on the first page of Google search results is to focus on local SEO.
This is, essentially, similar to targeting long-tail keywords. However, you need to target keywords that are location-specific. You may not be able to rank for a generic keyword, but you have a real chance to rank if you add your location to your keywords.
It can help you rank in two ways:
- You will compete with fewer competitors.
- You will attract a more relevant target audience to your website.
So, focus on local search engine optimization to increase your chances of getting ranked on the top position of the first page of Google.
Wondering what all it entails?
Here are some specific tips to rank your website locally and get on the first page of Google SERPs:
List Your Business on Google My Business (GMB)
The first thing that you need to do for local SEO is to create a Google My Business listing for your business. That’s usually the first result you will see when you search for any business on Google.
But, that’s not all that a Google My Business listing is good for. It also helps you improve your local search rankings.
If you update your business listing with relevant, local keywords, it will show up for relevant searches in your area. Google shows relevant business listings for local or “near me” searches.
You also need to update correct business information like email address, phone number, name, etc. If your listing is optimized and updated with correct information, you can rank on the first page of Google for relevant requests by local searchers.
List Your Business in Local Directories
Google My Business is just one of the many directories and you should create business listings on all relevant ones in your industry. For a lot of local searches, directories occupy the first few positions on the first page of Google SERPs.
For example, if you search for “best AC repair service in Sacramento,” the first set of results will include results from local directories like Yelp.
Image via Google
Even if your website may not organically rank on the first page of Google initially, at least your business listing will get a top position.
Target Local Keywords for Your Website
As discussed above, using location-specific keywords can help you level up your local SEO game. All you need to do is to add your location to all of your target keywords.
If your target keyword is “HVAC services,” then you should go for “HVAC services in (location name)” instead. This will help you attract the right prospects to your website and will also increase your chances of getting on the first page of Google.
Create Location-Specific Landing Pages
The next tip for improving local SEO is to create location-specific landing pages on your website, using a good landing page builder like Unbounce. This is especially useful if you serve multiple locations as you can create different web pages for targeting prospects from different locations.
This means that your most relevant pages will rank for any given search request and you will also have a higher chance of ranking on the first page of Google.
Let’s look at an example to understand this better.
If you offer “content writing services” in A, B, and C locations, create four different landing pages, one for each location and one generic. So, the target keywords for your four landing pages will be:
- Content writing services
- Content writing services in A
- Content writing services in B
- Content writing services in C
This means that you now have 4X chances of ranking on the first page of Google. Also, you are likely to attract a more targeted audience to your location-specific landing pages, which might help increase conversions as well.
Pro Tip: Create location-specific landing pages for all of your products and services and optimize your landing pages for relevant keywords.
6. Focus on On-Page SEO
What’s on-page SEO got to do with getting on the first page of Google? Everything!
On-page SEO involves optimizing your web pages in order to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP). This includes optimizing a page's title, meta tags, headings, and content.
It is an important part of any SEO strategy, as it helps search engines better understand what the page is about and how it can be of benefit to users.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your on-page SEO. Here are a few tips:
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Optimize your images and videos
- Use internal links
- Improve your site's loading speed
- Use social sharing buttons
- Ensure the meta description is not more than 160 characters
- Use header tags to structure the content
- Include keywords in the URLs
- Add keywords within the alt-text of images
- Achieve a keyword density between 1% to 3%
- Ensure HTTPS security
- Add internal links in your website>
- Make sure that the title is relevant to your website's content and that it catches the eye of searchers
Pro Tip: Whenever you upload a new image to your website, add your main keyword in the file name and fill out the alt text field with a brief, keyword-rich description of the image.
7. Improve Your Website’s User Experience
Did you know that user experience or “UX signals” is one of the most important ranking factors for Google?
No matter how much you optimize your content for keywords, if your website delivers a bad user experience, it may never rank well. It’s as simple as that.
But, what factors does Google consider when we talk about user experience?
Google basically looks at website metrics like bounce rate, dwell time, page load speed, etc. to assess user experience. The general rule is that the more time a user spends on your website, the more useful and relevant it is to users.
When Google ranks websites, it not only looks for the most relevant content but also prefers websites that users genuinely find helpful and spend more time on.
Here are some of the areas in which you can improve your website’s performance to deliver a better user experience and get on the first page of Google:
One of the key reasons why people might bounce off your site is because your site takes a lot of time to load. Nobody wants to wait that long.
Your site may take longer to load if you have a lot of heavy images or visuals on your site or due to other factors.
If you simply ensure that your site speed is good, then you can significantly reduce your bounce rates. To improve your site speed, you should:
- Compress your images and videos to reduce their sizes.
- Avoid or, at least, reduce redirects from your site.
- Use a content distribution network.
- Use caching to store temporary files.
- Optimize your site for mobile devices. You can create an AMP version of your site for faster loading speed on mobile.
Try these strategies to increase your site speed and your chances of ranking on the first page of Google.
Internal links in your content can help direct your website visitors to other relevant content on your site. The more and better internal links you add, the more people will stay on your website for longer times.
Here’s a visual representation of how internal linking works.
This, effectively, sends good UX signals to Google and shows that people find your site useful and relevant enough to stay longer and visit multiple pages.
One of the reasons why your site visitors are not staying on your site for long could be poor site navigation. It might be something as simple as people leaving your site because they couldn’t find what they were looking for.
This, luckily, can be easily avoided by choosing a simple website layout and design template. Do not overcomplicate things and use a simple website layout to improve your site navigation.
You can use a good website building platform like WordPress or Wix to ensure easy site navigation and design.
Also, create a sitemap to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. Here’s an example of a sitemap.
While you optimize page speed and navigation, it’s also important to maintain consistency in the design in order to keep visitors engaged.
There are several ways to achieve this, including using the same color scheme throughout the site, using consistent font sizes and styles, and aligning elements in a consistent way.
Creating a cohesive website design will keep visitors coming back for more.
Maintain consistency in:
- Web design elements
- Heading sizes
- Brand colors
- Font choices
- Button styles
- Photo choices and illustrations
Catch the Dreaded 404 Errors
The 404 errors can be frustrating for both website owners and users. When a user encounters a 404 error, it can mean that the page they were looking for no longer exists or that there is an issue with the website's server.
This can cause them to lose trust in the website and may even dissuade them from returning in the future.
When talking about how to get on the first page of Google, we cannot ignore the role 404 errors play. Catching these errors will not only will this help you get on the first page of Google and improve the user experience on your website
Here are some ways to prevent 404 errors:
- Use a custom 404 page: A custom 404 page can help to guide users back to the content they are looking for.
- Check your website regularly for broken links: Use a tool like Google Webmaster Tools to check your website for broken links and to fix them.
- Redirect broken links: If you find a broken link on your website, you can redirect it to a working page using a 301 redirect.
- Use a sitemap: A sitemap can help to ensure that all of the pages on your website are accessible to search engines and users.
Design appealing CTAs
If you want to improve your website's conversion rate and rank on the first page of Google, one of the best things you can do is to add appealing call to action (CTA) buttons.
A call-to-action button is a button that encourages your website visitors to take some desired action, such as signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when designing call to action buttons:
- The button should stand out from the rest of your website's design. Use a different color or shape to make the button pop.
- The text on the button should be clear and concise. Use action-oriented language that tells your visitors what they need to do.
- Place the CTA buttons in prominent locations on your website. Make sure it's visible and easy to find.
If you want your website to rank high on Google, it's important to make sure it's mobile friendly. This is because more than 50% of search traffic is from mobiles and Google prioritizes mobile friendliness and page load speed when determining your site’s ranking.
Image via RankWatch
With more and more people using their phones and tablets to access the internet, it's crucial that your website is optimized for these devices.
There are a few things you can do to make your website more mobile-friendly.
- Make sure your site is responsive, meaning it will adjust to fit any screen size
- Use large font sizes and buttons so that it's easy to navigate on a small screen
- Use standard fonts
- Create simple and short menus
- Provide a search option
- Avoid flash, plugins, or animations
- Provide space to scroll
- Use buttons and icons wherever possible
However, if you are new to this concept, you can use the free tools offered by Google to check your website’s mobile-friendliness.
You can just plug in the URL of your site and Google tells you if it is mobile-friendly per its current algorithm. You can also test a new website by plugging in its code for its mobile-friendliness.
Apart from telling you whether or not the site is mobile-friendly, Google also gives you a guide to fix your site and make it mobile-friendly. It could be as simple as picking a web design that adjusts automatically for various screen sizes.
Pro Tip: Choose a website template that you think will be the easiest for your site visitors to navigate through and then customize it according to your business needs.
Q1. How do I appear on the first page of Google?
A. Use the search engine optimization strategies mentioned above to get on the first page of Google. Here’s a quick recap of the top five strategies:
- Target long-tail keywords.
- Create skyscraper content.
- Be a prolific content creator.
- Participate in expert roundups.
- Focus on local SEO strategies.
Q2. How much does it cost to get on the first page of Google?
A. If you go for organic SEO strategies, it doesn’t cost you anything except time and effort to get on the first page of Google. However, if you want to get there fast, you might want to invest in paid search ads.
Q3. How can I get on the first page of Google in 24 hours?
A. There is no shortcut when it comes to improving your Google search rankings organically. Even the best industry experts cannot guarantee that they can help you rank on the first page of Google in 24 hours.
You can, however, try some or all of the strategies mentioned above consistently and, eventually, get on the first page of Google search results.
Q4. How can you get to the top of Google search results?
A. You need to target the right keywords, create quality content, and put in a lot of time and effort to get there. There are no shortcuts and no guarantees when it comes to ranking on the first page of Google, but it is definitely feasible.
Take care of search intent and provide relevant and useful information to the searchers.
Q5. What percentage of Google searches go past the first page?
A. According to the latest estimates, approximately 75% of users never go past the first page of Google. If you’re not ranking on the first page of Google, chances are that no one will find your content, no matter how good it is.
Q6. How to get on the first page of Google for free?
A. Leverage the SEO strategies mentioned above to get on the first page of Google for free. All of these strategies require only time and effort, but no monetary commitment as such.
Unless you want to invest in Google ads, you can use these strategies to improve your website rankings.
Q7. How can I rank on Google?
A. Target and optimize your website and content for the right keywords, improve your website design, create quality content, and build backlinks to rank higher in the SERPs. Try the tips mentioned above to get on the first page of Google.
Q8. How long does it take for Google to rank your web page?
A. There are no guarantees when it comes to improving your Google search rankings. It might happen within days or might not happen even after years. But, if you use the strategies mentioned above consistently and diligently, you can definitely increase your chances multifold.
Everyone who has a website wants to know how to get on the first page of Google, but only a few of them actually succeed. But, if you use the tips and tricks mentioned above, you can surely increase your chances of ranking higher on the top search engine results page.
So, what are you waiting for?
Use this post as your SEO guide and try the best practices to rank on the first page of Google to grow your website traffic. All the best!
Disclaimer: This content contains some affiliate links for which we will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you). This is to ensure that we can keep creating free content for you.