How much does it cost to appear first on Google?
If you want to appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), there are 2 methods to do this. You could utilise pay-per-click advertising and out-pay your competitors to land the top spot. However, if you are wanting to be on top of search and don’t have the budget to compete with the giants in your industry for paid ads space, SEO or “organic rankings” is the way to go. Organic search can be done with a minimal budget and, if done right, will get you above the industry giants.
We always recommend using an SEO agency for your search needs, however below we have put together a quick guide to getting on the first page of Google that you can start using right now.
Step #1. Choose a keyword
Listing your services on your web page and giving in-depth, important details about your services to consumers is crucial but, if your web page is not focused on targeting a specific keyword, you will miss out on any potential consumers find your site.
The first step to ensuring you are going to be on the first page is picking a keyword to target with your web page.
Your service needs to completely align with the keyword you choose. If you are searching for “brown leather shoes” you are wanting that exact product, not a collection of “leather shoes” or “brown shoes”. If your site is not providing what the consumer wants, Google will punish you.
As well as making sure your keyword is relevant and has the correct search intent, you need to make sure the keyword is realistic for your site. Will your site really compete with the likes of John Lewis, House of Fraser, or Next for the top ranking of “Brown Leather Shoes”? Most likely not, but don’t worry there are better options!
Longer tail keywords like “Brown Italian Leather Shoes” or “Men’s Formal Brown Leather Shoes” aren’t focused on by huge brands as they don’t bring in as much organic traffic but you should never ignore them! Why? Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and ranking multiple long-tail keywords will bring more customers than highly competitive short-tail keywords.
Bonus tip: Competitor Research!
Have you ever noticed when you’re walking down a street and can’t find somewhere to eat and then suddenly there are multiple restaurants surrounding you? No, you’re not going mental…that is an example of businesses scouting their competition to discover the best locations for their restaurants and you NEED to be doing this with your competition. Look at similarly sized businesses with the same customer profiles that are selling in your industry. In fact, look at multiple, the more the better! Look at what phrases and keywords they target with their website and what they don’t. This will help you better understand where the customer base is and maybe even discover a keyword your competitors haven’t thought about.
Step #2. Optimise your web pages for your chosen keyword!
So, you have your web page, you have your chosen keyword, and now it’s time to get ranking. The obvious change you are going to want to make is including the keyword you’ve chosen. You want your new keyword in your page title, page URL, h1 tag and the first paragraph of your content.
Next, think about words and phrases that fit around this keyword to bring relevance to your page. For “Brown Italian Leather Shoes” words and phrases such as “Slip-on”, “Brogues”, “Casual shoes”, and “Formal shoes” all help to build relevance around the topic and gives Google a better idea of your page.
Bonus tip: Give Genuine Value!
Google wants to build a better experience for its users and it tries to do this by providing unique and informative content to its users. Google doesn’t want the first 10 web pages to be copies of each other, they want to provide varied results that will most likely satisfy the users’ queries. This will be key to getting more customers and landing higher on Google.
Take some time to understand your competition, what they write, what topics they discuss, how much they write etc… and use this to build a content brief. This brief should provide a fast overview of how your page content should look. When looking at competitors, look at what is missing and cover that in your article.
However unlikely, let us say all of the chosen topic has been covered and there is nothing left to discuss. Well, you can go 2 ways here:
- Create an ultimate guide where you put other articles together to create a new article that covers the entire topic, in-depth, to a high standard.
- Build off others’ articles. Maybe you could extend one of the articles or write it in a more understandable way for the reader. Take the article and redesign it, reword it and publish it.
Step #3. Cover the search topic in full
The more specific your page is to the target keyword, the easier you will find it to rank. Trying to rank your shoe category page for the keyword “Brown Italian Leather Shoes” is near impossible, in fact, if you manage to do it, go buy a lottery ticket whilst your luck is high!
Your content needs to be extremely relevant to your target keyword and provide the value that the customer is looking for. Provide quality information to the question being asked, or if it’s a keyword such as “Brown Italian Leather Shoes” then make a category specifically for this search. The more focused your page is on the search topic, the better you will do.
Step #4. Build backlinks
If you’ve spent any time researching SEO and how to get to the top of Google, you would have seen pages and pages telling you to get backlinks and that backlinks are the most important part of ranking. Well, I’m here to tell you they’re not but without them……good luck!
Sure there have been case studies with people solely ranking by creating quality content and other unique occurrences, but the truth is these are difficult to replicate. What has been replicated by SEOs everywhere is link building.
Having a quality backlink profile tells Google that you are a more trusted website and helps build your relevance around a topic. That means that the higher quality backlinks you are receiving, the better the impact on your rankings.
Now, Google and most people will tell you to create quality content and reach out to hundreds or thousands of websites asking to swap your content for links but most people don’t link to you that way unless you’re a big name in the industry. The other, slightly against Google’s rules, way to get backlinks is to purchase them. I won’t go into much detail on this but it’s simple, you pay a company some money and tell them what page you want targeting and they build the backlink for you.
Step #5. Add relevant internal links
Internal links have spent a long time being ignored when people are trying to rank for websites but in 2022 they became a top priority. Internal links help for multiple reasons:
Firstly, they spread around the “link juice” from your backlinks. When your site gets linked to that can increase the authority of the page and if you’re internal linking to another page that will get a slight increase as well.
Second, they can help your customers navigate your site and get to where they want to be. Links that build a natural progression to a different page (i.e. are relevant) are more likely to be clicked on and, with Google taking a huge interest in user experience this year, the more your internal link is clicked the better Google sees the link and the 2 pages that you’re linking between.
Step #6. Be patient
If I told you that some changes to your content, adjustments to your site layout, and a couple hundred on links has the potential to rank you number 1 for a long-tail keyword that could drastically increase your revenue, you’d tell me I’m selling a made-up product as it can’t be that easy. Well, it’s not…
But, let’s say that you did all those things and for you it did work, sadly you wouldn’t know till roughly 3-6 months later. That’s because Google likes to take its sweet old time with going through sites and making adjustments. So, if you want first-page rankings in 5 minutes, go get some Google ads. If you want long-term organic rankings that will drastically increase your revenue and brand awareness, you need to be a little patient.
Bonus tip: Google has a lot of different search types
Sometimes no matter how hard you try it’ll feel like you aren’t making any progress with your SEO. Maybe there is a keyword you desperately want to rank for but can’t quite get onto the first page. Well, lucky for you Google doesn’t do one size fits all.
Google offers a range of search types that you can rank for without having to have your site on the first page. This includes shopping ads, map pack rankings and featured snippets. You can learn more about Google search types here.
If you put all of this information to good use, you’ll likely see an increase in rankings. If you fancy taking your SEO to the next level, reach out to us here at Regency and let’s get you a free consultation today!