If you’re a website owner trying to get more traffic, you probably are wondering how to get your website on the first page of Google. Google is great for advertising, but finding your way to page 1 may not be that easy.
The thing about Google (and to a lesser extent, Bing and Yahoo) is that it’s a very powerful traffic source – not only can you reach a lot of people this way, you are able to attract a highly interested audience compared to other methods of traffic generation. This is because of the nature of search engines – people are specifically searching for the information you have to provide, rather than being “spammed” or plastered with it on places around the web or social media.
Ranking on Google page 1 leads to much higher (and engaged) traffic
If you’re only ranking on page 2, 3, 4 or lower, it isn’t good enough. If you want to get traffic from search engines, you really need to be finding yourself on the first page. And not just for your specific business name either, you should be ranking for lots of related terms people may be searching for that would potentially be interested in what you have to say or offer them.
Look at this chart, produced by Chitika:
This study concluded that 91.5% of search traffic doesn’t look past the first page of Google – which makes sense. I mean, do you ever click through the results? I know I don’t, at least not on a regular basis.
And even more so, the lower you are on the first page of results, the significantly lower your traffic will be. The first 3 spots get the most traffic and it decreases from there, rather dramatically.
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Here is data I pulled from MY own Google Search Console
Here is the click through rate from a few of my keywords in the top position. These are from the past 30 days (Jan/Feb 2018)
It varies but you can see it’s between 30 – 64%.
Now here’s some results for position 2 in Google – already the click through rate is decreasing. Now it’s more around 20%
Here’s a sampling of pages that rank in lower positions on the first page:
Positions 7, 8 and 9 barely are getting any traffic at all – some of them have a less than 1% click through rate!
And sadly, this is normal. Most people just look at the top results and that is it. Unfortunately, as a website owner you have to find your way into those very top spots to get good traffic.
This 2011 study by Slingshot shows the click through curve, diminishing rather rapidly from spots 1 -10.
My personal data, from Jan/Feb 2018 shows much higher click through rates for the 1 and 2 spots in Google, but those are just averages, so there will be quite a variation depending on many factors.
However I think the general results are fairly consistent, even though it’s been several years since this study was done, people are using Google in much the same way. Spots 1-3 are the prime location you want your website to be in when people are searching on Google.
Indexed vs Ranking in Google
First of all, there’s a difference between a website that’s just listed in Google vs one that is on the first page. Google has BILLIONS of pages, so you need to make sure you come up first , or at least on the first page, when people type related keywords in the search bar.
Before this is even possible, the first thing you need to do is make sure your website is indexed in Google’s database. You can do this by creating an account over at Google Search Console (this was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) and submitting your sitemap.
If you’re not sure if your site is indexed yet, go to the google search bar and type site:yoursite.com (obviously yoursite.com is whatever your domain name is)
If you’re not indexed this is what will pop up:
Getting your site actually in Google’s database is the first step. If you’re already showing up, that’s great. But because of just how large Google’s database is, getting Google to notice you and actually ranking on the first page is a different story.
So how do you actually get your site to rank on the first page of Google?
Now that we’ve established just how important it is to rank, how do you actually do it?
When it comes down to it, there are basically 2 methods:
There’s the fast way, [thrive_highlight highlight=’#eded78′ text=’dark’]which is via paid advertising.[/thrive_highlight]You’ve seen these pop up on the very top, sides and bottom of Google when you search for keywords, in particular when you are searching for something that is buyer friendly.
This method is great because it allows you to target people very specifically. However, it can be very risky, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing or haven’t been able to test your campaign. If you don’t have much money to spend, you probably don’t want to start out this way.
The second method is [thrive_highlight highlight=’#eded80′ text=’dark’] SEO – search engine optimization.[/thrive_highlight]This will eventually lead to your website showing up in the organic (free) results when people type certain key phrases into Google. This is much slower than paid advertising, but it’s also a very effective and entirely free way to get on the first page. This is the method I personally use and recommend to people just getting started.
How does the SEO method work exactly?
Much of this method revolves around writing content, and a lot of it. Now you’re not going to be able to rank in the top spots for just anything – say “make money online” or “how to lose weight” those are VERY competitive and highly searched terms. However, if you can write around lower competition search phrases, you have a much higher chance of showing up in the top spots of search.
There are certain methods and tools you can use to find lower competition search phrases that people are actually searching for, so you can come up with many ideas to include on your site.
There’s also a lot of things you can do to make your website more search friendly:
- Use an SEO plugin such as “All in One SEO” (For WordPress)
- Create your posts with your key phrase in the title and first paragraph.
- Write content that is over 1,000 words per post
- Be as unique as possible, write something that isn’t just a complete paraphrase of another article. Look at the first page of results and see what you can add to the table. The more unique your content is, the more likely it will be to rank.
- Post content consistently
- Share your content on social media outlets
- Use Alt-Text descriptions for images
- Internally link your pages and posts, when it makes sense
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly – having a site that isn’t optimized for mobile devices is a definite NO NO these days
- Purchase an SSL certificate for your domain, this is so it is secure and will appear as an https://
- Make sure your site loads fast – Google does not like slow loading sites
There are many other factors to consider, but if you follow the basic advice and stick with it, you will gain traction in Google search and can get your website out in the eyes of potential visitors/customers.
Keep in mind you won’t be able to rank for everything in positions 1, 2 and 3, and sometimes it will be more difficult to get on the first page organically for certain keywords, but if you stick with it you should find yourself showing up on page 1 more and more, and eventually be gaining steady traffic. If you want more in depth training on how to create a site from start to finish that gets ranked in Google and other search engines, don’t forget to check out my top recommended training center.
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